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Thursday, August 13, 2020
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Behind Enemy Lines

Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

Soledad 3 a.m. raid on 200+ Black prisoners

In the pre-dawn hours, white and Hispanic guards at Soledad State Prison in California violently ripped hundreds of Black prisoners from their bunks. The men were slammed around by wannabe commandos in full riot gear, zip-tied and led to the chow hall, without masks, barefoot, wearing only what they’d fallen asleep in.

Death after death at Walker County, the worst jail in Alabama

Prisoner abuse and neglect, murders, deaths, suicides, disease, torture, assaults, lack of medical and mental health care, ADA and PREA violations, corrupt officers, extreme overcrowding and a toxic and hazardous environment – please help us and print these deaths in the Bay View. We need media exposure on Walker County!

Pen Pals: Find a friend behind enemy lines

Life behind enemy lines can be lonely, and a letter from a friend – a pen pal – can liberate mind and spirit. These prisoners are reaching out to you. They trust that Bay View readers truly care. Reach back and write a letter today!

Vengeful Pelican Bay gang investigators try to kidnap an author of Agreement to End...

These are people so caught up in their make believe reality they’re like drunks who think they’re walking a straight line. And who the hell are the real criminals falsifying documents, falsifying confidential information on a regular basis? What’s so horrible is that they have been locking us up for decades – 23 ½ hours a day with nothing. And now it’s finally proven to be done on a fake ass foundation of lies. They put people in prison for such crimes, so shouldn’t they be held accountable?

From Angola, Louisiana, Aljerwon’s story

A 23-year-old African American male is accused and convicted of murder in the second degree. Sadly, there is a higher chance of that happening with our young Black men than any other ethnic group in the U.S. Even when evidence favors a Black defendant, the verdict of guilty is handed down to Black males between the ages of 18 through 35 at four times the rate for whites. Take Aljerwon Moran, for instance.

Will Texas Gov. Greg Abbott choose to save lives or save face?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, like many Republican governors across the United States, followed the lead of President Donald J. Trump and pushed to re-open states before the science confirmed that it was time to do so.

Aramark: Multibillion dollar food vendor starves and exploits prisoners

"In Ohio prisons, maggots were also found in Aramark’s foods." | Corporate profit and Aramark's starvation diets

Beloved political prisoner Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell, feared and hated by guards, assassinated in...

Black August adds another hero and martyr to the roll. By some accounts, it was his first day on the yard after 46 years in solitary confinement when Hugo “Yogi” Pinell was assassinated Aug. 12. Prison guards celebrated on social media: “May he rot in hell” and “Good riddens” (sic), they typed. Yogi was the only member of the San Quentin 6 still in prison, and his role in the events of Aug. 21, 1971, the day George Jackson was assassinated, has earned the guards’ incessant enmity ever since.

Prisoner found half-dead in bloodbath: Back to TDCJ’s houses of horror and staged gladiator...

During my previous seven years living in environments such as the Clements Unit, it felt like I’d seen more suicide attempts (several successful) and prisoner death cover-ups than I’d seen my own reflection.

True life: I’m serving a 40-year sentence too

Secondary prisonization is what happens when people visit someone in prison. Children are no exception. We experience subtle versions of our parent’s physical confinement, elaborate surveillance and strict guidelines for any and everything. In my experience, from the long rides all the way to small prisons in the middle of nowhere, Kentucky, to my little sister’s severe nosebleeds in the car as we traveled through the mountains of West Virginia, to the amped up security at each facility, to the absurdly cold visitation rooms – all of it was miserable.

California prisoners endangered by forced integration of snitch yards

On Dec. 14, 2018, families of prisoners and supporters traveled to Sacramento to rally in front of the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation’s (CDCr) headquarters against the CDCr-induced violence that many of their loved ones are experiencing. The next rally is Friday, Feb. 15, 1 p.m., in front of CDCr Headquarters, 1515 S St., Sacramento.

Amplify the voices these prisons try to silence: Fight censorship from California to Pennsylvania

Departments of corrections and state legislatures are putting into place chilling bans on free speech and expression by prisoners, formerly incarcerated persons, family members, friends, journalists, advocates and activists. Pack the courtroom for the hearing on Abu-Jamal v. Kane, challenging Prisoner Gag Law SB 508, on Thursday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m., in U.S. Courthouse, 228 Walnut St., Courtroom 2, Harrisburg, Penn.

A strategy meant to break me fuels my passion for human rights

I am an inmate at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla, California. In April 2013, I and another individual were falsely accused of sexual assault and placed in Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg) immediately. I was forced to face the loss of my job assignment, property, good living quarters, placement and status in groups and organizations.

Judge Marks and mass incarceration in the Middle District of Alabama

The stories of injustice coming out of the Middle District of Alabama are still replete with nonviolent, disproportionately Black defendants with longstanding drug problems – ones who commit victimless crimes tied to unsuccessfully or untreated addictions – receiving draconian sentences.

‘Mumia Abu-Jamal is just one step away from freedom,’ says Maureen Faulkner

Philadelphia police have been violent and racist and corrupt for decades. They have a lot to lose if Mumia wins – because when Mumia wins, the forces that support Black dignity and freedom are winning.

Send us your drawings of degrading places

Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) will be holding an exhibition at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design this October-November on the design of execution chambers and spaces of solitary confinement. It will have an online presence and may travel to other venues as we develop the project, so stayed tuned. But first, to succeed, we need drawings!

Keith Tharpe and the death penalty’s racist roots

Unacceptable racial bias is at the root of capital punishment; it is an ignominious bloody stain running deep, with terribly tragic results, in the frayed fabric of our country.

California prisoners say videos show ‘gladiator fights’ at Soledad State Prison

California prisoners released video recordings of two prisoner fights they say were set up by officials at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, California. It is now the second facility to report so-called “gladiator fights” after prisoners spoke out about similar incidents at the state prison in Corcoran.

Ruchell Magee, longest held political prisoner in the world, heads to parole hearing

Ruchell is now 78 years old and will turn 79 in March. He’s eligible for parole for several reasons, the most obvious of which is the federal three-judge order to release elderly prisoners to reduce the prison population that he points to in the letter. Please take the time to write letters to the governor, legislators, lots of editors and online publications, and spread it all over social media. Fifty-four years in prison is outrageous! He is truly a political prisoner. 

The truth and lies that targeted and convicted Sahara Fakhir, an Islamic activist

Sahara Fakhir is 33 years old. Prior to her incarceration, she was productive in the community, a member of Custodians of Faith, feeding the homeless. She is loved by family, friends and the homeless. She is a free-hearted, free spirited, loving individual. Even though she is physically restricted due to knees that render her immobile, she is always willing to sacrifice her own needs for the benefit of others.