Author: atlabc

SOS From Holman: Suffocating Heat

June 24. 2009
Dearest Insight Family,
Thank you for the note of your support and solidarity. I pray that all who read this have a caring enough heart to call to this prison and to any local media outlets and kick up a little dust for us here at Holman. I am in a Security Housing Unit cell for 24 hours a day. I am in a cell with absolutely zero ventilation. The administration keeps blowing smoke saying that they are preparing to install air conditioning. But, what about the days and nights of agonizing heat we have to suffer through? What about being literally drenched in sweat for at least 21 out of the 24 hours in a day? Is it humane that we are forced to lay our mattresses on the floor by the door so that we can catch what little air comes under the crack of the door at the bottom? There are 6 exit doors. They could be opened to provide an added breeze but that is out. The warden says no. The tray slots could be left open to give a little relief, but, not that as well. I truly believe that it would be found much cooler in a city animal shelter. If the temp outside is 90, it most likely would about 105-107 with the heat index in the cells. As I write this I’ve used my face towel to wipe my sweaty face and chest 6 times. This is cruel and unusual treatment at its best. All the ones on the chain of commands hands are tied. Can’t go over the warden. In the coming weeks I predict a number of heat strokes and for some of the men to temporarily lose touch with reality having no respite from this high temperature. I predict a couple of suicide attempts. Hopefully, none are successful. But, my number one prediction is that the powers that be will continue to do nothing if you all in the greater society don’t apply pressure. We are in a concrete and tin building with zero ventilation. Sounds like one of the feared sweatboxes that were to be found on slave plantations!! This a human distress call! SOS!!

Honorably,
Le Barron Craig
191832
3700 Holman M-18
Atmore, AL 36503

NC PRISONER’S SUFFER IN SILENCE

“To expect that someone else will take full responsibility for our own liberation is suicide. We’ll be asked to be patient for another one hundred to one hundred and fifty years! We’ll get stuck with long theoretical explanations on consciousness or objective conditions when it’s clear that consciousness will not grow unless there is someone among us willing to feed it.”
~George Jackson

Salutations Komrades,
The most insidious thing about repression is how easy it is to grow accustom to it. The first prison was built in 1829, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Thirty nine years later North Carolina built its first state penitentiary, in 1868, North Carolina adopted a new state constitution that provided for building a state penitentiary, prisoners built central prison which was completed December 1884.
As early as 1875 private employers could lease prisoners as laborers. Under the lease, businesses had complete responsibility for the prisoners. Many worked in rock quarries and built railways. In 1901 lawmakers changed the system to provide for contract inmate labor. Prisoners worked for private employers but prison officials retained responsibility for the prisoner’s custody. One can only imagine the dispiteous living conditions those prisoners were subjected to.
However, I believe that the policies and procedures that are being implemented today that dehumanize and alienate us and keep us subjugated are harsher than those of the past. The most prominent is the security risk group (SRG) formerly known as Security Threat Group (STG) Policy & Procedures. (SRG) is a label that’s put on prisoners who have been validated as a member of a security risk group. By being validated we’re subjected to harsh restrictions that include but aren’t limited to:

  1. Longer solitary confinement terms than non-validated prisoners for rule violations that aren’t even gang related.
  2. Limited to two fifteen minute phone calls per month, if not housed on solitary confinement, in which we’re prohibited to make any calls
  3. Harsher and often times inappropriate censorship and confiscation and/or destruction or loss of incoming mail, pictures, legal information and outgoing mail without notice
  4. No contract visitation even when we have not been involved in any gang activity and there’s no evidence to show contact visitation with immediate family would be a threat to institutional security
  5. No visitation with anyone who isn’t immediate family even when there’s no evidence to show that visitation with non-immediate family & friends would be a threat to institutional security. This restriction prohibits us to visit with our child’s mother. In turn we’re unable to visit with our children, because their mother isn’t considered immediate family
  6. Discrimination in work assignments
  7. Discrimination in custody reviews
  8. Discrimination in housing assignments
  9. Denied educational and rehabilitate
  10. Unable to receive financial support beyond immediate family, due to the J-Pay restriction policy that became effective on Feb 5, 2019. Which prohibits prisoners to receive any financial support from any depositor that’s not an approved visitor. As I aforementioned prisoners who have been validated aren’t allowed to receive visits from anyone other than immediate family. Therefore if we don’t have immediate family capable of financially supporting us, we are forced to become indigent.

All of you that’s been validated, I can feel your pain because I’m feeling your pain. Just as you dream of holding your children and hugging your mothers these dreams dance throughout my mind daily as well. As Frantz Fanon recognized, “The settlers work is to make even dreams of liberty impossible.” We’ve been conditioned to believe that dreams don’t come true. But anything is possible if you desire the joy the dream provides.
The way this current (SRG) policy is structured it gives us no hope and keeps us subjected to the enemy’s repression. The only reason these savage unscrupulous individuals that make up these policies continue to do so, is because we are unaware of our rights. Just because we are prisoners we’re still human beings, and as humans and citizens of the United States we’re protected by both the state and federal constitution.
This current (SRG) policy clearly violates the 5th & 14th Amendments pursuant to the equal protection and due process clauses. When we are validated we’re not afforded a notice, hearing, appeal process or review process. These are called procedural safe guards that’s put in place to protect us from punishment that infringes upon our liberty interests. The basic requirement of due process is the right to notice and an opportunity to be heard.

Just as our case managers bring a notice before we are placed on control housing, (SRG) staff are required to do the same before we are violated. Just as we are afforded the opportunity to go before the Facility Classification Committee (FCC) and the Directors Classification Committee (DCC), these are our hearing/process. This must be done before we are placed on restrictive housing for control purposes. (SRG) staff are to provide similar hearing and appeal processes. This is what due process is and validated prisoners are not being offered the opportunity to exhaust our due process.
The 14th Amendment forbids a state to deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. That means that all persons similarly situated should be treated alike, The 5th Amendment requires the federal government to obey the same equal protection standards as the state. Komrades who is more similarly situated than us?
Moreover, the J-Pay policy that restricts depositors that are not on the prisoner’s visitation list to deposit funds into our trust fund account violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, just as other discriminatory restrictions I aforementioned.

There is 8th Amendment violation as well pursuant to the cruel and unusual punishment clause, i.e.…citing atypical and significant hardships beyond ordinary instances of prison life and deliberate indifference. And there are 1st Amendment violations of our freedom of association, this can be but is not limited to visits, mail, and phone calls.

The oppressors will continue to infringe upon our rights as well as our lives savagely until we resist. By letting the enemy know that we are aware our rights are being violated and that we intend to pursue all avenues to assure that they are upheld and respected, than will the oppressor agree that a change has to be made. Because it’s no longer a handful of prisoners who know their rights, but it’s us a whole, and when this takes place we become a threat. Because as Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun of the Free Alabama Movement recognized, “It’s revealing that we are housed in institutions whose security is predicated on our remaining ignorant”.

The first step of action should be a coordinated grievance campaign, everyone that’s been validated as a member of a security risk group should submit a grievance and encourage those around you to do the same. The grievance can’t be written in any way, just as the courts search for and use loop holes so will the miscreants who make up the grievance committee so I’ve included an example grievance:

I was validated as an (SRG) level 3 offender on (DATE) for reasons I am unaware of and was not given any notice, hearing, appeal process, or review process. Which I am permitted to participate in to present mitigating evidence in my favor and to my credit to show I am not actively involved in any gang activity and to have my level dropped. Because I am not afforded to any procedural due process to present evidence or to know why my level has remained the same for the past __years I am suffering violations that include but are not limited to:

  1. Longer solitary confinement terms than non-validated offenders for rule violations that are not gang related.
  2. Limited to two fifteen minute phone calls per month, if not being housed in solitary confinement
  3. Harsher and often times inappropriate censorship and confiscation and/or destruction or loss of incoming mail, pictures, legal information and outgoing mail without any given notice.
  4. No contact visitation even when I have not been involved in any gang activity and there is no evidence to show contact visitation with immediate family would be a threat to institutional security
  5. No visitation with anyone who is not immediate family even if there is no evidence to show that the individual(s) is a threat to institutional security
  6. Discrimination in work assignments
  7. Discrimination in custody reviews
  8. Discrimination in housing assignments
  9. Denied educational and rehabilitative opportunities
  10. Unable to receive financial support beyond immediate family because of the J-Pay depositor policy. As a level 3 (SRG) offender I can only have immediate family on my visitation list and most if not all of my financial support comes from friends or other family members.
    Due to these violation and restraints placed on my liberty interests for indefinite lengths of time DPS Director Kenneth Lassiter and head/chief of security Chris Rich are in direct violation of my state and federal constitutional rights.
    Remedy:
    Give me a review process similar to DHO or FCC – DCC and provide me the opportunity to have my level reduced. Everyone cannot attend one small gang program at Foothill’s Correctional. Do away with the aforementioned indefinite restrictions and sanctions on my rights. Give me due process.

Komrades, the above example is how the grievance should be written. I know what some of you are thinking “man we don’t get no justice by writing grievances”. I agree, but pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act: “ no action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under [42 U.S. C. 1983] or any other federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted”.

This means we must take this problem to the prison grievance system, before we can file a suit. The prison’s administration must be offered an opportunity to address our issue before we can seek the assistance of the courts. Many prisoners are not educated in the litigation of prisoners’ rights, but there is a Jailhouse lawyer incarcerated at each of these razor-wire plantations here in NC. If that’s you than it’s your duty to educate those around you for those who are not capable to do so for themselves.

If you have to write up a number of grievances yourself and just have those around you to sign them and turn them in this will suffice. There are many forms of resistance, this is one that doesn’t demand much effort or sacrifice, so there shouldn’t be no reason why this is should not be done.

There will be the naysayers who will say this won’t work, that’s when you ask them what are they going to do then? Continue doing the same that we’ve been doing? Nothing…nothing has gotten us nothing. I entreat that you don’t allow the poltroons that’s around you to pass on their cowardice to you, because it’s contagious. We must try something different other than continuing to take part in the counter acts that’s only assured that the enemies repression will continue to constrict around our windpipes until they have choked the life from our should.

There is a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. that inspired me to break loose from the lumpen ideology and to struggle with those who struggle and sacrifice for those who are unable to defend themselves. It reads like this, “Cowardice ask the question is it safe? Expediency asked the question is it politic? But conscience ask the question is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it’s right”.

Komrades, we are conscious we know what we been doing isn’t right, but yet we continue to be puppets for the enemy, let’s cut the puppeteers strings and move to our own accord. In support of my beloved Komrade Keith “Malik” Washington’s them knockin’ doors down, this (SRG) policy is only one door I got my foot on. Stay tuned for there are many doors that need to be knocked down here in NC.

Dare To Struggle
Dare To Win
All Power To The People
Joseph “Shine White” Stewart
Deputy Minister of Defense
White Panther Organization NC-Branch
Postscript: CALL FOR ACTION

Komrade Keith “Malik” Washington, Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter, has created the NASAM Foundation which is geared towards providing advocacy and services for the mentally ill. We’re in need of some psychologists and psychiatrists that would be willing to espouse the NASAM Foundation. Inadequate mental health services, is the course of many deaths/suicides here in NC razor-wire plantations as well as across the nation, that Komrade Malik as well as myself desire to address/redress. But we’re only able to do so much due to our confinement. So anyone that is interested can contact Komrade Malik at Keith Malik Washington #1487958, McConnell Unit, 3100 S Emily Dr., Beeville TX, 78103

I can be contacted at Joseph Stewart #0802041, 22385 McGirts Bridge Rd, Laurinburg, NC 28352 or via email: shinewhite@protonmail.com

Also keep in mind that the brother Jason Renard Walker and Komrad Malik are in need of legal representation, they’ve both been and continue to be subjected to a coordinated campaign of harassment, reprisal and racial hatred by the unscrupulous individuals who are employed by Texas Department of Criminal Justice, any civil or human rights lawyers are needed.

GA restricting emails to visitors list

By Willie Coe

Greetings friends, family of incarcerated luv ones. In Fall 2019 we will no longer be allowed to send / receive email from anyone not on our approved visitation list. There is now a spot for email address on the approval form. I just think that is TMI! What has that to do with the rehab of the offenders?

Not everyone has a visitor to begin with. I say that it’s a crude way to taint our reconciliation with society. Shout out comrade Shine White (N.C.). This isn’t just taking place in your state. In GA our trust funds have been restricted for more than 10 yrs. from family and friends. But now the through the commissioner’s office we are being barred from a simply electronic letter. With people who love us, care about us and support us with pics, videograms and words.

If this tactic excels I’ll go from 7 to 2 contacts. I’m indignant because my birth cousin who helps me with communication between my sick mother won’t be able to contact me anymore. In a world of modern technology snail mail is being becoming obsolete. Some offenders communicate with their child mothers, lawyers, cousins, school buddies, etc. through email. Do we see significance in this??

I spoke with a JPay rep and asked why the video visits become restricted to “approved visitors” only? Why aren’t we allowed pics of our wives/significant others in negligee? Why family/friends can’t fund our media account directly from the web? He said, quote “…All of these things are accessible in other states; but the GA DOC are the ones restricting us…” unquote.

So, Mister commissioner, why do you and your board of directors oppress us in this manner? Family/friends please contact the commissioner’s office and urge them to stop the madness!! For the welfare of the offender.

Commissioner Timothy C. Ward
404-656-2809 or 404-656-6002

Freedom or Free

By: Charles Anthony Paschal Jr.
gdc#1031292
Freedom, money, and death are the 2 divisors when it comes to most of humankind!
Freedom is one of the biggest divisors because when it comes to the unspelled word “freedom” a lot of individuals go to testifying!
A lot of individuals go to testifying about speculations confirming what others thought!
Then when it comes to African Americans the emancipation of proclamation supposedly freed us even though we’re still getting sold and brought!
Even with the National anthem stating, “home of the brave and land of the free” its all types of races serving sentences in the federal and state penitentiary! Nonetheless, the National anthem never states in depth the meaning of the land of the free!
In which, for those individuals that acknowledge is the truth that prisoners are slaves in the land of the free!
Its just this go around most prisoners/slaves don’t have unity!
Due to most prisoners/slaves not having unity the characteristics of R.I.P. Fredrick Douglass, R.I.P. Harriet Tubman, and Assata Shakur don’t exist no more!
Also due to most prisoners/slaves not having unity with numbers of 20 to 1 in the home of the brave we’re daily and nightly losing in war!
We as in prisoners/slaves are in such a state of defeated that even though we’re in genocide on some plantations women are telling us when to eat and go to sleep!
Even with crocs, tennis shoes, or boots on the corruption from this dirt still gets on everyone’s feet!
Being the dirt of corruption for survival gets on everyone’s feet wisdom, knowledge and understanding aids and assists us because even on land we’re liable to become the great white sharks of the judicial system’s meat!
Its a sad reality consisting of individuals on both sides of the fence not knowing who they are and think and function how they’re taught to; so therefore, its plenty of individuals serving in state and federal plantations until their dying day or dying night tormented by the words “freedom or free!”.

“Fuck All da Drip and da Money”

Jamal Lundy
Feb 22, 2019
From tha $treet$
2 da chain gang
2 tiny 2 trap da mind$
Da bodys only. Da mind is sky high.
Look up every day and say bless da sky with ya heads high. My brotha$.
2 free tha mind is the limits of da sky. It’s bigger than this earth. Out dis world!
Look up high brothas and sistas in these set traps of prison even da c-o-s who help save lives of inmates cause this set trap could be only a burnin fire.
Look! 2! Da! Sky! With my head 2 da sky there is no down no upper no more.
It’s up so don’t stay up 2 my whoas dats part of it.
Look up high on this day of time and feel da bleedin of our season.
And! Say! Stop! Da! Killin!
And start a new drip 2 da kids all over da world.
Atl. Chi-Town. New Orleans. MDA. Cali. NY.
East. West. North. South.
(Help some one b4 ya hurt dem)

Fences

People who run prisons know they intend to do us harm. The proof? They put fences around these places before we ever get here. The reason they put the fences up is, they know they intend to harm us, and they know that any reasonable person would try to run away. They aren’t “helping” us or making us “better” people. They’re hurting us. They’re making us less likely to succeed. And they know it. So that means people who run prisons know they are making future crime more likely, not less. They know they are creating future crime, future victims, future imprisonment, future losses for society all the way around. If they were helping us, if they believed they were helping us, they wouldn’t put the fences up. They wouldn’t need fences. If they offered us wisdom and skills and empowerment, we’d all stay violently. There would be no need for a fence. You don’t put fences around a pizza party. You put fences around a torture factory.
They know how to help us. They could help us and empower us if they wanted to. People go into basic training in the military and leave there after 8 weeks, instilled with a whole new way of living, a whole new sense of themselves, a whole new vision and set of skills. Our sentences are longer than eight weeks. We leave prison without all that wonderful stuff that only takes eight weeks. They would help us if they really wanted to apply the science of that they know. They don’t want to. They want things the way they are. They profit off of human suffering. If they are protecting the public from us, who protects the public from them? Maybe the responsibility falls to us to take them down. There’s that fence. We’re locked in here with them. We might as well do something to change the world. We outnumber them. ~Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain 

What I Know

I know how cold steel feels when the handcuffs are so tight you loose all feeling in your hands
I know how it feels to have no friends, to be surrounded by prisoners who will pretend
I know how it feels to have a pigs boot in your back, to write letters and never get non back
I know how it feels to be hungry at night, because the shit they feeding us just isn’t right
I know how it feels to be locked in a cell 24-7 for years at a time, how it feels to need love but in this place there’s never none around
I know how it feels to want to kill the oppressor, but these doors are their protectors
I know how it feels to be abandoned and neglected, to be dehumanized and disrespected to be reactionary and reckless
I know how to tell the time by the sounds around me, the screeching of the wheels on the food cart means its time to eat, the jingle of the keys means the pigs are trying to creep
I know how it feels to wait on mail call all day and when its time the pig passes you right by, and you tell yourself you’ll get some next time, but you know that’s a lie
But I don’t know how my daughters voice sounds, I’ve been deprived of my phone calls for years at a time
I don’t know how a hug feels, because I’m confined or the color of my mama’s eyes because I’ve been gone for a long time
I don’t know the name of my sister’s kids, we lost contact a long time ago, nor do I know if my brother is back in prison, my mom dont write to tell me so
I don’t know how freedom feels cause I have none, nor do I know my father so I’m a bastard just like my son
I don’t know what’s right when all I’m surrounded by is wrong or what family is when all mine are gone
I don’t know the smell of spring when the foul smell of solitary confinement is all I smell, I don’t know if there is a heaven but I know there is a hell. Because I live there. 
Dare to Struggle Dare To Win
Shine White 

More Reports of Abuse from DeKalb Jail: Blocked Windows, Overflowing Toilets, Religious Discrimination, Dirty Water

Atlanta ABC and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee have been collecting reports of abuses within the DeKalb Jail. One incarcerated man, HL, called a number that had been chalked on the sidewalk outside the jail on May 15. He wanted to publicize abuses but without his name attached since he is afraid of retaliation by guards. HL said that during the protest on May 15 guards came into the cells with paintball guns and threatened to shoot inmates for banging on the windows. During that protest, people incarcerated in the jail put signs up in the windows for the public to read. Some smashed holes in the windows and shouted to the protesters or attempted to pass messages and examples of the rotting food through. Another man who called ABC on May 21 says the windows have since been blocked by some kind of film, a sticky paper or plastic. Protesters tabling below confirm that the windows are opaque in a section of the jail facing the sidewalk. This will prevent imprisoned people from sending messages using signs or seeing the ABC number. The United Nations has a “Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners” signed by the US that requires windows to allow in fresh air, and keeping prisoners in the dark is also prohibited. ABC also received a report on May 17 that the lights in many cells are broken.

HL also reports that the jail is “nasty, there is mold in the shower. They feed us on brown trays they’ve had for probably 20 years. The trays themselves are moldy and smell bad.” The trays have holes in them that water seeps into when they get washed, so mold grows on the inside.

Sheriff Man, the administrator in charge of the jail, has said protesters are being unproductive because he says they do not file formal complaints. But reports from those who have tried to use the complaint system show it to be a sham. HL says he has complained via the kiosk and filed a formal grievance. No complaint number is given when a grievance is filed. It is supposed to take 14 days but actually takes 60 days to get a response. When a response is finally given, you are required to accept their answer no matter what and cannot complain again. There is a note that the issue is going to be addressed but no one ever actually follows up, and the issue is never addressed.

HL says the toilet in the cell works, but they lock the door to the cell during the day and the toilet in the commons area doesn’t work and overflows with sewage. He has digestive health issues and needs to use the toilet frequently and the broken toilet gets in the way of this and creates an unhealthy condition in the jail.

Protesters have been setting up tables outside of the jail and speaking to people coming out since mid-April. Last week they spoke to a Muslim woman who had been arrested for a traffic ticket a few weeks before and held overnight. Her headscarf was immediately confiscated when she arrived and was never returned. She also was served nothing but a pork sandwich which she could not eat, so she did not eat for her whole overnight stay before being bailed out.

Also on May 21,  ABC got a call from a Muslim man in DeKalb jail, KR. he reports that according to regulations Muslims are supposed to receive meals before sunrise and after sunset during the month of Ramadan, but they have not been getting their trays until after sunrise. This means they’re not able to eat before the day. KR says Muslims do not receive evening trays until 10 p.m. or later.  This means they get one meal a day. The meal is supposed to be larger for Muslims during Ramadan, who are only eating before sunrise and after sunset, but they are not. It is the same meager tray that the other prisoners get for each meal, and previous reports have indicated that these trays are not enough food for the day even when they receive three a day.

KR also says that about a week ago, there were signs up in the common area saying not to drink the water or shower in it, and it was coming out of the faucets brown. But there were no signs in the cells themselves, so he woke up in his cell and did not see the signs before he made soup with some from the cell faucet. He says these signs were up once about a week ago and twice the week before that. Water was provided in orange coolers in the common areas.

Another man wrote in a post card from the jail, “The officers don’t  respond to the call buttons and sometimes treat us inhumanely”. He mentioned mold, poor food, and unfair disciplinary procedures as well. “Just because we are inmates and prisoners our lives matter too!! It’s so much goes on in between these walls it’s not being brought to the light!! I’m praying and hoping I can change that!!”


Mistreatment rife in Dekalb Jail; jail blocks calls to ABC phone

Atlanta Anarchist black cross has been speaking to people outside the DeKalb County Jail and receiving numerous phone calls from inmates and their family members revealing abusive conditions within the jail. Although the phone originally used to accept calls from prisoners was blocked by the jail system, ABC got a new number and has been receiving multiple calls since. They include complaints of inadequate and inedible food, a rampant mold infestation, a standard practice of medical neglect, and violence and retaliation by guards against people who make complaints.

One woman who spoke to ABC on May 17th said she had to call repeatedly to demand that her son receive medical care that he had been requesting; it was one or two months before he received care. She did not want to give her name because she feared reprisals by guards against her son if she speaks out against the abuse. “I wouldn’t want anything to happen to him… You got to protect your loved ones who are in there, the guards can do anything at all.”

Her fear is not without grounds; guards retaliated violently against the men who sparked protests after photos of them with handmade signs went viral in April are in solitary. their families were not able to hear from them for a month after the photos went viral. when one of them, Darnell Thompson, was able to finally get a postcard out, he reported that his solitary confinement will last until June 7th. Other inmates reported that the three were beat up and had their cell ransacked after the photos went viral.

Another mother told ABC that her son was beaten by guards.

A third mother who spoke to ABC also chose to remain anonymous. She said her son has been told that they are going to stop him receiving his medications for bipolar disorder. She does not know why.

A fourth mother also reported making numerous official complaints against the jail and the mental health staff for refusing to take her son’s mental issue seriously.

An inmate named Matthew Burkins called ABC on May 17th. He said that he began having pain in his chest while breathing a few days after he was brought to the jail. He suspected it was due to the mold infestation. He spent four weeks making a medical requests every day or every other day. He experienced delays in being seen and when he did go to the medical floor they just checked his vital signs and made sure they were within normal limits and then decided that he was okay and sent him back to his floor without treatment. Burkins also reported that it was not until six weeks after he arrived at the jail that he began receiving his regular prescribed medication. The jail staff kept saying that they were unable to verify his prescriptions. It was not until he put in a request at the kiosk saying that he was suicidal that he finally began receiving them; he has been doing much better since. Burkins also said the light is broken in his cell and in many others, meaning that he is not able to study and prepare for his upcoming court case. He has filed formal grievances, but he says, “the grievances don’t mean nothing, they [guards] can get away with murder and still be working the next day.”

Another inmate who called and identified himself just as Victor says his area is on lockdown for 21 hours a day, and he is only out on the floor from 11 am to 2 p.m. Victor also says that the food is inadequate. Breakfast might be oatmeal or grits, and lunch goulash or chicken patties, just a sandwich for dinner with nothing to drink. Victor was also concerned about retaliation for speaking out. He said, “a lot of people come up in here missing, a lot of people come up in here dead. Especially if they don’t got no family” outside to advocate for them.

On Wednesday May 15, a spirited demonstration took over Memorial Avenue. The original ABC phone number was announced for protesters who got arrested to call for assistance with bail, and for people already in the Dekalb jail to speak out about conditions. One of the police at the protest made a show of listening to the number, writing it down and then making a phone call. Less than a day later, that number was blocked by the jail so that no one inside could dial out to it.

Shortly after the beginning of the demonstration, heavily armed police made four violent arrests. Protesters were thrown to the ground and charged with disorderly conduct and blocking a street or sidewalk.

During the protest, people incarcerated in the jail were breaking windows and attempting to pass messages through the holes to the crowd below. One person tried to pass out food to show how moldy and inedible it was. Others shouted out of the holes, one saying that a correctional officer named King was choking someone whose hands were cuffed behind his back. Others put up signs in the windows for the protesters to read, one said I love U.

The next night, May 16, there was another loud demonstration. Protesters banged on drums outside the jail, while inmates banged on the windows to the beat. Police outnumbered protesters by a factor of about two. The sidewalks were lined with barricades. A new phone number not yet blocked by the jail was written in chalk on the sidewalk so that prisoners on that side of the jail would be able to see it–several who called had seen it that way. The number has also been circulating in the jail by word of mouth.

Protesters have decided to return each day with a table and literature to speak to people coming and going from the jail.

Knockin Doors Down For The Mental Health

“The primary cause of suicide is not individual temperament but forces in the social environment. In other words, suicide is caused primarily by external factors, not internal ones.”
~Revolutionary Suicide – Huey P Newton~

Revolutionary Greetings,

In adherence with the beloved Komrade Keith “Malik” Washington, Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter. This is the year of “knockin doors down”, and we must start with the doors of solitary confinement. It was estimated in 2017 that over 87,000 prisoners across Amerika are being held in solitary confinement. Despite the many studies done by neurologists around the world proving that solitary confinement is a neglected social-ecological-environmental risk factor that worsens and causes mental illness.

I ask the readers to take a ride with me to North Carolina the home of 56 razor-wire plantations, where a prisoners life can be measured with a grain of sand and the tyrants rule with atrocities. Where the walls of several of these razor-wire plantations snatched the life away from nine prisoners in the year of 2018. According to North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) news release nine prisoners died in 2018 by suicide:

Benhamin Williford, died Dec 18 at Mary Correctional, Williford was serving a 35-year sentence for arson and second degree murder.

Brandon Lineberger, died Nov 2 at Pasquotank Correctional Lineberger was incarcerated for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury. He was to be released in 2033.

  • David Atkins, who died Oct 1 at Piedmont Correctional, was serving two years for a probation violation.
  • Larry Bowman, died Aug 30 at Maury Correctional, Bowman was serving a life sentence for first degree murder
  • Matthew Howlett, who died Aug 9th at Bentie Correctional was serving time for breaking and entering
  • John Dalton, died April 19 at Central Prison, he was serving seven years for habitual felon
  • Jermaine Johnson, died April 7 at Marion Correctional, he was serving a life sentence for first degree murder.
  • Michael Grant, died Feb 5 at Maury Correctional, he was serving a life sentence for first degree murder
  • Robert Spricer, died Dec 31 at Nash Correctional, he was serving a 77-year sentence for first degree sexual offenses

These are the nine prisoners that (NCDPS) claims died from suicide, but there is one prisoner that (NCDPS) doesn’t list as a suicide for the year 2018. That’s the komrade Freddie Pickett, who died April 29 at Polk Correctional, he was to be released 2021 after surviving twenty years within these razor-wire plantation. In a previous article I wrote are the details of his gruesome murder, it can be read here. But (NCDPS) officials documented his death as a suicide. Komrade Pickett’s family was told by (NCDP) officials that his cause of death was suicide, (NCDPS) officials told reporters that his cause of death was suicide. If this was true at all then I question why isn’t Freddie Pickett’s name amongst the other nine prisoners? Because Komrade Pickett didn’t commit suicide he was wantonly murdered.

Suicide Nothing New

In the last 28 years there have been over 93 suicides reported (I’m sure there were may that weren’t reported) to had taken place within NC razor-wire plantations. Since 2015 there have been 25 suicides in NC prisons, three in 2015, seven in 2016, six 2017 and nine in 2018. All these prisoners were being housed in solitary confinement. Take note that three out of the nine prisoners listed above were being housed at Maury Correctional. Maury Correctional is one of the only three close custody camps in NC to provide mental health services; there were four but Lanesboro Correctional is in the process of being shut down and transformed into a womyns facility due to the corruption of staff and the many deaths that occurred there. Maury Correctional is said to have adequate mental health services that provide programs that focus on serving prisoners suffering from mental health disorders. Being that the prisons are over populated and there is a staff shortage, a majority of prisoners suffering from mental health disorders are impeded from participating in these programs. They’re forced to be house at facilities that don’t provide adequate mental health services. Being that Maury Correctional houses regular population I was housed there for a brief stint in 2017. I know it to be factual that there is a security risk due to the lack of staff. A reporter for the Charlotte Observer reported that in 2018 Maury Correctional had an average monthly vacancy rate of 14 percent. But there are several staff psychiatrists employed there. So why are there more suicides at this facility? Simple…neglect.

Broken Promises

In 2016 (NCDPS) claimed that they were releasing a plan to curb prison suicides. The plan was to train staff to recognize suicidal tendencies, teach staff how to respond to suicidal attempts and better monitor prisoners who are released from suicide watch. Reported by a reporter for News & Observer starting Sept 1 2016, apart from the aforementioned plan (NCDPS) would ensure that (Level 2) mental health prisoners seeking psychiatric help and (Level 3) mental health prisoners taking psychotropic medications would no longer serve more than 30 days per year in solitary confinement and are not to be housed on Super-max (H-Can) where I’m currently being housed. To the contrary, there have been no changes but only increases in the number of suicides. This is supported by the fact that 2018’s suicides marked the highest in the state’s history. So much for the plan to curb suicides. Prisoners aren’t monitored after being released from suicide watch, they aren’t’ even being monitored on suicide watch. Prisoners who attempt suicide are placed in a cell with video surveillance (with a camera that may or may not work) for twenty-four hours or until a psychiatrist comes to ask the prisoner if he is having suicidal thoughts. Often times the prisoner tells the psychiatrists no even though he may still be having suicidal thought because being that he has been stripped naked, placed in a cold cell that’s filthy, forced to eat his food with his fingers and often humiliated by the officers, telling the psychiatrist that he is not having suicidal thoughts means the prisoner is then placed back in his cell. Still there he’ll have to fight the demons of solitary confinement alone. 70% of the prisoners housed here at Polk Correctional Super-max unity are either (Level 2) mental health seeking psychiatric help or (Level 3) mental health taking psychotropic medications. This is a unit where prisoners are confined to a small cell (6×9) 23 hours a days and the 24th hour is spent in a small sally port to pace back and forth. No outside recreation, no phone calls, and no contact with others besides your sally port roommate. 63% of the prisoners housed in solitary confinement here in NC are (Level 2) or (Level 3) mental health who are being forced to serve long-stints in solitary confinement.

The Oppressors Recipe for Killing a Prisoner-dies-in-cell-fire-as-guards-watch

Of course the dispiteous living conditions of solitary confinement is a main ingredient. No socializing, no contact with family members (only via postal mail), and idle time to hate the past and fear the future. A majority of prisoners housed in solitary confinement are prescribed some type of psychotropic medication. The most common drug prescribed to prisoners is Zoloft. It’s prescribed to prisoners who suffer from depression, obsessive compulsive problems; its used to treat post-traumatic stress and to treat social anxiety problems. All the aforementioned disorders derive from long-stints in solitary confinement. Do we really believe that the oppressor want to cure us? Of course not, there has to be a hidden agenda, but its only hidden to the unconscious one.

According to Clinical Drug Information LLC, Zoloft has an FDA Warning! This is due to the side effects and cautions of taking this drug. It raises the chance of suicidal thoughts or attempts. This risk may be greater in people who have had these thoughts or actions in the past. Some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking Zoloft. Taking this drug may cause low sodium levels like headaches, trouble focusing, memory problems, feeling confused, weakness, seizures or change of balance. Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds, coughing up blood, blood in the urine. Taking this drug can cause very bad health problems that may not go away and could cause death as well. All the aforementioned side effects and cautions were provided by Clinical Drug Information LLC. Other drugs such as fluoxetine and hydroxyzine have FDA Warnings and have similar side effects as Zoloft and are also prescribed to prisoners. If the oppressor cant mentally murder us then they count on the prescribed drugs to physically murder us.

The Heart of the Hydra

Kenneth E. Lassiter has been employed by (NCDPS) well over 20 years and was promoted to Director of Prisons after serving many years as the Superintendent (Tyrant) of Central Prison, where many prisoners have been murdered at the hands of his subordinates and where neglect and the rooms of solitary confinement have cause the death of many mental health prisoners. Kenneth Lassiter cooks up false information and serves it cold to the press and other concerned members of society. He claims that progress is being made, this so-called progress just continues their repression. And I’m duty bound to let you know what is really going on without allowing his reprisals to deter me.

I am being held captive at N.C.’s only Super-max Facility by his call, because I advocate for the suppressed prisoners and I strive to expose these miscreants for the vampires they are. Vampires hate the light and with this ink pen and the assistance of my komrades on the outside I intend to shed light on all their atrocities. The facts are that mental health services aren’t being provided, mental health prisoners are being neglected and wantonly abused. There are 96 prisoners housed on this Super-max unit where 60 of them are wither (Level 2) or (Level 3) mental health. But Kenneth Lassiter and his cronies would have the public to believe that there are no mental health prisoners housed on Super-max, that would lead the public to believe that their 2016 plan to curb suicides is being implemented. But its not and until outside organizations and activists start applying pressure on the outside nothing will change but the surmounting number of prisoners who kill themselves with each passing day.

As long as the oppressor is allowed to lie prisoners will die. As Huey P. Newton “suicide is caused primarily by external factors, not internal ones”. The external factors are these dispiteous living conditions: no outside recreation, no phone calls, and long term solitary confinement, all the above are a part of life in solitary confinement. So let’s start “knockin doors down” and liberate these prisoners’ suffering from the mental health disorders. For those of us who are resilient and strong of mind and body this is our duty. If you are not prepared to sacrifice then you’re not serious and if you’re not serious its best you get out of the way because the Panther and the Elephant are on the loose.

Postscript: A Call to Action

Komrades, its a must that I echo the call of the Komrade Keith “Malik” Washington. All activists, human right lawyers, organizations, non-profits, cadres and revolutionaries who support the marginalized prisoners held captive within the many razor-wire plantations I entreat that everyone answer his call. He and komrade Jason Lenard are leaders and both are members of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party – Prison Chapter, which serves the people and is duty bound to transform these slave pens of oppression into schools of liberation. To quote our Minister of Defense “Cointelpro is alive and well. The political police are as active as ever in repressing dissent and the liberation struggles of oppressed nationalities within Amerika”.

People we must protect our leaders, by allowing the oppressor to suppress the voices of /Komrade Malik and Komrade Jason you are allowing the voice of over 2 million prisoners to be suppressed for they are the voice for those who don’t have one. I was transferred last year to N.C.’s Super-max facility for echoing last year’s Aug 21 prison strike. I don’t have many outside resources that support my cause. So I ride the wave of our leaders and strive to serve the prisoners here in N.C. to the best of my ability. Komrade George Jackson said, “it should never be easy for them to destroy us” so please help by offering a small amount of time to our struggle.

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win
All Power to the People
Joseph “Shine White” Stewart
Deputy Minister of Defense
White Panther Organization
NC-Branch