In solidarity, Prison conditions

Covid-19 Update USP Pollock Louisiana

By Keith Malik Washington, IWOC

Peace and Blessings Sisters and Brothers. Today is April 2nd, 2020.

I am delivering my Covid-19 update from inside USP Pollock which is located in Pollock Louisiana, near the city of Alexandria. For those who have been following my updates, you have already confirmed the death of a prisoner housed at our sister facility, FCI Oakdale Louisiana. Our prayers and condolences are extended to the family members and loved ones of our fallen comrade. On April 1st, 2020, I woke up to more restrictive modified operations at USP Pollock, As well as a rumor being circulated of one BoP employee and one prisoner here at USP Pollock suspected of having contracted the Covid-19 virus. Thus far, this is just an inmate rumor. Many I must ask for your help in contacting the complex warden, Chris McConnell. In order to ascertain the validity of this rumor. It wouldn’t be surprising that someone here contracted the virus. BoP employees are allowed to come and go daily, in and out of the  FCC(?) complex at Pollock.

Sisters and Brothers, the number one carriers and transmitters of the coronavirus here at USP Pollock, will be BoP employees. Thus far, all officers are screened before entering the facility, and they are asked to self report any suspected contacts they may have had with high risk persons. We the prisoners at USP Pollock, continue to be subjected to ever increasing restrictions, yet the employees come and go as they please. There are numerous open cells here at USP Pollock, and there are numerous empty units. We propose that officers assigned to the housing units begin to stay here, rather than leave the facility daily. This may sound like a drastic measure, but please understand comrades, drastic times require drastic measures. The state of Louisiana is number two in deaths per capita from the Covid-19 virus. Prisons, by design, are a super confined environment, and once the coronavirus is introduced to the prison population, it will spread like wildfire. As we have seen with FCI Oakdale, death is an inevitable consequence of Covid-19 infections, within the confined federal prison environment. Early on in this report, I mentioned that the BoP has initiated more restrictive modified operations here at USP Pollock. For clarifications sake, let me say that these new restrictive measures are now system wide. Here at USP Pollock, only 8 cells are allowed on that flats at one time. Previously 16 cells were allowed out for two hours a day, in order to allow prisoners access to phones, emails and showers. The cells here at USP Pollock are designed to house two people. In light of these new restrictions, I will only be allowed out of my cell every other day. So my access to the phones, email and shower will be cut in half.

On its face, these new measures are an attempt by the BoP to adhere more closely to CDC recommendations for social distancing, as well as limiting the amount of prisoners allowed out of their cells at one time. It is imperative (emphasis added), that I highlight once again, that most of my fellow prisoners here are healthy are(?) risk the Covid-19 from BoP employees and not each other! Please understand this point!

In closing, I report that yesterday on April 1st, 2020 I report that my case manager, Mr. Carter, had me sign my application for Federal halfway house, and the transfer of my primary address to San Francisco, California. I ask all of you, once again, to please contact the Bureau of Prisons, and strongly encourage them to release me to my primary release address, which is the address for the San Francisco Bayview National Black Newspaper. Or, release me to Federal halfway house, as soon as possible. With your support, my transition to free society will be successful. Free world support is so very important! Please continue to stay healthy and practice distancing, but by no means stop being social with one another. Love one another, care one another, Communication rules the nation, comrades. Until my next report, I extend my clenched fist salute and say “Panther Love” to all of my comrades, allies and loved ones.

Solidarity Forever,

This is Comrade Malik, signing off.

 

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In solidarity, Prison conditions

CoVid-19 Urgent Update (FREE OUR ELDERS!!)    USP Pollock & Surrounding Areas

By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
INCARCERATED WORKERS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Revolutionary Greetings Comrades! Today is Saturday, April 4th, 2020.  I want all of you reading this report to know that I am committed to providing you with Accurate and Truthful information regarding the conditions inside the Federal U.S. Penitentiary at Pollock, Louisiana as well as the surrounding area which includes–F.C.I. Oakdale.

As the Coronavirus Pandemic ravages Amerika, we are seeing the virus begin to take a deadly toll on Federal Prisoners in Louisiana. In Last Sundays report, I informed you about the situation at FCI Oakdale. The most recent information coming out of FCI Oakdale reveals a worsening situation.  FCI Oakdale now has at least Eleven(11) confirmed cases of CoVid-19.  The facility has 19 (nineteen) suspected CoVid-19 cases. Those individuals have been quarantined. As of today April 4th, 2020 there have been Four Prisoner Deaths at FCI Oakdale as a result of CoVid-19.

I will be adding more to this report in a couple days. I want all of you to begin to think about how we can Free our Respected Elders from these Federal Slave Kamps! Next time I will be focusing my energy on that Topic!!

In solidarity forever!!! Comrade Malik!!!

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End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

Urgent COVID-19 Update Follow Up! Federal USP Pollock, Louisiana and Surrounding Areas

Peace and Blessings Everyone!  Please, I ask that you share this update far and wide.  Please Utilize Social Media Platforms.  In Solidarity, Love and Respect Malik

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington    Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee

Today is Sunday, March 29th, 2020.  This is a follow-up report to an Urgent Update that I released last Sunday, March 22nd, 2020.  This specific report details recent events in regard to the Covid-19 Pandemic within Facilities Operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Please be advised that there has been a Deliberate Attempt by the Main-Stream Media and The White House to ignore the Deadly impact Covid-19 has been having on Amerika’s World Leading Prison Population.

On the morning of March 29th, 2020 I interviewed a Registered Nurse who works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  The Nurse requested that I not use their name.  I will respect this employees request to remain Anonymous.

It was reported to me that there have been 8 Positive Cases of Covid-19 at Federal Correctional Institution Oakdale which is located in Oakdale, Louisiana.  FCI Oakdale is the “Sister Facility” to USP Pollock.  Of the 8 Cases at FCI Oakdale, 6 are prisoners and 2 are B.O.P. employees.  There has been One Death at FCI Oakdale connected to the Covid-19 Virus!  There are 6 Prisoners currently on ventilators at the facility.

FCI Oakdale is approximately 30 miles from USP Pollock.  FCI Oakdale is a Care Level 2 Facility.  Care Level 2 is a designation which Alerts the Public as well as B.O.P. staff that the prisoners housed at Oakdale have greater health care needs and those prisoners  are more vulnerable to catching the Covid-19 Virus.  This is reflected in the 8 Cases and one Death I have described here.

Much closer to USP Pollock is the city of Alexandria, Louisiana.  It has been reported to me that there are over 54 Cases of Covid-19  split between two Public Hospitals.  The name of the Hospitals are Rapides and Cabrini Hospital.
Thus far, we have no reported cases of Covid-19 at USP Pollock.   Employees at FCC Complex Pollock are screened for Covid-19 prior to entering the Complex daily.  However, Mandatory Testing Has Not been initiated at USP Pollock except for those who show Symptoms after being Screened.  The Virus continues to edge closer to USP Pollock and it will take more than Luck for us to Pre-empt the spread of the Virus.

On Friday–March 27th, 2020 —Prison Administrators here at USP Pollock approved the admittance of numerous prisoners from various Federal Detention Centers and County Jails in the Area.  These New Admissions WERE NOT tested for Covid–19.  Nevertheless, the prisoners were placed in Single Cells and placed on Quarantine for 14 days.  The New Federal Prisoners
were housed on Unit B-3 here at USP Pollock which is located on B-Building.  B-Building is the same Building where I and many other Healthy Prisoners are Housed.

I spoke to a  B.O.P. employee about the new arrivals and was told that the prisoners would be monitored closely for Covid-19 symptoms.  I would like to point out that the Covid-19 virus can become AIRBORNE AND COULD SPREAD THROUGH THE HVAC SYSTEM WHICH CONNECTS WITH EVERY INDIVIDUAL CELL THROUGHOUT B-BUILDING!

It is my opinion and the opinion of many prisoners here at USP Pollock that All New Commits should first and foremost be TESTED for Covid-19 BEFORE BEING BROUGHT INTO THIS ISOLATED AND STERILE ENVIRONMENT AT USP POLLOCK WHICH HAS REMAINED VIRUS FREE!

My Advocacy for Covid–19 Testing for All B.O.P. Employees and All B.O.P. Prisoners is grounded in Science and Fact Based Evidence.  Inorder to Mitigate and Contain the Covid-19 virus, Testing and Technology must be implemented immediately.  Technology can enable the Federal Government to perform Contact Tracing.  By now we all know that a person can be infected with the Covid-19 Virus and Transmit the Virus Yet Show No Symptoms what-so-ever!

Testing alleviates all the guess work in assessing whether a prisoner or B.O.P. employee has been infected.
Numerous B.O.P. employees have said to me that they do not believe that the Federal Government has enough Covid-19 Test Kits available for the B.O.P.  I ask that all human beings with a conscience help us contact prison officials here at USP Pollock as well as officials in Washington D.C. and INSIST THAT MASS COVID-19 TESTING BE DONE THROUGHOUT THE B.O.P. IMMEDIATELY.

Finally, it has been reported that U.S. Attorney General William Barr has instructed the B.O.P. to Release to Home Confinement Older Prisoners and those with chronic conditions who may be more vulnerable to contracting the Covid-19 Virus.
PLEASE I ASK ALL OF YOU READING THIS REPORT TO CONTACT THE B.O.P. AND ENCOURAGE THE AGENCY TO RELEASE ME AS SOON AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!!
It is my wish to aid the Editor of the San Francisco Bay View-National Black Newspaper in preserving and sustaining this one of kind National Black Newspaper which serves the hundreds of thousands and literally Millions of prisoners trapped in Amerikan Prisons and Jails.   I DO NOT WANT TO BECOME A CASUALTY OF THE B.O.P.’s  FLAWED COVID–19 PANDEMIC STRATEGY!     I will continue to Report.   Be advised that USP Pollock is continually placed on Lockdown and my ability to Report continues to be obstructed and sabotaged.   I WILL NOT EVER GIVE UP!!

Dare to struggle, Dare to Win,  All Power to the People!!
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In solidarity, Prison conditions

Why I Fight So Hard For Our People!

Revolutionary greetings, comrades!
“The hypocrisy of American fascism forces it to conceal its attack on political offenders by the legal fiction of conspiracy laws and highly sophisticated frame-ups. The masses must be taught to understand the true function of prisons. Why do they exist in such numbers? What is the real underlying economic motive of crime and the official definition of types of offenders or victims? The people must learn that when one “offends” the totalitarian state it is patently not an offense against the people of that state, but an assault upon the privilege of the privileged few.” ~ George L. Jackson, from Blood in my Eye, p.107

United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana

As I stare out of my window here at the United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana, I find myself in a pensive and reflective mood. I see razor wire as well as concertina fencing immediately outside my window. I see the prison yard, the grass, the gun tower and far off in the distance I see trees. I see a flag on a pole, it is the “stars and stripes”. This flag does not represent freedom to me, it represents oppression, abuse, social control and it represents the hateful legacy of slavery.

I woke up here in Pollock, Louisiana thinking of Angola 3 member Herman Wallace. I remember the day he died. I was listening to Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, and she played a recording of Comrade Herman describing the garden that he and his comrades were preparing behind the house he was planning to move into.
Once the state of Louisiana finally granted Comrade Herman release, he was on his last leg, the cancer had literally eaten him alive. When I heard the voice of Herman Wallace, with the anticipation of freedom and the hope of seeing a brighter day, I cried. I cried because I was angry, sad, and frustrated.
Louisiana had absolutely no love, compassion, or care for the Angola 3. What they had for them was racial hatred and decades of abuse. Comrade Robert King and Comrade Albert Woodfox made it out alive. Herman wasn’t so lucky.

So you should know that I fight for the Herman Wallaces of this world! The political prisoners here in America – I fight for them. I fight for my New Afrikan brothers!

We are being told that we will be on lock-down for months after this most recent incident here at USP Pollock.
Lockdown means my cellmate and I will be trapped in our cell 24/7. Every 3 days we are afforded an opportunity to shower. Our meals are all cold and consist of powdered milk, a piece of fruit, bologna, bread, cheese or peanut butter and jelly. The nutritional value is extremely poor. I have survived years on this paltry diet.
There is no programming on lockdown. So all that talk you have heard about the First Step Act is just that: talk. My cell-mate and I are both “short-timers”. He has about 14 months left, and I have about 15 months. He is 33 years old and I am 51. Two Black men. Both of us want to prepare for a successful transition back into society – but how can we?
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is sending us back to our families and to our communities traumatized & scarred emotionally as well as physically.
What rehabilitation is to be had when you are forced to live in a concrete cell for months at a time? Our situation here is not unique. This is the reality for literally thousands of men who have found themselves inside a Federal U.S. Penitentiary. USP Beaumont, USP Coleman, USP Victorville, USP McCreary, Big Sandy, Lee County, ALL of them in a continual state of lockdown! This is why I fight!

“The psycho-social dimensions of fascism become quite complex, but they can be simplified by thinking of them as part of a collective bargaining process carried on between all the elites of the particular state with the regime acting as arbitrator. The regime’s interests are subject to those of the ruling class. Labor is a partner in this arrangement. At the head of any labor organization in the fascist state, there is an elite which is tied to the interests of the regime — and consequently tied also to the economic status quo.” ~ George L. Jackson, excerpt from Blood in my Eye, p. 157

In this environment, and I am talking about high-security prisons in Amerika, the the prison warden is the ‘elite’ who represents the interests of the regime.

Let me be clear. Here at USP Pollock, the Complex Warden is named Mr. McConnell. Mr. McConnell is an extension of the Trump Administration. Now, I want to break down exactly what justice looks like here inside USP Pollock.
Recently, there have been U.S. Supreme Court cases, such as U.S. vs Johnson, U.S. vs Davis, and others which have the potential of granting relief to thousands of Federal prisoners. That means that many prisoners who were charged with gun charges under 924(c), 922(g) and those with Hobbs Act Robberies may receive reductions in their sentence or possibly even go home if they qualify and file the proper legal motions and writs of Habeas Corpus.
The ongoing lockdowns at USP Pollock as well as all USPs across the United Snakes of Amerikkka have resulted in a mass denial of our access to the courts. USP Pollock is an egregious violator of our access to courts — allow me to explain.
At USP Pollock we see a special problem. On most USP units, you have access to a computer terminal which is exclusively set up for the law library. That means we could access legal cases which could aid in our freedom.
Because of the numerous lockdowns, we cannot make copies of case law. It would help us immensely if we had a printer on our housing units, since the prison administration here has fallen in love with the reactionary practice of the lockdown strategy.
While en route to USP Pollock, I was in the Federal Transition Center, which is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There on the housing unit was a computer terminal strictly for law library use, and another terminal which was used to print documents, both legal documents and emails from our Corrlinks e-mail accounts.
From my stance as a freedom fighter and jailhouse lawyer, I state for the record that prisoners held at USP Pollock are similarly situated as prisoners who are housed at the Federal Transition Center in Oklahoma and should be afforded the same access to the courts as prisoners there.
What is happening at USP Pollock is a blatant violation of the Equal Protection Clause, as well as our Constitutional right to have access to the courts. There are men here who have excellent arguments, which could free them from Federal custody, but the B.O.P. has created a culture of incarceration which traps mostly black, brown and poor whites inside these slave kamps and gulags.
I mentioned earlier in this essay/article that we were on lockdown here at USP Pollock. What I did not mention is that some prisoners here on Unit A-3 did resist being forced back into their cells. They had good reason to resist, and after another quote from Comrade George Jackson, I will explain.
“As victims of one of history’s most brutal contradictions, as the poorest of the poor, as blacks, it is quite justifiable and completely possible for us to destroy this country as a modern nation-state, to attack it with a totally destructive counter-sweep of frustrated retaliatory rage; that is not our purpose. As revolutionaries, it is our objective to move ourselves and the people into actions that will culminate in the seizure of state power. Our real purpose is to redeem not merely ourselves but the whole nation and the whole community of nations from colonial — community economic repression.” ~George L. Jackson, except from Blood in my Eye, pgs. 133-134
On December 31st, 2019, there was an incident here at USP Pollock which resulted in the warden calling for an institutional lockdown.
On Unit A-3 you have a group of prisoners who have jobs, are involved in rehabilitative programs, etc… “A” Unit is considered the “good side” of the penitentiary — the side where the peaceful and allegedly “well-adjusted” prisoners are all housed.
However, the prisoners on A-3 Unit were not afforded the opportunity to go to the commissary. Their lockers were empty! Some of these men have active and pending litigation. There has been a palpable “frustrated retaliatory rage” building.
It took rubber bullets, shock grenades, batons and chemical agents to force the “good guys” into their cells on Unit A-3 here at USP Pollock.
You see comrades, something is very wrong here at USP Pollock and many other federal pens across the U.S. Deceptions and lies are being told about the so-called rehabilitation and re-entry programming made available to Amerikan prisoners.
Question: If you make your living incarcerating poor Black, Latinx, and white human beings, why in the world would you be interested in turning out whole human beings from these slave kamps? It is not in their interest to help us!
We are being sent back in worse shape than we came in! And then, when we fail, the oppressor profiles us on “Good Morning America” and highlights the worst of us, while ignoring the best of us!
Do you think I will be invited to be interviewed on Good Morning America once I successfully assume my position as Assistant Editor of the San Francisco Bay View — National Black Newspaper? Probably not.
I vow to fight for those I leave behind. But what about now? What shall we do to address the current conditions of our confinement?
A violent and brutal response will not serve our interests. We must set in motion a thoughtful and well-put-together plan which must be embraced by all Federal prisoners in the USP. Violence only plays into the strategy the oppressor has in store for us.
Remember comrades, there will be no programming, no visits, no phone calls and no business transactions while we are on these lockdowns.
It’s time for the shot callers of all street tribes and organizations to communicate with one another now. Exposing the conditions which exist is one part of “the plan”. As the weeks turn into months, I will be offering more ideas and suggestions that may improve our conditions, but I am only one man — I’ll need some help and co-operation from the good men who are trapped inside these razor-wire plantations.
This is just a glimpse – there will follow more. Will you be ready?
Dare to struggle, dare to win, all power to the people!
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Keith “Malik” Washington is Assistant Editor of the Bay View, studying and preparing to serve as Editor after his release in 2021. He is also 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 “Malik” Washington, 34481-037, USP Pollock, P.O. Box 2099, Pollock LA 71467.
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Prison conditions

Letter citing obstruction of programming, and denial of access to courts

Greetings ladies and gentlemen,

My name is Keith “Malik” Washington, I am a fairly well known journalist, activist, and jailhouse lawyer.  I am currently serving a 24-month federal sentence which was imposed upon me for leaving a half-way house in 2007.  I am serving my sentence at the United States Penitentiary located in Pollock, Louisiana.

I have approximately 15 to 17 months left on my federal sentence. I have recently discovered some systemic problems which exist within the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  These current problems obstruct and prohibit thousands of prisoners from accessing or participating in rehabilitation, education, or substance abuse treatment programs.

This obstruction and denial of access to programming is diametrically opposed to the language contained within the First Step Act of 2018. However, blocking or disrupting access to programming pales in comparison to the overt and blatant practice I’ve encountered whereby federal BOP employees purposely deny federal prisoners access to the courts. This is especially pronounced at the federal USPs, like the one I am currently housed in.

In light of recent Supreme Court rulings such as: U.S. vs Davis, U.S. vs Johnson, as well as Rehaif vs. U.S., we now have literally thousands of federal prisoners attempting to file writs of habeas corpus via §2255 as well as §2241 motions in order to persuade U.S. District Courts to vacate, correct, or set aside federal sentences which have been deemed illegal by these recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Federal prison administrators realize that these ongoing lockdowns limit access to law library materials and basically place an obstacle to freedom. Thus far since returning to federal prison, I have been housed at three federal facilities. One of which is the federal transit center located in Oklahoma City, OK. At this facility, federal prisoners have access to Corrlinks, a law library computer, along with a terminal that can print law library materials along with Corrlinks/Tru-link messages.

At USP Beaumont and USP Pollock which are located in Texas and Louisiana respectively, I’ve witnessed an unofficial policy and pattern of practice whereby federal prison officials:

  1. Obstruct or flat out deny access to programming

  2. Deny access to the courts

These violations are manifesting themselves when complex Wardens utilize lengthy lockdowns in order to address instances of violence or any disruption of operations at any USP.  These lockdowns have actually become an accepted practice throughout the BOP.

At this time I am humbly seeking your help in communicating this problem to the BOP Office of General Counsel, the U.S. Inspector General, the media, members of U.S. Congress, as well as the offices of federal BOP Executive Director Kathleek Hawk Sawyer and Assistant BOP Director Hugh Hurwitz who is in charge of overseeing and implementing the BOP’s re-entry programming as codified and described within the First Step Act.

Ladies and gentlemen, the denial of access to the courts is an especially egregious violation of U.S. Constitutional rights.  With that said, I would like to offer some suggestions which could resolve this current miscarriage of justice. Suggestions that could be implemented immediately.

My suggestion is that USP Pollock prison administrators install a computer terminal and printer on singular units that house General Population and Special Housing Unit prisoners. This computer monitor and printer would be used to access and print legal materials and/or Corrlinks and Tru-links messages.

The denial of access to the courts violation can be easily solved by providing prisoners who have active legal cases an hour or two a day to access the law library computer and printer on the Housing Unit.

This law library computer and printer access is especially crucial when we continue to see the use of lengthy lockdowns as a management tool used by federal prison Wardens. Furthermore, it has become a custom, policy, and pattern of practice for USP Wardens to prohibit prisoners from purchasing paper, legal envelopes, or even business envelopes from the Commissary during these extensive lockdowns.

Federal prison administrators have completely ignored the fact that numerous prisoners throughout BOP have active litigation, which can have a significant impact on whether or not they will ever experience life outside of a U.S. federal penitentiary. For this reason, and many more, I request your help in communicating my concerns to the proper authorities.

Respectfully,

Keith “Malik” Washington

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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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