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Prison Stories

Judge orders Lynne Stewart’s release

December 31, 2013

“This morning, the government, meaning the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of the Bureau of Prisons, filed a motion before federal Judge John Koeltl, requesting that Lynne Stewart be re-sentenced to time served,” said Bob Boyle, one of Stewart’s lawyers. Boyle says he fully expects Stewart to be released in the next few days and return to New York City, where she will live with her son.

Women in solitary confinement: ‘The isolation degenerates us into madness’

December 30, 2013

A mass prisoner hunger strike rocked California’s prison system this past summer, drawing international attention to the extensive use of solitary confinement in the United States. Nearly all of the attention, however, has focused on solitary confinement in men’s prisons; much less is known about the conditions and experiences inside women’s prisons.

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A closer look at ‘crime’

December 29, 2013

I do not accept the common usage of the term “crime.” Why? Crime is not solely the violation of legal codes. It encompasses behavior that violates human rights. But beyond the legal understandings, crime shatters relationships, both social – including political and economic – and interpersonal. Instead of correcting the problems it is intended to relieve, the justice system itself in many ways has become a monstrous crime against humanity.

Mutawally Joka Kambon-Cooperwood 100512, 1st pic in 20 yrs,, cropped, web

Gov. Brown’s plans to reduce prison overcrowding ignore early release

December 28, 2013

Gov. Brown’s reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of his appeal was to announce that he would reduce the state prison overcrowding by 1) leasing county jail space in local areas, 2) obtain contracts with private prison operators and 3) send prisoners in California prisons to out-of-state facilities. These three approaches, he said, will allow the CDCR to avoid early release for the nearly 10,000 inmates.

Exchange a word for a life

December 27, 2013

“Hi! How are you?” has become a cliche and has lost its importance concerning others. We say it in passing as we are rushing to a destination and expect the response to be “I’m fine, thank you.” But what if the response is something other than “I’m fine.” Would we be prepared to stop what we are doing to talk to that person? We forget the power that each one of us has to make a difference in this world.

Our own political action committee can expand the prisoners’ rights movement

December 26, 2013

I was pleased to read about the current talk of creating a political action committee (PAC) for prisoners. There was a time when I despised the whole oppressor political apparatus, but I was lucky enough to have comrades who explained that there is nothing wrong with being involved in local politics because these are the ways that we can transform our communities at the current stage in our struggle.

To all the homies on lock and solitary

December 26, 2013

California has my full support on all their endeavors, a great accomplishment you all rode and continue to ride against CDC. Maybe one day the sleeping giants of Georgia will follow suit. The West was won by the last ones standing. Your fight is all our fight. I say everybody on lock should join this one by any strategic method possible. You all stay up!

You got to surrenda?

December 26, 2013

This poem is dedicated to those individuals who are currently and previously have been victims of this nation’s torture chambers, otherwise known to the rest of society as solitary confinement (called the SHU in California) – also to the ones who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice for change. Your decision to give your life for this noble cause has NOT been in vain. To the rest of us still standing for something, continue to fall for nothing.

True soldiers needed

December 24, 2013

Through the years women have played important roles in the revolutionary movement. Today it seems that women have lost interest in being a revolutionary, but it is time for that to change. Women, we have some big shoes to fill, but we can do it if we just step up. It is time to make a lifetime commitment to fighting to end oppression, injustice and inequality. It is time to join forces with our men and be true soldiers for the betterment of the world.

For honorable men confined to cages

December 24, 2013

In this journey of life, betrayal is all I’ve known. As I stand alone in my concrete home, time reveals wounds unhealed. The reasons for my seething have grown. I now see not just my own; the face concealed behind the mask is shown, the taskmasters’ cover is blown. He is the past, persistent grasp who by hoax, coax or lash cast us in the mold of his sculptor’s craft. As we destroy ourselves, the architects laugh.

Secret torture unit at San Quentin, Part 2

December 23, 2013

Once upon a time a pen full of corrupt pigs all of a sudden realized the dirt on them was being exposed to the public. Articles describing some of the asinine antics common to their clique written by an anonymous author had been posted online and circulated in print via local and national “telling it like it is” publications such as the one you’re reading now.

‘Help bring me home for the holidays,’ a life and death appeal from renowned people’s attorney Lynne Stewart

December 19, 2013

I need to ask once again for your assistance in forcing the Bureau of Prisons to grant my compassionate release. They have been stonewalling since August and my life expectancy, as per my cancer doctor, is down to 12 months. They know that I am fully qualified and that over 40,000 people have signed on to force them to do the right thing, which is to let me go home to my family and to receive advanced care in New York City. Yet they refuse to act.

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A circus of injustice: a wrongful conviction drug war horror story

December 18, 2013

Too often people wrongly convicted are thought to simply be suffering from the prison sentence itself. Well, I am a father; my son Marqesye had straight A pluses in 2005, when I was free. I was arrested on Dec. 15, 2005, by a corrupt DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent who had given false and misleading testimony before a grand jury to have me indicted for drug conspiracy a day or two earlier.

Life means guilt to a Black Man

December 18, 2013

Life. What does it mean? A simple question maybe you can answer. If you’re White, i can’t answer. Now I’m ignorant. Why? Because I’m Black, knowing this five letter word is the definition of struggle. Black hoody and a bag of skittles will get you killed. Being in the wrong neighborhood will get you beaten half to death. By the ones protecting and serving.

Legislative alert: CDCR’s Step-Down Pilot Program is in fact systematic, mandatory brainwashing

December 15, 2013

There is a matter of some urgency that should be passed along as broadly as possible, because it is just that serious. We issued a statement, “Creating broken men, Part 2,” where we voiced our outrage at the inclusion of the mandatory brainwashing components of Section 700.2 of the CDCR’s Step Down Program (SDP.) Since that time several things have developed.

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We came together to reclaim our humanity

December 2, 2013

To the extent that it is possible, we have been following the legislative hearings and we are hopeful – cautiously optimistic – that something meaningful and permanent will result from them. We are mindful that this time the legislative hearings are being held as a result of struggle and sacrifice. There is still so much work to do and freedom to win and we look forward to the struggle ahead with you all. Until we win or don’t lose.

CDCr calls hunger strike supplemental demands reasonable, then reneges; prisoners respond

December 1, 2013

The Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement wrote 40 supplemental demands to detail what prisoners are entitled to and need to have re-instated. In responding to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitaion’s response to our 40 supplemental demands, I would like to get into the actual details of what the CDCr is and is not saying in response to prisoners.

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New rules for MOVE

December 1, 2013

It happened a long time ago. Aug. 8, 1978, to be exact. Over 35 years ago. After months of trial, nine MOVE men and women (five men and four women), were convicted of third degree murder and sentenced to 30 to 100 years imprisonment. They were attacked for political reasons, prosecuted for political reasons, and sentenced the way they were for political reasons.

The Dallas 6 Case: Solitary confinement on trial in a US courtroom

November 30, 2013

The trial of the Dallas 6 pertains to an April 29, 2010, peaceful protest against illegal and barbaric conditions created by the prison guards in the hole at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas (SCI Dallas), including food starvation, mail destruction, beatings, medical neglect, use of a torture chair and deaths of various prisoners. The trial of the Dallas 6 will represent a moment of truth and exposure.

Michelle Alexander to hunger strikers: You are true heroes for our times

November 30, 2013

I don’t know whether any of your names will be recorded in history books as the early leaders of a bold, courageous movement that not only ended solitary confinement as a form of torture, but also ended the entire system of mass incarceration in this country. But I know that the entire movement for freedom and justice in the United States is indebted to you.

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