Category Archives: Letters from prisoners

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

Report back from NC prison striker: Seg for 6 months for protesting

I just received your newsletter today. Thank you. But I’m no longer at Hyde. I was moved to Bertie, for my role in being one of the three people who organized the protest at Hyde Correctional in Swan Quarter, NC with outside parties organized by ST.

I saw a article y’all had wrote about the four inmates being held in segregation. I am one of those four, and I only know of two others. Because they were with me at Hyde to organize and participate in the peaceful protest. Our names as followed: Todd Martin, Randy Watterson, and myself Jace Buras. The protest which was peaceful, was supposed to start on August 21st 2018. I told T&R and S that it would be better to do it on August 20th 2018 so the police, if got wind of it, would still believe it was on the 21st. On the day of August 20th, around 1 p.m. five or more cars pulled into Hyde’s parking lot, and out came many protesters. They were marching, blowing trumpets, beating drums, videotaping everything. All the while inmates hung up self-made banners saying “In Solidarity”, “Better Food”, “Better Wages”. Simple heartfelt messages asking to be treated as human beings and not slaves & animals. While the peaceful protest went on, prison guards had their weapons pointed at us and the outside protesters. In order to get the 400-plus inmates to no longer protest and cause friction inside the prison, they closed the yard and put Hyde on lockdown. To which in spirit of the protest, everyone went peacefully inside. Many men, some with no release date under NC’s structured sentencing law, had tears in their eyes. Why? Because it showed to them that there are people who still believe in them and want them to be free and productive members of society. Which is all of us what. Even under such harsh sentencing, we just want a second chance and to be viewed as men, not convicts. After the prison shut down, days later I was put in the hole for backlog and pending investigation. The following day so was Todd and Randy. We three went on a hunger strike starting that day. The following Monday we were shipped away from Hyde. I was moved to Bertie, and have no clue where Todd and Randy went. For my understanding they were and still are in segregation. I myself was placed on ICON for 180 days, which is long-term isolation, my release date was pushed to February of next year, and I was labeled srg level 3 for a non gang infraction. To this, I stand proudly  still and hope that all men and women who deserve a second chance at life is given it. You may lock me away and throw away the key. But you cannot take my voice.

In solidarity, Jace

Jace Buras #1522417
Bertie Correctional
PO Box 129
Windsor, NC 27983

PREVA1L: Poetry from Behind Enemy Lines

 September 17, 2018
“PREVA1L”
Daily and nightly I’m warring to reach the other level!
Whereas I’m trapped serving within a war where a lot of individual don’t love each other!
Due to the fact, a lot of individuals don’t love each other they telling on one another!
However, the hating, snitching, and telling won’t even stop the dirt!
I was born with some ancestors that didn’t make it and some of us in pain from putting in work!
Nonetheless, from the lies, blood, deceits, and misery I can’t escape!
At the end of the night and day our decisions can end us locked down 24 hours in a cell!
Some of us experience so much dirt or betrayal; especially from some that has sworn not to tell but violate and tell!
In which minority of the individual in this war are African Americans, and a lot of African Americans are under the divide and conquer spell!
Because a lot of African Americans are under the divide and conquer liberation with majority has failed!
Being that liberation with majority has failed; a lot of individuals are scared to rebel!
Then because liberation with a lot of African Americans have failed; some individuals are serving until their dying day or dying night in jail or prison cell!
Is there any secret how must we as brothers and sisters of the strong struggle “PREVA1L!”

“Hard Living Easy Struggle”

“Hard Living Easy Struggle”
Today i realized that its hard to Live and so easy to struggle. Sometimes i cry from stress of struggle. Over time i felt a need for speed to live, but the hurt an pain of struggle showed me reality is real. Reality showed me there are two things guaranteed for us to bare, thats pain and suffering and life an death. You can never run from what is destined to be, So much Karma i pray God allow my soul to be at peace. We as people are dying to live. But we are so blinded by our souls that we are simply living to die. I was also taught that people were put in this world for one reason/(a purpose). But then at times that confuses me, I don’t know i guess this is who i was destined to be. Only God can show me who i am or who i am to be. Never be afraid to cry. Be afraid to cry inside. Showing a teaful smile filled with Disappointment of failures on the road of doing right. God knows i weigh sins of forgiveness, walked in so much darkness only you can be my witness. When we’re in the dark you see who’s really with you, but to blinded to see God is always with you. Honestly i hope my pain is felt, Cause each day gone is another day left. Soon it will be time to breathe, I just pray that the struggle allows me to be free. No one is perfect an never will be, Love an learn from mistakes an understanding experiences make you see who you are chosen to be. Love what you have an be grateful, for what you don’t. I thank God forgiving me wisdom, for waking me up everyday an for every meal, also for the understanding of struggle and the will to live.
By: Wayne Roberson (St8 Shot)
I also want to give a shout out to Willie (King Coe) Coe, he was lockdown for standing for our rights against the police. If you read this S.L.P for life My Brother

AmeriKKKa: Poetry from behind enemy lines

AmeriKKKa
By: Robert Jones
AKA Universal “Da Flauq”
The color of my skin won’t contradict this proclamation / Until our eyes visualize the end of segregation / America is bias and don’t seek justification / It makes you wonder who’s the head of the United Nation / And will they help us with the racist and discrimination / They’ll rather orchestrate the violence of the TV station / Wildfires, school shooting, police brutalization / What’s crazy they is not the only one, dating / Once we sit down start having subconscious meditation / You’ll believe in socialism just like that Queen Stacey Abrams / We need more people like her politics they should persuaded / They hate the revolution but the world it needs some changing / Kids think it’s cool selling drugs and walking round with banger / They Hood celebrities can’t say that’s not the same as famous / To live in peace what I’ve been waiting for no longer patients To see somebody hit that seat ain’t Klan or a Mason /

Changed by a mentor in prison

As Salaam Alaikum 
Couple of weeks ago I lost someone important to me, but not to death. Valdosta transfered my mentor, the person who changed me from the grimey and slimey ways I was living and turned my heart to being loyal and doing good deeds in the second chance I was given at living on compound again after the 18 months on tier 2 for another assault on inmate! The old me had no understanding and no sense in direction only destruction to the same ones I’m trying to educate and bad to this path I’ve been shown! Stressing my mama, turning my baby mama who I love unconditionally the other was forcing her to live her life without me causing me more pain and anger. Blaming the world when the only one to blame is me! 
My mentor told me take the pain and heart break like a man because you are the cause of your own down fall not the next man! He told me you are what you put out and you’re the only person who was to suffer physically but mentally the ones you love unconditionally suffer and that makes me selfish! Time in that room being chastised by my mentor every day brought me to my turning point. I relied on a being I never once in life thought about going to for anything, GOD! 
Now I’m a Muslim like you Aziz, the same trigga from B2 at Reidville who had no direction and angry mad because people avoided me! I’ve learned how to deal with my issues and defeat the evil whisper call Jinn I live by Surah 5:45 Now I’m trying to save my son and do good deeds along the way! I’m still an active Blood but I’m a Righteous Big homie! So if I can change my ways of thinking and living I know you can too. Cause your kids they do pay attention to your every move, so make sure they see you move the right way and live right 
Rasulullash 
By: JaCorie Hinton Brother Baqi the Everlasting One AKA Trigga 1000

“Why Doesn’t The Sun Shine On Me” collection by prison poet Exile

“Why Doesn’t The Sun Shine On Me”
By: Exile
It’s a lonely day and the sun isn’t shining on me as I sit behind these bars. No one seem to have compassion or humility toward the incarcerated. So many forget about me, leaving me in this darkness that consume my presence. It seem that prison is contagious because no one wants to assist a brother in need. It’s hard to feel warmth and sun rays from this cell I call my home. As an outcast my heart is crush by I refuse to lose hope. Because whatever is waiting on me just as the sun rises the next day. Faith is in my corner, truth is guarding its place. Hope has made me face each day. I know truly someone out there wishes for me to see the sun shine. But today isn’t that day, I won’t lose hope so as this falls upon your lap, give me some thought. This is just a reminder because we move so fast and miss so much. Yes, the sun isn’t shine on me but in the future, it will be.
“Can You Hear The Walls Cry”
By: Exile
Imagine you can feel the pain that comes from behind these walls. Silent are some if these walls could talk, emotions are stall. So intense is the distress that can be felt from the floors. Groans from the poor soul that has lost focus and control. Left to handle the stress which caress my heart at the door. And everyday the guards inflict more wounds to my core. Loss to this weary world, can you hear the cries from my walls. No one cares, I am a distant memory that all. So with poem I hope it open your eyes to let me in your arms.
“Truest Thought”
By: Exile
My truest thought was held inside of this cell, definition of pain written on my heart scroll, silent cries emerge from my tattered tortured soul, misery invaded and stole my loved residing place, it caused my entire to suffer and ache, loved ones abandoned me when I need them most. Envy could’ve been my company but pain was more close. Pain has truly given my life an overdose. No mercy dwells in trials and tribulations, constantly dealing with incarceration while time keeps me conseal in its shadows. Allowing me to appreciate life, love, and freedom to the fullest and also to see who really was sincere in my time of need, hated, despised neglected, mostly forgotten was things I received. With few choices and not many options, hurt encraved deep in the depths inside of me. A maze of misery with no map, guide, or light to remove this darkness I see. Long gone are the thoughts I cherish so much, in their absence is this cell which has bind so many of us. 
“In Life”
By: Exile
Some things in life can’t be tested by time 
Even inside of this cell I can speak my mind 
Because so few blossom like the fruit of earth
Yet behind these bars you fail to know your worth
So many left to rot on the vine. So many left to rot on the vine. 
But in their absence I call you mine. 
Yes the labor of the harvest outweighs worth, because I paid attention only to lust. 
You are reason I can awake and trust
Hot so your value, it exceeds degrees, even though you feel far away I feel your touch.
In this life I live I only have so much.
“Jungle”
By: Exile
This jungle that has me trap, with no way to escape.
I am force to suffer and humble my state. 
So many hard lesson that have confused my common senses.
I refuse to let these bars steal my confidence.
Beyond this cell I can be a person of interest.
Yet I let so many small things pull me in a ditch.
Every time I seem to gain some ground a distraction causes me to relent.
In this jungle call prison I have to be cautious or be forced to commit. All thru this jungle it seems I go thru stages like this. The only thing that will bring joy is being on the other side of the fence.

An Appeal by a Transgender Prisoner for Unity

Valdosta State Prison is fully out of control. On August the 8th 2018 an inmate killed another inmate. It has been a very hot summer here, so much violence, stabbings, so many deaths this year and the year is not over! The problem is people incarcerated are not understanding it’s time to set aside the hate, envy, beef with each other this is a time we as human beings need to come together no matter what gender! Unity is strength, unity is love, unity is hope, unity is completeness, unity is correction, unity we will stand, get answers. Without doubt in prayers this is from a heart that have been trouble so many years of incarceration. Divided we all continue to fall no matter what beef you have with another, come together is foremost going to get better results! Stop killing each other! And fight, confront reality and be a source of empowerment to each other! One another stand for what each them all tiny, small, or else it’s going only get worser! Divided we fall. Recognize or get recognized
Written by my pain and long struggles by chance tears reach its destination as I am fully transgender seeking hope, a new growth, I’ve been incarcerated 19 years totally this journey has been a war, still is a war.  Never accept defeat despite our incarceration or color. I’m talking all humankind in best regards. I am a beautiful person in caged within behind these walls. If there’s anyone that would like to write me please do. In all due respect I’m here I solely exist for the poor, blind, and the foremost anyone.. True.. 
In best regards,
Loyalty 
Never forget loyalty 
Never betray another..
Recognize 
or get recognized
If you would like to write to this person (or another writer published here), please use this website to contact Atl Black Cross.

Bound by Chains

Bound by chains, trapped inside this script called prison where the story never end. Where so many turn their backs on you and even forget the word friend. This is not hatred flowing through my pen, it’s truth that so many bend. Trying to rephrase words into what you want to stand. But hold on be easy I come in peace! I want you to comprehend. Don’t confuse my words because I am behind this fence. I’m loyal, dedicated, honest, and entitled to at least on matters that exist. Let me be the one to say I am ashame of my friends presence because of what most of them represent. Still bound by chains but respect goes to the stranger who listen to this.

By Exile

Imagine that you could conjure anything in your mind or cell. Would be a book, freedom, a woman, or money to help you stay in confine. With a book you only read it so many times. Freedom is priceless and precious but it starts in the mind. Money is a key factor however in prison, it’s a stressor that make you blind. How about a woman, a helpmate, someone you can relate to or express your mind. All of these sound good but one definite choice down the line. So as I close and bid you goodbye I’ll leave you this thought on why.

Charles Allen 1105887-D-1-231

Hays State Prison

Unity

Unity in these times is a necessity. Families are constantly being separated. And a fatal destruction awaits our communities without the efforts to unify. As we grow in institutions that contains disunified groups. But before I go any further you should have a clear understanding so I’ll specify. (The institutions are our communities and the disunified groups are our families.)
Now as we grow in institutions that contains disunified groups will allow some to stray and cause many to fend for their own. But if we build to change and develop unity our families it will lessen the high probability of the youth to fend for their own, which will give them a chance at avoiding being another statistic. I grow up in a very dysfunctional family most on drugs or caught up in the street life is what we call it. It consists of illegal doings and violence. Which is where I felt right at home not because of what I’m used to, but because there was no unity nor a sense of care amongst my family. So I strayed on a journey in search for something I knew existed but never had. Now I’m facing a life sentence plus five for the lack of knowledge and my curiosity for things that should have been provided to me during my childhood. But because of division I became a statistic. No education, and hardships through mass incarceration. Unity is important because it will bring the teachings, the love, care and etc. I see it as if we’re unified as a whole it itself will bring change upon the community (so let’s unify).