[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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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