NC’s “progressive” razorwire plantations: A report from a prison strike leader

Revolutionary greetings.

I hope these words find all my komrades in support of the August 21st prison strike courageously strong and defiant. In response to our prison strike here in NC, North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) put out a three-paragraph statement, which contained a bunch of frivolous words. But one that caught my attention the most was “Progressive” (NC is one of the most progressive states in the nation concerning prisoner rehabilitation) “LOL”

Komrades let’s look at the definition of “progressive”: 1. moving toward, advancing 2. open to or favoring new policies or methods 3. tending to spread or become more severe (the American Heritage dictionary 4th edition)

Now if the (NCDPS) hierarchy was referring to the latter definition, then komrades we all could agree with them right? But any conscious person knows that the totalitarian sadist that rules with a iron fist would never blatantly admit that the spreading of their totalitarianism is severe. So we will agree that it was the former two definitions that was used in the (NCDPS)  response to the August 21st prison strike. Moving forward, advancing. If this form of progression was being made, it would be noticeable to those of us immured within These razorwire plantations. There isn’t no form of progression being made towards the rehabilitation of the prison commune.

how does long-stints of solitary confinement rehabilitate a person? If you are resilient, strong of mind and body, then the harsh conditions of long-term confinement may not cause one to break. But there are many who broke mentally because of the strain put on one’s mental health, there’s the inevitable depression, social disorder derived from long-term confinement in these razrwire plantations deepest and darkest holes.

I witness it daily with those around me, many komrades become mentally ill and become depended on psychiatric medications that kills the consciousness to a point they become less responsive to the daily oppression. It’s easier for the overseers to “control” a prisoner sedated by one of the many experimental psychiatric medications given to prisoners. The overseers are conscious that this tactic is very effective.

the most common mental health disorder is schizophrenia, this is a psychiatric illness marked by psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thoughts. This illness causes many prisoners to deny their provided meals daily. This is due to the fact that the prisoner thinks that the overseers are doing things to their food to cause them death. Komrades we are aware that this is one of the harmful tactics used by the overseers, but usually done to those who fight the applied oppression. Not done to one who has no voice because it’s being silenced by the seductive psychiatric medication he/she takes daily.

On September 1, 2016 mental health prisoners seeking psychiatric help (level 2) and taking psychotropic medications (level 3) were no longer to serve more than 30 days per year on solitary confinement and are not to be housed on isolation supermax (H-con) pursuant to high security maximum control conditions of confinement, chapter C  section 1701(b)(2)(3)(4). When I brought the above policy to the attention of mental health staff member Mrs Lutz of Lanesboro, she stated that yes it was true that the above policy should be implemented but being that so many offenders were mental health level 2 and level 3 that there was no room at the at the current facility that house mental health prisoners. In return I asked, so the guys that’s dealing with severe mental health illnesses that’s being held on long-term isolation are being disregarded due to the overcrowded mental health programs? Mrs Lutz stated it was above her head and it was a problem she couldn’t fix!

The case law of Ruiz vs Estelle was brought to my attention by my fellow komrade Keith “Komrade Malik” Washington Deputy Chairman of the New African Black Panther Party/White Panther Organization Prison Chapter in his article (Ben Larue RIP)

The release case says:

The components of a minimally adequate mental health program are encompassed by the following: there must be a systematic program for screening and evaluating inmates in order to identify those who require mental health treatment. Treatment must entail more than segregation and close supervision of the inmate patients. Treatment requires the participation of trained mental health professionals, who must be employed in sufficient numbers to identify and treat in an individualized manner those treatable inmates suffering from serious mental health disorders.

There is no progression being made towards implementing the above, komrades. But let the hierarchy of (NCDPS) tell it NC is one of the most progressive states towards prisoners rehabilitacion. definition 2 of progressive states: open to or favoring new policies or methods.

The (NCDPS) hierarchy has its own ideology and its totalitarianism, which means all opposition is outlawed. This isn’t inscrutable comrades, it’s very clear they’re not open to or favoring new policies or methods. The same methods that’s being implemented today were also implemented in the 70s long-term isolation. Some methods derived from the days of slavery, there’s nothing new about any of these methods or policies.

If (NCDPS) hierarchy was open to new policies and or methods, they would acknowledge the national demands of all those supporting the August 21st prison strike:

1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.

2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.

3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.

4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.

5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.

6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.

7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.

8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.

9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.

10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded.

When requested by NC public radio show the takeaway to have a representative for (NCDPS) the producers of the show was told that they had no one to come because all were too busy! But the written response stated that (NCDPS) was progressive! Not having a representative to speak on behalf of (NCDPS) concerning the NC prisoners conditions shows just how progressive the oppression is.

That brings me to state the following before I bring this to a end. We have little sense of our own power. The power is in the masses we komrades are the masses. The actions we take this day forward will dictate our future. you know just as I do what needs to be done in order for those above 10 demands to be met with regard.

It’s going to take Mass solidarity amongst the prison communist, individualism isn’t the key to rectifying these harsh inhumane conditions applied by the oppressor. It’s going to take both outside support and inside demonstrations. Malcolm X made it clear comrades! If you ain’t willing to die for your freedom then you need to remove the head from your vocabulary.

Before I conclude this essay I request any of you who desire to assist the prisoners Liberation Organization with raising awareness of the inhumane conditions Force upon prisoners in NC and throughout the nation please contact me via mail at Joseph Stewart #0802041
PO Box 2500
Butner NC 27509

The prisoners Liberation Organization is in its infant stages, any ideas are welcomed. Our goal is for those on the inside of this razorwire plantations to teach prisoners literacy and legal rights, providing outside resources info to prisoners who will be in need of assistance after they are released and instructing them how to obtain basic necessities. A 501(c)(3) tax deductible account will be established for fundraising. So we can provide prisoners with books, newspapers, legal material and funding for our own newsletter. The newsletter will serve as a platform for prisoners and outside supporters to express themselves concerning tactics and solutions to alleviate these inhumane living conditions until prisons as a whole are antiquated. Dare to struggle
Dare to win
Deputy Minister of Defence
White Panther Organization
NC Branch
Joseph “Shinewhile” Stewart