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No Package Restrictions for NYS Prisoners!Visitation packages are a crucial part of subsistence in the prisons. New York State’s prison system that houses over 60,000 men, women, and children, all of whom are under fed, under nourished, and are not able to meet hygiene needs without purchasing products. Packages brought in by visitors allow prisoners to sustain themselves while they suffer the “slow death” of the prison system. They receive books, hygiene products, stationery, religious objects, underwear, shoes, shirts and blouses (which allow people to regulate their body temperature). All of these objects are crucial for survival for inmates. The proposal to revise the package directive 4911 by adding 4911A to restrict packages to a small selection of prison vendors will severely restrict what prisoners can have (which is already extremely restrictive) and raise costs for family members who already have an extra burden to bear taking care of their loved ones in and out of prison. Currently, visitation packages can be purchased from bulk stores, which allow families to keep costs down. We can be assured that packages purchased through vendors will be more expensive. In addition to increasing costs for families who are already financially struggling, this directive will put even more money into the hands of the prison industry, which is already a multi-million dollar a year industry that thrives of other people’s immiseration. Meanwhile, prisoners are working for slave wages, making 10-16 cents an hour, and are completely reliant on outside support to supplement their starvation diets served in prison. Furthermore, the justification for restricting packages is that visitors are allegedly smuggling drugs through packages. However, as investigations show, it is often corrections officers who smuggle drugs, and who are the ones allowing in tainted packages. Instead of monitoring the COs--there are currently no cameras in the package room--DOCCS is instead punishing prisoners and their families. In addition, suicide in prison is often a result of alienation, deprivation, and lack of stimulation, which will all increase with a new package restriction. The only things that this directive will be taking out of the prisons if it is implemented are prisoners’ human dignity, will, and incentive for good behavior. We are asking that the new directive, 4911A, be repealed immediately, before the NYS prison system wastes time and money on further roll-out, and before the lives of 50,000 incarcerated people and their families are changed for the worse. Written by families and friends of people incarcerated in Women’s facilities of NYS, presented by Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
Was Darren Rainey Tortured and Killed by Prison Guards at Dade Correctional Institution in Florida?On June 23, 2012, Darren Rainey, a mentally ill black man serving a two-year prison sentence for drug possession, was killed by four prison guards at Dade Correctional Institution in Florida. The Florida correctional officers kept Darren Rainey locked in a shower for two consecutive hours with the water turned up to a scalding 160 degrees — even though Florida state law mandates 120 degrees as the highest available temperature allowed. According to the assigned medical examiner, when Mr. Rainey was removed from the shower, his skin was falling off of his body. Darren Rainey entered the shower around 7:30 p.m. on June 23, 2012 and was pronounced dead around 10:00pm later that night. One prisoner said he heard Rainey screaming, begging to be let out. Another stated that he helped clean up chunks of Rainey's skin from the shower the following morning. Multiple inmates have revealed that the shower was used against them too, as a torture device. Last week, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle's office revealed that, after a five-year legal dispute, no charges will be filed against the four prison guards who allegedly tortured and killed Darren Rainey. In addition, the four accused guards will be allowed to keep their jobs as Florida correctional officers. Prosecutors concluded that Rainey's death was an "accident,” stating that he died from a combination of factors, including health complications of his mental disorder, heart disease that had gone undiagnosed, and what they described as "confinement in a shower." According to prosecutors, the medical examiner's report played a key role in their decision not to press charges against the four prison guards. The Miami-Dade prosecutor's office maintained that the DCI medical examiner report reveals no burns on Darren Rainey after discovering him in the shower, and that any deformed skin was a result of skin "slippage" from being in the shower for too long. When that same medical examiner's report was reviewed by investigators at HuffingtonPost, however, it was discovered that Britney Wilson, a licensed practical nurse at DCI, examined Rainey’s body approximately 10 minutes after he was found, and noted “1st degree burns to 90% of his body.” An additional medical examination conducted by Lt. Alexander Lopez, a firefighter and paramedic with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, reported that Darren Rainey was found “with 2nd and 3rd degree burns on approximately 30 percent of his body." This obvious cover-up is not just an attack on the neglected prisoner community — it is a blatant disregard for the families and communities of anyone who is black, poor, disabled, elderly, and/or lacking health-care and incarcerated. We should all be disturbed, not only by the horrific death of Darren Rainey, but by the failure of the state of Florida to protect him and hold those who are responsible accountable for their actions. The four accused correctional officers are: Sgt. John Fan Fan, Officer Cornelius Thompson, Officer Ronald Clarke, Officer Edwina Williams. Harold Hempstead, former prisoner at FCI, first reported Rainey's death and was a key witness in Darren Rainey's case. http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article140015793.html Hot Water Temperature Laws: Anti-Scald Regulations (Florida) http://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Hot_Water_Temperature_Laws.php#FL The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Report on Darren Rainey’s death. https://cbsmiami.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/darrenraineyincustodydeathcloseoutmemo.pdf Investigation of evidence conducted by HuffingtonPost http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/darren-rainey-inmate-death-dade-correctional-institution_us_58d94c9fe4b03692bea82e1b?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Officials%20Ruled%20Inmates%20Boiling%20Death%20An%20Accident%20But%20Documents%20Show%20They%20Omitted%20Key%20Details&utm_content=Officials%20Ruled%20Inmates%20Boiling%20Death%20An%20Accident%20But%20Documents%20Show%20They%20Omitted%20Key%20Details+CID_8215adfc57846c1e7159b4870e1301a9&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Read%20More&ncid=newsltushpmgnews Other Sources: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/special-reports/florida-prisons/article56108525.html
Pass California SB 54 NowSB 54, the California Values Act, authored by President pro Tem of the State Senate, Kevin de León, prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies, and school police and security departments, from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes. California needs to lead the way and "be the wall of justice" (de Leon) that protects, and advances, social equity and justice. The California legislature must immediately pass SB 54.
Keep the pressure on! Demand Mumia & all affected prisoners get the hep C cureThe Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has shown a blatant disregard for both judicial authority and the thousands of PA prisoners affected by hepatitis C. In January 2017, Pennsylvania Judge Robert Mariani ordered the Department of Corrections to provide Mumia Abu-Jamal with hepatitis C treatment. Mumia has an active, chronic hepatitis C infection, and is at serious risk of experiencing medical complications. The debilitating symptoms of an active hepatitis C infection include extreme skin irritation, limb numbness, vision problems, and swollen feet. Mumia’s organs are extremely vulnerable due to the infection. Despite Judge Mariani’s order, the Pennsylvania DOC has not provided Mumia Abu-Jamal with the hepatitis C treatment. Mumia's lawyers have filed a motion for contempt against the Department of Corrections. The PA-DOC and their private health care provider, Correct Care Solutions, have retaliated by filing an opposition motion to the contempt motion with the 3rd Circuit. Throughout this petty battle over court orders, Mumia's life and the lives of over 6,000 hep C+ prisoners have been disregarded. It is imperative that Mumia, and all other prisoners who need it, get the hepatitis C treatment they need.
Ban Solitary Confinement for Youth Prisoners in State CustodyThousands of adolescent youth, ages 11 to 18, are being held in solitary confinement in jails and state prisons across the U.S. These youth spend 22 or more hours each day alone, often in a small 8-by-8-feet cell, completely isolated both physically and socially, often for weeks, months, or even years at a time. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, as many as 10,000 youth prisoners are held in isolation in juvenile jails nationwide. For youth being held in isolation in adult facilities, there is no official count. The ACLU reports that solitary confinement can "cause serious psychological, physical, and developmental harm, resulting in persistent mental health problems, or suicide." Since youth are still developing, the physical and neurological effects are even more detrimental. These risks are magnified for children with disabilities or histories of trauma and abuse. On Jan 26, 2016, President Obama announced a ban on solitary confinement for juvenile offenders in the federal prison system. He said that the practice is often overused and has the potential for devastating psychological consequences on young people. Although Obama’s ban affected close to 8,000 youth in federal prisons, it had absolutely no impact on those in solitary confinement in state and county facilities. It is up to us to pressure Congress and state prison systems to follow suit!
STOP THE RAIDS, REFORM RICO AND END OVER-PROSECUTION OF OUR COMMUNITIESTrump's inaugural pledge for "Law & Order" is coded messaging to law enforcement agencies, both local and federal, that will empower them to continue their abusive, racialized policing. This will mean more arrests and more incarceration at a time when America should be moving away from needless punishment of Blacks and Latinos. Collaboration between local police department and federal law enforcement in large, military-style "gang" raids have been cheered on by sensationalized media reports. They describe these young men as all being dangerous and part of organized criminal enterprises--which they were not. Over the past few years we have seen the emergence of a bipartisan consensus for criminal and civil justice reforms. Movements are growing across our nation urging legislators to change unfair laws that hurt families and communities of color. A wasted $80 billion a year spent on prisons actually dehumanizes inmates, many who are detained in inhuman conditions, some tortured in solitary confinement and denied visits or communication with their families. Sign this petition, spearheaded by family members of those charged with RICO. Demand that Congress take ACTION NOW to #ReformRICO
A Call to Action for Mark Clarke at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NYMr. Mark Clarke was arrested on April 27, 2016 along with 119 other people in the largest "gang" raid in NYC history. They are now known as the Bronx 120. https://www.bronx120.org/ Indicted on the basis of "evidence" such as social media surveillance, "association" and the NYPD's highly discriminatory criteria for identifying "gang members," the Bronx 120 face federal charges from a DA's office that boasts a 90+% conviction rate. Being charged under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act of 1970 allows for all 120 young men to be implicated in the same 8 alleged murders dating back to 2007. Since the shock-and-awe style raid by 700 militarized law enforcement officials from 6 different agencies last April, the state has employed numerous scare tactics against the Bronx 120 and their loved ones in an attempt to silence opposition to this blatant abuse of authority. Mark Clarke has been sent to Metropolitan Detention Center, the federal prison in Brooklyn, to await trial. Since Mark has been at MDC, other prisoners have reported multiple personal attacks against him by MDC correctional officers, including being denied family visits, being shot with rubber bullets and sprayed with tear gas while in his cell. Although Mark has documented psychiatric issues since his imprisonment last April, he has been denied visits to the psychiatric unit at MDC, despite multiple requests from his mother. Mr. Clarke has been in solitary confinement since September 14, 2016 and will be until October 2017 unless we act on his behalf. Please use this link to donate to the Bronx 120 Commissary and Legal Fund. Because this is a very large federal case, there is a shortage of local lawyers with the experience needed to take it on. This fundraiser will go towards helping to get additional legal support and contribute to commissary. https://www.youcaring.com/targets-of-the-eastchester-raids-and-their-families-640725 Please call these MDC officials to ensure that the warden and others know that people are aware of the situation and put pressure on them to allow family visits and phone calls for Mr. Mark Clarke. Phone: 718-840-4200 (Ext: 5549 Case Manager Demosphenes) (Ext: 5141 Warden's Secretary) Key points to mention when you call/leave a message: --Mr. Clarke needs to be allowed visits and be allowed phone calls. --All documentation about his continued segregation needs to be released to his family.
Unions, refuse to build Trump's wall.While we, petitioners, understand a desire to make a living, we also recognize that to use one’s skills to advance racism and xenophobia is to rob workers of their great potential to advance social justice and to continue their legacy of fighting for human rights. Rather than spending billions to construct an unnecessary wall when barriers already exist, we should be investing taxpayer dollars to hire union workers for much-needed infrastructure projects that strengthen our communities: water and sewer pipes; roads; bridges; transit systems. We ask that all unions and their umbrella organizations instruct their members to boycott work on the wall and to, instead, embrace the racial and cultural diversity of America.
Rahm Emanuel must be released from the position or he should resign after DOJ ReportIn the wake of the DOJ report and 2016's historical Chicago violence level, most of the activists and community right now believe it is way beyond any possible opportunity for Rahm to take any meaningful action to help a wounded Chicago. Also, it's increasingly difficult to envision a scenario in which Emanuel's political movement isn't viewed as a political Hail Mary to save his career by understandably frustrated and suspicious Chicago residents.
Freedom for Ramsey Muniz, Chicano AdvocateRamsey Muniz has been a Chicano advocate since the Sixties, and is beloved by hundreds of thousands of Latinos and other Americans he has inspired, to work within the system, to improve our society and government. Mr. Muniz is now in poor health, in federal prison. He has never been accused of any violent crime, and is not a threat to society or anyone. He is a model prisoner, and at age 74 and disabled, Mr. Muniz just wants to return, to his home in Corpus Christi, to live out the rest of his life with his beloved wife, Irma, and their families. A related article: https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/will-trumps-inauguration-be-day-clemency-died
Kinetic Justice Brutally Attacked by Prison Guards. Transfer Him Immediately!On December 2, 2016, Free Alabama Movement co-founder Robert Earl Council (aka Kinetic Justice Amun) was brutally attacked by two correctional officers at Limestone Correctional Facility. According to multiple sources, Kinetic was beaten and sprayed with mace while handcuffed and being escorted to the shower. There has been no confirmation that he has received proper medical treatment. Kinetic Justice has been imprisoned for over 22 years and is a co-founder of the Free Alabama Movement, which has organized several successful prison work stoppages to demand basic human rights and has provided education and legal support to hundreds of incarcerated people. Kinetic believes that this vicious attack was orchestrated in retaliation for his involvement with the nationwide prison strike that began September 9th, 2016. He now fears for his life. Using excessive force to maliciously and sadistically cause harm violates numerous basic human rights and is a clear violation of the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (the Cruel and Unusual Punishment clause). Please sign this petition demanding that Robert Earl Council ("Kinetic Justice") is transferred from Limestone Correctional Facility immediately. Contact the Alabama Department of Corrections and the Alabama Governor’s Office! Contact information: Warden Christopher Gordy (256) 233-4600 Limestone Correctional Facility 28779 Nick Davis Road Harvest, AL 35749 ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn Assistant ADOC Commissioner Grant Culliver 334-353-3883 email@example.com Alabama Governor Robert Bentley 334-242-7100 Department of Justice 205-244-2001 firstname.lastname@example.org Call script: “I am calling to demand that you release Robert Early Council from solitary confinement and transfer him from Limestone Correctional to a different facility immediately. He was brutally beaten on December 2nd, 2016 at Limestone Correctional Facility, allegedly by officers Doizer and Shoulders. There has been no confirmation that he has received proper medical attention. In addition, Limestone Correctional Officers Doizer and Shoulders should be immediately investigated for the alleged brutal attack of Robert Earl Council." More Background: http://www.inquisitr.com/3752034/kinetic-justice-who-is-he-and-why-should-you-care/