Free Mississippi Movement

From: Free Alabama – Mississippi Movement Blogtalk Radio Show:

Please listen to the recording of August 8th FREE ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT’S blogtalkradio show as we continue our “HANDS OFF OF OUR WOMEN AT TUTWILER” series ahead of our “MARCH ON TUTWILER” AND rally at the State Capitol on August 23, 2014, beginning at 11 a.m.

Also, we will get an update on our FAMILY… in Georgia, and learn about new developments and oppressive tactics that are being carried out by the State against the Men and Women who want their FREEDOM over there also.

“MISSISSIPPI BROWN” will be back again and we look forward to another great show.

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Bill Seeks To Privatize Half Of Ohio Prisons

Thank you to the people at Ohio’s Death Row on Blogger for bringing this to our attention –

Ohio prisons could soon become corporations if lawmakers pass a bill that would privatize up to half of the state’s correctional facilities.
An e-mail sent by the Ernie Moore, the director of Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, warned workers of the possibility, 10 Investigates’ Paul Aker reported on Thursday.
Supporters of the bill said privatizing prisons could save tax dollars, but the prison system’s union employees worry it means they will be out of work.

Continue Reading on ONNtv 

Read Senate Bill 269 Here

More information can be found here;
http://www.ocsea.org/badforohio/

(Even though the above link is for Ohio Civil Service Employees they do have resources that could be utilized by citizens on that page.)

20 inmates shot dead during Mexico prison battle

MEXICO CITY – Twenty inmates were shot to death Monday when a group of prisoners attacked another gang inside a prison in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, authorities said. Two policemen guarding the prison were wounded.
The lock-up in the Pacific coast city of Mazatlan was quickly brought under control and investigators found two pistols and an assault rifle inside, said Martin Gastelum, a spokesman for the Sinaloa state prosecutors’ office.

Gastelum said all the dead inmates were killed by other prisoners. He did not say whether police fired any shots while restoring order.
Sinaloa state Public Safety Secretary Josefina Garcia told Radio Formula that one of the two police officers wounded was in serious condition.
Garcia said 17 of the dead were among the inmates attacked and three were with the attackers.

Local media said those attacked were apparently members of the Zetas drug gang, which is battling the powerful Sinaloa cartel, but officials were unable to confirm that.

Many of Mexico’s most powerful drug traffickers hail from Sinaloa, a key smuggling corridor and cultivation area for marijuana and opiates. The northwestern state, and Mazatlan in particular, are rife with turf battles among drug gangs.
Mexico’s drug gangs frequently try to break their members out of prison, by staging attacks from the outside or buying off prison officials. But there was no immediate confirmation Monday’s shootings involved a prison-break attempt.

Former inmate speaks on CA prisoners abuse series

While reading the Sacramento Bee prison abuse series (9-10 May 2010), I was forced to recall the stretch I served in solitary confinement while incarcerated in the Michigan Department of Corrections. The series reveals some horrible abuses of inmates in California’s prisons, many of which mirror the units we have here in Michigan.

One of the more troubling findings is the lack of redress for prisoners who have been mistreated. When a prisoner’s grievance process is meaningless, or when the grievance is simply never processed, there is no good resolution. Either the prisoner must accept the abuse or find an alternative method of registering his complaint. Often, the alternative method does not work out well.

Beginning my ten-year run in solitary, I was placed next to an inmate called “Brown Dog” who endured the “gas and a cell rush” about three times a week, mostly out of boredom. (By “gas and a cell rush,” I mean a correction officer shooting massive quantities of pepper spray into the cell, opening the door, then a rush of five or six officers – all geared up in helmets, chest protectors, shin shields, and arm padding – who would tackle, twist, and restrain the inmate.) Brown Dog had numerous sheets of paper hanging outside of his cell which I found out later listed restrictions of many sorts. He was not allowed paper in his cell. The water for his toilet/sink fixture was shut off. He was not allowed the three weekly showers everyone else was allowed. He was not allowed to go outside at all, and he was on food loaf, where everything from the meal – say, for instance, ham, yams, two slices of bread, butter, an orange, and red Kool-aid – are blended together into a puree, then baked into a “loaf”. I wondered why he would continue to cause more trouble. “I’m on detention for five more years, and I’ve got nothing better to do,” he’d tell me. Certainly, he had nothing at all to do. He was not allowed anything.

In the many years that followed, I learned how people came to dig such deep holes. Many times I saw simple problems mushroom. If a dinner tray lacked an item, the inmate would request a replacement. If the officer replaced the item, everyone was happy. Sometimes, however, the officer would not. The inmate would ask to speak to the sergeant. The officer would not tell the sergeant. So when the officer came around to pick up the trays, the inmate would refuse to return his tray in an attempt to get the sergeant up onto the cellblock. By this time, of course, the sergeant would come, but he would bring with him the rush squad and a can of pepper spray. Instead of the replacement food item, the inmate received food-loaf for seven, 14, even 30 days.

I don’t know what started Brown Dog down that long road that he traveled, but I have always wondered how many cases such as his could have been stopped if one person had attempted to solve the problem rather than simply resort to force. I don’t pretend that guards are mostly bad and inmates are mostly good. Real life is rarely as simple as that. But many of the problems that crop up in prison could be resolved if the parties involved would muster the effort to try to understand each other. Oft-times, however, those with authority simply choose force.

If we demanded better dispute resolution skills of the officials, we not only might see less need for isolation units but also better outcomes for inmates when they leave. I believe the only way we can achieve that, however, is to improve oversight of those officials we vest with so much power over inmates. The Bee investigation supports this conclusion. And if inmates found that they could achieve a reasonable solution through a grievance procedure instead of having their grievances discarded or ignored, they may choose that route instead of the gas and cell rush method.

By Peter Martel
Criminal Justice Program Associate
American Friends Service Committee
1414 Hill Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Office: 734-761-8283, ext 2

38 Recent HIV Deaths at Alabama Prison

Welcome to American Gulag – Prison News
Wednesday, September 03 2003 @ 08:58 AM UTC
Contributed by: Admin
Submitted by sara totonchi:

On Wednesday, Dr. Stephen Tabet, MD, MPH, an infectious disease specialist, released a detailed 125-page report addressing a large number of deaths and “substandard” medical care provided to HIV and AIDS infected male prisoners confined at Limestone Correctional Facility. The report was filed as an expert opinion in the federal lawsuit of Leatherwood, et. al. v. Campbell, et. al. a case that challenges the inadequate medical treatment and living conditions for HIV and AIDS prisoners at Limestone.

The report provides a graphic portrayal of 38 HIV prisoner deaths since 1999; an examination of numerous HIV prisoners currently confined at the facility; and a tour of the physical facilities used to house the HIV prisoners.

“The medical treatment and living conditions experienced by our clients is completely unacceptable, unconstitutional and appalling,” stated David Lipman, attorney for the class of HIV prisoners at Limestone.

Since 1999, 38 HIV prisoners have died at Limestone. Dr. Tabet’s report concludes that “[I]n almost all instances the death was preceded by a failure to provide proper medical care or treatment.” Almost all of the 38 HIV deaths were caused by “preventable illnesses.” In fact, “[P]atients with serious diseases experienced serious delays in medical care or were not treated at all.” One HIV prisoner “had such severe pneumonia that he suffocated in front of the medical staff – despite the patient’s requests for treatment, he was not sent to a hospital until his condition was irreversible.” Dr. Tabet’s report concludes that “the most egregious medical failure at Limestone is the number of preventable deaths.”

In addition, the report details his personal examination of numerous HIV and AIDS infected prisoners on February 12 and 13, 2003. During the HIV prisoner examinations, Dr. Tabet discovered instances of patients not receiving medical treatment for potentially life threatening illnesses — such as cryptococcal meningitis and pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP); accessibility for handicapped HIV prisoners being “disregarded and neglected”; and evidence of a “recent widespread outbreak of staphylococcal skin infections.

Dr. Tabet also examined the overcrowded open warehouse where the HIV infected prisoners are housed. In his report, Dr. Tabet finds that the “[S]ide-by-side and head-to-toe bunk arrangements place these immune compromised patients and the staff at an undue risk of acquiring contagious diseases.”

Dr. Tabet’s report has been filed in the Northern District Court of Alabama. Dr. Tabet has been retained by the lawyers representing the class of HIV prisoners confined at Limestone. Trial has been scheduled before Federal District Court Judge Karon Bowdre after January 15, 2004. Earlier, in February 2003, Alabama Department of Correction’s own auditors — Jacqueline Moore and Associates — found similar medical and living conditions.

Attorney Lipman continues, “The state of Alabama has failed to provide even a basic, humane level of medical care for our clients. Dr. Tabet’s findings parallel the previous findings found by Alabama Department of Correction’s own auditors, Jacqueline Moore and Associates. We seek Federal Court intervention as the state of Alabama has forfeited their right to provide medical care.”

The report, pleadings and photographs of the prison can be viewed on the web-site of the Southern Center for Human Rights at: http://www.schr.org/prisonsjails/press%20releases/press_limestonereport.htm

From FBOP Prisoner Ronald Kelly

I am writing after listening to a few of your speeches. I would like to bring to your attention the fact that there are over 2.3 million people in prisons in the U.S. compared to only 71,000 in Japan. We have one in ever thirty one adults in the U.S. in jail or on supervised release.
I have heard you say that the U.S. is not a nation of torture, and we are not terrorists – – I must disagree based on the current criminal justice system. When you send a citizen to prison for 151 months with no possibility of parole for low level drug use, you are imposing cruel and unusual punishment as well as torturing that citizen, and also their families, for some petty act, which is barbaric.
One might say, “Oh, it’s just 151 months” but that is 12 years and 7 months, “months” are used because it sounds more friendly than years, but it’s still a petty offense and it’s still torture for the citizen and the families. This policy leaves families without the support of the head of the house, which in turn causes the cycle to start all over again with the children of the broken home ending up in trouble and ultimately in prison. Everyone is quick to place the responsibility on the drug user, but when is the government going to accept their part of the responsibility for all these broken homes and children who are unnecessarily fatherless for decades?
With all these broken homes and families torn apart at the hands of an overzealous government, is it any wonder why the U.S. has by far the highest incarceration rate in the world – – even higher than third-world countries, with 5% of the world’s population we house 25% of the world’s reported prisoners. I ask you: “has putting these petty offenders in prison for decades made life any safer in our communities? In another ten years, would these communities not be safer if the fathers were home to assist raising the children? What do you think these kids are doing while the mother is at work and the father is in prison? They are running the streets becoming the next generation of prisoners! The system perpetuates!! Has it made the import of drugs any less? Of course it has not!
Based on the loss of father’s income, some families are forced to turn to the very thing that cost the loved one their freedom, just to survive. The “war on drugs” which is really the “war on people” has got to change, just like the Iraq to Afghanistan, so must the policy on drugs change to helping, rather than destroying, the people and their families. It is well supported fact that locking people up with draconian sentences for petty drug offenses has not stopped, or even slowed down the flow or use of drugs in this country – – indeed, it made it even worse.
Moreover, why is the federal government prosecuting low level drug possession when the respective states already have laws for this same conduct? Is this the proper role of the federal government? Surely not. Illustratively, federal drug possession under 18 U.S.C. 841 (b) (1) (C) carries up to 20 years while in the State (Oklahoma) it has a maximum of 4 years. The state sentence would be eligible for parole while the federal sentence is not. Is this an even application of laws, fair and equitable?
In the federal system, I receive good time credits of only up to 47 days a year (congress authorized 54, but BOP has devised a scheme resulting in only 470, while in the state (Oklahoma) I could receive 44 days a month (3 days less than all year in the feds), and again, be eligible for parole. Even worse, upon completion of the excessive federal sentence, I must go out and serve yet another 3 years “supervised release.” In the state, when I complete my incarceration, I would be done – – why, pray tell, am I even in the federal system and not the state?
My case originated when another man got arrested with drug and guns by state police. He made a deal with the fed to set someone up – – that someone was me. The reward for his “cooperation” was a sentence reduction from 96 to 24 months while I serve 151 months when he was the one who got busted committing crimes.
Another area that should be of concern is the so-called criminal history sentence “enhancements” based on alleged “prior convictions” for which a person has already been punished. Illustratively, this practice took my sentence from 78months to 151 months, effectively punishing me twice for a crime I completely served my sentence for. Notably, it’s much easier to be convicted of a second offense based on the stigma of being an ex-felon with any prior conviction. Why am I being punished again for the first crime? I am serving 73 more months than otherwise applicable based on a crime I did time for, resulting in double punishment.
Thank you, for your consideration of this important matter. I trust you will take corrective measures to stop this absurd treatment of American citizens.
Respectively,
Ronald D. Kelly

The Rape of American Prisoners

Excerpt From The Rape of American Prisoners
By David Kaiser, Lovisa Stannow

“Ray Brookins worked for the Texas Youth Commission (TYC), the state’s juvenile detention agency. In October 2003, he was hired as head of security at the West Texas State School in Pyote. Like most TYC facilities, it’s a remote place. The land is flat to the horizon, scattered with slowly bobbing oil derricks, and always windy. It’s a long way from the families of most kids confined there, who tend to be urban and poor; a long way from any social services, or even the police. It must have seemed perfect to Brookins—and also to John Paul Hernandez, who was hired as the school’s principal around the same time. Almost immediately, Brookins started pulling students out of their dorms at night, long after curfew, and bringing them to the administration building. When asked why, he said it was for cleaning.

In fact, according to official charges, for sixteen months Brookins and Hernandez molested the children in their care: in offices and conference rooms, in dorms and darkened broom closets and, at night, out in the desert. The boys tried to tell members of the staff they trusted; they also tried, both by letter and through the school’s grievance system, to tell TYC officials in Austin. They did so knowing that they might be retaliated against physically, and worse, knowing that if Brookins caught them complaining he could and would extend their confinement, and keep on abusing them.[3] They did so because they were desperate. But they were ignored by the authorities who should have intervened: both those running the school and those running the Texas Youth Commission. Nor did other officials of the TYC who were informed by school staff about molestation take action.

Finally, in late February 2005, a few of the boys approached a volunteer math tutor named Marc Slattery. Something “icky” was going on, they said. Slattery knew it would be futile to go to school authorities—his parents, also volunteers, had previously told the superintendent of their own suspicions, and were “brow beat” for making allegations without proof —so the next morning he called the Texas Rangers.[6] A sergeant named Brian Burzynski made the ninety-minute drive from his office in Fort Stockton that afternoon. “I saw kids with fear in their eyes,” he testified later, “kids who knew they were trapped in an institution where the system would not respond to their cries for help.”

It continues on with,

“The Rangers forwarded Burzynski’s report to Randall Reynolds, the local district attorney, but he did nothing. Even though it’s a crime in all fifty states for corrections staff to have sex with inmates of any age, prosecutors rarely bring charges in such cases. For a time, from the TYC’s perspective, the problem seemed to go away. The agency suspended Lemuel “Chip” Harrison, the superintendent of the school, for ninety days after concluding its investigation—he had ignored complaints about Brookins and Hernandez from many members of the staff—but then it promoted him, making him director of juvenile corrections. Brookins found a job at a hotel in Austin, and Hernandez, astonishingly, became principal of a charter school in Midland.

Rumors have a way of spreading, though, however slowly. Eventually some reporters started digging, and on February 16, 2007, Nate Blakeslee broke the story in The Texas Observer. Doug Swanson followed three days later in The Dallas Morning News, starting an extraordinary run of investigative reporting in that paper: forty articles on abuse and mismanagement in the TYC by the end of March 2007, and to date more than seventy. Pyote was only the beginning. The TYC’s culture was thoroughly corrupt: rot had spread to all thirteen of its facilities.

Since January 2000, it turned out, juvenile inmates had filed more than 750 complaints of sexual misconduct by staff. Even that number was generally thought to underrepresent the true extent of such abuse, because most children were too afraid to report it: TYC staff commonly had their favorite inmates beat up those who complained. And even when they did file grievances, the kids knew it was unlikely to do them much good. Reports were frequently sabotaged, evidence routinely destroyed.

In the same six-year period, ninety-two TYC staff had been disciplined or fired for sexual contact with inmates, which can be a felony. (One wonders just how blatant they must have been.) But again, as children’s advocate Isela Gutierrez put it, “local prosecutors don’t consider these kids to be their constituents.” Although five of the ninety-two were “convicted of lesser charges related to sexual misconduct,” all received probation or had their cases deferred. Not one agency employee in those six years was sent to prison for sexually abusing a confined child. And despite fierce public outrage at the scandal, neither Brookins nor Hernandez has yet faced trial. In the face of overwhelming evidence, but with recent history making their convictions unlikely, both claim innocence.”

Read Complete Essay Here