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Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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Behind Enemy Lines

Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

Join Decarcerate Louisiana in resistance and solidarity

Join us in resistance and solidarity from inside to outside the prison system in an undertaking to educate and mobilize ourselves for dignified struggle to abolish the modern institution of slavery which operates today as a mean coalition consisting of the police, the courts, racist and bigoted judges, unscrupulous prosecutors, ravenous and greedy sheriffs, cash-strapped school districts, under-funded indigent defense systems, and unfriendly and hostile prison officials.

Experiencing COVID-19 on death row

In my humble opinion being on death row with this COVID-19 pandemic raging is like having another death sentence. I can and do only speak for myself in this essay, and I must admit that I am scared of this virus!

We are relying on the legislature to rein in CDCR’s gross abuse of power,...

There can be no doubt that the legislators’ courageous act of publically acknowledging our protest issues in late August 2013 saved many lives, and it gave many people real hope that substantive changes will be forthcoming. And now that there has been additional public exposure – via the two public hearings – demonstrating CDCR’s refusal to institute real, meaningful changes, on its own, people are relying on the legislature to do all in their power to pass legislation reining in CDCR’s gross abuse of power, this year.

Man up or perish: White America is showing its true face once again

As of July 11, 2014, Georgia State Prison (GSP) has placed all inmates who were previously being illegally held on 24-hour administrative segregation for indefinite periods at a time with a cellmate on the new Tier II program. The new Standard Operating Procedures for Tier II state that this new program is designed for violent and dangerous offenders, escape-prone offenders or disruptive offenders.

‘Soledad Brother’ John Clutchette granted parole – will California Gov. Jerry Brown reverse the...

The California Board of Parole Hearings granted parole to John Clutchette in 2003, 2015, 2016 and again on Jan. 12, 2018. The boards deemed many of the records in his file unreliable and insufficient for a showing of present dangerousness. The reasons given by Gov. Brown for opposing his release appear to involve a desire to punish Mr. Clutchette for being labeled a Soledad Brother. Tell Gov. Brown to free John Clutchette now!

An innocent man, DeWayne Ewing wins order to show cause

In January 1994, 23-year-old DeWayne Ewing and a girlfriend discarded a condom as they left a park in the Oakland hills. A rape took place in the same park a few days later, and three days after the rape, police found the condom under a bush and put it with the rape kit. Thirteen years later, in June 2007, police pulled DeWayne over for an illegal turn and arrested him for rape on a cold hit DNA match.

What happened to freedom?

I have been constantly pushing for liberation quite vigorously and many of you inspire me to push harder and remember the words of a great freedom fighter, Sis. Harriet Tubman, who said: "I started with this idea in my head. There's two things I have a right to: death or liberty."

Life means guilt to a Black Man

Life. What does it mean? A simple question maybe you can answer. If you’re White, i can’t answer. Now I’m ignorant. Why? Because I’m Black, knowing this five letter word is the definition of struggle. Black hoody and a bag of skittles will get you killed. Being in the wrong neighborhood will get you beaten half to death. By the ones protecting and serving.

Proven innocent: The case of Bobby McClelland

As the world laid to rest Nelson “Madiba” Mandela, who was wrongfully incarcerated for 27 years, I thought about the case of Bobby McClelland. He was arrested 23 years ago on May 19, 1990, for an alleged attempted murder and processed through the same Los Angeles County Jail that was recently indicted on 18 federal counts for, amongst other things, obstruction of justice.

As prisoner hunger strike stays 30,000 strong, California communities call on governor, CDCR to...

“We’ve tried everything at our disposal. A hunger strike is our last alternative. We can’t do this alone; we need you, the public, to support us by writing to the governor and other representatives. We need you to express to them that you do not want your tax dollars to be spent on unjust and inhumane policies, but to fund other things like your children’s education.”

Free yourself into forgiveness

Britney Gulley eloquently describes the prison we each one of us inhabits to whatever degree we allow, as we alone and in community are the masters of the prison we choose to call home.

It is a matter of innocence, not economics

Please DON’T vote in favor of “The SAFE California Act” to end California’s death penalty. Your vote for this act would throw away the key for all the innocent men and women on death row and, instead, sentence all prisoners on death row to spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of parole and without effective legal representation.

Human Rights Coalition sues prison officials for censoring political dissent and human rights advocacy

The Human Rights Coalition (HRC), politicized prisoner Robert Saleem Holbrook and College of Charleston Professor Kristi Brian brought a lawsuit on Jan. 8 against several employees of the State Correctional Institution (SCI) at Coal Township and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for confiscation of mail sent to Holbrook, a co-founder of HRC currently held at SCI Coal Township.

Electroshock torture handcuffs now patented: Deliver shocking torture, ‘gas injections’ and ‘chemical restraints’ to...

It’s like something ripped right out of a dystopian futuristic sci-fi novel: A U.S. patent has been uncovered that describes electronic handcuffs capable of delivering torturous electroshocks, “gas injections” and injectable “chemical restraints” to prisoners who wear them. The cuffs can be remote-controlled by prison guards, cops or MPs to deliver stronger or weaker electroshocks as desired.

California prisoners suspend 60-day hunger strike – families, legislators respond

Representatives of the Short Corridor Collective at Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit have based their decision on a meeting with fellow prisoners at the prison, the growing international condemnation of California’s practice of solitary confinement, as well as the commitment of California Senate and Assembly Public Safety Committee Chairs Loni Hancock and Tom Ammiano to convene a series of hearings in response to the strikers’ demands that would “address the issues that have been raised to a point where they can no longer be ignored.”

End prison slavery in Texas now!

In Texas we know that we are being exploited, mistreated, degraded and abused. Many prisoners in Texas are content with the modern day slave plantation system, which is managed and operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. However, many prisoners are not content; in fact they are frustrated and angry. The strategies utilized by prisoners in other states that have similar conditions to Texas don’t necessarily apply here.

Pelikkkan Bay censorship reveals thought control agenda

Here in Pelikkkan Bay SHU, we undergo extreme forms of social control that include the censorship of all forms of mail. From letters and books to periodicals, everything is heavily scrutinized by our captors, who censor anything that does not fit their agenda; anything that empowers the people, speaks truth to power or challenges white supremacy is quickly denied those of us held in these torture chambers.

Gov. Brown vetoes bill that prevents California jails from eliminating in-person visitation for children...

On Sept. 27, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 1157, which would have protected in-person visitation in California’s county jails, saying in his veto message that although he was concerned about eliminating in-person visitation, the bill didn’t offer enough flexibility. The lack of a signature ensures that sheriffs can now continue eliminating in-person visitation for children and families of the incarcerated and replace it with video calls.

How CDCr scams California taxpayers

For the past 40 years, prisoners have been removed off general population due to being validated as alleged prison gang members or associates. This is the sole reason for our placement: not behavior. CDCr started this indefinite lockup in the mid- to late 70s and soon realized that there was an economic incentive for labeling prisoners as a threat to the safety and security of the institution.

Heroic or heinous: The death penalty case of Thomas Porter

Thomas Porter is a 42-year-old Black man held on Virginia’s Death Row for the Oct. 25, 2005, shooting death of a Norfolk, Virginia, cop. At his trial, it was undisputed that the cop walked up and grabbed him around the throat without warning, then tried to throw him to the ground. Thomas reflexively pushed the cop back, asking what he was doing. Without warning or explanation, the cop pulled his gun and fired on Thomas but missed. In a split second reaction, Thomas pulled and fired his own gun, fatally hitting the cop in the head – a clear case of self-defense.