Radical media, politics and culture.

Prisons & Prisoners

DaaaihLoong writes: "The following article from the Washington Post was forwarded to me by email:

Absolute secrecy surrounding detentions is causing concern

By Lois Romano and David S. Fallis

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 — In a high-security wing of Manhattan’s
Correctional Center, an unknown number of men with Middle Eastern names
being held in solitary confinement on the ninth floor, locked in 8- by
cells with little more than cots, thin blankets and, if they request
copies of the Koran. Every two hours, guards roust them to conduct a
head count.

DaaaihLoong writes: "Political Prisoners and Others Locked Down Following September 11th

The social and political pandemonium following the attacks against the
Trade Center and the Pentagon is allowing many governmental policies to
implemented with virtually no scrutiny from the general public. The
drastic of these measures to date has been the ability for repressive
institutions within the United States government to increase their
repression with impunity, particularly the Immigration and
Service (INS), law enforcement agencies and the prison system.

Within hours of the September 11th attacks political prisoners and POWs
across the country were surgically removed from general population and
thrown into Security Housing Units. They were classified as being
placed in
Administrative Segregation and detained officially "for investigation".
Known to be included in the roundup were Marilyn Buck, Tom Manning,
Alberto Torres, Sundiata Acoli, Richard Williams, Father Philip
Kojo Bomani Sababu, Haydee Beltran and Larry Giddings. Also targeted
muslims. These actions were the results of orders that originated in
the US
Department of Justice and came through the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

DaaaihLoong writes: lipmagazine.org has posted an article about the explosion of the female prison population and sexual abuse by predominantly male corrections officers. The disturbing story..."

DaaaihLoong writes: "Several political prisoners in the U.S. Federal Prison System have in
the last few days, (since Sept. 11), been rounded up into isolation
units. (SHU: security Housing Units) These political prisoners include Marilyn Buck, Sundiata Acoli, and Carlos Alberto Torres. Marilyn for instance, is not receiving mail, not able to make phone calls, and perhaps most disturbingly-- cannot communicate with her lawyers.

We’ve been asking the lawyers if this is legal - they think the
prisoners are not supposed to lose their right to counsel no matter
the circumstances.. Abrogating the right to council erases a
fundamental civil right. No one in the Bureau of Prisons will say how
long this punishment and suspension of civil rights for political
prisoners will go on.

We DO want people to know this is happening.. Do spread the word in
political community and to the media about this example of stripping
away of our basic rights in the name of fighting terrorism.

*** BUT ,
this is a very delicate situation and the prisoners are vulnerable so
** Please no phone or fax campaigns yet,. until we have more
from the attorneys.

DaaaihLoong writes:
September 10, 2001 [Volume 12, Issue 16]

Bailing Out Private Jails

By Judith Greene

The private-prison industry is in trouble. For close to a
decade, its business boomed and its stock prices soared
because state legislators across the country thought they
could look both tough on crime and fiscally conservative if
they contracted with private companies to handle the growing
multitudes being sent to prison under the new, more severe
sentencing laws. But then reality set in: accumulating press
reports about gross deficiencies and abuses at private
prisons; lawsuits; million-dollar fines. By last year, not a
single state was soliciting new private-prison contracts.
Many existing contracts were rolled back or even rescinded.
The companies' stock prices went through the floor.

Here was one experiment in the privatization of public
services that might have limped to a well-deserved close.
But instead, the federal government seems to be rushing to
the industry's rescue.

DaaaihLoong writes: "Benjamin Ellis, CDC # P-16230,who is paralyzed and permanently confined to a wheelchair, writes that he has been mentally and physically abused by correctional officers who intentionally place him in harmful situations. He was handcuffed to his wheelchair and forced to perform work which resulted in injuries requiring admittance to the emergency room.

He has been attacked by another inmate who threw him from his wheelchair onto the floor and beat him, robbed him, and cut his face with a homemade knife. He tells of frequent riots within the prison which put him in danger because he cannot defend himself or flee. He says he has filed grievances and these have been ignored and since then he has been harassed and threatened by correctional officers.
He asks for relief as a disabled prisoner, but also wants people to
understand the condition of all prisoners at Susanville.

Alert Contacts:

C.A. Terhune

Director of Corrections

P.O. Box 942883

Sacramento, CA 94283-001

Warden D.L. Runnels

High Desert State Prison

P.O. Box 3030

Susanville, CA 96127

Watch Commander

High Desert State prison

P.O. Box 3030

Susanville, CA 96127"

shoplift writes: "http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010823/ts/three_ strikes_1.html

The assistant director at The Sentencing Project was mighty kind to California voters when he described the "countervailing trends" in attitudes toward mandatory sentencing. Much of the criminal reform currently underway is based on middle-class self-interest. I’ve encountered too many Proposition 36 supporters who were otherwise anti-crime zealots, contemporary versions of the kind of folks who had a picnic at the public hanging, circa 1890. Work-release programs and other alternative sentencing programs such as drug courts spare the prison system from having to house the drug-using middle-class with the traditional prison population, the poor. Having supported the tough-on-crime laws, the middle class is now in reaction against its own initiatives to expand the criminal class. Instead of repealing the mandatory sentencing acts that actually increased the number of non-violent inmates in prison, Proposition 36 seems like it was voted in as an escape clause for middle-class pot-smokers and other recreational drug-users, who will now be sent to treatment instead of jail. To be sure, the law doesn't benefit the middle-class exclusively, but this was the reason for the proposal's success."

Friday, August 17, 9am

Mass Demo at the Criminal Justice Center

East side of City Hall, Broad & Market Sts., Philadelphia, PA

Mumia Abu-Jamal will be in State Court in Philadelphia for a hearing to
reopen the Post Conviction Relief Appeal process. Arnold Beverly confessed
to the cop killing for which Mumia is on death row, but Federal Court Judge
Yohn recently denied the opportunity for Beverly to testify! Therefore, this
time in state court is probably Mumia's last chance in court. It is the most
urgent time ever to STAND WITH MUMIA and demand his freedom now! Mumia will
be there...will you?

International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia (215) 476-8812 www.mumia.org

Free Mumia Abu Jamal Coalition NYC (212) 330-8029

Shoplift writes: "Gadgets abound to prevent prison inmates from assaulting one another or fashioning weapons, from hiding contraband, from sabotaging the plumbing system, from committing suicide. Tragedy and struggle disappear beneath promotional exuberance when selling specially-configured air grilles that can’t be used to fasten a noose, or a wall-mounted, flameless cigarette lighter that can’t be used for torture. And, of course, force, control, detection, and tracking are all markets, with companies scrambling to get inside the electrified perimeter fence.

Autonomedia writes: "A five-day-long counter-conference and demonstration to stop the American Correctional Association's Summer Conference in Philadelphia, August 10th-15th, is announced at: http://www.stoptheaca.org/"


Subscribe to Prisons & Prisoners