Staff accountability is key to meeting our demands

by Brian Keith Barnett

Written Oct. 12, 2011 – I have noted as others have that those in the executive environs of the CDCR have continued to evade what I believe is the most important of the hunger strike’s five core demands: staff accountability. Prisoncrats have been seeking to placate public outcry and opinion by trying to pacify prisoners in the Corcoran SHU with the introduction of tuna, beef tips, chicken breasts, digital antenna and colored pen fillers to the SHU/ASU store list as well as photo ducats, which are privileges that they can and will take under any ruse that serves their immediate needs.

Scott-Kernan, Staff accountability is key to meeting our demands, Abolition Now! Those of us who pay close attention to what really goes on within the California Department of Corruption and Racketeering realize that the problem with accountability of staff is not with just the low level rank and file staff but also supervisory staff, department heads and managers who have the duty to insure accountability of subordinate staff.

Now on or about Sept. 27, 2011, acting Undersecretary of Operations Scott Kernan issued a memo which stated in effect that security housing unit and gang policies are supposedly under review, although the Aug. 25 memo from Scott Kernan basically reworded the same policies that have been so effective for the prisoncrats. Thus the debriefing practices, validation practices and the indeterminate slamming of prisoners will continue by different names.

The double-dealing practices are only obvious since while CDCR spokesperson Terry Thornton stated for the record that there are no punitive measures for prisoners refusing to eat, Scott Kernan has issued a directive that all strike participants be subject to CDC 115 Disciplinary Proceedings and that any identifiable leaders in general population be removed from the line and placed in the ASU/SHU as a threat to the safety and security of the institution, as well as the fact that prisoncrats have been directed to storm the cells of any hunger strike participant under the ruse of supposedly inventorying what foodstuffs the prisoner may have stockpiled so as to justifiably harass prisoners.

CDCR Undersecretary of Operations Scott Kernan has issued a directive that identifiable leaders of the hunger strike be removed from general population and placed in the ASU/SHU as a threat to the safety and security of the institution.

Some prisoners are of the position that the dismantling of the enforced debriefing process is the most important of the five core demands – yet we are only seeing action on the least important which relate to prisoners – while the first and foremost issue of staff accountability is necessary for all of the other four core demands to be implemented effectively, as the lack of staff accountability has played a role in many a convict being slammed in the SHU due to falsification of reports, the taking of minor truths and embellishing such to suit the validation process, which also includes the ignorance of some victims of validation who tend to tell on themselves out of some strange sense of machismo.

Being a product of a Southwest Los Angeles neighborhood in the ‘60s-‘80s, I recognize the quandary of some of the true originals as well as those who seek illusory recognition out of some misguided idea that you want to be categorized as a member of a disruptive group and thus subject to the enforced traitorous debriefing process, which should be repulsive to any real retired, inactive ethical person, since such is all about your assisting the pig in the perpetuation of the Cointelpro legacy. And while I do not advocate the use of violence, I am one that is what I consider passive physically until provoked – with violence being the last recourse – but a firm believer in Penal Code Section 50: “Force, Right to Use.”

The traitorous debriefing process is all about your assisting the pig in the perpetuation of the Cointelpro legacy.

Most individuals after a time come to realize that we are all a part of the struggle that we’ve been having with the oppressive forces in this society, and the street organization that at one time may have played a role in how we think has been co-opted and used to our detriment, whereas the old codes of conduct have been infused with Cointelpro ideology.

The CDCR has consistently claimed that it provides prisoners with a mechanism for administrative remedies of grievances and for review of departmental policies, procedures, practices and actions which may adversely impact the welfare of prisoners. If that was the case, there would not be the need for nonviolent hunger strikes.

But the fact that there is no real accountability of staff, the administrative appeal process has been turned into a calculated administrative exercise in futility begging for some form of massive reaction, since the higher authorities who are unwilling to enforce staff accountability only perpetuate the institutionalized staff irresponsibility, inefficiency, calculated obfuscation and ineptitude that begins within the CDCR.

I want to finally emphasize that while all prisoners must work towards the same ultimate goals, it is not in one’s best interest to be identified as a leader, since such causes the misconception that removing the head, and the body falls, breaking the back of the struggle, and everyone becomes dependent on a personality or charisma, which for some is like a powerful head swelling drug, and I do not mean that in a disrespectful manner.

Education and understanding is what unifies us in the struggle. Our main weakness is and has been the allowance of unrestrained elements within the masses to engage in anti-prisoner activities that perpetuate the CCPOA myth that being a correctional officer is the toughest beat in the state. I speak as an individual, but there are many who think like I do but keep it to themselves out of knowledge of historical events within this system. We must resist marginalized pacification.

Send our brother some love and light: Brian Keith Barnett, T-38323, 4A1R-023, Corcoran SHU, P.O. Box 3476, Corcoran CA 93212-3476.