Category Archives: Prison conditions

Report on lockdown and conditions from inside

You know, I sit back in this hot a.. cell and look at how those people really love to think they doing right by keeping us locked in cells all day 24 hours. These the same people with color in their skin as mines.  I mean in a cell 7 days a week, and won’t let you, well it’s a problem with letting a brother go get fresh air. I’m in isolation confinement 7 days out the week and only run the phone twice a week during the weekday from 12-5pm. How am I suppose to talk with my family at those hours they work Also I serve my time behind the door. You don’t want to let me out of the hole so I can get use to being around people. Those people ruff got a cell with no window in it strip cell they call it yet got people in that shit like regular cell. Toilet don’t even work cold water don’t work 90 plus degrees outside imagine what it is in these cells? So do I deserve this? Do anyone deserve this? If anything goes in as a violent act on the other side of the prison they punish everybody. What the hell I had to do with what happen?    

So now I can’t get my visit or store, yet those dudes stabbing for nothing mad at the man you see everyday but smile at the man who let you come out your cell 2 clean up then tell you if you ain’t going to work he will lock you back down. On top of that you get mad when he don’t let you out to clean. I guess this to get a piece of mind keeping you out the cell because they letting you clean all morning then want you to lock down before they go home so your shift its like 8-4 pm. All they want to give you and what these brother are brain wash with is pack-outs which is 2 sandwiches maybe a fruit or a warden sack which contains 3 small ass bags of chips a mini rice crispy treat Lance crackers 2 mini skittles peppermint candy candy bar and juice. You slave for that payment which you rarely get but beg them to give you. I can’t even complain or cry no more I make this as a teacher, less and principle. Teach. Teach me 2 be careful in life. Don’t get caught no more Learn this lesson look at what I’m missing out on. Principle don’t let them tell you are wrong when you’re right POHB

Let prisoners volunteer deportation

For over a year I have listened to Donald Trump villainize and slander Latino people and the dreamers of Honduras and Mexico by accusing them of being murderers, rapists, thieves and drug dealers is a political attempt to spread moral panic of turpitude across the United States to feed his fan base of followers using terms to describe them as aliens or invaders.
The only thing these indigenous people are guilty of is being poor and seeking a better life for themselves and their families. My brother in law is Guillermo Acuña is Latino. He came from an impoverished country with nothing but the shirt on his back and the desire to make a better life for himself. That man worked 16 and 18 hour days of long hard labor just to survive in this country and he never complained. He married my sister Tammie and together they have 3 of the most fantastic successful diverse children, two of which served in our US military. Guillermo is one of the most gentlest, hardworking, kind and decent law abiding men ever known, and he has been a great provider to my sister and the community. While I admire Trump’s attempts to open the doors for lifers, I’m jumping off the trump train after hearing that story a few months ago about that poor father and little girl found face down in the river trying to cross into our country because he wanted a better life for his little girl. Now the tyrant has issued executive orders for ICE to raid hundreds of thousands families’ homes to deport those who were fortunate to live here and escape poverty. Now he is forcing them to again leave behind their lives and homes for ICE and criminals to loot. America was once called the land of the free but that was before dictatorship and imperialism turned it into the land of the deprived and incarcerated. It was the Indians who resided in this land before my people “white” European immigrants invaded and stole this land from them. Not long thereafter my forefathers invited, traded, bought and kidnapped Afro-Americans, Hispanics and Chinese from their native countries to domesticate and enslave them. After grueling decades of being tortured through severe whippings, beatings, rape and attempted extermination of an entire race the immigrant Afro-Americans were freed. So isn’t it fair to say that both “blacks” and “whites” are immigrants too. I say “we the church” of every denomination, “we the Democrats” from all walks of life and “we the people” of a civilized race living in the US should be outraged at our federal government for this blatant inhumane and insensitive attacks against these dreamers and should be getting in your cars and driving to our borders and to Washington to show support for these human beings and we should be ridiculing and throwing stones at these ICE agents and anyone else who makes their living off the suffering of others. We should be storming the White House in protest. I’ve been in prison for over 11 years for a crime I didn’t commit because of turning in corrupt police and tyranny. What if it were their fathers or children drowned in the river? Outside of my conviction, I’m a convicted felon with a drug record, deport me! If they wanna put an end to mass incarceration, then allow all of us United States prisoners serving life sentences volunteer to be deported or banished in exchange for those good folks who’ve done nothing wrong to deserve the unconscionable curve life has thrown at them. Our government has oppressed the small business owners, the working class, feminists, lgbt communities, people of color, its citizens, environmentalists concerning climate change, the dreamers and its prisoners.

I say let prisoners serving life sentences of death by incarceration be allowed to volunteer their own deportation. One evil incarcerated man or woman for one honest dreamer. Give the Honduran children and their families a chance. They’ve done nothing wrong. I Randy Watterson volunteer first and I’d rather die at the hands of poverty than repressed in an American prison in solitary confinement simply for petitioning my government for a redress or my grievances at last year’s Aug 20 2018 POW movement. In closing, I’d like to say Farewell to my comrade Keith Washington in Texas who made parole and echo his shout out to all ABC members who helped make this possible. And I would like to remind all prisoners to start organizing for our upcoming international 2020 prison strike and I hope Ga prisoners and all prisoners in all US Federal and state prisons will join NC and Alabama and other prisoners when the shout out goes out. Last year thousands of prisoners across 17 states joined in solidarity. I hope we have double that in 2020. If we all stand in solidarity to push for parole for everyone even lifers and we refused to work and to eat their food for 45 days, we can force their hand and go for the longest strike in history. Trump’s government shutdown ain’t shit compared to what we can shut down if we all join hands in solidarity. No violence, just sit down on them. So keep your heads up all of my brothers and sisters behind bars. Until every cage is empty and in solidarity,
By: Randy A Watterson #0427985
527 Commerce Dr
Elizabeth City, N.C. 27909

Crimson Mafia Family: Stand up against administration instead of fighting each other

Greeting to My Brothers, Crimson Tears;
I would like to know why is it that we don’t stand up to the administration; why is it we wont fight for our rights when one of us have been done wrong. But you all call each other you brothers. For the ones that are in these gangs and what not. How is it that you say you have me or will ride for me, bust your gun for me, but when this Warden Kevin Sparyberry and Deputy Warden of Security Jacob Beasley at Hays State Prison slap your brother while in handcuffs and did it due to he wouldn’t tell them what they wanted to know. But this is your brother that you said you are willing to die and kill for but y’all will kill a inmate quick over words, soups, honey bun, even kill a innocent person that name has be slander all through the Tier 2. Just so that everyone can have something to talk about. The white man has brainwashed my brothers’ mind to the point he will give us the incentive meals to where we think that we are making them do what it is that we won’t. But really they are winning. I have giving up the gang life cause its no loyalty in it. Everyone is out to cross each other. That’s why me and a former gang member has started a movement that’s call C.M.F. Crimson Mafia Family. I want to say to inmate Merweather Just because they did what they did don’t stop pushing that powerful sword that you have; and your so call blood homies ain’t no where to be to assist you or help you while you are back behind the glass. My Brothers again I say this we “need” to stand up against the administration instead of fighting and stabbing each other for nothing. Come together as one, and I promise we will win. Without us the prison can’t run. The Administration need us to run these prisons. This is our home so just know…a change is coming… The Revolution is alive and strong.
“Crimson Mafia Family”Fettizo AKA Dontero

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER HIRES TORTURER-RAPIST TREVOR MATTHEW CLARK AS LEGAL COUNSEL, PUTS PATIENTS AND STUDENTS IN DANGER

By Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain

In October 2018, Trevor Matthew Clark left his position as Assistant Chief Counsel with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC), becoming legal counsel for the Ohio State University Medical Center. In his prior employment, Clark supervised a domestic torture program for the Ohio prison system. The torture he oversaw was admittedly employed as a response to “ideological” offenses, to punish and break political undesirables for their beliefs. Clark alleged that he tortured prisoners on orders of the FBI.

I was one of those prisoners. For a year, I was subjected to a program of sleep deprivation, filthy environs without adequate soap or laundry, and starvation rations that caused me to go from 220 pounds to 155 pounds. As part of the torture regimen, during the winter, I was held in a cell where the outer window was unattached, causing me to endure intolerable cold, continually, for months. Clark intercepted mail and then provably lied to the FBI to provoke investigation after investigation. His mail theft severed my human relationships and caused me total isolation from the outside world. Clark created a “training” program to indoctrinate staff to think of me as a terrorist and then unleashed them to torment me while I was locked away and incommunicado.

Clark’s domestic torture program took pages right out of the CIA KUBARK manual, replicating the program for torture at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

In the middle of this year-long torture program, on March 27, 2012, Clark personally interrogated me and, when alone with me, he grabbed my crotch and attempted to solicit humiliating sex acts as quid pro quo to make the frame-up that he had engineered “go away.” When I did not acquiesce, he spent several years tormenting me and burning my life down, creating pretexts for my continued punishment, designed to discredit me and make me die in prison.

My sworn testimony relating details of torture and sexual abuse, related to human rights claims in international court, will soon be online at seanswain.org and @swainrocks.

In October 2018, Ohio State University Medical Center hired this sexual predator and criminal against humanity. Clark now has direct access to young, vulnerable, impressionable students and to defenseless, unsuspecting patients.

Anyone troubled by this should contact OSU Medical Center’s board of directors to demand they fire Trevor Matthew Clark. If you know students or staff, forward this article to them and encourage them to take immediate action to protect themselves and others. Urge them to circulate his photograph and to demand his termination.

Nonstudents can begin a petition drive at change.org, boycotting OSU until this sexual predator is removed. OSU Medical Center is no place for a rapist and torturer to wander the halls, seeking victims and using ruthless lawyer tricks to silence anyone coming forward. #metoo. #trevormatthewclark.

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

“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)

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!!”