Sunday, October 25, 2020
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Behind Enemy Lines

Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

Hunger strike Round 2, Day 3: 6,000 on strike, threats from CDCR

Today, Sept. 28, lawyers and mediators with Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity’s mediation team confirm that at least 6,000 prisoners throughout California are resuming the hunger strike that began in July. The expansion of the strike demonstrates that CDCR’s atrocious practices and brutal conditions are in fact a system-wide issue and endemic of the CDCR. Support the prisoners in winning their demands! Call Gov. Jerry Brown and urge him to make the CDCR comply with the prisoners’ demands!

TDCJ’s ad-seg program is for profit not for rehabilitation: From sensory deprivation to sensory...

After randomly being awakened in the early morning, boarded onto the TDCJ transportation bus, then shipped to the Ramsey Unit, a prisoner told me that the experience was like “being snatched from a dungeon and sent to a new wave slave plantation.” The statement he made is a reality that many prisoners housed in close custody units and solitary confinement cells throughout the state of Texas are experiencing, on a whim.

It isn’t OVER! Message from Martina and Troy

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant a stay of execution, and Troy Davis was murdered by the state of Georgia on Wednesday at 11:08 p.m. Eastern Time. Here are Troy’s words relayed earlier in the day: “The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I’m in good spirits and I’m prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I’ve taken my last breath. Georgia is prepared to snuff out the life of an innocent man.”

Georgia retaliates against prison striker, now on hunger strike

There’s six of us here that started an indefinite hunger strike on Aug. 1, 2011, in solidarity with our brothers in California and to stop the inhumane treatment. A letter was sent to the Governor’s Office and Commissioner’s Office with a list of demands, such as provide adequate food, health care, access to families and out-of-cell recreation, stop police and staff brutality and many other requests.

Janet and Janine Africa are home after 40 years!

Janet Holloway Africa and Janine Phillips Africa have been released from state custody after 40 years of incarceration. The sisters have been battling for their freedom after being consistently denied parole despite their stellar record and community service endeavors while behind bars.

End prison slavery in Texas now! Part II: Class consciousness and international solidarity

Minister Nyle Fort starts us off with a strong quote. I am going to expand his analysis by highlighting the historical fact that slavery in the United States was and is still directly tied to capitalism! So in order for us to combat and abolish legalized slavery in Amerika we must focus our attention on dismantling the system which has allowed this institution of modern prison slavery to proliferate.

Imam Hasan locked down in runup to nationwide strike, on hunger strike since July...

On Friday, July 27, Siddique Abdullah Hasan was locked down on a conduct report signed by Brian Wittrup at Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) central office which referred to him speaking on and receiving information about the upcoming prison strike. It wasn’t until late Monday evening, July 30, that supporters were finally able to hear from Hasan himself via an attorney phone call with Staughton and Alice Lynd.

Lies and distortions fill Corrections Secretary Beard’s op-ed dehumanizing prisoner hunger strikers

In an Aug. 6, 2013, op-ed piece published in the Los Angeles Times, Jeffrey Beard, the secretary of California’s inaptly named Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDC), cynically attempts to dehumanize a significant percentage of California’s population – i.e., the state’s incarcerated population – while making light of the grave human rights abuses perpetrated by the CDC.

Political speech in prison

When I asked, “Will I be released from segregation since I’ve done nothing wrong?” He said, “Well, you wanna be all political, this is what happens.”

CDCR releases new gang validation proposal

CDCR has released its “Security Threat Group Prevention, Identification and Management Strategy,” which proposes new gang validation and SHU step down procedures. “The biggest issue with the stakeholder review is that the most important stakeholders, the prisoners who have been validated and are currently in administrative segregation or the SHU, are not included,” says Jerry Elster.

To the son I never raised

I see life through two sets of eyes, yours and mine! / I see through your eyes, even when they are cloudy / With tears from the loneliness that my imprisonment / Has caused your heart to ache and yearn for my / Presence like the rest of the kids you see with / Their fathers

Message from Pelican Bay prisoner representatives to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez

We, the four principal representatives of the prisoners confined in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison, hereby welcome Juan Méndez to California. We have followed your work and advocacy against torture throughout the world and congratulate you on your commitment and success in bringing your findings to the public’s attention. As a former prisoner yourself, we would like you to do your best to bring both our conditions and our human rights movement to the attention of the international community.

Corcoran ASU hunger strike petitioner: This ain’t the soft KAGE

We are saddened by the news of the loss of our frontline immortal freedom fighter, Christian Alexander Gomez. Tragically, it’s believed to be fact that on Feb. 2, 2012, he died because of an infection he developed during the phases of our hunger strike here in CSP Corcoran ASU-1. It happened because of the medical staff and prison officials' negligence.

Seven months after historic California prison hunger strike, opponents of solitary confinement prepare for...

Tomorrow, California lawmakers will hold a hearing about the use of solitary confinement inside its state prison system. February marks seven months since people incarcerated throughout California embarked on the mass hunger strike that has drawn legislative attention to prison conditions. The CDCR released new proposed regulations around its gang policies, and it points to changes already made. Accounts from former hunger strikers suggest that change is slow in coming.

I will not be silenced!

The Trump administration has an overt and covert campaign of suppression aimed at journalists, activists and servants of the people – including Comrade Malik, who plans to edit the Bay View upon his release.

Unity in organization

Prisoners of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds and ideological and political persuasions have forged a united front – best reflected by the Short Corridor Collective confined in Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit – around common goals and interests of ameliorating the tortuous concrete conditions inherent to long-term solitary confinement.

More guards quit Alabama’s Holman Prison as Justice Dept. prepares to investigate Alabama prisons

At Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama, only two officers reported for work for the second shift Saturday, Oct. 8. Officers confess being fed up with Gov. Robert Bentley’s putting their very lives in jeopardy simply to further his political agenda of institutionalizing Alabama with plans for new state-of-the-art prisons. The officers at Holman are walking off the job and refusing to come back to work after filing grievance after grievance concerning the ill treatment of prisoners, overcrowding and forced slave labor.

Compassionate release for Jamie Scott!

The Scott Sisters, Jamie and Gladys Scott of Mississippi, were accused of an $11 robbery and given double life sentences. The sisters have always proclaimed their innocence. Now one of them has been hospitalized.

Pelican Bay update: What change?

Our Five Core Demands of the hunger strikes have not been met. And we see that reform always equals revisionism, which means it’s no change. The food has literally gotten worse, although for a month they attempted to adequately feed us. The medical care continues to be inadequate. The educational programs and privileges are not afforded, and prisoners are still made to suffer in these inhumane conditions, now familiar to us for years on end.

The too-many prisoners dilemma

There’s a growing national consensus that, as Attorney General Eric Holder stated in August, “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.” Despite the heavy toll that mass incarceration exacts every day and in countless ways on many American communities the topic attracts remarkably little consistent coverage in the mainstream media.