Category Archives: Solitary confinement

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.

Protesters demand answers about DeKalb Jail abuses at county commissioners’ meeting

Members of Atlanta Anarchist Black Cross, the Street Groomers, and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee spoke at the DeKalb County commissioners’ meeting today about the abuses at the DeKalb jail.

During the public comment section Meg Dudukovich said, 
“I became involved in the protests about the inhuman conditions at the Dekalb County Jail after I saw a series of social media posts depicting men incarcerated there speaking out about abuses and showing the moldy food. Their signs said help us we dying, need food, and we sleep and breathe mold. I got in touch with the mother of one of the men who has been calling attention to the abuses on social media.  She says she has not been able to speak to her son since Sunday April 7, before her posts went viral. He is in solitary.  She has heard multiple reports from other men jailed there that her son & the other 2 men in the posts had their cell raided, were beaten, had their heads forced into toilets, and were thrown into solitary under the pretext that they had a cell phone, which is untrue–the photos were screenshots  from a permitted video visit. The mother of Darnell Thompson, one of the men in the posts, was unable to be here but sent these brief comments that I’m going to read now: ‘Why are inmates being stripped of their rights? My son, along with two other inmates, has been place in solitary confinement; their cells was swarmed and excessive force was used–for what reason? Produce evidence to show reason for the confinement. Since this post has went viral it is very evident that their reason for solitary confinement has been in retaliation; is it unlawful for inmates to take a stand for their rights to speak up against being subjected to abuse and inhumane conditions?  I want to know the physical condition of my son and the other inmates since their reported attacks by officers from several inmates as well as an investigation of every officer involved. (I received a tip that officer “Jones” was one of the attackers). Why are guards abusing their authority to use excessive force on inmates that lead up to physical impairment or death? What happened to funds that was disbursed to fix the air quality in the jail to remove mold and fix plumbing? Are you aware of the man y deaths that have occurred in Dekalb County Jail and no further investigations have been pursued to give justice to families of their loved ones? Why are inmates medical needs being neglected?'”

Later, Adele MacLean said, 
“After we heard about the viral social media posts of prisoners begging for help with the inhumane conditions in the Dekalb jail, we have been speaking to people who have been inside or had loved ones inside, and collecting stories of mistreatment and neglect. Lynn from Mothers of Sons in Prisons is here to support. Almost everyone with experience of the jail tells the same story: horrifying conditions and physical abuse. 
Every person who needs daily medication to survive or avoid serious health problems that we spoke to reported days-long delays in receiving their meds, or never got them at all. – my friend was denied the right to speak today, but he’s here. He ended up in the hospital because was denied his seizure meds for–how many days Haroun?–three days.- I spoke to a woman who went 3 days without her blood pressure meds. I asked did you get sick, she said, “Yeah I got sick! What do you think would happen?” – I spoke to a person in the jail two weeks ago who had just witnessed a diabetic man get ill after going without insulin. he says you have to request meds via the kiosk, which has a sign that says it can take a week for your request to be seen.  not processed, not addressed. there is no time frame posted for that. The other men imprisoned there had to shout at the guards to give him his insulin. I take daily medication, I imagine a lot of you do too. Any one of us could end up in there. Due to racial profiling and biased policing practices, some are at greater risk,  but any of us or our loved ones  could end up in there. For those of us who need meds, that could be a death sentence.   
Medical neglect is far from the only issue.  The outright abuse needs to be addressed. the extreme efforts to silence the men who spoke out in the social media posts shows the length they go to to keep these problems from coming to light. They are clear that speaking out will be met with severe punishment.  These brave men took their lives into their hands to bring our attention to these issues, so why are we still ignoring them? What has happened to these men? Why are they being held incommunicado? Why have their mothers been given no information about their whereabouts? Why has Malaya Tucker been banned from video visits with her son and anyone else?  Can you all speak to this? What do you plan to do? Are there going to be investigations into the allegations of abuse, or are we going to continue to allow the abusers to brutally suppress any criticism?”

The chairman of the commissioners said “now is the time for public comment only. Commissioners can speak during the time allotted for that if they choose to address the issues.” MacLean replied, “I would very much like it if you would ‘choose to address the issues'”.

After the activists stood up to leave one council member approached them and asked for their contact info, saying he would speak to the Sheriff and ask about procedures for investigating complaints. However he did not offer his own contact info or make an concrete promises to follow up other than that he would speak to the sheriff.

Groups involved in protest plan to continue tabling and speaking to people outside the jail, and a public meeting is planned for April 27 at 6 pm at the Little Five Points Community Center on the third floor. Protesters plan a large demonstration for ‘fuk 12’ week, the week of May 12-18.  

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”.

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

The Evil of Georgia’s S.M.U. — expose by a prisoner

Isolated island like, sitting ominously on a little more than an acre of land and enclosed behind several barbed wire fences stands a torture chamber known as the Special Management Unit (S.M.U.)
This morbid looking structure is home to up to 192 souls who are alleged to have committed an assortment of prison infractions or who have simply been designated as individuals of notoriety by the Georgia Dept. of Corrections.
Admission into this draconian abode often comes absent of even the most basic fundamental due process of law protections as many inmates are essentially kidnapped and sent to the S.M.U. At the mere whim of prison wardens across the state.
To assign the word “appeal” to the process that inmates have at their disposal to challenge placement in the S.M.U. does the very word a grave injustice.
The so-called appeal is nothing but a thinly-veiled, empty and meaningless farce as field operations manager, Belinda Davis, responsible for the processing of these appeals rarely if ever bothers to answer or issue an inmate a response to their written appeals. Let alone conduct a legitimate review as to the validity of the reasons for an inmate’s internment.
Once encased inside this house of horrors a person can expect to languish inside it for four, five, even six years or more of practically 24-hour a day solitary confinement experiencing physical, mental and psychological torture in its purest form! 
While there are certainly aspects of the S.M.U. which inherent to its construction render it inhumane and cause its punishment design to be of a medieval type, the real malevolence of the S.M.U. is directly attributable to those who operate it on a day-to-day basis.
The S.M.U. administration is composed of three classic house negroes; Superintendent Michael Cannon, Deputy of Warden William Powell and unit manager George Ball. In concert with one another, this sadistic trio ensures that inmates under their supervision experience the absolute worse that humanity has to offer.
Inmates under their care are prohibited from enjoying any outside recreation time for an automatic three-month period of time when first admitted to the S.M.U. This despite the S.O.P. policy requiring every inmate receive a minimum of 5 hours out of cell rec. per week.
These three orchestrators of misery through their non-intervention and subtle direction allow a Gestapo like atmosphere to fester inside the S.M.U. in the form of numerous physical beatings suffered by inmates at the hands of prison staff.
Inmates housed in the S.M.U. are fed animal-like as meals are served in child-sized, thin styrofoam trays, where food items are often mixed together, cold to the point of congealment and severely under proportioned.
Even the very core of the Tier III Program in the S.M.U. which is based upon a gradual increase in relation to an inmate’s behavior and compliance to rules is subjugated by the administration as inmates who have earned certain privileges do not receive them.
The S.M.U. administration’s indifference to inmates’ health is manifest in delayed or blatantly substandard medical care.
The administration also places inmates safety in constant peril as they ignore the widespread practice of officers essentially abandoning dorms and falsifying cell check documentation. It is not uncommon for officers who have been assigned to work in dorms to disappear for two, three, sometimes four hours. When the officers do show up and make their rounds they routinely sign the “cell checklists” multiple times at once giving the impression that their required 30 minute cell checks were performed.
While there has been an onslaught of attention focused on the many deprivations of the S.M.U. by various media outlets lately, I wonder how much longer it will take before the brutality and inhumanity being inflicted upon myself and other inmates here comes to an end?
I wonder when the Georgia Dept. of Corrections hierarchy will have an epiphany and recognize that the S.M.U. is an innate object and that those who they have assigned to operated are responsible for its cruelty?
I do know that the arch enemy of evil is light. The light of exposure to its darkness!
Thus, I encourage anyone who believes that all human beings deserve humane treatment to utilize whatever resources at their disposal to expose the S.M.U. for what it truly is.
The Pen is My Sword

Prisoners languishing on Tier Program longer than allowed

4/2/2017

The GA Dept. of Corrections con is being perpetrated in the guise of Valdosta State Prison not having enough cells to release prisoners from its Tier II Torture Program. The majority of prisoners being housed on this behavioral modification / prolonged solitary KKKonfinement program never met the criteria to be placed on the program nor were they sanctioned to the program as is mandated by the statutory language of G.D.C.’s S.O.P. IIB09-0001 and IIB09-0003 (A) policy. Warden Stanley Williams has been relieving Tier II appeals and many have been recommended to be returned to the general population due to them completing the program, failed to meet the standard, for such housing etc. Yet I and others are arbitrarily and unlawfully being forced to be housed in this torture program. As of Feb 4th 2017, the tier II classification recommended 3 plus status until the facility responded. On Feb 27th Warden Stanley Williams disagreed with the tier II classification recommendation and instead order that I placed on tier I and returned​ to population, even so I am still on prolonged solitary KKKonfinement. The excuse given is “There’s no cells in general population place you or others who’ve won their Tier II appeals.” So even though GA Dept. of KKKorrections states on its website this program is not to be used as a tool of punishing punishment or retaliation its actions are contrary to its stated false intent. Prisoners are deliberately being malnourished, subjected to mental and physical deprivations, and now denied access to their community by being forced to give or participate in a program that spies on their families through a phone system that targets S.T.G’s and their associates. Prisoners must now submit their voices to voice recognition software / spyware in order to use the phone. Due to me being conscious of the government intent I refused to give my voice. I’d rather write than call any comrade​ ​ who’ll be tagged as a member of a street terrorist group as it is applied by the homeland security / Patriot Act. Anyone or any organization that stands and fights against government oppression in all its forms, is considered by the federal government a potential domestic terrorist. So all revolutionary minded prisoners and families, friends, and political associates are tagged and watched closely. So beware of what you do and say on that phone line. Before I close this I’d like to send a shout out to all the brothers and sisters, fighting this imperialistic / capitalistic machine of  oppression.

Respectfully
I am Kelevin J. Stevenson
# 570391
V.S.P. P.O. Box 310
Valdosta GA 31603
“Power To The People!!”

ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS AND UNSANITARY PLACES IN ALABAMA: HOLMAN SEGREGATION UNIT

Expose from Free alabama movement’s facebook January 6.

 

1)Houses 200 men in semi sound proof isolation cells

2) No means to communicate emergencies to staff [men must scream at top of their lungs or kick on door for several minutes in an attempt to get staff attention ]

3) No cleaning supplies provided to sanitize cells

4) Forced to eat with same spoon for months [some up to 6 months or longer ]

5) No cups provided, many drink from old milk cartons for several months

6) 5 minute showers every other day depended upon staff

7) No access to Law Library

8) Several men assaulted [by staff and other incarcerated men ] while handcuffed behind back

9) Water contaminated

10) Not afforded access to telephone