[Pnews] Solidarity had the might to move the mountain of prison torture that kept us isolated and voiceless – we still need you now, even more

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sun Oct 12 15:40:45 EDT 2014

*Solidarity had the might to move the mountain of prison torture that 
kept us isolated and voiceless – we still need you now, even more*


October 11, 2014

*/by Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa and Jabari Scott

CDCR deliberately lied about their implementation of the Security Threat 
Group (STG) Step Down Program (SDP) sanctioned by Gov. Jerry Brown. We 
prisoners, the Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM), all our 
supporters, all state legislators and all citizens of California are 
being lied to and manipulated by Gov. Jerry Brown, CDCR Secretary 
Jeffrey Beard, George Giurbino of the Division of Adult Institutions 
(DAI), Suzan Hubbard of DAI and the Departmental Review Board (DRB), 
Tehachapi Warden Kim Holland and Chief Deputy Warden W. Sullivan as they 
continue their torture tactics from Pelican Bay to Corcoran to Tehachapi 
state prisons.

Gov. Brown and CDCr administrators are currently violating our United 
States constitutional rights, the California Code of Regulations and 
other rules, laws, policies and standards with the intent of breaking 
down and destroying men and women prisoners, family bonds and moral 
ethics here in California.

On July 11, 2014, I was transferred from Pelican Bay State Prison to 
CCI, better known as Tehachapi State Prison. During my journey, I had a 
week long layover at DVI, Tracy, from July 11-17, 2014. I continued my 
journey on July 17 and arrived at Tehachapi on that same day.

My week long journey was pretty much uneventful, but I was able to touch 
base and educate a few young up and coming, politically conscious prison 
activists to a better understanding ofceasing hostilities 
<http://sfbayview.com/2014/10/california-prisoner-representatives-all-people-have-the-right-to-humane-treatment-with-dignity/> and 
where we stand in our protracted peaceful protest.

Upon my arrival here at Tehachapi, it immediately became clear to me 
that my next two years were going to be another form of modern day 
slavery and that the past four years of protest – all we fought through 
and accomplished – had fallen on deaf ears here at Tehachapi with Warden 
Kim Holland. My very first run-in with these backward, mountain dwelling 
slave drivers was during my journey from DVI.

The mail I received there was put on the transportation bus. Upon my 
arrival at Tehachapi, the transportation sergeant gave my personal mail 
to Tehachapi Receiving and Release staff with instructions to give it to 
me when they found housing for me. I was later walked approximately 125 
yards from R&R to 4B-7C housing, where I and two others were placed in 7 
Building’s holding cages.

I reminded the correctional officer of the transportation sergeant’s 
instructions and that the large envelope contained my personal mail and 
I would like to have it before being placed into my assigned cage. His 
response was, “You’ll get your stuff!” When he walked away, I knew I 
wouldn’t see him or my mail again; and to this day, I have yet to 
receive my personal mail.

This hellish modern day slave camp and all its staff have been 
brainwashed and indoctrinated into an old, prehistoric, backwards prison 
mentality of the 1960s and 1970s, minus the physical violence, which has 
been replaced by a new form of violence, mental assault through every 
facet of this institution and its officials. All of the rights that have 
been rightfully ours as prisoners since long before Oct. 12, 2012, are 

Warden Kim Holland’s staff knowingly violate daily every rule, policy, 
law, standard and constitutional provision that has been written to 
provide prisoners with their basic human rights, and they do it as 
though they have no conscience at all and it is their normal way of 
life, that we prisoners should be thankful for and accept with a smile 
and “thank ya, sir.”

With that, they flex their muscles as though they stand on the absolute 
power of virtual impunity that allows them to constantly get away with 
the crimes they commit upon us prisoners daily. Thus, they boldly think 
we should bow to their whim.

On July 17, 2014, as I was being escorted to my cage, just about every 
prisoner in 4B-7C (whom I had never met) was yelling out at me to check 
my laundry roll for sizes. I wasn’t sure at the time why they were 
yelling this to me, but through my many years of experience, I knew it 
was a warning.

Therefore, as soon as I was in my cage and was un-cuffed, I immediately 
began to check my laundry roll. I held up the boxer underwear so that 
the correctional officer (c/o) could clearly see that the boxer 
underwear I was holding up couldn’t have been any bigger than a large.

The c/o looked at the boxers and looked at me, then said, “and,” as 
though I was either supposed to just accept them without any argument or 
what was he supposed to do about it. This foul show of disrespect got my 
blood boiling. I responded “What in the hell is this?” holding the 
boxers closer to the door.

With that, I picked up what looked like a T-shirt. It was so dirty and 
small that I really wasn’t sure if it was a T-shirt or rag to clean my 
floor and toilet with. It, as well, couldn’t have been any bigger than a 
large. Looking at my size and the size of the boxers and T-shirt, it was 
crystal clear that I couldn’t have fit any of these items in my teen 
years, and if I could, I wouldn’t put my body in nothing that dirty.

Therefore, I asked the c/o to go find me something I could fit – 
something around a 4XL for both the boxers and T-shirt. When he left my 
door, I took a good look at these super small, dirty boxers and T-shirt, 
and was, well, bowled over how this prison enforcer responded to my 
dilemma. It was clear to me that this administration utilizes the 
methods of dehumanization by stripping prisoners of their dignity, one 
layer at a time.

I soon learned that Receiving and Release SHU Property Officers were 
also a tool of reaction that this administration uses against us and 
that this office regularly practices the art of intentionally destroying 
and or making prisoners’ property disappear, while keeping a straight 
poker face, acting as though it never existed or it never came though 
the property room.

We were informed by IGI Counselor V. Ybarra and all of 4B-7C staff that 
the property policy is: Your property follows you soon after you step 
off the transportation bus, meaning we no longer have to wait 10 days 
after our arrival or after we have gone to Classification or after a 
long 30-day waiting period. Now it’s immediately after your arrival, 
your property is broken down and sent to your assigned location. Thus if 
all the above staff are well aware of this property policy, then it is 
quite clear that the R&R property officer is well aware of it as well, 
when property is his responsibility.

My cellie, Jabari Scott, arrived here on Sept. 2, 2014, and as of Sept. 
23, he still has not yet received his property. Therefore, you have a 
policy that’s not being adhered to or enforced and a property officer 
doing what he wants, when he wants, no matter what rule or policy he breaks.

Note to all prisoners who are scheduled to be transferred to Tehachapi 
State Prison: Make sure to get an accurate and complete, itemized 
inventory slip of every item in your property before signing and 

All California state prisons are mandated by statute to provide each and 
every prisoner in the prison system, whether you are in SHU or in Step 1 
through 4 of the SDP or in general population, with the required 
allotment of clothing and housing supplies to keep themselves and their 
living quarters clean and to practice good health habits essential to 
the maintenance of physical and mental well-being.

State mandated clothing allotments are one pair of shoes, six pairs of 
socks, four boxers, four T-shirts, two pillow cases, four sheets, three 
towels, two washcloths, two floor towels, two jumpsuits, one denim 
jacket, one beanie, two blankets, one laundry bag, one pillow, one 
mattress, one solid plastic coffee mug and one solid plastic spoon.

State mandated weekly laundry exchanges require that all state prisons 
provide prisoners a one-for-one exchange limited to three T-shirts, two 
sheets, three pairs of socks, three boxers, one pillow case and two towels.

Upon your arrival at Tehachapi, each prisoner is issued one clothing 
roll and one bedding roll, which is your one and only issue for the 
duration of your time here.

The clothing roll consists of one pair of socks, one boxer, one T-shirt, 
one towel and one floor rag. The bedding roll consists of two sheets and 
two blankets.

Laundry exchange: Keep in mind that no issued laundry is new, and all of 
it is very battered and used. Weekly laundry exchange goes by a one full 
clothing roll for one full clothing roll in return, which means that you 
can only exchange full rolls – a clothing roll consisting of one 
T-shirt, one boxer and one pair of socks or a bedding roll of two sheets 
– or you can choose not to exchange anything at all. You don’t have a 
choice on what size you receive in return. All laundry rolls are 
pre-made, and size is not considered; therefore, it’s a 
take-it-or-leave-it exchange and luck of the draw on sizes.

Housing supplies: All SHU prisoners here at Tehachapi are issued one 
small paper dixie cup and one small plastic picnic spoon. Supply 
exchange is every two to three weeks, if we are lucky; thus, you must be 
real careful in the maintenance of your dixie cup and picnic spoon to 
ensure they last until the next supply exchange.

Cleaning supplies: Each prisoner is issued one yellow cleaning rag, and 
once a week an officer will yell out, “disinfectant.” At that time, all 
prisoners are expected to push their yellow rags out under their door. 
Then the officer will walk by, pouring disinfectant onto the yellow 
rags. You have to sop up as much disinfectant as possible, then squeeze 
it into some sort of milk carton or container to preserve as much of the 
disinfectant you sopped up as you can. This practice is so disrespectful 
and degrading that we refuse to participate in it. Those are the only 
cleaning supplies that Tehachapi provides its prisoners with. State 
mandate requires that all state prisons provide three ounces of uncut 
disinfectant, plus one cell cleaning rag and one scrub pad, weekly.

TV stations: We struggle to get all the following basic stations: ABC, 
CBS, NBC, Fox, MY13, COZI, two Spanish stations and four church 
stations. The struggle is that some stations are blurry and very hard to 
see; others go in and out all throughout the day, every day, and others 
just black out for about 30 to 40 seconds. TV access starts at 6:48 
every morning.

Pillows: Tehachapi does not issue pillows and the floor officers will 
write you a rule violation if a home-made pillow is found in your cell. 
Therefore, we roll up our jumpsuits, towel and blanket and put them in a 
T-shirt at night, then unroll them every morning.

Mirrors: There are no mirrors whatsoever in any cell. We have a very 
small mirror in each shower and it is the only place and time we have 
access to a mirror.

Containers: They are not allowing us to have or possess any canteen 
containers and some plastics. They argue that because we have in-cell 
electric plugs, we could use them to make weapons. Their argument makes 
it clear that Tehachapi refuses to advance out of the Stone Age and 
embrace the future. Thus, they are going to fight tooth and nail on 
adhering to SDP policies.

Water: The water here is so bad that every correctional officer here 
refuses to drink it and every one of them brings his own water to drink. 
The water is treated with so much sodium that it leaves a thick white 
deposit caked on all our sink nozzles that is as thick and hard as 
cement. And when you run your water in your sink for about 10 to 14 
seconds, you’ll start to see the sodium deposit build up, foaming around 
the edges of the water.

Turn the water off, as it dissipates, it leaves behind a thick white 
film that hardens on the inside of your sink. This thick, white sodium 
film sticks to the inside of your cups and bowls, too, as well as to 
your body, which leaves you with an itchy feeling.

Now if this sodium film deposit is sticking to everything water touches, 
what is it doing to the inside of our bodies after we consume it, 
especially when you’re drinking the eight recommended cups of water a 
day? Tehachapi is well aware of this water issue but it is of no concern 
to them, because to them, we are only prisoners! And they don’t have to 
drink it.

Yard: Buildings 4B-7 and 4B-8 share a total of 24 yard cages, 12 cages 
per building. Each building has 64 cells, and Tehachapi SHU only runs 
one yard a day for SHU prisoners for three and a half to four hours. 
Therefore, it could take five to seven days for the yard to make a full 
rotation. Thus, each cell is not getting its 10 hours a week allotted 
yard and exercise time, which is mandated by law.

Medication chronos: Me, my cellie, Jabari Scott, and many other 
prisoners were taking various different medications and had various 
different active medical chronos that were prescribed by medical doctors 
in our previous prisons to alleviate pain and bring comfort to 
disabilities. All have been taken by a rogue doctor employed by 
Tehachapi – another tool of reaction deployed against us.

H. Tate, M.D., is an old war veteran who has a firm grip on his old war 
roots. He has a high threshold for pain and believes that everyone else 
should too. Thus he follows a firm practice of “If it’s not killing 
you,” he will save CDCr some money in not treating you.

All my pain meds were taken and all my cellie’s pain meds were reduced 
to regular over-the-counter Tylenol that we can buy from the canteen. We 
both are in so much pain that we are not sleeping through the night, nor 
can we perform many of our daily activities and functions. And many 
other prisoners are experiencing the same discomforts at the hands of 
Dr. Tate.

Programming: The big con, The Big Lie, the scheme, sham, bogus Step Down 
Program Steps 3 and 4 at Tehachapi State Prison – the whole conspiracy 
was sold to us by Secretary Jeffrey Beard, Undersecretary Martin 
Hoshino, Adult Institutions Director Michael Stainer, Departmental 
Review Board Director George Giurbino, Adult Institutions Deputy 
Director Suzan Hubbard, Corrections Counselor II C. Vargas at Pelican 
Bay and Warden Kim Holland of Tehachapi and sanctioned by Gov. Jerry 
Brown as if it was a beautiful Hawaiian vacation. It all was a lie – a 
hoax – and this was never a functional or functioning step anything program.

This is the worst SHU in California. Nothing that resembles a step down 
program is functioning here, nor can it be for quite some time, because 
it was finally admitted and is a fact that Tehachapi SHU will have to go 
through a major overhaul and retro-fitting to be able to secure both 
prisoners and guards. It was as well revealed that there are far too 
many blind spots that the gun tower cannot see.

Thus, as we speak, only one cell at a time is allowed to come out to 
what they are calling and selling as group dining, and thus far, only 
four prisoners have been approved for group yard. Steps 3 and 4 are only 
allowed to walk to the showers with no cuffs once a week. The other two 
times a week, we are escorted and cuffed.

The STG/SDP was forced upon us Oct. 12, 2012, as a token given by CDCr 
in hope that it would wash away all the years of torture and foul deeds 
subjected on us. This supposed token became our only means of escaping 
our torture. For us here at Tehachapi, that token became our new form of 
torture, only with a new name, Tehachapi, and what we have come to 
realize is that the supposed token of good faith has twin evil heads – 
one that stares you in the face, while the other is biting you on the ass!

The facts are concrete and crystal clear that Beard, Hoshino, Stainer, 
Giurbino, Hubbard, Holland and Chief Deputy Warden W. Sullivan all knew 
from the beginning that Tehachapi State Prison SHU would not be a match 
made in heaven and was, in fact, incompatible with the concepts of Steps 
3 and 4 of the SDP, which is why it fails entirely in its bogus attempt 
to align itself with those policies and principles. Knowing this is 
fact, Tehachapi continues to be sold to the public, legislature and 
prisoners as an up and running, operationally functioning program with 
all of the privileges, opportunities and amenities intact.

IT IS A SHAM! Warden Kim Holland would never even attempt to embrace the 
concepts of human dignity and a prisoner’s basic human rights, because 
she has turned a blind eye throughout her tenure, refusing to address 
and assure anyone that her prisoners are treated with the smallest air 
of dignity and that their basic needs – mandated by law – that express a 
concern for humanity are met.

Pelican Bay SHU, Corcoran SHU and many other SHUs are making big strides 
in lining themselves up with the Title 15 matrix, standardized SHU and 
SDP policies. But Warden Kim Holland continues to hold the same immoral 
ground of the past, keeping Tehachapi in the chattel slavery era. And 
Gov. Brown, Secretary Beard, Undersecretary Hoshino, Director Stainer, 
Director Giurbino and Director Hubbard all continue to feed Warden 
Holland the power to hold such an immoral position that basically 
shatters the very foundation of the SDP, which they themselves built.

Taking a good look at the facts and seeing them for what they truly are, 
one would have to say this whole thing reeks of conspiracy, and it’s 
clear that there is way more to these tactics than we know and see. But 
we still must press the questions: Why is a rogue warden, Warden Kim 
Holland, given such power? Why is a rogue institution, Tehachapi SHU, 
being allowed to operate? Why have all the above clear violations gone 
unnoticed for all these years?

If SDP is truly a program that CDCr administrators want to succeed, then 
why haven’t Secretary Beard, Director Stainer or any of the other staff 
taken a look into these violations and resolved them in a humane manner 
that would reflect anything close to the SDP re-entry program that they 
have been selling since Oct. 12, 2012?

Why did Secretary Beard, Undersecretary Hoshino, Director Stainer, 
Director Giurbino, Director Hubbard and Warden Holland attempt to 
establish a Step 3 and 4 of the Step Down Program in a prison that is 
not structurally capable of accommodating such a program? And why force 
bodies into a Step 3 and 4 program in a prison that they knew would not 
offer those prisoners the privileges, opportunities and amenities 
outlined in the SDP policies that would afford them their basic, 
fundamental rights that promote human dignity?

Bottom line is CDCr has knowingly lied to state Sen. Loni Hancock and 
the other legislators about the entire SDP and how well it is 
functioning. Sen. Hancock should come and pay a visit to Tehachapi State 
Prison so she could see for herself the lies CDCr sold her and the 
Legislature, catch them in the game they are playing with prisoners’ 
lives and shut Tehachapi SHU down.

Tehachapi has no business attempting to establish any step of the Step 
Down Program here, nor should it house regular SHU prisoners here until 
this prison has completed a full overhaul from top to bottom from its 
structural insufficiencies to all its staff, starting with Warden Kim 
Holland, Chief Deputy Warden J. Gutierrez, Capt. Mayo, Lt. Parrett, V. 
Ybarra, Dr. H. Tate, the R&R staff and all those that refuse to divorce 
themselves from that old style slave-driving mentality.

We call on all of the officials to respond swiftly to this human crisis. 
If just one of you possesses just a morsel of empathy and believes that 
no prisoner should be subjected to torture and cruel, inhumane, 
degrading treatment, then put a STOP to the foul practices that continue 
to violate every rule, law, standard, policy and constitutional 
provision ever written to protect the fundamental rights of human beings.

To our countless supporters and those who ceaselessly fight for justice 
on our behalf, we thank you all for your boundless support – that 
driving spirit that keeps us pushing forward – and we thank you for your 
great effort. Your successes have proven mighty enough to move that 
great mountain of torture that kept us isolated and voiceless for way 
too many years.

Words cannot fully convey how great it is to have so many amazing people 
join our fight. Although we have much to stand proud about, we still 
have a long way to go and we still need you all, even more.

Thus, spread the word, push the word, shake that great bush that 
attempts to hide Tehachapi and Warden Kim Holland’s horrors until we 
have shaken them all to the ground and that bright light of the people’s 
justice reveals all their foul deeds. Call, tweet, text, write all your 
legislators, all CDCr administrators, Tehachapi State Prison Warden Kim 
Holland and Chief Deputy Warden W. Sullivan and express your desire for 
change, for justice, for humanity! And ask a friend, family member and 
loved one to join us.

And a special call-out to our New Afrikan community, civil rights 
leaders, human rights leaders, all religious leaders, our lawyers, 
actresses, actors, sports figures, musicians, entertainers and all those 
in the business sector: We need you all to get involved to make a 
difference in your community’s future, and together we will rebuild 
justice on the foundation of a new morality that is the heart of the people.

To all those prison rights activists and those who stand for what is 
right in Corcoran State Prison SHU, Zaharibu, Heshima, Turi, Griff, 
Amondo, we owe you all a great deal of gratitude for your courageous 
stance of defiance against CDCr’s implementation of its criminalizing 
journals that do nothing towards aiding rehabilitation or arming men and 
women with the necessary tools to succeed on a mainline or in society.

Your act, many acts, of defiance were critical and effective in 
catapulting us forward into the position we are in right now, to enable 
us to shine the light of justice on and expose the foul, torturous 
conditions of this institution, Tehachapi SHU, that reeks of the 
mentality of Robben Island, South Africa! Deeply appreciated! Keep 
pushin’! To all U.S. citizens and our world community, support those who 
struggle to support themselves!

In struggle, revolutionary love and respect,

/Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, s/n R. N. Dewberry, C-35671, CCI 4B-7C-209, P.O. 
Box 1906, Tehachapi CA 93581/

/Aaron Jabari Scott, H-30536, NCTT Coordinator CCI, 4B-7C-209, P.O. Box 
1906, Tehachapi CA 93581/

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org

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