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Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

Alabama leader Kinetik Justice in fifth day of hunger strike, refusing all food and...

As a last resort to protest the Alabama Department of Corrections’ unlawful use of solitary confinement, Robert Earl Council, known nationally as Kinetik Justice, that he is on an official hunger strike, refusing all food and liquids. Join the phone zap demanding release for him and 30 other prisoners unjustifiably in solitary.

Sewage floods and savagery happen every day at SF County Jail

As I sit here today in the hole at the San Francisco County Jail known as CJ 5 in San Bruno, I’m saying to myself enough is enough with the brutal treatment here at the jail. On my desk is a copy of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department Policies and Procedures Handbook, and although I can’t see them, there are some invisible policies and procedures being practiced on the daily at the jail. The San Francisco sheriffs’ “Don’t fuck with us, or we’ll fuck you up” policy is in full force, and if you think it is a game, I have first hand experience with this “hands on” policy, and it has been the worst experience of my life.

Mumia Abu-Jamal hospitalized in diabetic shock, guarded, family and friends denied access

Imprisoned journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has been taken to the Intensive Care Unit of Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, Penn., without any notification to his family, friends or lawyers. Abu-Jamal’s longtime friend, Professor Johanna Fernández, said, “We were told he was in diabetic shock and taken to the hospital.” Listen to an interview with Professor Fernández recorded by Block Report Radio at about 8 a.m., March 31, and an interview with Mumia's brother, Keith Cook, recorded this morning, April 1. This story is being updated frequently.

Support Comrade Malik: Prisoner rights activist left in solitary far too long

Supporters of Keith “Malik” Washington ... are urged to sign and send this letter to: Ombudsman Office, P.O. Box 99, Huntsville, TX 77342-0099, 936-437-4927, fax 936-437-4930, ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov and as many other intended recipients as possible. Send encouragement to Malik as well.

Rationalizing the irrational: CDCr’s reactionary defense of its prison industrial slave complex

by Heshima Denham of The Amend the 13th Working Group Greetings, sisters and brothers. The general security policy of CDCr states: “The primary objectives of...

Video released of Georgia guards beating prisoners with hammer

The deplorable beatings you’re witnessing occurred on New Year’s Eve, just before midnight, on Dec. 31, 2010. It’s taken two years and nearly eight months for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to release this video. A very persistent family member of one of the victims finally persuaded them to give it to her, and Rev. Kenneth Glasgow, a strong advocate for justice for prisoners, posted it to YouTube for the world to see.

May Day Initative to Free Jalil Muntaqim

On May 1, 2019, May Day, we are requesting that for all of May, friends and supporters call, tweet, email and text Gov. Cuomo’s office and appeal to him to grant Jalil’s Application to Commute the Sentence to Time Served. We also request that this initiative be widely posted on social media platforms, encouraging freedom-loving people around the world to join in our May Day Initiative.

Former Black Panther Romaine ‘Chip’ Fitzgerald will remain behind bars

On May 4, former Black Panther Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald agreed to a five-year denial of parole instead of insisting on a parole hearing, even though he has served more time than any former Black Panther still behind bars: 49 years. Chip is now 67 years old and living with the consequences of a stroke; his friends and family fear he will die in prison. He has been moved from one state prison to another over the years and is currently in the California State Prison-Los Angeles. I spoke to his lawyer, Charles Carbone, whose office is in San Francisco.

Protest retaliation against Georgia prisoners

The U.S., with 4.5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, is the world’s first prison state. Too long have we tolerated this backsliding from the great advances of the ‘60s. When we are presented with a clear case of retaliation, we must protest.

Palestinian prisoners support network stands in solidarity with U.S. prisoners on hunger strike in...

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses our solidarity with the hunger strike taking place in the Folsom State Prison B4 Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) in California in the United States. Isolated prisoners launched their strike on 25 May to protest the inhumane conditions in which they are held in solitary confinement. The prison administration has refused to address their just and legitimate demands and has instead responded with increased repression.

Indiana prisons engage in suicidal malpractice

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.

Shaka Shakur, traded for Rashid, exposes ‘domestic exile,’ new strategy in prison low intensity...

Shaka Shakur by Shaka Shakur Hidden from public view and without any real political or judicial oversight, the Prison Industrial Complex has been forcing revolutionary political prisoners,...

CaliCarceration: My first 90 days out

Marcus Bedford wears his CaliCarceration T-shirt proudly. Order yours today. by Marcus Bedford On January 17, 2019, I paroled. I would like to say...

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. 

Citing withheld evidence, supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal call for civil rights investigation

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal from death-row journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of white Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in a 1982 trial deemed unfair by Amnesty International, the European Parliament, the Japanese Diet, Nelson Mandela and numerous others. Now Abu-Jamal's international support network is calling for a federal civil rights investigation into his case.

Federal report exposes horrific levels of abuse in Alabama prisons

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) released a 56-page report April 5 systematically outlining the unchecked violence and sexual abuse which is the outcome of the degrading and subhuman conditions in the state of Alabama’s prison system. The report serves as a damning indictment of America’s entire criminal justice system, the largest in the world, which currently holds 2.3 million people in prisons and jails across the country in nearly identical conditions.

CURB responds to CDCR’s new master plan: ‘A concerning vision of a more powerful...

This report reveals the failure of CDCR’s efforts to sustainably reduce incarceration and resolve the humanitarian crisis of its prisons and instead outlines a concerning vision for an expanded and more powerful prison system. We must begin making investments that will sustainably reduce incarceration, close prisons and provide true opportunities for people in low-income communities to thrive.

California prisoners make historic call to end hostilities between racial groups in California prisons...

Prisoners in Pelican Bay’s SHU have announced a push to end all hostilities between racial groups within California’s prisons and jails. The handwritten announcement, sent to prison advocacy organizations, is signed by the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective. The statement calls for the cessation of all hostilities between groups to commence Oct. 10, 2012, in all California prisons and county jails. It also calls on prisoners throughout the state to set aside their differences and use diplomatic means to settle their disputes.

End the gladiator fights! End the separation of families and of fathers from their...

Families are being broken down even further, thus setting the perfect circumstances for history to repeat itself. The cycle of incarceration continues, and that’s a major problem.

Torture in Corcoran: Endless lockdown and gladiator fights, again

Prisoners in 3C Unit at the state prison in Corcoran, California, who went on hunger strike in January are speaking out after the warden backed out of negotiations to end a months-long lockdown and violence orchestrated by prison officials. Family members and supporters gathered outside the prison on Feb. 9 and 10 to protest during what would have been visitation hours.

Latest News

Poetry, prayers, protest against gentrification and displacement planned for MLK Day

On Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m., noted Bay Area grassroots leaders will host a protest rally at the Oakland City Church to highlight the plight of the unhoused.

Voices of the California Progressive Alliance

“Support for Bernie Sanders is definitely one of the threads uniting most of those here today. The California Progressive Alliance voted to endorse him, and there’s tremendous support for him here in California.” – Whitney Leigh, California Progressive Alliance Steering Committee

The art of David Bruce Graves’ ‘Heaven and Earth’ – Artist...

At a time when ignoring the planet and its species hastens the end of life as we know it, Graves’s work poses options, some involving magical thinking. The artist illustrates across multiple compositions how powerful Black people are.

Give Dr. King the birthday present he wants: VOTE in Cali’s...

What would MLK think about our fractured and divisive country and world of today? He would be shocked by so many unhoused, hungry, suffering people, mass incarceration, children in cages, extreme poverty, the climate crisis, and trillions spent on the Pentagon, ongoing wars and now, nukes in space (Space Force), a new war for oil looming, and extreme income inequality. He would be upset by the lying fascists running and ruining our country.

‘My Friend Fela’ doc, a definitive view of a man on...

This is a very important film for today’s times. Fela was a political Black revolutionary who used music as his sole weapon to address injustices perpetrated by the government, mostly in his country of Nigeria.