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Prison Stories

Send us your drawings of degrading places

April 28, 2014

Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) will be holding an exhibition at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design this October-November on the design of execution chambers and spaces of solitary confinement. It will have an online presence and may travel to other venues as we develop the project, so stayed tuned.
But first, to succeed, we need drawings!

I am the US economy – from prison to the streets

April 26, 2014

This is for the moms and pops in East Oakland or any other urban neighborhood in honor of the African union of Marcus Books, from a prisoner political action committee to being a member of the formerly incarcerated people’s policy academy or the freedom plan of United KAGE Brothers (UKB), from the urban freedom schools focused on real life Block Reportin’ of “Unfinished Business.” This is for my brothers of the NCTT Cor SHU and all supporters of our hunger strike coalition.

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Arturo Castellanos 050509 by CDCR, cropped

Arturo Castellanos’ update on Pelican Bay’s response to hunger strike demands – positive and negative

April 25, 2014

Two letters from Arturo Castellanos, one of the four main SHU reps at Pelican Bay State Prison: March 3, 2014 – I’m writing this brief article about the positive outcomes during our meetings with Sacramento and PBSP officials since the end of our last hunger strike. March 23, 2014 – I write this to update you on the positive cooperation we received from this new administration and on the Departmental Review Board hearings.

Menard hunger striker supporters Southern Illinois University students, community drumming, shouting protest outside prison 021314 by Luke Nozicka, Daily Egyptian

Retaliation against hunger strikers at Menard – windows blocked, strikers beaten – Call-In Day Monday

April 25, 2014

On this upcoming Monday, April 28, we are asking and encouraging people to participate in a Call-In Day in support of the prisoners in the High Security Unit at Menard Correctional Center in Illinois who are facing retaliation for engaging in a hunger strike in January. Prisoners there have been beaten by guards and metal boxes have been placed over their windows.

'I am a man' 'Close Tamms' Melvin Haywood, 8 yrs Tamms solitary, 30 yrs prison by Lora Lode, Tamms Year Ten, 2012

Voice from Menard: Chicago’s racist war against Blacks and Latinos continues in Illinois prisons

April 23, 2014

Although the hunger strike has officially come to an end here – the struggle continues. The drastic and suppressive hand of Illinois prison-crats has had the unintended effect of heightening the consciousness of a new generation of captured colonials into the history of the prison rights movement and “teaching” them about the true nature of the beast.

Seal of California Senate

Coalition opposes all proposals to expand California jails and prisons

April 22, 2014

This week members of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), advocates and activists representing diverse communities are attending the Senate Public Safety and Assembly Budget Committee hearings in Sacramento to speak out against billions in funding for new prison and jail expansion. The Assembly Budget Committee hearing will begin on Wednesday, April 23, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 437 of the Capitol in Sacramento.

Joint hearing on solitary group photo of most supporters & Capitol 021114 by Lucas Guilkey

We are relying on the legislature to rein in CDCR’s gross abuse of power, this year

April 22, 2014

There can be no doubt that the legislators’ courageous act of publically acknowledging our protest issues in late August 2013 saved many lives, and it gave many people real hope that substantive changes will be forthcoming. And now that there has been additional public exposure – via the two public hearings – demonstrating CDCR’s refusal to institute real, meaningful changes, on its own, people are relying on the legislature to do all in their power to pass legislation reining in CDCR’s gross abuse of power, this year.

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Our historical obligation: to pursue the total liberation of all oppressed people

April 21, 2014

We New Afrikans have a historical obligation to protect and serve the people by joining forces with ALL like-minded individuals, regardless of race, color, creed or gender. Our historical obligation in particular is rooted in the year 1619 via the Trans-Atlantic slave trade from which the Abolitionist Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Liberation Movement and the New Afrikan Independence Movement were spawned.

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California moves to curb solitary confinement

April 14, 2014

Following a mass hunger strike by prisoners in California last year, some state legislators promised to reform the use of Security Housing Units (SHU). This week, Assembly Bill 1652, passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee. It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. If the bill becomes law, prisoners would only be sent to SHU for specific serious rules violations that come with determinate SHU sentences.

Menard hunger strikers still fighting to be treated like human beings

April 12, 2014

I am currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center in Illinois and housed in the high security unit in administrative detention. I was one of the inmates who was on hunger strike over harsh living conditions and denial of our due process, which is still going on. No! Things haven’t changed after the hunger strike was over. We still are in a fight to be treated like a human being. Just know we haven’t quit our fight.

Women prisoners plead for help

April 10, 2014

Two women writing to expose abuse that has terrorized them at CIW (California Institution for Women) wish not to reveal their identities for fear of more retaliation. We have no voice. There is no one to help us. PLEASE HELP! How you can help: Contact the CIW warden, Kimberly Hughes, at California Institution for Women, 16756 Chino-Corona Road, Corona, CA 92880, 909-597-1771.

Joint hearing on solitary prisoner supporters in overflow room 021114

Public Safety Committee to hear Ammiano’s solitary confinement bill

April 8, 2014

The Assembly Public Safety Committee, chaired by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, will hear Ammiano’s AB 1652 to control use of solitary confinement on Tuesday, April 8, at 9 a.m. in Room 126 of the State Capitol. The bill comes out of a series of in-depth hearings held in the wake of prisoner hunger strikes in 2011 and 2013. AB 1652 limits the violations and situations for which a prisoner can be placed in SHU.

Step Down Program: Orwell’s story come true

April 1, 2014

George Orwell’s book titled “1984” was about a police state that controlled every aspect of life, including thinking, enforced by the “Thought Police.” This book comes to mind when I hear of the new Step Down Program CDCR is implementing. Its components are not new. California has had and still has programs like this in juvenile facilities as an attempt – which is often successful – to reprogram the youth’s mind to become controlled and subservient to the police state. Submit your comments on the Security Threat Group/Step Down Program regulations by 5 p.m. on April 3 to m_STGRegulation@cdcr.ca.gov by email or 916-324-6075 by fax.

Security Threat Group policy is sugarcoated racial profiling aimed at torture

April 1, 2014

The experimental Security Threat Group (STG) gang identification policy is not what CDC is making it out to be. It’s a sugarcoated form of racial discrimination and racial profiling to cover their ass in torturing human beings in California’s isolation units.

Petition for Black Victims’ Restitution

March 31, 2014

The New Afrikan Prison Rights Movement is presently promoting the concept of a Black Community Victims Foundation. The BCVF will be responsible for serving our victims of violent crimes. The BCVF will be community-based and independent from government and/or law-enforcement influences. This is a health and safety issue. We hope to establish a chapter in every New Afrikan community.

An end to ‘the hole’? 6 signs that solitary confinement reform is coming

March 30, 2014

Roughly 80,000 people are held in solitary in the United States on any given day, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in many cases for minor violations of prison rules (or no violation at all – ed.). Much of the momentum in the movement to reform the use of solitary confinement in the United States comes from the work of prisoners themselves.

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'Humanity' by Michael D. Russell, web

We are the world

March 29, 2014

We human beings are a political, social, cultural and economic force trapped within the colonial powers of our oppressors’ system, in and out of prison. Our struggle is for absolute self-determination and liberation on a national and international level, by way of changing from scientific capitalism into a scientific socialist system, which is crucial for changing and ending human suffering.

Shadae (Dae Dae) Schmidt

Demand a special review into the death of Shadae ‘Dae Dae’ Schmidt

March 29, 2014

Shadae Schmidt, aka Dae Dae, was a 32-year-old African-American woman who died of a heart attack on March 13, 2014, at CIW prison in Chino. We suspect her death is due to medical negligence because she had been asking for medical help for weeks. We are asking for as many people as possible to demand that the federal medical receiver’s office conduct a special review into Shadae’s death immediately.

Not just me, we!

March 29, 2014

To more or less justify their new plan of attack on prisoners, CDCr is adding street gangs to their already burgeoning list of people they can throw into extreme, inhuman isolation for the ficklest of reasons. Waving at someone can be construed as a gang signal.

Bobby McClelland, cropped

Proven innocent: The case of Bobby McClelland

March 28, 2014

As the world laid to rest Nelson “Madiba” Mandela, who was wrongfully incarcerated for 27 years, I thought about the case of Bobby McClelland. He was arrested 23 years ago on May 19, 1990, for an alleged attempted murder and processed through the same Los Angeles County Jail that was recently indicted on 18 federal counts for, amongst other things, obstruction of justice.

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