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Friday, September 20, 2019

Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

Ninth Circuit strikes down Washington state’s felon disfranchisement law in landmark voting rights case,...

In a precedent-setting decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state of Washington’s law barring felons from voting on Jan. 5, just in time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, for whom the issue of voting rights for the disenfranchised was a top priority. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the law violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

Unsupervised prisoner release imminent

California state prisons are to begin implementing a plan for the unsupervised release of up to 40,000 non-violent inmates and are required to train staff on non-revocable parole eligibility by Jan. 21, according to a memo sent from the State Department of Corrections.

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.

America’s supermax prisons do torture

President Barack Obama has clearly stated, “We don’t torture.” Oh, yes we do. Big time. A myriad of studies have clearly shown that human beings are social creatures – making prolonged isolation torture.

The meaning of Lucasville

On Easter Sunday, April 11, 1993, a riot broke out at the infamous Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at Lucasville. Lucasville had a reputation as one of the most violent and predatory prisons in the country. The prison and the atmosphere at the prison had become extraordinarily tense since the arrival of Warden Arthur Tate Jr. in 1990.

My blood is a million stories

It’s a different way of life in many ways, being children of revolutionaries. Our parents fought, were imprisoned, were exiled and died fighting for basic human equality; and all the while growing us in the discipline and knowledge, love and respect for not only our people, but for all people. We think differently; we see the world differently.

What good is a jury?

When guards at SCI Dallas destroy his property, threaten his life, assault his person, all while ranking officials look on approvingly, it is not simply Andre who is under attack, but the rights and lives of prisoners everywhere. By targeting jailhouse lawyers, those who stand on their constitutional rights and insist on being treated as human beings, the agents of repression in charge of the Pennsylvania DOC and the prison-industrial complex aim to silence their cries for justice.

Two poems by Jalil Muntaqim: ‘Chairman Fred & Captain Mark’ and ‘Big Brother Speaks’

Jalil Mutaqim, one of the longest held political prisoners in the U.S., was once again denied parole on Nov. 18, 2009. Visit FreeJalil.com to learn more about this extraordinary, heroic brother, who traded a minor plea for the freedom from all charges of four of his San Francisco 8 comrades. Support must grow so that his next parole date, in June 2010, is successful and he is free to return to the loving arms of his family and to continue to teach and show us how to be our own liberators.

Mumia Abu-Jamal could face death any day now

“Resistance is growing – preparations are in progress,” Dr. Suzanne Ross, a clinical psychologist and co-chairperson of the Free Mumia/NY Coalition explained to The Final Call. Ms. Ross said she attended the emergency meeting at the Abiding Truth Ministries church in Philadelphia on Oct. 17, where plans were laid out for the upcoming campaign to get Mr. Abu-Jamal freed.

Perpetrators and enablers of torture in the U.S.

During the past 25 years I’ve spent a lot of time with survivors of torture, men and women enduring long term solitary confinement in California’s prisons. The single way offered to earn their way out is to tell departmental gang investigators everything they know about gang membership and activities. The prisoners call it “snitch, parole or die.”

Letters of support needed immediately for Jalil Muntaqim’s parole hearing

Jalil is asking that we write letters supporting his 2009 parole, which has been postponed for 30 to 90 days for lack of records. This means the hearing could occur as early as Oct. 22 and as late as the end of December. It is believed that they want a new victim impact statement and the sentencing minutes from California. In the interim he said we need to continue efforts to build support. Please write a letter and urge others to do so, addressing the letters to the Parole Commissioners (Re: Parole application of Anthony Jalil Bottom #77A4283) but send to: NYC Jericho, P.O. Box 1272, New York, NY 10013.

Pen Pals: Find a friend behind enemy lines

Life behind enemy lines can be lonely, and a letter from a friend – a pen pal – can liberate mind and spirit. These prisoners are reaching out to you. They trust that Bay View readers truly care. Reach back and write a letter today!

Life, health care, prisons and cutting costs

Although much of prison health care is inadequate, many of its youthful captives can at least squeak by on what’s presently provided. Not so for those over 50 years of age, most of whom are beset by the common old age infirmities. The smartest and quickest way to begin reducing prison health care costs and prison overcrowding is to release aged and infirmed Lifers and those serving Life Without Parole (LWOPs).

Prison guards avoid cost-cutting, rip off taxpayers

CDC (California Department of Corrections) has adopted a way to circumvent the impact of the furlough rule and, in the process of getting over by not having to adhere to this rule, never having to suffer any loss of their wages. They make extra money at the taxpayers’ expense!

Update on ‘Bay View First Amendment Campaign’

Stories in the Bay View about figures historically associated with prisoner issues, such as George Jackson, comprise a large percentage of the stories that the CDCR deems to pose threats to prison security and, in the hands of African-American prisoners, as indicia of gang affiliation. In other cases, the CDCR seizes the Bay View without referencing any particular article, the inference being that the newspaper itself is a threat to security, the mere possession of which is an indicator of gang association.

To serve the people: Angola 3 celebrates common cause with Common Ground

We are not surprised that Malik Rahim is being hailed as one of the heroes of Hurricane Katrina. In 1997, Malik rediscovered information on our case and made it his mission to bring attention to the plight that Albert, King, myself and so many other Louisiana prisoners have endured in being unfairly convicted and sentenced. The Angola 3 went from obscurity to international recognition thanks to Malik’s efforts.

Racial profiling briefly acknowledged … now what?

Blacks and Latinos in the United States have long complained of police harassment and racial profiling, but no one paid much attention until July 16 this year, when the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates at his home on a “disorderly conduct” charge – read for being an uppity Negro or forgetting his place.

Vision of a Black nation’s struggle

A Black nation still incarcerated But patiently awaiting release it seems that respect we have to kill for while dying for peace

Violence between Raza and African prisoners

Once again, major violence between Raza and African prisoners has erupted within the United States Concentration Camp (Prison) System, this time at Chino California State Prison. Beginning at 8:20 on Saturday evening, Aug. 8, African and Raza (Latino) prisoners, in the most brutal fashion, slashing, cutting, hitting each other with anything that could get their hands on, battled for more than 11 hours. Over 200 were hurt, several critically, with severe head injuries or stab wounds. Blood was spilled everywhere. Many of those involved will be scarred and maimed for life, both physically and mentally.

Attorney salutes Bay View’s stand on ‘Black August’

The decision by the San Francisco Bay View to include coverage of “Black August” in its August 2009 edition was courageous and correct both from a legal and historical perspective. To have refrained from publishing its own editorial and articles from others on this subject would most certainly have strengthened the hand of reactionary state actors who have used prior restraint to curb “dangerous” speech since the days of British colonial rule.

Latest News

Michigan: The Good Time Bill myth

If Michigan state legislators really want to pass a bill that effectively reduces the current population inside jam-packed state prisons (TIS), they should introduce a bill, or bills, that simply repeals disciplinary time, as enacted back in 1998.

Biden his time

Do you elect someone who has failed you for decades, again, again – and again?

One year later, National Prison Strike demands manifest in presidential proposal

Every one of the [National Prison Strike] demands is addressed in Bernie Sanders’ criminal justice reform plan.

Mothers challenge SFUSD: ‘They treat my daughter like a criminal because...

Shonte insists that this incident is part of an ongoing saga of discrimination and profiling by Ida B. Wells staff and alleges that her daughter was targeted and had been searched over a dozen times the previous year.

#StokersSoWhite: 2016 Horror Writers’ Association boycott

“'Beloved' would have been considered gothic horror if it had been written from a white character’s point of view by a white author.”