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Prison Stories

The Angola 3 – Herman Wallace, Robert King and Albert Woodfox – when all of them were still held in the penitentiary at Angola

Angola 3: Robert King on the ongoing struggle to free Albert Woodfox

November 24, 2014

In Louisiana, a federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court’s ruling that overturned the murder conviction of Albert Woodfox, the last member of the Angola 3 still in prison. The Angola 3 are internationally recognized as political prisoners and symbols of a racist system of mass incarceration and solitary confinement. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Robert King, the other surviving Angola 3 member. Here’s that interview.

Albert Woodfox – Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell has called him the “most dangerous man on the planet” for his affiliation with the Black Panther Party over 40 years ago.

The overturned conviction of the Angola 3’s Albert Woodfox is upheld in a unanimous decision – after his 42 years in solitary

November 21, 2014

The International Coalition to Free the Angola 3 declared today: “This is THE moment those of us whose lives have been touched by these men and this case over the years have been waiting for. This is the time when we must call upon the whole of our connections, creativity and courage to call with one voice for the immediate, unequivocal release of Albert Woodfox from prison once and for all without delay.”

Dallas SCI torture chair

Pack the courtroom for the Dallas 6

November 13, 2014

They are called the Dallas 6 – and we ain’t talking about Texas. Dallas, in Pennsylvania, is one of nearly 30 prisons in the state, located in its rural outback. The six are young Black men who, in 2010, tried to stage a peaceful protest in the prison’s “hole,” its solitary confinement unit. The Dallas 6 are potentially facing more prison time for refusing to submit to torture, for men have died, in America, while strapped into the torture chair.

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Strip search: California sets a high price for visiting a loved one in prison

November 13, 2014

In late September, the Bay View reported on draconian new regulations that the CDCr was then poised to implement, under the guise of an emergency. These regulations authorize the use of dogs and electronic drug detectors to indiscriminately search all persons entering institutional grounds for contraband. Both dogs and electronic detectors are notoriously unreliable, as both Mohamed Shehk and Peter Shey explained in the Bay View.

“Pelican Bay Censorship” – Art: Michael Russell, C-90473, PBSP D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

Comments to CDCR: Banning the Bay View from California prisons would violate the First Amendment

November 13, 2014

This letter, Re: Comments on CDCR’s Proposed Regulations: Obscene Material, from attorney Leila Knox of Bryan Cave LLP, one of the world’s largest law firms, was emailed and mailed on Nov. 7, 2014, to Regulation and Policy Management Chief Timothy M. Lockwood, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, P.O. Box 942883, Sacramento, Calif. 94283-0001. The comment period is now closed.

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Inside a CCA private prison: Two slaves for the price of one, Part Three

November 8, 2014

Since CCA’s founding in 1983, the incarcerated population has risen by more than 500 percent to more than 2.2 million people. Some people would say that I am taking a risk exposing the truth about CCA and TCCF in particular; but as a revolutionary for humanity, I must place my heart in the eye of the storm and look oppression dead in the face and articulate the sentiments of the people of true merit.

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Stop the regulations that would ban the Bay View from California prisons

November 7, 2014

Under the guise of “obscenity” regulations, the CDCR has proposed sweeping new political censorship rules for mail going both into and out of the prisons. If the proposed regulations are approved, CDCR will be able to permanently ban any publications it considers contraband, including political publications and correspondence that should be protected by First Amendment constitutional rights. We called for your help in June, and we’re calling for it again. The public comment period is open now; it closes Nov. 10, 2014, at 5 p.m. Public hearing date is Nov. 10, 2014.

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Prison assisted suicide – the Texas way

November 3, 2014

During the 1980s-‘90s, Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s name achieved nationwide notoriety. He advocated and participated in the medically-assisted suicides of terminally ill people. His motives he said were compassionate. It is a twisted irony that the same sorts of deeds that put this professional pathologist in prison are carried out for sport rather than compassion by pathologists of a very different sort – these being ones who run the prisons.

Amerika don’t give a damn about women, so quit frontin’

November 1, 2014

We, the people, hear all this hoopla and hype about domestic violence on women. What about the state and federally sanctioned domestic and sexual violence against women in the many state and federal prisons in Amerika? The media hype over this violence against women offers no effective solution – hypocrisy at its best. Go inside the prison industrial slave complex (PISC) where Amerika holds countless women in bondage.

Shine a light on Tehachapi, where CDCr has violated prisoners’ constitutional rights for far too long!

October 31, 2014

This is a summarized version of a letter I sent to Mike Stainer, director of Adult Institutions, July 28, 2014, in order to address the long standing U.S. constitutional violations at CCI-Tehachapi and bring this prison under the current SHU standards forthwith. My purpose is to establish monthly meetings between CCI-Tehachapi officials and the four prisoner negotiators who shall speak on behalf of the Tehachapi SHU prisoner class.

CDCr issues SHU sentences illegally

October 31, 2014

The Ad Seg unit at DVI has to be one of the worst in CDCr. It’s filthy and fundamentally used as a warehouse for prisoners. The Step Down Program (SDP) committee is a complete sham at DVI and has been conducting unauthorized SDP committee hearings on prisoners from March 2013 to the present – 17 months of illegally validating men to indeterminate SHU sentences.

A village cannot be built in a jail: Why gender responsive is not gender justice

October 30, 2014

The issue of “gender responsiveness” as an excuse to open more prisons has been rearing its ugly head lately with the expansion of CDCR’s supposed “reentry hubs” and “community based facilities.” Yet one woman in the new Female Community Reentry Facility in McFarland recently called Justice Now, saying she feels like “they were sold a dream”; and others report of similar, if not worse, conditions than they faced in CIW or CCWF.

Stop prison censorship! Submit comments by Nov. 10 on revised regulations misleadingly titled ‘Obscene Materials’

October 29, 2014

The proposed censorship regulations that we collectively and vehemently opposed a few months ago have been revised, as of Oct. 20. The deadline for public comments is Nov. 10 – short notice. To the extent that the revisions incorporate language from the newly approved STG regulations that went into effect on Oct. 17, 2014, they need to be robustly resisted. Please submit your comments regarding the revisions as soon as possible! A sample letter is included.

When it comes to solitary confinement, U.S. fails the mice standard

October 27, 2014

Federal agency guideline on the use of solitary confinement: An individual should never be locked in solitary confinement, except as an absolute last resort. Individuals, when in isolated confinement, must have the ability to socialize, to communicate and to physically interact with other individuals. This would be great news for those of us working on solitary reform, except for one thing: this guideline doesn’t apply to humans; it applies to mice.

This well worn photo shows Christy as a teenager.

Woman prisoner reveals torture of children by police and juvenile authorities

October 25, 2014

I am writing to you to report the abuse inflicted on juveniles in the juvenile detention centers in San Bernardino, California. The abuse is inflicted by law enforcement officers or police officers in San Bernardino. I was one of these juvenile detainees who experienced abuse at the hands of the police officers and juvenile hall correctional officers while detained at the Rialto police department and later the San Bernardino juvenile hall.

Michael Brown rebellion Black youth confronts police

On racism, resistance and state violence: a discussion on the politics of greed and hate

October 25, 2014

Greetings, Brothers and Sisters. The events taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, present us with yet another opportunity to address the inhumanity of racism. But the country will again not take advantage of it because we will continue to treat this act of inhumanity as though it is an isolated incident and not an act that flows from the very structure of this nation.

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At Tehachapi, release from SHU means more solitary confinement

October 24, 2014

Thanks for keeping the public informed of the rough, horrendous conditions those of us who’re serving time face in California’s prisons known as the SHU. I felt it was necessary that I bring forth the atrocious and severe conditions us inmates face at CCI SHU in Tehachapi. It’s not so much the time we’ve served while doing our SHU term; it’s the pathetic process we’re enduring while awaiting transfer back into the general population.

The truth and lies that targeted and convicted Sahara Fakhir, an Islamic activist

October 19, 2014

Sahara Fakhir is 33 years old. Prior to her incarceration, she was productive in the community, a member of Custodians of Faith, feeding the homeless. She is loved by family, friends and the homeless. She is a free-hearted, free spirited, loving individual. Even though she is physically restricted due to knees that render her immobile, she is always willing to sacrifice her own needs for the benefit of others.

With at least 20 prisoners on each tier, Alcatraz represented the dawning of a new theoretical concept, which was mass solitary confinement isolation. – Photo: © 2006 Betty Malloy

What is solitary confinement?

October 18, 2014

At first glance the question, What is solitary confinement? appears to be rhetorical, if not insulting, but you would be surprised, if not incredulous, how many prison rights activists are at a loss when I pose it to them. Even more perplexing, many prisoners are only able to provide the standard but antiquated response, which is: a prisoner in a cell behind a solid door, in which he/she is isolated from other prisoners and human contact.

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“Trapped, Isolated” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, HDSP Z-168, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127

Solidarity had the might to move the mountain of prison torture that kept us isolated and voiceless – we still need you now, even more

October 11, 2014

CDCR deliberately lied about their implementation of the Security Threat Group Step Down Program sanctioned by Gov. Jerry Brown. Gov. Brown and CDCr administrators are currently violating our United States constitutional rights, the California Code of Regulations and other rules, laws, policies and standards with the intent of breaking down and destroying men and women prisoners, family bonds and moral ethics here in California.

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