The prisoners’ property matrix

Pendants-watch-cap-handmade-art-by-James-P.-Anderson-SQ-Death-Row-pic-by-Kathleen-A.-Herr-1-1400x926, The prisoners’ property matrix, Abolition Now!
Many celebrities and countless other folks proudly wear pendants made of dominoes designed, etched and painted by James Anderson, such as this one he painted with Ukrainian colors and the date of the Russian invasion. And now the artist is expanding by repurposing thermal underwear tops as watch caps, such as this one for the publisher of Covert Action Magazine (CAM). – Photo: Kathleen A. Herr

by James P. Anderson

The clandestine and conspiratorial acts of retaliation by East Block property officers for death row prisoners filing 602 grievance appeals has often resulted in fraudulent disciplinary Rules Violation Reports (RVRs) being issued to prisoners. This illegal act, in violation of California Penal Code 33030, Section 19.8: Code of Silence or Retaliation, often results in prisoners being rehoused to administrative segregation (aka “The Hole”). This is the first step in the property theft process and scheme as prisoners are not given the opportunity to inventory and/or pack their own property for storage – ever.

Once prisoners have been rehoused to the hole, they’re issued a minimum of their property, but even then, prisoners often find other prisoners’ property items have been given to them, such as family photographs, food, cosmetics and clothing. This is part of the second step in the property theft matrix scheme, as prisoners have no control over the unwanted property that is issued to them – other than not accepting ANY of their property.

It’s not difficult to imagine the result when one prisoner sees another prisoner WEARING his tennis shoes, sweatshirt or athletic shorts. But this is just one of the tactics that the prison system uses to maintain control over prisoners: divide and conquer – by any means necessary!

A review of the innumerable death row prisoners’ 602 grievance appeals and person-to-person interviews conducted by CDCR Special Investigator Edward Melton in the week of April 14, 2021, will reflect that over a decade of death row prisoners’ personal property being stolen, destroyed, allegedly “donated” to the prison or damaged is often a result of prisoners filing 602 grievances for the simple return of their property.

The systematic retaliation and thefts of prisoners’ personal property is rampant and long standing on San Quentin’s death row – and perhaps throughout the prison and the prison system. It benefits the prison(s) financially, in that once prisoners’ property has been stolen, lost (?), misplaced, damaged, destroyed or forced to be mailed home – out of the institution under the threat of being “donated” –  prisoners are allowed to re-order the exact same property items through what is called an SPO (Special Purchase Order). When such orders are procured through the prison, an additional 10% fee is added to the total purchase price of the items, which the prison adds to its outside (free world) bank account, which of course draws interest.

A critical review and investigation of San Quentin Prison’s bank account will reflect that tens of thousands of dollars have originated from the so-called Inmate Trust Fund curated through the Special Purchase Order program. These SPO funds are supposed to be used to purchase inmate recreational equipment, such as basketballs, basketball hoop nets, board games such as chess and checkers, punching bags and gloves. But a review of these items will reflect that these currently used recreation and exercise yard items have been here for many years. In fact, prisoners have often had to repurpose laundry net bags to make a basketball rim net. So, the question to be asked and investigated is, Where have all of the inmate welfare funds been spent?

Another very well known systematic criminal act is the “redistribution” of stolen property, the intentional theft of one prisoner’s property in order to “replace” another prisoner’s stolen, damaged or donated property. This has been an ongoing cycle that has been employed by East Block property officers for several decades. It’s the steal-from-Peter-to-pay-Paul policy, which has been operating in plain sight with the approval of unit supervisors and the administration. It’s also referred to as the “let’s make a deal property proposition”  which is always in full effect.

Lastly, the unfortunate reality and a major contributing factor that has allowed these continued falsified disciplinary reports (CDCR Department Operations Manual Code of Conduct 33030.3.1: Law Enforcement Code of Ethics 33030.3.3: Code of Silence/Retaliation 33030.19.8 (E-7) Falsification) and making intentionally misleading statements in official reports or records and thefts of prisoners’ property in that there have been very few death row prisoners’ appointed attorneys who have made any effort to communicate with the prison’s warden or CDCR Sacramento or the Attorney General’s Office even though the “Guidelines and Responsibilities of Death Penalty Appointed Attorneys” states that “one of the legal obligations of death penalty appointed attorneys is to ‘assist’ prisoners with the recovery of stolen property.” The California Bar Association has done NOTHING to correct the lack of caring or concern.

Anyone interested in reviewing documents and court records related to the current civil suit related to my property being stolen in 2021 – especially any pro bono attorneys – are welcome to visit these websites: or Case No. 21-cv-00922-WHO.

Additional articles and references

Letter to San Quentin,” Organizing Notes, June 17, 2021, and “California Courts Allow San Quentin to Steal Prisoners’ Property.”

Guards steal from a California Death Row prisoner and he gets the hole.”

A rebuttal to a day on San Quentin’s death row.”

What the CDC doesn’t want you to see.”

Send our brother some love and light: James P. Anderson, C11400, San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin, CA 94974.