April 11, 2013
As one contemplates whether to volunteer or not, just remember all the psychological torture and personal loss that each of us in these solitary confinement torture cells have already experienced for the past 20-30 years. And, more importantly, think of all those youngsters, maybe young relatives, who will take our places after we’re gone – for another 20-30 years – if this system is not changed at this time.
March 5, 2013
The following assessment is far from being complete; it is a brief analysis compelled by a question an activist posed to me: How does sensory deprivation (S.D.) impact the psyche of those prisoners who have been subjected to long-term solitary confinement? Actually, this text is but a modified letter that I wrote in response to the above question.
February 28, 2013
The CDCr are masters at pulling the wool over the eyes of the California taxpayers, activist organizations, civil and human rights organizations, religious institutions, prisoners, men and women, and state and federal courts. Their blatant disregard for the truth is rooted in their drive to build the California sector of the prison industrial slave complex.
February 27, 2013
On Monday, Feb. 25, the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, chaired by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, held a hearing on the state’s Security Housing Units (SHUs). The hearing comes 18 months after the committee held a similar hearing prompted by a three-week long hunger strike in June 2011 that involved thousands of California prisoners across the state. Monday’s hearing focused on the implementation of new CDCR policies and considerations of their appropriateness.
January 30, 2013
By taking to heart the experiences shared by Heshima Denham we learn that one of the greatest gestures of support and reassurance of the safety of prisoners who are vocal about their circumstances is constant visibility. Solitary confinement is torture; it is a violation of some of the most basic of human rights; and the agents of the state responsible for carrying out this abuse need to be exposed.
January 19, 2013
The only way that we can stop the bleeding is by prisoners ending it first. By embracing the Agreement to End Hostilities, we can change our prison oppression into a more productive prison environment that serves the interests of us prisoners, as well as put an end to the policies that are inhumane.
January 1, 2013
For the past 40 years, prisoners have been removed off general population due to being validated as alleged prison gang members or associates. This is the sole reason for our placement: not behavior. CDCr started this indefinite lockup in the mid- to late 70s and soon realized that there was an economic incentive for labeling prisoners as a threat to the safety and security of the institution.
May 10, 2012
I’m asking the Bay View newspaper to please print this open letter so that California Prison Focus, MIM Distributors, Rising Son Press, Anti-Racist Action and the Black Riders Liberation Party will know why they have not heard from me – also Shaka of the Black August Organizing Committee and Brotha Secretary Yawo at the Oakland Uhuru House. I have no addresses, so at this point I cannot contact them unless they contact me.
December 12, 2011
Locked inside the belly of the beast, a system built by men to hold men, this system was meant to rehabilitate, but it has failed miserably! The justice system has failed, the prison system has failed, the government has failed.
April 12, 2011
Transitioning from a prisoner number to an adult person expected to take on adult responsibilities can be overwhelming for many ex-inmates, particularly those who were incarcerated for long periods of time. Each day many of us will share space with someone who has spent a significant portion of his life in a cage. Every one of us should be concerned because these men and women are of us and will be returning to us, our communities, many to our own families.
April 4, 2011
The United States puts more people behind bars than any other country in the world. Attend a panel discussion on the Center for Constitutional Rights’ lawsuit against two CMUs – prisons with extreme isolation – on Tuesday, April 5, 6:30 p.m., at the Women’s Building, Audre Lorde Room, 3543 18th St. #8, San Francisco.
January 2, 2011
Few people in America, especially the underfunded, don’t have a friend, relative, classmate or colleague in prison. We also know that most prisoners are there for non-violent, often drug related issues. Yet we keep silent. “Your silence becomes approval,” wrote our brilliant journalist and revolutionary, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
November 24, 2010
“This system treats us like throw-away people,” says Carolyn Brown, a Seattle volunteer with prison reform group Justice Works! An African American with a record, her effort to find a job is deeply frustrating due to systemic racism.
September 7, 2009
Ishmael Reed is one of the most read writers of his generation, along with Toni Morrison and Amiri Baraka, living in America. In 1962, Reed co-founded “East Village Other,” a well known underground publication at the time, and was a member of the Umbra Writers Workshop, which helped to give rise to the Black Arts Movement. He has published nine novels, four collections of poetry, six plays, four collections of essays and a libretto. He currently lives in Oakland, and I approached him one day while he was visiting KPFA’s studios to ask him what he thought about the state of affairs between the police and Oakland’s Black community, with the backdrop of the police murder of Oscar Grant and, in a separate incident, the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, after Mixon allegedly killed four Oakland police officers.
August 31, 2009
Sadly, over the years, we have lost many of our friends and family members as a direct result of practices and policies that demean and devalue lives within prison walls. This mentality allows atrocities to occur far from the public’s watchful eye. We are sure that if the citizens of this country knew what occurs – not in some distant foreign country – but within our own borders, there would surely be a call for immediate reform.
May 30, 2009
Haitian priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste was a Jesus-like revolutionary. In jail and out, he preached liberation of the poor, release of prisoners, human rights for all and a fair distribution of wealth. Though he died May 27, he remains present in the hearts of millions. Watch a video he recorded just for SF Bay View.
February 12, 2009
Will the Obama-Nation become an abomination if it fails to
stop the bombing of nations? From Gaza to Afghanistan, the
American people must take a stand and tell Obama to forge
a better plan to free the land.
August 22, 2007
California’s adoption of mandatory minimums, drive for three-strikes laws and participation in the nationwide “War on Drugs” campaign of the 1980s has created a burgeoning prison system fractured along racial, humanitarian and economic lines.