Life is like a game of chess and checkers. Many of us play checkers. And many of us think we’re playing chess, but, in practice, we’re actually playing checkers. So it should be of no surprise to any of you when I say, most poor people play checkers, prisoners in particular. Now what does this analogy imply? Most people make decisions in life without thinking ahead or assessing the ramifications of their decisions, especially prisoners!
Assemblymembers Tom Ammiano and Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer Sr., co-chairs of the Assembly Select Committee on Justice Reinvestment, have issued recommendations to Speaker John A. Pérez, based on the committee’s seven hearings held in 2013-14. “We learned a lot from these hearings, with the big lesson being that these problems have solutions,” said Ammiano.
Following a mass hunger strike by prisoners in California last year, some state legislators promised to reform the use of Security Housing Units (SHU). This week, Assembly Bill 1652, passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee. It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. If the bill becomes law, prisoners would only be sent to SHU for specific serious rules violations that come with determinate SHU sentences.
There are hundreds of prisoners who have been falsely validated as members or associates of prison gangs that can viscerally relate to my experience, from living life as an outlaw in society to being prosecuted and convicted to prison, only to be persecuted while in prison, fundamentally for educating oneself by trying to heighten one’s sense of cultural and social awareness.
A panel of three federal judges, frustrated with California’s failed five-year effort to sufficiently reduce prison overcrowding, said they will draw up their own solution within a month. U.S. District Judges Lawrence K. Karlton and Thelton E. Henderson and U.S. 9th Circuit Court Judge Stephen Reinhardt concluded Monday that months of talks between the state and lawyers representing prisoners were going nowhere.
At Legal Services for Prisoners with Children’s 35th Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 19, headlined by Dr. Angela Y. Davis and Michelle Alexander, I noticed immediately the “logo,” a phoenix rising from the ashes, the theme for California Coalition for Women Prisoners’ 15th Anniversary celebration of the Fire Inside two years ago. All of Us or None is 10 years old now, and LSPC at 35 is the parent of CCWP.
Give us your tired, your poor, your hungry, huddled masses ... and we’ll make sure they stay that way. That’s the message that members of Congress – Republicans and Democrats alike – are sending with their proposals to cut funding and add new restrictions for the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP – better known as the food stamp program.
When the prison system transformed into the Prison Industrial Slave Complex (PISC), it became a profit-making industry and, as a profit-making industry, profit becomes the bottom line. In the PISC the poor underclass is the primary commodity that fuels its profitability, while the poor New Afrikan (Black) man and woman are its prime choice.
In America there are 24 million children with an incarcerated parent. Judges do not consider children when sentencing a parent, nor do they consider where those children will go or who will care for them. As parents, we must think about our children before we act because the courts have no money and our children are the ones suffering.
Since Dec. 13, 1994, Indiana political prisoner Khalfani Malik Khaldun has been held in control units, i.e. administrative segregation or isolation. It began when police and prison investigators manufactured a murder charge against him after a guard was stabbed and killed. Brother Khalfani is a Muslim and New Afrikan revolutionary educator who professes a strong sense of radical politics and culture.
After 12 years I have finally made it to a halfway house. Through my entire struggle behind the walls, your paper has played a major part in my political and cultural awareness. I could not have done it without you. My mission is to become a success story by giving recidivism a black eye and preventing these younger brothers from contributing to genocide as I once did when I was young and unpoliticized.
The prison system and the SHU is not going to shut down anytime soon. So we will have to be more realistic and pragmatic in our approach to addressing the mental health of prisoners. We can start off as prisoners by pledging we’ll not become collaborators with the CDCR in their endeavor to assault our sanity!
The Bay View must become the people’s voice, The Bay View speaks to our culture of resistance, justice and freedom. A voice for the unheard. The solutions and proposals we develop cannot serve our community trapped in this concrete hell with us. But the Bay View will serve as that bridge. Community activists, parents, students and youth can tap into our think tank via the Bay View. This is why it is imperative for our people and community to subscribe to the Bay View, the only national newspaper that provides lifesaving and life-sustaining service to the New Afrikan community.
I am not about to trust a “movement” that offers no critique of the role of state violence in upholding capitalist economic interests. I am not about to get arrested with some “white” guys whose interests are just their own, who only noticed injustice when they were the ones who got laid off, arrested, beat down or tased.
If this second hunger strike effort has taught us anything, it is that the power to transform an intransigent CDCR must come from the will of the people, from exercising your limitless power. Prison authorities were fully content to let us die this time and even modified their medical responses to maximize the chance of permanent injury or death to hunger strikers, which makes the broader aspects of this struggle so significant. Who dares to struggle? Who dares to win? We do, and we hope you do too. Join us! The power to shape history and the future of the society is in your hands.
A federal three-judge panel ruled today, Feb. 9, that overcrowding in California prisons is indeed the root cause of health care inadequacy so severe that it amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.
12Page 2 of 2