by Abdul Mujahid Khalil, aka Lester Smith
In response to the story, “California can lead the movement to limit solitary confinement,” by Margaret Winter of the ACLU in the November Bay View, well, fellas, hot damn! It’s about time. That story is 100 percent genuine.
Speaking from experience, long-term solitary confinement not only is extremely costly, it destroys the mental stability of a lot of men and women. On Aug. 17, 2010, or so, I endured my first experience in the Georgia Department of Corrections SMU (Special Management Unit), aka Hi-Max. In Georgia, DOC is notorious for lashing out at prisoners in retaliation for standing up against torture, inhumane living conditions or any other draconian regime prison officials employ, which led to my housing and that of many more during the wake of the Dec. 9, 2010, peaceful sit-down in the Georgia prisons.
While in solitary with those accused of said protest, I learned a lot and taught a lot, only to be targeted by GDOC’s upper echelon Regional Directors Steve Upton and Johnny Sikes and some of the Sikes brothers, who are all employed in high-ranking positions in GDOC with a nepotism regime growing in supremacy, truly a good ol’ boy system, literally.
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.
Just this year, GDOC has quadrupled the solitary lock-up by shutting down at least two regular units at select prisons and reconstructing them for long-term solitary. Macon State, Telfair State and Smith State Prisons are a few. Rather than take corrective measures upon staff or buildings that are in federal and state violations and unkept conditions, GDC would rather lock us down as a solution. This is a huge mistake!
The Bay View article mentioned above spells out statistically the disaster of this regime, even conveying the language of the In re Medley case from 1890 – over a century of factual findings of what harm solitary can cause and what race is predominately in solitary. That’s a no-brainer: Blacks!
To get a better grip on this epidemic that we face, the financial strain it takes to operate these units needs to be known by the exploited taxpayers who finance these torture chambers. Take the state of Mississippi, for example, which has largely abolished solitary, getting assistance from the federal Department of Justice and the ACLU, of course.
Just this year, GDOC has quadrupled the solitary lock-up by shutting down at least two regular units at select prisons and reconstructing them for long-term solitary.
The domino effect must ensue with us as the players demanding, not asking, demanding reform. I am currently back on SMU status after being released October 2012 and recycled to four different prisons from October 2012 until October 2013. The very same prison where Miguel Jackson had been brutally beaten with a hammer by prison guards sent myself and others to Georgia State Prison’s SMU Unit after an altercation erupted between prisoners and guards. I will say the entire incident was triggered by some BS; a few good brothers got caught up in a foolish manner.
The state of Mississippi, for example, has largely abolished solitary.
As we sit in solitary at GSP [Georgia State Prison, built in 1926], a structure that is a hazard to one’s health by way of asbestos that contaminates buildings G, F and E and all other old parts of this spot. Buildings L and M were demolished as a result of asbestos, which prisoners Larry Sanders, aka Maceo, and others blew the whistle on. GDOC Commissioner Brian Owens and/or James Donald had covered up the asbestos factor so that employees and prisoners would not be on point to file lawsuits against GDOC.
It’s a shame they didn’t expose this through the media or Bay View to put GDOC officials on blast. I’ve alerted federal authorities with regards to the atrocious acts that have been swept under the rug.
The domino effect must ensue with us as the players demanding, not asking, demanding reform.
You brothers and sisters out there in the West, keep riding. The West was won by the last ones standing. Your fight is all our fight. Those in other states who are not participating will reap the fruits of your labor – a damn shame if you ask me. I say everybody on lock should join this one by any strategic method possible. You all stay up!
Send our brother some love and light: Abdul Mujahid Khalil (s/n Lester Smith), 977285, GSP, 2164 Ga. Hwy 147, Reidsville, GA 30499.