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Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

Protester chained to barrels in front of governor’s mansion demands release of prisoners at...

On the morning of April 17, a protest took place at Gov. Ron DeSantis’ mansion in Tallahassee, Florida, demanding the governor take immediate action to protect prisoners from COVID-19. Protestors demanded that Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch take immediate steps to act.

COVID-19: ‘More deaths are coming’ in California prisons, advocates warn

Families of incarcerated people and criminal justice advocates condemned the failure of state officials to act urgently in order to protect people in prisons, one of the populations most vulnerable to severe illness and death caused by the coronavirus.

COVID-19 cover-up: Exposed prison guard may have contaminated over 140 prisoners

The Clements Unit, a large Texas prison, is knowingly allowing guards infected with the coronavirus to work at the prison. In its early stages of infesting the prison, the coronavirus had gone undocumented in the month of March 2020, despite sick prisoners and rampant signs of the virus everywhere.

Comrade Malik: Is prison authorities’ real plan ‘Let the prisoners die’?

April 18, 2020 – Like many of you in the free world, I have been monitoring closely the daily COVID-19 briefings broadcast from the White House. I have also been observing and analyzing the propaganda disseminated by the mainstream media in regard to the deadly pandemic.

Does the COVID-19 virus mean California prisons will be ethnically cleansed?

Do prison authorities see prisoners as worth saving? Some prisoners say: “Prisoners will not be at the top of the list for any kind of medical treatment. They will be forced to die a lonely death inside their cell, by way of suffocation.” Others say: “We are a commodity to these people, an asset that brings money to them. When you live in a capitalist society, the key is to protect your assets.”

Californians call for ‘Decarceration Budget,’ more prisoner releases and funds for community care

Community organizers Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), Justice LA and Color of Change mobilized more than 770 people to provide public comment yesterday to the newly formed Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on COVID-19. The comments demanded a “Decarceration Budget” that shifts spending away from corrections and incarceration and toward community-based services and housing.

Comrade Malik: Free our elders now!

We must demand that the U.S. Congress as well as U.S. Attorney General William Barr create some flexibility and include language in the law, the CARES Act, that will allow the immediate release of our elder and infirm comrades! We must not let them die in prison from Covid-19!

Breaking COVID-19 news: Two prisoners report how California prisons’ contempt threatens their lives

Ivan Kilgore is retaliated against for speaking out about inhumane conditions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in California’s prisons, and Talib Williams denounces CDCr’s irresponsible handling of the crisis.

New report challenges governors to use clemency powers to fight the COVID-19 pandemic

As COVID-19 outbreaks continue to explode in prisons and jails across the United States, a new report challenges governors to make full use of their executive power to release larger numbers of people from detention in order to create less crowded, less dangerous conditions in the face of the pandemic.

MASS DECARCERATION NOW

The average age of people who die in New York’s prisons is 57. Many who are worthy of release will die in prison (from the coronavirus). The only humanitarian solution is mass de-carceration, with the oldest prisoners released first.

Asymmetrical tactics for surviving the pandemic at the Q

Malik Ali chronicles the atmosphere at San Quentin State Prison amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strategic starvation in the Secure Housing Unit (SHU) at Wabash Valley: Call Aramark and...

Call Daniel Bedwell, Aramark director at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility at 812-398-5050, ext. 4801. Tell him that you are concerned that the prisoners on the SHU are being starved because they are not receiving a diet that meets the guidelines of IDOC Policy and Procedures.

Soledad uncensored: Racism and the hyper-policing of Black bodies, Part 1

The Bay View is serializing the introduction to “Annotated Tears, Vol. 2,” by Talib Williams, who is currently incarcerated in Soledad, California, and has written the history of that storied place. In the spirit of Sankofa, we learn the past to build the future.

Coronavirus: The invisible enemy behind enemy lines

There are 2.3 million people incarcerated in America. I am one of them.

To release more prisoners quickly, grant reprieves

The time to act has come. It is right now. It is tonight and tomorrow. We must demand the immediate release en masse of half of the 47,000 people inside Pennsylvania state prisons.

A plea to Governor Newsom: Don’t abandon elderly incarcerated people to die from COVID-19

It’s important we avoid using “violent criminal” rhetoric to justify abandoning thousands of elderly people, which endangers us all. And, it is no longer acceptable to put white folks’ fears ahead of the safety of Black and Latinx people.

A plea to Gov. Newsom: Don’t abandon elderly incarcerated people to die from COVID-19

It’s important we avoid using “violent criminal” rhetoric to justify abandoning thousands of elderly people, which endangers us all. It is no longer acceptable to put white folks’ fears ahead of the safety of Black and Latinx people.

Prisoners call for testing as COVID-19 spreads through Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Louisiana facilities

As this story is posted, another death of a prisoner is reported at Oakdale. Officials of the guards' union there describe the prison as "ground zero" for the coronavirus outbreak in the federal prison system.

Gov. Newsom releases 26 prisoners, but must release more

“We celebrate each commutation that Gov. Newsom granted to people who face danger from COVID-19. However, many people applied for commutations before our current health crisis and are still waiting for an answer,” says Amber-Rose Howard, executive director of CURB. “If our governor is listening to the public – whose voices have been loud on this – and to public health professionals, he has to immediately accelerate the pace and increase the number of people freed, especially older people who are in the most danger, through commutations, medical release and any other tool of freedom his vast authority grants him.”

As COVID-19 enters Santa Rita Jail, Sheriff Ahern stealthily pursues $255M for more staff,...

Just over a week into the “shelter in place” directive that is now statewide, COVID-19 has reached Santa Rita Jail. Alameda County confirmed on March 26 that a nurse working in one of the jail’s housing units has tested positive for the virus.