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Prison Stories

The life of a revolutionary soldier entails sacrifice and solidarity

January 23, 2018

The continual corruption and oppression here at Maryland’s Eastern Correctional Institution has reached monumental proportions. The unprecedented abuses and utter disregard for the health, safety and humanity of the prisoner population by this fascist administration further illustrates the dire conditions men and women nationwide face daily within this prison industrial complex. Make no mistake about it, corruption breeds impunity and vice versa.

Florida prisoners are laying it down

January 21, 2018

During early 2018 prisoners across Florida are gonna “laydown” in nonviolent protest of the intolerable conditions in Florida’s prisons. The objectionable conditions being protested include unpaid slave labor, compounded by outright price-gouging in the system’s commissary and package services, and the gain-time scam that replaced parole, which, coupled with extreme sentencing, has created overcrowding and inhumane conditions.

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Operation PUSH prisoners’ strike sparks ‘war’ between slavery supporters and abolitionists

January 20, 2018

It’s been a hard silence for the past five days since Operation PUSH launched a statewide prisoner strike in the Florida Department of Corrections prison system (FDOC or FDC) coinciding with Martin Luther King Day. Information from prisoners is coming in at a much slower pace than people on the outside had anticipated, but reports are slowly and steadily making their way through the walls, despite many obstacles.

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‘Soledad Brother’ John Clutchette granted parole – will California Gov. Jerry Brown reverse the decision?

January 19, 2018

The California Board of Parole Hearings granted parole to John Clutchette in 2003, 2015, 2016 and again on Jan. 12, 2018. The boards deemed many of the records in his file unreliable and insufficient for a showing of present dangerousness. The reasons given by Gov. Brown for opposing his release appear to involve a desire to punish Mr. Clutchette for being labeled a Soledad Brother. Tell Gov. Brown to free John Clutchette now!

The Death Penalty makes redemption impossible

January 18, 2018

The public, with its hunger for revenge, does not want to hear about personal acts of atonement by people who have been sentenced for a crime. Acts of atonement by the condemned are usually viewed as a ploy to save his or her own life – not as a genuine act of redemption. People on death row are deemed the lowest of the low. Many people believe death-row prisoners cannot be “reformed” because they are “unformed” as human beings.

Florida prisoners launch strike against slave labor

January 17, 2018

There is one place in the U.S. where slavery is still constitutionally legal: in prisons. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed in 1864, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. But prisoners held in this enslavement are organizing resistance. Brave prisoners within the Florida state prison system have organized themselves into a month-long work strike called Operation Push. It began on Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Day. In a phone interview, an anonymous prisoner-activist specifically linked the strike to King’s legacy of protest against racism and economic injustice.

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New appeal to free Mumia! Endorse today!

January 17, 2018

We concerned members of the international community call your attention to an egregious example of human rights violations in your respective jurisdictions: the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Specifically, we call on you both, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, to release all relevant police and prosecution files and free Mumia Abu-Jamal now.

Operation PUSH: Prison work stoppage called for MLK Day

January 4, 2018

The following message is from a group of prisoners who are spread throughout the Florida Department of Corrections. It was sent anonymously and compiled from a series of letters received on Nov. 26 and 27. According to their statement, these prisoners plan to initiate a work stoppage or “laydown” beginning Monday, Jan. 15, coinciding with Martin Luther King Day, in nonviolent protest of conditions in Florida prisons. They are calling it Operation PUSH.

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Bad Karma

January 3, 2018

Not so fast, STATE of Texas! I have something very special for the media and the public to see. I won’t announce when I’m coming, but surely I will arrive. I’m Bad Karma. Isn’t destiny great? Don’t you feel blessed to be alive? Well, it’s over – you’ve been found out – you most certainly did nothing great. I’m Bad Karma, here to show the world what happens to government officials who make a living sowing seeds of HATE!

New mail policy in Michigan prisons: Billionaires profit at the expense of prisoners, their families and friends, and U.S. Postal Service

January 2, 2018

Effective Nov. 1, 2017, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) has instituted a new mail policy, which they falsely claim will stem the flow of contraband, primarily the controlled substances suboxone and fentanyl, into Michigan prisons, when they well know over 80 percent of all contraband is smuggled into prisons by employees, as confirmed by multiple studies. One can only conclude that stopping contraband is not the goal of this new policy, merely the excuse for it.

Amber Jackson’s story

January 1, 2018

In 1984, in San Diego, I was born to two parents with mental health problems. My parents put myself and my siblings through severe neglect, sexual abuse, physical and verbal abuse. I am the oldest of six children. My dad was a Vietnam vet. At age 12 I broke away from my parents and turned myself over to Child Protective Services thinking they could help and were the only answer.

The National Jericho Movement to Free All Political Prisoners

January 1, 2018

The Jericho Movement to Free All Political Prisoners was started by Safiyah Bukhari (d. 2003), Herman Ferguson (d. 2014) and Jalil Abdulmuntaqim, who is a Black Panther political prisoner incarcerated for over 44 years. Jericho has maintained a steady course for 20 years. Beginning with its famous march on Washington in 1998, Jericho has continued to campaign to free freedom fighters, community activists and revolutionaries primarily from movements of the 1960s and ‘70s.

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Boycott, Defund, Bankrupt – Say NO to canteen, incentive packages, collect phone calls and visitation during February, April, June, Black August, October and December in 2018

December 30, 2017

Fire burns off the dross of the hidden gem to reveal the precious metal. In struggle, it is the call to action that burns off the negative habit, distorted values and laziness of those who answer that call to reveal the precious jewels of humanity. With 2018 just a few days away, the call to action that is the Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018 is set to kick off Feb. 1, 2018. Let the fire burn bright.

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Wrongfully returned to SHU: Maximum security is no place for rehabilitation

December 28, 2017

After the court order to shut down D-unit, CDCr administration has implemented a scheme to get around the court order by housing general population prisoners (Level II) in a SHU (Security Housing Unit) that is designed for maximum security and only allows for movement that is grossly restricted. The implementation of this scheme by CDCr and CCPOA [California Correctional Peace Officers Association] to refill these housing units, was only to receive the multi-millions of dollars Pelican Bay lost with its closure.

Systemic impunity keeps Jim Crow alive in Florida prisons

December 26, 2017

Trust the truth: Neither slavery nor Jim Crow is over. As you can see, the 13th Amendment perpetuates slavery through its exception clause, and Black life still don’t matter, not just personally, but by law. Jim Crow is being kept alive through systemic impunity. When you let a certain group know that they are above the law, that they can do as they please to other people and they will be protected, you create sadists, bullies and ruffians.

Mentally ill prisoner, ignored and neglected, commits suicide in solitary confinement at Eastham Ad-Seg Unit

December 20, 2017

When Ben arrived here on Eastham Ad-Seg Unit a few months ago, he told Capt. Daron Lane that he would most likely try to kill himself again but the next time he would succeed. In relation to Ben’s death, the operative words here are neglect and deliberate indifference. In the two months that I was right next to Ben, the mental health staff here on Eastham never engaged Ben in a meaningful way. A minimally adequate mental health treatment pro­gram must entail MORE THAN SEGREGATION.

They say the police said I was a snitch, but what does that make you?

December 18, 2017

So tell your little neo-fascist friends – who have no life outside of what revolves around these prison plantations – that they’re right. As long as we have sick individuals who have lost touch with their own sense of humanity, who play with and destroy our lives, who refuse to see us as human beings deserving of respect, I’m going to keep on so-called snitching! Now, go tell, gossip, chat about that!

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Cold disregard: Texas prison guards and University of Texas medical staff ignore excruciatingly painful spider bite

December 15, 2017

South Texas is testament to the conditions and effects of a rapidly changing climate. Monstrous storms, unprecedented temperatures late into winter time – what has occurred as result of these conditions? The number of birds and bugs now present here on Eastham Unit is astounding. Thousands of roosting birds leave an inch layer of excrement on the recreation cages’ concrete floor nightly. The roach, ant and spider population has grown, which brings me to the topic of this exposé.

Tell Gov. Jerry Brown, ‘Drop LWOP’

December 8, 2017

We are writing to ask you to join with California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) in our statewide campaign to DROP LWOP and secure sentence commutations for all those serving Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP). LWOP is an inhumane sentence which denies people the possibility to rehabilitate and change. We are asking Governor Brown to use his executive powers to commute the almost 5,000 people serving LWOP sentences to parole-eligible sentences.

Crossing the electronic prison firewall

December 3, 2017

Six California prisoners wrote to me in 2015 to ask about the Hepatitis C cure, shortly after the San Francisco Bay View newspaper published my interview with activist attorney Peter Erlinder titled “US prisoners sue for constitutional right to lifesaving Hep C cure.” They’d been able to read it because the Bay View sends a print edition to prisons all over the country every month. I tried and failed to answer those letters and I’ve felt bad about it ever since. I would have swiftly responded to all the prisoners who wrote to me about the Hep C cure if I’d been able to send electronic mail.

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