My nextdoor neighbor Ben committed suicide in Eastham Unit-Texas

Received from Comrade Malik in Texas:

Greetings Everyone! I’m very sad to report that my nextdoor neighbor Benjamin LaRue, AKA “Ben” committed suicide last night here at Eastham. Ben was a very young white male 24 or 25 years old. He only had a 3 year sentence!! And now he is gone. Needless to say, I am very upset because I saw the signs of depression and I failed to Act. He just had a visit yesterday!! I thought he was OK. I was wrong.

The officer on duty was not doing his security checks! I will be writing a detailed essay about this death. Once again, I am pleading for a visit. I need to talk to someone who really cares about humyn beings. These people neglected Ben. They knew he was troubled (mentally ill). They ignored him!! No matter what T.D.C.J. says, Ad-seg is still as form of solitary confinement and it is no place for anyone but especially for those who have been diagnosed with mental illness!!

Eastham Ad-seg unit is a Torture & Abuse camp! Although I may sound upset, I am strong and my resolve to expose and fight against abuse & injustice is strengthened.

His name was Benjamin LaRue and his life mattered!!

In Solidarity,

Malik
(Nov 18 2017)
Malik can be reached via Jpay.com (search for: Keith Washington, Texas TDCJ nr: 1487958 or by writing him to:

Keith Malik Washington, TDC# 1487958
Eastham Unit
2665 Prison Road 1
Lovelady, Texas 75851

Here is a poem Malik wrote that he dedicated to Benjamin LaRue:

 

Bad Karma

By Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington

 You were vested with authority in order to oversee and care for those whose lives had become a bust.

Instead of sustenance and care you traumatized, degradd, and dehumanized your charges, blatantly violating the public’s trust.

For years I observed you—patiently I waited behind the scenes.

You grew arrogant and cocky—puffed up with pride—thinking it was ok to mistreat society’s throw-aways and discarded humyn beings.

When the vulnerable cried out for Justice—you cleaned up the crime scenes and pretended as if the deaths were accidents, always claiming the Agency did no wrong.

We let you get away and as a result you became very confident that weak indigent prisoners could never overcome the strong.

But perceptions of the oppressors are just subjective feelings not always based on FACT.

Your crimes have caught up with you now and No Power in this world can ever Hold us Back!

Did you really believe you’d get away after hurting all these innocent people?
No recompense, no pay back, totally scot-free??

Not so fast STATE of Texas I have something very special for the media and the public to see!!

What you dished out will be given back in dividends—10 times worse in the END.

My name is BAD Karma and I’m definitely not your friend.

Remember the elderly and disabled at Estelle you allowed them to be beat-I was there.

Remember when we asked Senator Whitmire to intervene—he said he didn’t CARE!

Remember when we asked if the water at Pack I was poison—you said it was ok.

Remember the suicides which were actually murders—you took our sons, brothers, husbands, fathers brutally away!

Well, all those things are catching up with you Gregg; are you ready, it is now Judgement Day.

I won’t announce when I’m coming bust surely I will Arrive.

I’m Bad Karma; isn’t Destiny Great? don’t you feel blessed to be Alive?

Well it’s over—you’ve been found out—you most certainly did nothing great.

I’m Bad Karma, here to show the world what happens to Government officials who make a living sowing seeds of HATE!

 This poem is dedicated to Benjamin LaRue, a mentally ill prisoner and friend of Malik who recently was found dead in his cell at the Eastham Ad-seg unit in Lovelady Texas

Reject Suicide – Choose Life! And Change the World!

Reject Suicide — Choose Life! And Change the World!
(We Must Not Be Silent – Series)

By Keith Malik Washington

Peace and blessings sisters and brothers!

A couple of months ago, Net-Flix had a series which shed light on the topic of teenage suicide — “13 Reasons” or something to that effect.  I read about teenagers in Florida being influenced in a negative manner after watching this Net-Flix series.  Around the same time I was working on the content of Justin and my You-Tube video concerning the genocide in Chicago.  The word that popped into my head was nihilism.

It really hurts me to see young people choose death over life.  I just can’t explain to you the feeling of euphoria I feel when I fight for humyn or civil rights–and win!!  It’s awesome when you sacrifice your time, energy and resources for a cause you believe in and you become the change!!

If anyone should be contemplating suicide it should be me!  I’m in a maximum security prison in one of the most abusive and unjust prison systems in the United States.  Texas prison is horrible!  I’m not just in prison. I’m in solitary confinement for a trumped up and fabricated riot charge.  My cell is infested with roaches, and the heat index regularly reaches 105 degrees fahrenheit plus!  There is no airconditioning!  The water is contaminated and toxic!  I have been the constant target of religious discrimination.  I have been denied parole 5 times in a row–and the prison administration hates my guts!!

Wouldn’t suicide be the easy way out of this screwed-up existence?  But I choose life!  Not only do I choose life, I choose to fight!  And I fight hard as hell!!  Want to know why?

Britney Gulley is a female prisoner in Texas.  She is housed in Ad-Seg, which is solitary confinement in Texas prisons.  A few months ago when Britney was housed at the Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville, TX, she wrote a passionate piece which appeared in the San Francisco Bay View, a National Black Newspaper.  The article she wrote was about the horrible living conditions and treatment of wimmin at the Lane Murray Unit, especially those held in Administrative Segregation.

Britney sent out a plea for a help.  I heard her cry for help and I immediately took action.  There are many strong, intelligent, and influential wimmin who aid me in fighting the ultra-corrupt Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  I know a few successful media correspondents and I even contacted my friend Ollie Jefferson, a humyn rights lawyer who has volunteered to help Texas prisoners like Britney who have become victims of this cruel and inhumane solitary confinement environment Texas maintains.

I asked my friends and comrades to reach out and help Britney!!  But somehow Britney was forgotten about–there just is not enough help for wimmin in Texas prisons!!  Their voices are ignored and sometimes silenced!!

A few weeks ago, Britney attempted suicide!! She was not successful and she has been sent to a mental health treatment facility called Sky View Unit, located in Rusk, TX.  From Sky View Unit Britney wrote another impassioned article that was published in the July 2017 edition of the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper.  The article is entitled “Why So Many Suicides at Lane Murray Unit, A Texas Women’s Prison?”

Sisters and brothers, something is very wrong at the Lane Murray Unit located in Gatesville, Texas.  I don’t know about you, but those wimmin’s lives matter to Comrade Malik!!

Sisters and brothers, the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March, which is scheduled for August 19th, 2017 in Washington D.C., provides an excellent opportunity for us to shed a national spotlight on Texas and Lane Murray Unit.  I highly recommend you consider attending this historic event.

In the meantime, I am sending out a call to action for all female media correspondents, activists, and female legislators to contact Lori Davis, the TDCJ-CID Director and demand that Director Davis launch a thorough and fact-finding investigation at the Lane Murray Unit.  I am sending out a plea for help from the United States Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division.  Something is very wrong down here in Texas prisons!!

I am sending out a personal plea to the National Lawyers Guild, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and every feminist in Amerika with a conscience!!  Help me contact Texas legislators!!  We have a special session scheduled for the 85th Texas Legislature to begin July 18th, 2017.

Sisters and brothers, this is an exciting time to live and fight for humyn rights.  Without young people and young voices along with your passion and energy and gifts, the revolution dies!!  Please choose life!!  And as Jesse Jackson would say:  “Keep hope alive!”

Dare to struggle, dare to win, all power to the people!!

What You Can Do

Sisters and brothers, if you want to help solve this ongoing problem, please call the following Texas legislators and voice your concerns. Thank you!!

Senator Royce West – (512) 463 0123
Senator John Whitmere – (512) 463 0115
Rep Dr. Alma Allen – (512) 463 0744
Rep Garnet Coleman – (512) 463 0524
Rep Rafael Anchia – (512) 463 0746
Rep Marisa Marquez – (512) 463 0638
Rep Trey Martinez Fischer – (512) 463 0616
Rep Harold Dutton Jr. – (512) 463 0510

This text was also recorded for Malik’s YouTube Channel.


Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a co-founder and chief spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (prison chapter). Malik has been instrumental in calling for the abolition of legalized slavery in Amerika and is very active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign.  You can view his work at comrademalik.com and write to him directly at:

Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington
TDC#: 1487958
Eastham Unit
2665 Prison Road #1
Lovelady, TX 75851

UK: Hewell Prison the worst in Britain – Murder, suicide, blunders and escapes

15 February 2015
Reblogged from: Birmingham Mail
Written by Nick McCarthy

Redditch jail comes in for heavy criticism following catalogue of catastrophe

Campaigners have branded a crisis-hit Midland prison as one of the worst in Britain.
HMP Hewell, on the outskirts of Redditch, has been hit by rocketing death rates and chronic overcrowding.

It is the prison where evil Leo Barnes managed to hang himself last month – in the middle of his trial for the murder of helpless pensioners Cynthia Beamond and Philip Silverstone.

But that was just one of a catalogue of problems at Hewell since it was officially opened on June 25, 2008.

There have been suicides, blunders, escapes – and even a MURDER.

In fact, the Howard League for Penal Reform has recorded one murder and four suicides at Hewell in the last 12 months alone.

And the charity has revealed that Hewell was running at more than 25 per cent above its capacity in November – the same month a scathing report was published following by HM Inspector of Prisons.

The report found that the use of force at the prison was increasing, 40 per cent of cells were overcrowded, and almost one in five prisoners had developed a drug problem whilst behind bars.

Read the rest here.

Ohio places prison physician on paid leave during investigation of inmate’s suicide

Daily Reporter, June 10, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio has placed a prison doctor on paid administrative leave during an investigation into the suicide of an inmate under the doctor’s care.

Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokesman Carlo LoParo said Friday the action taken with Dr. Myron Shank is standard during such investigations.

The state is looking into the June 2 suicide of Gregory Stamper, convicted of a double homicide in 1995, who hanged himself at Allen Correctional Institution in Lima in northwestern Ohio.

Read the rest here.

AZ: Suicide/homicide rates skyrocket at AZ Department of Corrections

From Arizona Prison Watch

I obtained prisoner death records last week from the AZ Department of Corrections, and the stats on suicides and homicides since Brewer took office are mind-boggling: they’re twice the rate as they were when Janet was governor; this fiscal year (beginning July 2010) the suicides are on track for being three times the annual rate.

In no instance of the recent suicides has there been documentation that ADC staff had any culpability – though I’ve had more than one family member tell me that their mentally ill loved one had been taken off of their psychiatric medications in prisons before their suicide or homicide. That sounds to me like a pattern of institutional neglect.

Anthony Lester‘s death remains a mystery to me, by the way – the ADC record detailing his death lists his injuries as self-inflicted (his jugular, his right wrist, and his leg were all cut with a razor) , but a document compiling the deaths for the year calls it a homicide. Tony’s family was told it was a suicide – a “highly preventable” one, which they tried to warn the ADC he was at risk for. They have other information suggesting that he believed he was in imminent danger from a gang, though. Until I get confirmation to the contrary, I’m leaving him in the suicide category.

Tony suffered from schizophrenia, and was sentenced to more than a decade in prison due to two women being slightly injured trying to prevent him from cutting his throat (both required band-aids at the scene) during a psychotic episode. He had to be restored to sanity before he could go on trial, of course. That’s par for Maricopa County’s treatment of people with mental illness who needed psychiatric hospitalization before or at the time of their “crime”. If I could sick the DOJ on every responsible judge and prosecuting attorney, I would, because that’s a violation of the Olmstead Decision, as far as I’m concerned. The Olmstead Decision was a Supreme Court verdict that determined that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires states to deinstitutionalize and place people with disabilities in the least restrictive setting possible.

Arizona, after 20 years of Arnold v. Sarn litigation, is still underserving the seriously mentally ill in the community. Here they’re just criminally prosecuted for the symptoms of their illness and thrown into the most restrictive setting possible – state prison (often maximum security) – largely because the state lacks adequate outpatient and inpatient alternatives for individuals at risk of harming themselves or others (we spend it all on corrections instead. If ADC Director Ryan had any courage, he’d call that what it is and tell the state where to put their money and the courts where to stuff their convictions).

Why else would a judge give a man with schizophrenia three years for climbing a utility tower in a thunderstorm to be closer to God? Why would he even be prosecuted for that in the first place? I think they actually believed they were protecting him from himself. Sadly, Shannon Palmer ended up being murdered by his cellmate two years in.

The deaths by “natural causes” are also extremely young – go to the ADC’s website, under ADC in the News, for death notices. There’s an archive on that page, too. I suspect that it’s complications from the effects of the Hep C virus that’s killing people so young inside. I’ll be analyzing the documents I obtained further to confirm that, and post it when I compile it all.

Here are the links for the APW posts about the more recent suicides:

Special Management Unit: Prisoner suicide at ASPC Eyman (11/4) – James Galloway

Prison suicide and gangs at Florence Central (10/01) – Duron Cunningham, Rosario Rodriguez-Bojorquez

Additionally, I missed a couple of suicides in my compilation that I didn’t have info on until now:

Douglas Nunn 33 (8/29/09) – ASPC-Florence/Central

Patricia Velez 25 (4/28/10) – ASPC-Perryville/Lumley

All 3 of the women who have killed themselves in the past year and a half hung themselves and were housed in Lumley, where the maximum security yard is. All three were in their 20s. I don’t know if Patricia had a mental illness or not: a psychological report was sealed by the court when she was sentenced to 7.5 years for aggravated assault and fleeing a law enforcement vehicle. Geshell and Sasha, the other two women from Lumley who killed themselves, did have evidence of a serious mental illness when sentenced.

Two of the men who killed themselves recently were both from ASPC-Florence/Central. The largest number of male suicides in any one prison have occurred at ASPC-Eyman, however.

Sometime in the next couple of days I’ll break down the suicides and homicides by race and age, and tell you how they compare to stats for the overall prison population, as well as to rates in the general population. It seems to me that if all the violence boiled down to a gang war, the Aryan Brotherhood is winning.

Louisiana Jail Holds Suicidal Prisoners in "Squirrel Cages"

Jul 8th, 2010

Suzanne Ito, ACLU

Mentally ill prisoners deserve more care and consideration while incarcerated, but time and again, the ACLU often finds the exact opposite: they’re treated even worse than the general population. Today, the ACLU of Louisiana sent a letter to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain and Parish President Kevin Davis asking them — horrifyingly enough — to stop treating suicidal prisoners like animals.
St. Tammany Parish officials have a policy of locking suicidal prisoners in 3-by 3-foot metal cages that prison staff call “squirrel cages.” After prisoners are deemed suicidal, they’re stripped half-naked and put in the cages without a bed, blanket, shoes or toilet. Requests to use the bathroom are often ignored by guards, so prisoners urinate in milk cartons, or soil themselves inside the cage. Some prisoners reported being forced to wear bright orange, Daisy Duke-style shorts with the words “HOT STUFF” scrawled across the backside.
To add insult to injury, the cages are placed in the main part of the jail, so the caged prisoners are a spectacle for other prisoners to gawk at.
The ACLU of Louisiana’s letter (PDF) points out:

These conditions are clearly unconstitutional. According to the St. Tammany Parish Code they are also inhumane. St. Tammany Parish Code 4-121.10 states that dogs must be kept in cages at least 6′ wide x 6′ feet deep, with “sufficient space [. . .] to lie down.” Sick prisoners in your care are afforded approximately one quarter of the space required for animals under the Parish Code.

So despite Sheriff Strain’s previous assertion that prisoners “need to be caged like animals,” in Tammany Parish, suicidal prisoners aren’t even afforded the rights of a dog.

Tammany Jail is set to receive $2 million to upgrade its facilities after a prisoner escaped earlier this year. The ACLU urges the sheriff to put some of that money toward more humane treatment of mentally ill and suicidal prisoners. The letter concludes: “St. Tammany is one of the wealthiest parishes in Louisiana; not only can you afford to treat your sick better than this, but the Constitution mandates that you do so.”

Link to Article Here

We are wondering how many people must die here in the Supermax?

“We are wondering how many people must die here in the Supermax before they find the source of this problem, these so-called ‘invesigations’ the department claims to have launched is like a dud firecracker. There will never be a ‘bang’ to solve this problem, not when you are investigating yourself.

We are wondering what happened with no investigation when the brother Lornell Evans died up here Oct. 2, 2005? We don’t even remember seeing an initial report in the newspaper from State Corrections Department John Dipko – is it because Mr. Evans is black and mr. Rundel is white? No, we are not playing the race card here, just laying out the evidence. We are all prisoners in my book, and every prisoner is my fellow brother of this ongoing struggle for peace & justice at the hand of the opprerssors. It could be because of liability, the way Mr. Lornell Evans died, and the way mr. Steven T. Rundel died.

After a major operation Mr. Evans was brought back here to the Supermax, when he should have stayed at the hospital where he could be watched by trained doctors & nurses, but here they just left him in a cell and after he (Mr. Evans) informed them that his stomach hurts and he could not eat, they never sent him back out to the hospital or no institution nurse at this facility came down to check him – the next day he was dead (R.I.P. Soljah).

Now since Mr. Steven T. Rundel died at his own hands, and was a convicted child molester, it is easier for the oppressors to drag his name through the mud, knowing the public will turn a blind eye to a child molester’s death. We can’t play into the oppressors’ hands, I’m on the inside and know better, we asked why have two people died here this year? Why wasn’t Mr. Evans sent back to the hospital? Why happened with the Jones-El and Johnson- v. Berge, et al. Class Action Agreement that all prisoners must be screened by a psychologist for any kind of mental illness before they are sent here to the Supermax – someone failed in this screening process.

Mr. Steven T. Rundel clearly had some kind of mental illness to take his life, he was not there a good month-and-a-half. John Dipko the Department spokesman said “the Department has launched an invetigation into how Rundel was able to construct a noose from his bedsheets and hanging himself without attracting notice of prison personnel.” Even a monkey will figure this out. Prison personnel don’t give a damn about prisoners’ well-being, and I’m in a room constructed the same way as Mr.Rundel’s and there’s no place in this room to hang yourself but on the bars on the door, and the crazy thing about it is that the bars play no purpose in supporting the door, they can cut the two bars off the door. This was an incident just waiting to happen – the doors on Alpha unit don’t have these bars on it, so why do these doors need them? This is monkey science. Take the bars off the doors, they don’t need them – their investigation will go nowhere.

We on the inside are callling for help. How many more must die, hear our voices, hear our cry comrades. The bars on the door are about five feet off the floor so Mr. Rundel had to kneel down with his feet still on the floor. Rounds: all staff are supposed to make their rounds on the range: white shirts, unit manager, nurses, social workers, and crisis workers. The white shirts, unit manager, nurses, social workers, and crisis workers might come on the unit and sign in at the sergeant cage, but no rounds on the ranges where the prisoners are at, unless it’s some kind of emergencyor a prisoner is getting suited up on. This will be the time you can catch them on the range – ‘some’ sergeants make rounds – not all – all frontlline officer will make rounds – and one psychologist, Dr. Hughes has for the last 30 days been making rounds once a week cell to cell asking prisoners if they are okay. No-one else is concerned. So this is how Mr. Rundel hung himself without attracting notice of prison personnel.”[January 1st, 2006)