Category Archives: Restrictions

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.

Lack of Unity in Prison: What the F Happened?

By: Charles Shepard
AKA ‘Su’hayb’ 
So, I started doing time in 1997 and I have been in prison in Indiana, Oklahoma and Georgia. I’ve seen the system change for the worse. On both sides! The convicts became Inmates and the movement has slowly become restricted. Its called ‘controlled movement’. Georgia prison system is the most fucked up I’ve seen from every aspect, but especially the prisoners’ mind frame. They allow sex offenders in population; its cool to ‘kick it’ with the police; and the Muslims protect the trash. I am a Muslim, but took my shahadah on the streets. In Georgia prison system it’s ‘cool’ to masturbate in the day room when females are around. What the fuck is that shit?! Gang members change flags like I change socks.

These cats will snitch on a person just because they don’t have anything going on, just to try to move into their position, but they are green and broke. Shits crazy!

I’m in a high max unit called Tier III (SMU) and can’t even pass a shot of coffee without a rat puttin in a kite. Haters! The prisoners don’t get paid to work. Only get 2 meals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. No TV’s, hotpots or lamps on the store list. You can’t order books unless the money comes off of your account.

The prisoners wont stand up for shit, they mostly all have a slave mentality, they are afraid to be locked down. Just recently at Macon State Prison the warden came in all the dorms and told the Muslims they couldn’t pray in congregation and you know what happened? The brother had a meeting and said no one prays in the day room, pray in your cells! Are you fucking kidding me. I ask why and the response is we got too much to lose! Unfucking believable.

When I started doing time, you got your paperwork checked when you came in the door if you had fucked up charges- you gotta go! If you speak to a cop- you gotta go. If the police get slick with one prisoner – we ALL fall down, and if you don’t – you gotta go.

Georgia! Pick yourselves up! You gotta learn to sacrifice to get what you want. Everyone screamin Georgia on the map, but for what? Shootin your own? Snitchin on your own? Or maybe, the most sexual predators in the chain gang? Get it together!

Feel free to contact me at:
Charles Shepard #1001527186
G.D.C.P.-SMU-LE208
P.O. Box 3877
Jackson, GA 30233

PREA/AGGRESSOR: AN ODE TO VIOLENCE

By: King Coe

Here I will describe a flawed committee called: Classification, in which prisoners are housed in like dormitories and/or cells with similar prisoners according to crime, age, size, height, and affiliations. All which basically means that our lives are subject to be taken at any moment because the system is so flawed.

In the GDC we have what is called ”Jscribe”. And it is a computer file that possess our entire institutional record and the classification ”committee” uses the info to assign us details and housing status. It consists of from my knowledge: D/W of C and T, Captain, Chief Counselor, an L.t. and a Sgt.” But prisoners aren’t given the opportunity to be present at there convenings, at least not here. There is a ”blue strip” that is in constant motion across the top of each prisoners page which identifies certain ”security risks or medical issues, etc.” that apply to that person. For instance  I’ve saw some that say: Learning Disability, do not house with codefendant (which can’t be too accurate because I was housed with my codefendant at 2 different prisons) and Vegan Menu. But one that I saw in 2011 said: Do not house with prea victim, such and such. At the time I was slightly familiar with the Prison Rape Elimination Act. But ignorant of the ”Aggressor” label. When I saw my file in 2018, I did not see this ”tag” but somehow, I seem to only be placed into these Prea/Aggressor dormitories from prison to prison within the last 4  and  1/2 years. Georgia, Hays, Macon and Hays State Prisons. So, I inquired about it. I believe that I’m old enough, wise enough and have been in the system long enough to be able to be removed from these atrocious environments. It is stereotypical to house prisoners in this extremely stressful capacity when everyone overall, in some format, qualify to be house in a close-security prison. I’ve been in prison for 10 years. I’m 35 and tired of these dormitories. If I have managed to survive this dangerous lifestyle over this amount of time without major incident: is it safe to say that I’m capable of upgrading my living arrangements? When will I be housed in a more safer and sane dorm? My work, respect, image, ethics, presentation, institutional record all speaks for itself. By response to my inquiry, as of 4-15-18 I was removed from the aggressor label. I’ve been to Tier 1 on 2 occasions but was still placed in one of the aggressor dorms. But the irony about this system is that while though my dorm is considered  the worst on the compound  miraculously we have the least violence throughout the entire prison and more targeting from administration for just being who we are: the stereotypes, outcasts, thugs, gangster, hoodlums, criminals, addicts or whatever you feel the need to label us? Think about?

Brother of Prisoner who spoke out about Dekalb Jail abuses also reports abuses

Malaya Tucker is anxiously awaiting news of her son Darnell. She is told he is in solitary confinement after having been beaten by jail guards. She has not been able to contact him since their video visit on Sunday, in which he showed her moldy food trays with insufficient food. Screenshots taken from another video visit went viral on social media on Wednesday. On Thursday, guards reportedly entered Darnell’s cell and beat him up. They put him in solitary confinement, claiming they found a contraband cell phone. This cut him off from communication with the outside.

Mrs. Tucker received news of her son from her other son, Larnell. He is also in DeKalb County Jail due to an administrative error that left an arrest warrant in effect after it had been lifted.

Larnell called his mother from the 6th floor of the jail on Saturday, and she connected him with Atlanta ABC. Larnell was willing to risk being abused himself in order to go public about the inhumane conditions. He said that another inmate who had been transferred from his brother’s floor told him today that his brother had been “jumped” by guards again. He does not know how badly hurt Darnell is.

He also described a case of medical neglect of a diabetic person. Diabetics are not given access to their insulin upon being jailed. Each person has to request it via “health request” on the jail kiosk. A notice says “it can take up to 7 days for your request to be seen”. Larnell witnessed an inmate fall ill from going too long without insulin. It was only when other inmates gathered and began yelling at the guards to give the man his medicine that he was brought downstairs to a medical facility.

Larnell also said there was mold in the food today. He was given food with black and white mold in the noodles and meat. There was so much mold that all of the food was inedible, he reported. “I threw my whole tray away… everybody threw their tray away.” Larnell says another inmate filed a report about the moldy food and held onto his tray so he could show it to someone on the outside next time he had a video visit. While we were talking on the phone, officers came up to the floor to look at the moldy food. Then 11 officers took out tazers and told everyone to get in their cells (Larnell was allowed to stay talking on the phone). The man who reported the food was surrounded by guards outside his cell as they aimed tazers at him, ordering him to get inside his cell. They took the food tray away, but refused to give him a new tray as he requested.

Larnell also reported an infestation of black mold and flies in the showers. “I have to keep a sheet under my door to keep flies out”. He sleeps with just a wool blanket.

Why is Larnell in jail? He says he has a “failure to appear” but he went to court for it in January, and the judge ruled that the warrant would be lifted if Larnell went to pretrial services once a month. But before he could report to pretrial, he was arrested for the same warrant. Now he has been waiting in jail for a month for the courts to fix their administrative error. He says he has called the office of the Public Defender every day and has never talked to the lawyer.

I asked, “are you willing to go public, knowing what your brother has gone through and the risk you’re taking?” Larnell said, “I am because this is ridiculous”.

JPay Restrictions are Discrimination

A memorandum was in reference to the restrictions of depositors who use JPay. Starting February 5, 2019 only depositors who are identified as approved visitors will be allowed to deposit money via JPay. For their loved ones incarcerated here in NC. This may not seem like a problem to some of you but allow me to explain:    

This is another form of repression as well as discrimination. 79% of prisoners incarcerated here in NC have been profiled as members of Security Risk Groups (SRG), formally known as Security Threat Groups. Being profiled as an (SRG) prisoner you face several restriction, some that no human should have to endure. Those who are profiled (SRG) aren’t allowed to receive visits from no one but immediate family members. This consists of mother, father, brother and-or sister [Security Risk Group Policy & Procedure Chapter A, Section B (H) (1)]     Children cannot be accompanied by their mother or father to visit a profiled (SRG) prisoner, the child must be accompanied by the prisoner’s immediate family. If there isn’t a healthy relationship between the child’s mother and the prisoner’s immediate family than the child as well as the prisoner are deprived of maintaining a relationship that would ensure familiarity between the child and the parent that is incarcerated.    

Furthermore, being profiled as an (SRG) prisoner in NC you’re restricted to only two phone calls a month, that’s if you’re not confined to long-stints of isolation in this case you receive no phone calls at all. Two phone calls a month also destroy any familiarity between a child and the incarcerated (SRG) profiled prisoner [Security Risk Group Policy & Procedure Chapter B Section B, (A) (2).    

All incoming and out-going mail is impeded and majority of the time “misplaced” throughout the censorship process. All profile (SRG) prisoners’ mail is sent to the (SRG) officers to be censored for any threat to security. This opens up the door for malicious mischief, profiled prisoners known for their advocacy concerning prisoners’ rights and who have outside support our mail is “misplaced” regularly. [Security Risk Group Policy & Procedure Chapter B, Section A (1) (3)] The specter of Willie Lynch runs rampant throughout the whole (SRG) Policy and Procedures.    

The qualifications required to be profiled as an (SRG) prisoner is at the discretion of the same miscreants who patrol these concrete fields daily. There isn’t a professional process that would ensure that prisoners being accused of participating in (SRG) activities receive a professional investigation to determine if the prisoner is or isn’t a member of any (SRG) formation. The smallest things such as having a tattoo of a five point start can get you profiled as an (SRG) prisoner. All it takes is for the “trained” (SRG) officers to say the prisoner is a gang member and its over for you.     As Komrade Kevin Rashid Minister of Defense for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter pointed out, in his letter “Racial and Political Persecution of Grassroots Black Political Leaders and Activists”,      “Typical of the tendency of racists to stereotype groups of people, these official make no distinctions between Black political organizations, and indeed declare that ‘all Black groups that promote dissent’ fit the criteria of a gang or STG, as does any group or organization that critics government and prison practices and policies”    

In a previous essay of mine titled “Defeating the Razor-Wire Plantation Hydra” I pointed out that most of these Security Risk Groups were founded on revolutionary ideology, because of the economic, political, and social conditions that the people were subjugated to. These street formations were formed to serve as vigilance committees to protect and uplift their communities. The vision of the Founding Fathers have been lost and we’ve become predators of the prey (oppressed). So are we really real right? Or are we proxies for the enemy?    

The aforementioned memorandum claims that this change (only allowing approved visitors to send prisoner’s money) is to ensure that no one is engaging in illicit enterprises such as selling drugs and phones to garner funds. All of which leads to the probability of offender or offender assaults. I’m inclined to disagree, this is another one of the enemy’s tactics to keep us at each other’s neck. Now if you bereave the only means a prisoner has to receive financial support from others beside immediate family, this only engenders robbery and violence amongst ourselves. A lot of us who are profiled (SRG) don’t have immediate family who financially support us. We receive financial support from friends, our child’s mother and some outside activists. So what are these prisoners, myself included going to do?    

This restriction is to ensure we stay divided and forces us to work the concrete fields of these razor-wire plantations. Because we’re not going to be provided with the necessities. The average man isn’t going to go without, so he is left with two choices, work for pennies a day or oppress and rob your own people. This restriction doesn’t have our or our families well-being in mind, it’s all for the betterment of the plantation.    

These (SRG) policies and procedures must be redressed, not only does it serve as an instrument to destroy family values, but it will also cause us to be divided and conquered. These acts of repression shouldn’t be tolerated at all. We the prisoners have the strength in numbers, we the prisoners are responsible for our own liberation, these acts of repression aren’t unbeknownst it being done right in front of our faces and the enemy is questioning what are we going to do about it? If we don’t do anything we are cowards!!    

It would be politically and strategically advantageous for us to boycott all canteen items as well as the union supply packages offered four times a year. The aforementioned restrictions are an impasse that’s surmountable, the next one may not be. If we lay down and accept this, I can put my word on it more restrictions will follow. The Komrade Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun of the Free Alabama Movement, founded the Redistribute the Pain Campaign which is a nationwide boycott campaign that boycotts collect phone calls, canteen and incentive package purchases, during the months of February, April, June, Black August, October and December. This is a form of economic warfare that’s necessary in these times of war.    

Furthermore, those of us housed on Special Housing Units (SHU, I-Can, Supermax) we should boycott the little canteen privileges that is offered to us. Buying the fragrance oils, the stamps and limited items should cease. Only purchase the amount of things needed. Those who study law, research should be done to see if these restrictions violate any laws on rights.     Komrades I’m entreating that y’all wake up! This added restriction will not only impede (SRG) profiled prisoners from receiving money to purchase the necessities, but also will impede us from making phone calls to our family members and friends as well. No money equals no phone time. The enemy was conscious that implementing this added restriction would bring upon us great difficulties. The enemy is distributing the pain, we must redistribute it, apply the pressure economically as well as physically.     Before I conclude this I would like to salute the Komrade Randy Watterson I see the work you putting in for the prison class here in NC. Hope to hear from you soon. As Komrade George Jackson stated “If one accepts revolution they must accept all that it implies: repression, counter-terrorism, days filled with work, prison, and funerals”.                                                                                                               

White Panther Organization – NC Branch                                                                                                               

Joseph “Shine White” Stewart