Prison conditions

The reality of federal prison, Part 1

Prisoners vs. guards
by Dave Gilson

by Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington, member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC)

(originally published by San Francisco Bay View)

Part 1: Truth hurts

Comrades, I don’t have to be long-winded in order to describe what is happening here.

In federal prison here in Amerika, approximately 80 percent of prisoners regardless of race are abusing illicit drugs. Suboxone, Meth and K-2 are the drugs of choice for federal male prisoners. I cannot and should not speak about what the conditions are like for our sisters because I feel a woman should tell that story. Right now, I’m relaying my first-hand experience in an all-male high security federal prison.

I have been clean and sober for a little over 12 years – my perspective is clear and my analysis of the situation is concise.

The presence of drugs brings violence. Debts are accrued and they must be paid – or else! Vicious acts of violence materialize daily – FACT.

Federal prison officials in Washington, D.C., have factored in the violence and current drug epidemic as they put together long term plans for the operation of high security facilities. The first attack made by prisoncrats is on our First Amendment rights.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons makes the erroneous claim that the drugs which are present here come in via U.S. Mail. This lie is being fed to the public in order to justify draconian suppression policies which obstruct and restrict incoming and outgoing mail. This destroys family ties!

What you know is that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) relies on secrecy in order to keep the public at large ignorant and blind to the abuse and injustices federal prisoners are routinely subjected to. Cut all lines of communication!

First they cut the mail. The next move is to discontinue contact visits! This is the plan. Most are oblivious to the subtle changes because the drugs have everyone in a state of unconsciousness. I am wide awake.

Are you?

There is a financial dynamic at play here. The drugs produce violence and with that comes medical costs as well as logistical problems. If a prisoner gets beat down because he owes a $500 drug debt, he obviously cannot be placed back on the prison compound.

Now multiply this incident by 1,000 per week! That is 1,000 violent assaults resulting in injuries and sometimes death – and then transfers.

The next step they take is the mass lockdown of most U.S. penitentiaries in the United States! Instead of a programming schedule which allows prisoners out of their cells from 6:15 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., we will be locked down in our cells for 22 hours a day and given only an hour and a half to two hours of out-of-cell time.

The justification will be security.

Most are sleepwalking in here, but I am wide awake.

These drastic changes like video visits and lockdowns are being gradually introduced and are creating a more inhumane environment. Will this stop the drugs and violence? I think not. I know a secret that you don’t know. More later, comrades. Stay woke!

Dare to struggle, Dare to win, All Power to the People.

Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. Visit his website at ComradeMalik.com. Send our brother some love and light: Keith Washington, 34481-037, USP Pollock, P.O. Box 2099, Pollock LA 71467.

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End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

Lost in time: Lift up our brother Sitawa and strike down indefinite incarceration

by Mutope Duguma Published earlier on the SF Bayview and on Sitawa.org.

It’s always hard to stomach news that is disheartening. To hear that a brother and comrade has suffered a stroke after spending countless years in solitary confinement, as well as being held on an indefinite sentence for an alleged crime he did not commit, is even more disheartening.

I need not stress the sorrow that is felt amongst the whole prison.

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa with arms crossed, in 2017

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa in July of 2018 population for our brother Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, who, along with countless fearless prisoners, pioneered our Prison Human Rights Movement (PHRM) to the world’s stage. We continue to see men and women incarcerated far too long – beyond anyone’s imagination – and continue to be held indefinitely.

Our beloved brother Sitawa is amongst this class of men and women. The inhumane treatment of prisoners must end.

Our brother Sitawa and many others have suffered enough and should not continue to do so based on being given a life sentence that equals a civil death. Prior to 1968, under original Penal Code Section 2600, California prisoners suffered complete civil death, which means prisoners were stripped of all civil rights.

The prison system is actually covertly executing all of its lifers. The United States is the only country in the whole world that incarcerates people indefinitely – forcing them to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Men and women have been incarcerated for 35 years or more.

Many of these people are lost in time. They came to prison as youth in their teens and early 20s in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Yes, many of them were immature, many had no real direction, but they all became adults in the Amerikan prison system.

At present these prisoners, Baby Boomers, most of whom have survived decades of incarceration, are now between the ages of 60 and 80. Many of these senior citizens are wheelchair-bound or use assistive devices such as walking canes.

Like most seniors, many are on special medications, require special medical therapy for seniors, and suffer from aging illnesses of various sorts. I hear some say that a few manage to get around good at 70 years young.

Many say, yes, they should be in prison, and that may be true in some cases. Given the things they did in society, the way they carried themselves in the youth of their lives was utterly wrong and disrespectful, but that was decades ago when they were young! Decades!

They are now older, mature, grown, senior adults, who have fulfilled all requirements from various parole boards around the U.S. Multiple prisoners have complied with all laws, rules and regulations of the prison and carried themselves as role model human beings and in many cases have done so for decades.

Still, many of them are forced to remain in prison when the maximum amount of time on their sentence has long since expired. This is terrible and extremely cruel to force rehabilitated human beings to remain in bondage and especially when statistics clearly show that 90 percent of them are not returning to prison once released.

Sadly, 89 percent of prisoners across the US are Black and Mexican. From 1619 through the 1800s, the chattel slavery plantation concept lurks in the shadows like the Wizard of Oz.

This “behind the scenes” type strategy involves money laundering exclusively into white rural areas under the Prison Industrial Slave Complex (PISC). (That’s where prisons were built during the height of mass incarceration, in small rural communities that had lost their economic base, where people were so desperate for jobs, they were willing to work in a prison. These were white communities with deep prejudice toward Blacks. – ed.)

Many of us may very well die in these man-made tombs. It should be stipulated that these deaths are in clear violation of the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

The suffering is indefinite where there exists no end to the punishment. Many have died, and many will continue to die where there is no remedy to resolve the cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners.

We must resist to end this cruel and unusual treatment of human beings and encourage our brother Sitawa, who is fighting for his life. We will fight for his freedom and the freedom of the thousands of men and women lost in time.

One Love, One Struggle,

Mutope Duguma

Sitawa is recovering from a major stroke. Send him some love and light (Sitawa is currently housed near San Diego, mail will be forwarded):

Freedom Outreach
Attn: Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa
Fruitvale Station
P.O. Box 7359
Oakland CA 94601

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End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

I will not be silenced!

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

Originally posted in San Francisco Bay View

“Protect Our Leaders” – Art: Joseph Stewart, 0802041, 4285 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699

There is a problem in Amerika when a close confidant and advisor to the president embraces white supremacist and white nationalist ideologies. I’m speaking about Steven Miller. How is this possible?

More and more we have been observing the normalization of hate speech. At the highest levels in the United States government and some state governments, bigotry and hate are becoming the status quo and are being reflected in newly accepted policy and practice.

There are no laws on the books in the state of Texas which protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace! I find this unacceptable. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have embraced a hostile position against Texans who identify as LGBTQ. How can we convince Paxton and Abbott to acknowledge the humanity of LGBTQ people?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has recently sent word to Iranian citizens requesting that they provide officials in the United States with video evidence of violent acts of suppression aimed at protesters who strongly disagreed with the recent 50 percent increase in the price of gas.

Since when has Mike Pompeo been interested in the safety or welfare of any Muslims in any country? Could it be that Pompeo is more interested in destabilizing the Iranian government in order to foment regime change?

Has Mike Pompeo been vocal about our Muslim sisters and brothers in Yemen who have been victims of an ongoing genocidal campaign by Saudi Arabia? No! Mike Pompeo doesn’t give a damn about the Muslims in Yemen. What about the 1 million Uighur Muslims who languish in Chinese re-education concentration camps! Is Mike Pompeo willing to advocate for their immediate release? I think not!

There are human rights violations which are taking place right now in prisons here in the United States. Violations, abuses and injustices which are routinely ignored. Every day employees with the Federal Bureau of Prisons orchestrate the murder, abuse and outright execution of numerous targeted prisoners.

The Department of Justice sees the patterns and trends yet will not launch a broad fact-finding investigation because at the end of the day, prisoners’ lives don’t matter and the BOP considers federal prisoners to be sub-humans not deserving of respect or dignity.

Jeffrey Epstein’s death was not a suicide nor was it an accident! What happened to Epstein was pre-meditated and planned, carried out by the BOP. However, the only reason that Epstein’s case has garnered so much scrutiny and public attention is that Jeffrey Epstein was a billionaire who had evidence which implicated the likes of Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew in acts of sexual abuse as well as the gross degradation of young girls. Our young sisters deserve justice and not cover-ups!

It is important for all of you to know that it is not just the Egyptian government that seeks to silence the voices of dissent. The Trump administration also has an overt and covert campaign of suppression aimed at journalists, activists and servants of the people.

I will not be silenced! Will you?

Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. Read Malik’s work at ComradeMalik.com. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 34481-037, USP Beaumont, P.O. Box 26030, Beaumont TX 77720.

Protect our leaders!

Malik is in grave danger and must be moved out of USP Beaumont. Please call the warden’s office, 409-727-8188, and politely ask that Keith Washington, 34481-037, be transferred to a FCI-level prison in California.

Also, please call the offices of friendly Congress members Rep. Al Green, 713-383-9234, and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, 713-655-0050. Ask them to urge the Bureau of Prisons to transfer him to California right away.

Write Malik a note of encouragement as well. The more calls and letters he receives, the safer he’ll be because the authorities will know that we, his many friends, supporters and defenders, are watching.

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End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

Food For Thought

By Comrade Malik
Peace and blessings sisters and brothers1 As we head into 2020 and prepare for another national response to Prison Slavery — I’d like to share some words of wisdom from Dr. Naim Akbar:
“One of the things that was systematically done during slavery was the elimination or control of any emerging “head” or LEADER. Slave narratives and historical accounts are full descriptions of atrocities brought against anyone who exemplified REAL Leadship Capability. The Slave Holders realized their power and control over the slaves was dependent upon the absence of any indigenous leadership among slaves.” end of quote
Sisters and brothers — I AM that indigenous leadership the prisoncrats would love to eliminate or control. I will not be silenced! Dare to struggle, dare to win, all power to the people!
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End Prison Slavery, Prison conditions

Don’t Allow the Feds to Assassinate Me!

From Malik: November 12, 2019
Revolutionary Greetings Comrades!
 
There is no such thing as coincidences when you are an outspoken servant of the people.
 
Everything happens for a reason.
 
When I embraced this Life as a Freedom Fighter and Whistle Blower I knew there would come a time when the oppressors would place me in harm’s way and then feign ignorance. I think it’s time we all got more serious about protecting our most advanced political elements. Whether it be Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson or Sean Swain we must protect our comrades who are trapped inside these Razor-Wire Plantations!
 
Dare to struggle, Dare to win.
 
All Power to the People!
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End Prison Slavery, Prison conditions

Lock-Downs and Violence persist at USP Beaumont!!

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington – End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement

On Friday, October 4th, 2019 at approximately 9:45a.m. there was a bloody fight between two Asian Prisoners at USP Beaumont.  The fight took place on 1 Building Unit AB which was the location of a bloody and vicious Race Fight which sent 5 prisoners to the hospital on August 15th, 2019.  That incident resulted in a Month-Long Lockdown!!  The Fight on Friday caused the Warden of the FCC Complex to place the USP on a weekend Lockdown!!  That meant–No showers, No Visits!!  No Programming, and Peanut Butter and Jelly and Cheese Sandwiches!!  This has become a regular occurrence here at USP Beaumont.

The Management Model being employed here is not sustainable.   Not only are we on a perpetual state of LOCK DOWN Status now the Administration has initiated a $25.00 spending limit on Commissary in response to a fight between two prisoners from the same ‘Car’.  A ‘Car’ is kind of like a ‘Clique’ or Geographical Location.  For Instance, you have men from Texas here thus a Texas ‘Car’.  The two prisoners who fought on Friday (Oct 4th) were Asian thus the Asian ‘Car’.  But that does not justify this Group Punishment being implemented by the Administration.  Everybody Suffers!!!

Prior to my arrival here there had been Two Suicides at USP Beaumont.  These Suicides prompted the Removal of the previous Warden here at USP Beaumont.  The Warden was replaced by our Current Warden Mr. Larry Shults.  What is remarkable is that one of the prisoners who committed Suicide was an Asian Man who had written a detailed letter to the Federal Bureau of Prisons—Regional Office in Grand Prairie, Texas.  This letter explained that the conditions at USP Beaumont were having a detrimental effect on his Mental Health.   NO ONE LISTENED!!!   Conditions such as:

A.) Numerous Lockdowns (Excessively Long!)
B.) Lack of Employment opportunities
C.) Lack of Programming
D.) Substandard Food (Cheese and PB& J Sandwiches daily!!)
E.) Apathy among Staff
F.) Showers every 3 days(maybe!!!)

Today is October 7th, 2019 and I am here to tell all of you—Absolutely nothing has Changed!!!  Apparently replacing the Warden was a knee jerk reaction but things have only gotten worse—not better.   The administration does not care to listen to our grievances.   I LOVE LIFE!!  I have so much to look forward to but I can tell you that there are no realistic opportunities for success here at USP Beaumont and even someone like me who has every chance for success once I am released can easily be brought down by the depressing and stressful environment cultivated and maintained here at USP Beaumont!!!

As I said before, the reasoning for the Lockdown on Friday–October 4th, 2019 was because Two Asian prisoners got into a fight on their Housing Unit (AB  Bldg #1).  What is happening here at USP Beaumont is a Psy-Op program where Prison Administrators are attempting to get a CONDITIONED RESPONSE FROM PRISONERS!!!

The Administration knows there are going to be Fights that is common at a USP but they want to ‘TRAIN’ US TO FIGHT ON THE YARD.  On the Yard the Prison Guards can utilize their Shock Grenades, Rubber Bullets, Shots Fired Recordings and all the Digital Surveillance Cameras!!!  The Administration wants a VIDEO SHOW THAT THEY CAN PRESENT TO THE PUBLIC AND LEGISLATORS IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY THE FUNDING FOR THESE SLAVE KAMPS AND GULAGS.

The B.O.P. continues to lie to the Public at Large claiming that REHABILITATION IS PROVIDED BUT THE REALITY IS OUR LIVES ARE BEING RUINED AND DESTROYED.  Our Communities continue to suffer!!!  We are being Warehoused and treated inhumanely!!!  THIS IS MY REALITY.   THIS IS OUR REALITY.   Something must change!!!
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!!!

Comrade Malik is a reporter and an abolitionist. Write him at:

Keith H. Washington #34481037
USP Beaumont

U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 26030
BEAUMONT, TX  77720
U.S.A.

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Environmental Racism, Prison conditions

Tropical Storm Imelda Hits USP Beaumont!

The Truth and nothing Else!) By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
Fight Toxic Prisons—-Correspondent

As a Nationally known Prison Abolitionist and humyn rights activist, I am very passionate and dedicated to the causes and the people my comrades and I support.

However, as a journalist, I am duty-bound to put aside my subjective feelings and report the objective facts about the things I personally experience and witness.

On September 19th, 2019 Tropical Storm Imelda bombarded the city of Beaumont, Texas and the surrounding areas with a deluge of torrential rain.
Here at USP Beaumont, the Federal Prison where I am currently housed at, we had no electricity what-so-ever. That meant—NO LIGHTS, NO AIR-CONDITIONING. Our toilets could not be flushed. It was really bad.
At the time that the storm reached its height, we had been locked in our cells since the evening of September 18th. The Federal Correctional Officer working our housing unit (BA-1 Bldg) was a bald-headed white man with a thick goatee who we call “BIG HEATH”. Mr. Heath is a big guy and kind of looks like a Biker dude.
Like many officers working that night shift Mr. Heath was trapped like all of us. The non-stop rain had flooded all the high-ways and local roads leading too and away from USP Beaumont. The Federal Prison is built on a natural Flood Plane and not only was the compound flooded but our emergency generator of Bldg #1 was submerged in water.
‘Big Heath’ may not win any congeniality contests but he didn’t abandon us!! He stayed the course of the Storm. Mr. Heath worked about 30 hours straight and made sure we had food as well as bottled drinking water. Other than that, we were on our own.
The concrete cells at USP Beaumont were not made to sustain humyn life without the aid of the HVAC System. As the sun-set on September 19th, 2019 we lacked adequate oxygen and fresh air in our cell. My cellmate who we call ‘D’ has Asthma and the lack of proper ventilation in our cell brought on a vicious Asthma Attack!
‘D’ first started coughing profusely. His breaths became labored. As he wheezed and gasped for breath, he staggered to his locker and grabbed his inhalers. It was very dark by then–no lights, no air, and the Asthma Attack persisted. I began to worry and think of how to help my cell-mate.
As if on cue and just in the nick of time we heard voices and saw flash-light beams. It was two Lieutenants from the day-shift, a Lieutenant Franks and Lieutenant Feazicus. They were yelling loudly to all of us who were trapped in these cells saying: “Hey Fellas! We are going to pop open your food tray slots so you can get some fresh air!” end of quote
Both ‘D’ and I smiled and let out a sigh of relief. Regardless of any of the situations that I have found myself in I always acknowledge that GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL!
Lt. Feazicus, Lt. Franks as well as Mr. Heath and other Federal Officers provided us with Red Plastic Haz-Mat bags to defecate in!!! Yes, you heard me correctly—this was our reality here. Believe it!!!
These officers also brought large barrels of water so we could manually flush our toilets by pouring water on top of the large amounts of humyn waste which had accumulated in our toilets.
This is a short essay which tells a story of people helping people during a natural disaster. Many people in Amerikan Society are brainwashed in such a manner that many despise incarcerated humyn beings.
Please remember that Eighty-Five Percent of all current prisoners in the United States will eventually be released. Are not all humyn beings deserving to be treated with dignity, respected, and housed in humane settings??
One Observation that I must highlight is this: Two years after Hurricane Harvey and the Federal Bureau of Prisons still has not crafted a realistic Emergency Evacuation Plan for USP Beaumont.
Locking humyn beings down in concrete cages and then sitting on your hands until the Natural Disaster takes its course, is not an effective Plan! As I said before, USP Beaumont is built on top of a Flood Plane!! Tropical Storms and Hurricanes in this Geographical Location are only going to get more severe and intense.

CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!!!!
PRISONERS LIVES MATTER!!!!
WE MUST CONTINUE ABOLISH ALL PRISONS
ESPECIALLY THE TOXIC ONES!!!!!

Sisters and Brothers and Comrades from all corners of the Globe if you support the work that my comrades and I do then please by all means necessary—-Share this piece and all information on Social Media. Demand today that the New Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons—-Mrs. Kathleen Hawk Sawyer take a long hard look at the conditions here at USP Beaumont. Ask her to visit us down here and when she does, ask her to interview me!! Your Soldier for Change Comrade Malik!!!! As I always say: ” The best Anti-Septic for Injustice is Sunlight!!” Let’s Shine a Bright Light on USP Beaumont.
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!!!!!

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