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Monday, January 27, 2020
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Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

Soledad Brother John Clutchette asks for your help

I have read your publication periodically over the years, and after some discussion with fellow prisoners, it was suggested I seek your assistance with getting the message out there that I need help! The enclosed documents tell a lot of the story of what I’ve been up against for years. Most of my support system has died – mother, wife, daughter and sister. The Brother Keith Wattley took my case and fought it to a short lived victory.

Inside a CCA private prison: Two slaves for the price of one

I am a new found political prisoner within the grips of one of CCA’s slave camps, Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility, here in Tutwiler, Mississippi. CCA, especially here at TCCF, has mastered the art of purchasing two slaves for the price of one – the two slaves being the inmate residents and the bottom rung correctional officers, providing cheap labor at minimum wage.

It’s back on now

I am currently in SCI Greene prison in Pennsylvania. All this time I never knew such a beautiful paper like this existed for our community, that has the character of putting everything in the paper, no matter how much it will scare the masses with truth and clear and undiluted information as to what is going on in our communities and groups and in other minority communities. I feel solidarity and love and purpose when I read your paper, which was lent to me by a brother in here.

Twenty-eight years falsely accused: an interview wit’ journalist, author and political prisoner Mumia Abu...

Dec. 9 will mark the 28th year that former Black Panther and present day political prisoner and prolific journalist Mumia Abu Jamal has been locked up for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer, although the evidence points to his innocence. After nearly three decades, many of Mumia’s supporters around the planet believe that he is closer than ever to being assassinated by lethal injection on Pennsylvania’s death row. We are asking everyone who reads this piece to get involved in freeing this man.

Emergency! Comrade Malik calls for our help: ‘Don’t allow the feds to assassinate me!’

“When I embraced this life as a freedom fighter and whistleblower, I knew there would come a time when the oppressors would place me in harm’s way and then feign ignorance. I think it’s time we all got more serious about protecting our most advanced political elements.” – Comrade Malik

Hunger strike at Polk supermax in North Carolina

By the time you receive this, many of the prisoners housed on H-Con supermax at Polk Correctional Institution will have started a hunger strike in protest of our conditions of confinement. Being that we are imprisoned, it is sometimes easier for society and executive management at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) to view us as sub-human, forget about us and assume that we are receiving quality care. This is not the case.

Major reform of solitary confinement introduced in California Senate

Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, today introduced new legislation to revise and reform solitary confinement conditions and procedures in California’s prisons. “Isolating large numbers of inmates for long periods of time, as we are currently doing, is an expensive and deeply troubling practice that undermines effective rehabilitation and long-term public safety,” Sen. Hancock said.

A Pelican Bay hunger striker’s journal, Parts 1 and 2

Richard Wembe Johnson, a prisoner who recently suffered a heart attack due to a blocked artery in his heart, is among the hunger strikers at Pelican Bay.He is submitting a series of articles throughout his time on strike to educate potential supporters about the prison experience.

John Carter, 32, murdered by guards: He probably knew they were coming to kill...

According to multiple witness accounts, staff at Pennsylvania’s SCI Rockview killed John Carter, a 32-year-old man from Pittsburgh, during a cell extraction in the prison’s solitary confinement unit on April 26, 2012. One witness, esteemed writer André Jacobs, reports: "The murder was in retaliation for Carter protesting what began as guards denying him his dinner meal. ... During the collection of our food tray, guard Sherman said to me, “Your buddy’s going down tonight,” while smiling."

Comrade Malik: I am nearly at my breaking point! Please intervene!

TDCJ has me classified as a “High Profile Inmate,” but no one here has actually told me why I have been placed on high profile status. The only reasons I’ve been given is “you have lawsuits.” However, this supports my argument that the prison agency TDCJ has been retaliating against me for accessing the courts. Last year I won a civil lawsuit when I challenged TDCJ’s unconstitutional beard and religious headgear policy. While I was litigating that suit I was not subjected to this humiliating treatment. So why now?

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s 1982 death sentence is again declared unconstitutional

The United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit has unanimously declared that Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence is unconstitutional. In today’s decision, the Court of Appeals reaffirmed its 2008 finding that the jury was improperly instructed.

Nobody deserves to be tortured: a response to CDCR’s STG-SDP plan

The new “Security Threat Group Prevention, Identification, and Management Strategy” will instigate new and more aggressive attacks against prisoners and their families, friends, associates and communities, who are already being victimized by our institutionalized racist system and the prison industrial complex. It is just one of their many policies to persecute prisoners incarcerated in solitary confinement units.

Psychiatrist Mariposa McCall on mentally ill in solitary: ‘Change is possible!’

I am calling on colleagues and professional organizations to recognize publicly and use our influence to bring an end to prolonged solitary confinement in American jails, prisons and detention centers. Not only is there is a great need for solidarity among individuals and organizations to uphold human rights and ethical principles but also to reduce reprisals against any whistleblower. Considering that 95 percent of those incarcerated will be released back to the community, bringing with them the negative health consequences of their confinement, the conditions and traumas they face while incarcerated should concern us all.

Why did five Pelican Bay guards beat two elderly Black prisoners on Aug. 6?

These particular officials who set out to provoke violence by attacking prisoners are not only committing criminal acts but grossly violate the authority entrusted to them by the public. For too long CDCR and PBSP have been abusing their authority, which each official took an oath to uphold – arbitrarily applying their prejudiced and racist views by attacking prisoners.

LA advocates decry governor’s prison expansion compromise, moving prisoners to private prisons out of...

On Wednesday, faith, health and human services, housing, education and criminal justice reform advocates will have a press conference and rally at the State Building, 300 South Spring St., calling on the Legislature to immediately reduce the prison population and invest tax dollars in programs that create healthy and safe communities.

I believe trying children as adults is unconstitutional

It is unconstitutional for a state to have a law that treats a class of people differently from others. Juveniles, or minors, are a class of people; and since they are under the age of 18 and not adults, they are denied all rights of adults. Therefore, it is wrong and unfair to have a law that allows juveniles to be tried and punished as adults yet denies them the same rights as adults.

Thoughts on ‘Democracy Denied’

During outside recreation, as we all were locked in individual dog cages that are side by side, I initiated a conversation into what we read in “Democracy Denied.”

California transfers Pelican Bay SHU prisoners to general population despite calling them too dangerous...

It has been a few months since my release from 20 years of solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison (SHU) to Step 5 of the Step Down Program (SDP). I thought I should pen this communique with an update on my travels from one place to another – the new location, experience, encounters and situations – as everything has unfolded.

Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin! His wife, attorney Karima Al-Amin, tells of the US’ 47-year...

The fiery H. Rap Brown, chairperson of SNCC, minister of justice for the Black Panther Party and one of the original four targets of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO to neutralize Black power, is presently entombed in the federal prison at Florence, Colorado, one of the world’s 10 worst prisons. Pursued relentlessly since the ‘60s, he was wrongfully convicted in 2002 – the prosecutor bragging that they finally got him after trying for 24 years. His wife, attorney Karima Al-Amin, tells his story on the Block Report.

Watani Stiner: Tending to historical wounds

My life began in the Jim Crow South, in Houston, Texas. I remember the segregated world I was born into …  the separate water fountains, the back of the bus, the going around to the back door of Mr. Fontnoe’s grocery store to buy milk for my mother and grandmother. I recall the segregated section of the movie theaters – and the long, seemingly endless net partitioning the giant sandy beaches, separating the “Colored” folks from the “Whites.” Can you imagine that it once was a reality, a segregated beach!

Latest News

Mayor Breed commits to support Black San Franciscans who shut down...

We demand that City Supervisors work to keep Black folks in San Francisco and to improve their quality of life. We demand that they pass policies to immediately relieve the disparities.

The University of California’s ‘bad practice’ in the Hunters Point Shipyard

The UC committee finds the recent surface radiation testing at the Hunters Point Shipyard sufficient and calls for “an informational meeting with the residents of Parcel A to discuss the cost and benefits of further radiation testing of the parcel.” Supervisor Shamann Walton has called a public meeting for Tuesday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m., at 451 Galvez Ave., the Storehouse at the Shipyard. All residents are urged to attend.

Moms 4 Housing: Un-Wedgewooding the world must be led by Mama...

Moms 4 Housing and all the beautiful people who stood together with the Moms are sheroes and heroes who manifested something capitalism tries very hard to kill: People Power. But they also manifested MAMA POWER, which, like all of us mamaz and daughters know, can take down a developer or real estate snake any day.

California prisoners call for end to machismo and femicide in Mexico

https://youtu.be/UB69VbhxmUk VICE News investigates the murder of women in Mexico and meets relatives of the...

Stress busters for working parents

Working parents, among others, may find themselves increasingly short-tempered, anxious or depressed as a result of stress at work. This may be especially hard if you’re parenting with ACEs – that is, if you’re dealing with unresolved trauma from your own childhood.