Two days after the lockdown at Hancock State Prison was lifted, my father was placed in lockdown for making and leading congregational salaat (prayer). He was then told that he would never walk the compound again and they would assault and tear gas the Muslims if they continued to make congregational prayers.
What I have discovered is that the state of Texas has conspired with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to downplay and cover up toxic and contaminated water supplies in state-run prisons as well as the rural communities which have found themselves in close proximity to these toxic sites. It is not just the prisoners in Texas who are suffering the ill effects. I have also discovered that what is happening in Texas is not unique.
I am a 38-year-old Black male from the city of Richmond, Virginia, who has been incarcerated for over 20 consecutive years. I am serving a 93-year prison sentence without the possibility of parole for my participation in a robbery that resulted in the shooting deaths of two innocent people. Having exhausted all available post-conviction remedies in the courts, prisoners like me have few avenues to regain our freedom here in the commonwealth of Virginia.
Prisoners in Alabama, Texas and many other states have coordinated and released a call for a national prison strike on Sept. 9, 2016, the 45-year anniversary of the Attica Rebellion. In their call, the prisoners declare, “On Sept. 9 of 1971 prisoners took over and shut down Attica, New York State’s most notorious prison. On Sept. 9 of 2016, we will begin an action to shut down prisons all across this country. We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.”
Today, residents throughout the state celebrate as AB1270, a bill to lift the media access ban in California prisons, passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety in a 4-2 vote. Since 1996, media have been prohibited from choosing their interview subjects inside prisons, and nine versions of this bill have been vetoed by three different governors.
Experiencing the corruption and brutality from RHU in Lane Murray Unit, Britney Gulley creates hope for the future in the way of Nelson Mandela.
The Free Speech Society (FSS) is primarily a movement to defend and preserve the rights of imprisoned activists to inform society of the social contradictions of the prison industrial slave complex in hopes of educating the people not only to the existence of these social ills but their impact on their daily lives. Join us in this historic effort and support the FSS with your time, talent and treasure.
“American prisons are death traps. They are the places with the highest rate of coronavirus infection in the world. Incarceration in the time of COVID skirts the genocidal cruelty of death by disease of the Nazis.” J. Fernandez
In his first dispatch since his transfer in November, Rashid reports that the Indiana Department of “Corruption” (IDOC) and its private corporate medical and mental health contractor, Wexford of Indiana, use prisoners to supervise, monitor, report and assess other prisoners who are actively suicidal – and many times also mentally ill.
SHU prisoners in California are not allowed to call home. Lack of family phone calls is one of the reasons California’s SHU cells are characterized as solitary confinement – the harsh deprivation of family and social ties. CDCR has created the conditions that drive prisoners to desperation. It is horrifying to witness CDCR’s response to the current hunger strike: Crank up the cruelty and let them die.
I am very familiar with the serious medical issues involved with the long term and short term care of these SHU patients in solitary confinement that are both very deleterious to human health and not very visible to people who are not insiders and familiar with this environment at PBSP. Many of these issues have not penetrated the ongoing public discussion of the ongoing and created health care consequences of solitary confinement in the SHU at PBSP.
Families of U.S.-held Political Prisoners, and all prisoners, suffer their own traumas along with their caged loved ones. The carceral state systematically inflicts the pain of super oppression, often succeeding in fracturing the bonds of the family unit. The father and son Shoatz unit however, through love and commitment, has only become stronger.
Here’s my take on Bay View, the HBCUs and any other Black establishments needing financial help: We, Black America, have way too many Black athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs etc. for Black establishments to be underfunded.
Kevin Cooper has been locked down on death row in San Quentin for the past 26 years. He was convicted of the 1983 murder of the Ryen family, although no reliable evidence showed him to be guilty. On the contrary, the case has overwhelming evidence suggesting that he is in fact an innocent man.
Raw sewage overflows since January 2017 at the San Francisco’s main 850 Bryant St. jail are making prisoners sick, according to a class action lawsuit asking for $150,000 or more in damages filed July 30 against the City and County of San Francisco, the Sheriff and other law enforcement personnel. The raw sewage spill was reported in the District Attorney’s Office in January 2017 but not in the jail.
The fact that these rules were noticed as “Obscene Materials” indicates an intention of CDCR to attempt to fly below the radar so as to not draw attention to the fact that much of the material under these proposed regulations could be so broad as to cover newspaper articles and a multitude of other written materials that do nothing to promote prison safety and security and do everything to violate and infringe on the First Amendment rights of California’s prisoners.
A prisoner in New York’s Sullivan Correctional Facility was given a glass-laced pastry by a correctional officer in what he describes as an attempt to murder him. Dr. Al-Fatah Stewart complained about guards destroying his legal work and, in retaliation, he was framed with a weapon, placed in solitary confinement and his food was laced with rocks and glass, now confirmed in a laboratory report. Dr. Stewart reports that “there have been a lot of mysterious deaths at Sullivan, but the families can’t afford autopsies … there are a lot of grievances about staff placing glass in prisoners’ food but nothing is ever done.”
There may be hope after all. Back in 1995, I was a juvenile, tried as an adult, tried and convicted of first degree murder. Senate Bill 260, which became part of the Penal Code effective Jan. 1, 2014, is called California Youth Offenders Parole. The new youth offender parole process in this new law applies to people who were under the age of 18 at the time they committed their crime, were tried as adults and sentenced to life or a determinate sentence.
A Voice for Neli, a grassroots advocacy group formed to bring awareness to the plight of Reginald “Neli” Latson – an autistic teen the group contends was wrongly convicted and sentenced to serve time in a Virginia state penitentiary – is urging Gov. Bob McDonnell to pardon the youth.