donate or subscribe
Follow Us Twitter Facebook

Prison Stories

Nowhere more than in Angola do prisoners look more like slaves. Those who work in the fields are marched out every morning by the white overseer who supervises their work, for which they are paid nothing. In fancy wrought iron, the sign arching over the prison entrance says Angola Prison Farms.

I tried my best to encourage the brothers to stand up

December 2, 2016

A call for a national work stoppage was issued for Sept. 9, 2016, to inmates all across America to bring an end to the “exception” – the slavery clause – in the U.S. Constitution’s 13th Amendment upholding slavery for prisoners. Sadly, I, along with a very small sprinkle of inmates here and there on “the farm” (a reference to Angola, a former slave plantation turned into the largest prison in the country) answered the call.

DeWayne Ewing

An innocent man, DeWayne Ewing wins order to show cause

December 1, 2016

In January 1994, 23-year-old DeWayne Ewing and a girlfriend discarded a condom as they left a park in the Oakland hills. A rape took place in the same park a few days later, and three days after the rape, police found the condom under a bush and put it with the rape kit. Thirteen years later, in June 2007, police pulled DeWayne over for an illegal turn and arrested him for rape on a cold hit DNA match.

Baridi X Williamson 2016

Baridi X Williamson: I went inside my heart to survive the torture in the Pelican Bay SHU

November 29, 2016

Leaving out of Pelican Bay solitary confinement torture prison facilities/units/cages for the first time on Jan. 23, 2015 – after arriving there Nov. 29, 1990 – I remember witnessing my first sunrise. It would be the first of many first time experiences of using my natural senses again after being buried alive in that concrete box deprived of the natural use of those senses for the last 25 years – a quarter century.

1 comment so far
Filed Under: Prison Stories
Tags:
When we fight – as a team: the Bay View and all of you, readers and writers – we win. Help the Bay View, help yourself and let’s make some REAL progress. – Art: Malcolme Morgan, G-63825, CCCF C3C-214, P.O. Box 2760, California City CA 93504

To all the brothers on the yard: Help us help ourselves

November 29, 2016

The San Francisco Bay View is an African American newspaper based in San Francisco, California. For over four decades, its progressive liberation journalism has been championing human right issues nationwide, especially on behalf of the thousands of men and women being warehoused inside one of the hundreds of dungeons dotting the national landscape of America. The owners of this newspaper, Willie and Mary Ratcliff, have been uncompromising in their support for prisoners. We owe them not only our support but our appreciation for being our spearhead in advocating for a variety of prisoners’ rights issues.

w-l-nolen-as-young-boxer-death-on-the-yard-the-untold-killings-at-soledad-san-quentin-ramparts-0473-cropped

Long live the spirit of Comrade W.L. Nolen

November 28, 2016

For those who are not familiar with W.L. Nolen, this beautiful New Afrikan brotha was one of the founders of the Black Liberation Movement in the California Prison System, along with Comrade George Jackson. Comrade W.L. Nolen was instrumental in shaping and molding the exemplary model of undaunting resistance that many of us New Afrikans now find ourselves emulating today.

This cover of Newsweek for Oct. 6, 1986, features a story, “Inside America’s Toughest Prison,” about Eastham Unit, where Malik is now housed.

Organizer ‘Malik’ Washington transferred to toughest prison in Texas

November 22, 2016

On Nov. 10, 2016, the state of Texas transferred me and 43 other men to the Administrative Segregation Unit at the Eastham Unit in Lovelady, Texas. Eastham is one of the oldest units in the state. The conditions there are much worse than at the Telford Unit. The most glaring issue for prisoners and guards alike is contaminated drinking water! High levels of copper and lead have been found in the water supply. The water has a horrible stench to it. And the taste? absolutely repulsive!

Leonard Peltier is not only renowned as a political leader, writer and poet, but a painter as well. Here, he portrays himself as the traditional warrior he is. He writes, “Through my paints, I can be with my People – in touch with my culture, tradition and spirit. I can watch little children in regalia, dancing and smiling; see my elders in prayer; behold the intense glow in a warrior’s eye.”

President Obama, remember Leonard Peltier

November 16, 2016

While Barack Obama speaks without blushing about the virtues of the North American “democracy” and lectures us on human rights, an innocent man languishes in his cell, totally isolated, awaiting only death or for what the U.S. president alone can, but does not, do. Leonard Peltier, Anishinabe-Lakota, a leader of the American Indian Movement, AIM, writer and poet, has just completed 40 years in prison, and is one of the political prisoners jailed for the longest time in the whole planet.

terence-crutcher-son-cropped

Ode to Terence Crutcher: Who really killed him?

November 14, 2016

You say / she killed him. / Not because / he’d put his hands up / or because / he’d turned / and walked away / or because / his car broke down. / She killed him / after / we’d trained her / in lethal violence / after / we’d given her / a gun and a badge / both loaded / with expectation / after / we’d trained her / to see him / not / as a stranded motorist / but / as a Black man / aka a threat.

Prisoners in the San Francisco County Jail taking a college-level child development course are no doubt benefitting, but most are probably mothers who would, along with their families, benefit far more if they were home with their children. Note how many are Black – in a city where so many Black families have been pushed out that their population has dropped to about 3 percent. Bail discriminates not only by income level but also by race. – Photo: Michael Ares, SF Examiner

SF city attorney calls state bail schedule unconstitutional, announces he won’t defend it

November 12, 2016

City Attorney Dennis Herrera declared that the state’s current bail system is unconstitutional, and, in a court filing, Herrera said he will not defend the bail system in a federal class-action lawsuit brought by a national civil rights group against San Francisco’s sheriff. “This two-tiered system of pretrial justice does not serve the interests of the government or the public and unfairly discriminates against the poor,” Herrera told the court.

The brilliant author and artist Kevin “Rashid” Johnson was a prisoner in Virginia when he drew what became the logo for the California Hunger Strikes. As his fame spread, the fury of that prison system intensified, a guard at one point pulling out the dreadlocks from nearly a third of his head, and he was transferred to Oregon. When officials there sent him to Texas, like a terrorist sent for rendition to be tortured, his publisher at rashidmod.com set one of his drawings in a “Texas frame.”

Texas locks down prison on Labor Day to avert work stoppage

November 1, 2016

On Labor Day here at the William P. Clements Unit, a prison in remote Amarillo, Texas, the prisoners awoke to a late breakfast: a single PBJ sandwich, a small bowl of dry cereal and no beverage. This grossly inadequate meal, which is our common fare during institution-wide lockdowns, signaled that a weeks- or months-long lockdown was in effect. Hunger pangs set in almost immediately.

No comments yet
Filed Under: Prison Stories
Tags:
This drawing by an unknown prisoner locked in indefinite solitary confinement in the dreaded Pelican Bay SHU comes from about the time the hunger strikes to end that practice began and men were analyzing the financial motivations behind their torture.

Prison strikes’ financial impact in California

October 31, 2016

Sept. 9, 2016, was the start of the largest prison strike in U.S. history. Over 72,000 incarcerated workers in 22 states refused to provide their labor to profit the prison industrial complex. California forces 5,588 incarcerated workers to labor in exchange for little or no compensation. Another 4,000 earn $2 a day fighting Californian wildfires with inadequate training and equipment. The prison system in California reaped $207 million in revenue and $58 million in profit from forced labor in 2014-15.

Troy Williams at Humboldt State University

To all those still locked inside

October 30, 2016

My journey began in the mid-1980s, when folks in my community began to hear about a “supermax” prison that would be built in nearby Crescent City, California. At that time, my colleague Tom Cairns and Mike Da Bronx, my husband, and me were busy at KHSU producing a weekly radio show called Alternative Review. In 1990, I would get one of the first letters from that place, Pelican Bay State Prison. It came from a young man named Troy Williams. He liked my radio show.

censorship-in-solitary-confinement-is-psychological-torture-111314-art-by-michael-d-russell-web-cropped-2

Protest prison censorship of the Bay View: Use this sample letter

October 29, 2016

Nearly a thousand subscribers to the Bay View newspaper were denied their September papers – and we suspect their October papers as well – because of its coverage of the nationwide strikes to end prison slavery that began Sept. 9. Prison officials censoring the paper claim it will incite disruption. Like claims that someone being beaten by a gang of cops is “resisting,” the Bay View is “disrupting” prison operations.

1 comment so far
Filed Under: Prison Stories
Tags:
chained-censored-newspapers

In Pennsylvania, George Rahsaan Brooks fights for his censored Bay View – he won last time

October 27, 2016

In a number of prisons around the country, the September Bay View was banned, and we suspect the October paper will be too. If your paper was denied, the prison is required to give you and the Bay View a notice saying why banning the Bay View is constitutional, allowing you and us to appeal that decision. So the first step is to insist on a notice and then appeal it; so will we. Here is George Rahsaan Brooks’ appeal. We think he’ll win, just as he did before.

1 comment so far
Filed Under: Prison Stories
Tags:
Robert Washington was tied up and then “subdued” by CERT Team officers at Holman Prison. These pictures were taken of him before and after his beating.

Blood flows in Alabama prisons as state leaders sacrifice more bodies in pursuit of $1.5 billion for more prisons

October 26, 2016

As the culture of violence in Alabama’s prison system continues to spiral out of control, yet another provocation has resulted in another day of violence at Holman Prison. Holman is experiencing major staff shortages as a result of officers joining and supporting the non-violent work strikes being led by Free Alabama Movement. ADOC commissioners responded by dispatching CERT Team staff notorious for violent beatings, sexual harassment and excessive force.

Fed-up Holman prisoners rose up like Nat Turner and rebelled on March 11, broadcasting their photos to the world. See more of their photos at http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2016/03/reported_riot_fires_at_holman.html.

Hell on earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison

October 22, 2016

Since opening its doors on Dec. 15, 1969, Alabama’s William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, has been a bastion of violence, fear, pain and baleful human suffering. A Holman inmate was stabbed during a four-way fight and another died of an apparent suicide less than two weeks after the Department of Justice launched an investigation into violence, sex abuse, overcrowding and other issues at Alabama’s prisons.

Before the hunger strikes and the Ashker settlement ended indefinite solitary confinement in California and released nearly everyone from solitary into general population, artists in solitary played a major role in the movement. This is by one of the best and most prolific. – Art: Michael D. Russell, C-90473, HDSP D3-20, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127

Censoring the Bay View shows how much master fears a revolt

October 20, 2016

I recently received a form that was generated by the California City Correctional Facility administration. This form notified me that I would not be allowed to read my Bay View newspaper this month. While this may seem like a clear constitutional violation, CDCR has stipulated by law that no inmate may possess any literature “which contains or concerns plans to disrupt the order, or breach the security, of any facility.”

“Stop isolating suicidal people” was a major message delivered by hundreds of protesters who traveled from around California to the infamous California Institute for Women (CIW) state prison near Los Angeles to protest conditions that have caused a spate of suicides and for a vigil in remembrance of recent victims. – Photo: California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP)

Nationwide epidemic of suicide in solitary: Solitary confinement is murder!

October 16, 2016

This year at Holman in Atmore, Alabama, there have been five suicides in its segregation unit – more suicides or homicides than in its population. The latest was a mentally ill young man in his 20s. The conditions in the Administrative Segregation housing wings at the H.H. Coffield Unit located at Tennessee Colony, Texas are horrible, and these conditions have driven prisoners to suicide, approximately 13 deaths just this year! We need the broadest exposure of this horrifying trend.

No comments yet
Filed Under: Prison Stories
Tags:
kinross-correctional-facility

Michigan prisoners rise up!

October 15, 2016

Not since the 1980s, when the state of Michigan simultaneously ratcheted up “tough on crime” laws and eliminated good time credits, have Michigan’s prisons been so overcrowded and seething with so much discontent. Crammed into overcrowded prisons, underfed, denied proper medical care and programming while forced to work for declining slave wages as commissary prices rise, no wonder Michigan prisoners are rising up! The only question is, Why did it take so long?

No comments yet
Filed Under: Prison Stories
Tags:
Cell phones enable prisoners to break the media ban and reveal conditions and events in prisons, the most censored places in the U.S. FAM is showing the way.

More guards quit Alabama’s Holman Prison as Justice Dept. prepares to investigate Alabama prisons

October 8, 2016

At Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama, only two officers reported for work for the second shift Saturday, Oct. 8. Officers confess being fed up with Gov. Robert Bentley’s putting their very lives in jeopardy simply to further his political agenda of institutionalizing Alabama with plans for new state-of-the-art prisons. The officers at Holman are walking off the job and refusing to come back to work after filing grievance after grievance concerning the ill treatment of prisoners, overcrowding and forced slave labor.

1 comment so far
Filed Under: Prison Stories
Tags:
BayView Classifieds - ads, opportunities, announcements

TOP STORES
RingCentral
Rebtel
Phone.com