Prisoner Justice Corner

With permission of Nevada Prisoner Voice:

THE PJ (Prisoner Justice) CORNER

THE SET UP

© 2009 by the author, whose name is protected at this time. All Rights Reserved. For Permissions, email contact@nvpv.us

“This is about a young Nevada Department of Corrections prisoner going up against a prison administration. Prison officials must know that we have a high ranking institutional inspector who is, in my opinion, very dishonest.

I have served over 14 years at a maximum security Nevada prison, been on lockdown close to 13 years.

But, recently I had an opportunity to serve multiple life sentences at lower security prison where I got to work and got to be in the general population. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Nothing caught me more off guard at this newer facility than the youngsters they got in the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC).

When prison officials shut down Jean, they scattered these kids around NDOC.

I helped one of these kids get a job. I had met him going through orientation at the newer facility where I was also incarcerated. He was supposed to be going to camp shortly.

The guards knew I was helping most of the youngsters I befriended there to adjust, keeping an eye on them. Some guards used to ask me to tell certain youngsters to “Slow their Role” as they would be ripping and running around, being loud, yelling too loud.

Unfortunately, I was placed in administrative segregation this spring under investigation for allegations of “threatening” another inmate. Nobody would tell me who this inmate was.

A very long story short, all disciplinary charges were finally dismissed. I was again cleared for general population.

All due respect, the institutional inspector told me that all previously said charges would be dismissed. That would be in his report. He told me all this prior to the recent disciplinary hearing.

While sitting in administrative segregation, one young person that I had befriended, also came to be housed under investigation, too. At that time, he had no idea why he was under investigation.

The institutional inspector came to pay me a visit. He had me brought down in the unit office.

The escort officer leaves and he begins by saying “I need someone like you who gets along with everybody to infiltrate the drug trade on the yard and report to me and only me.”

I looked at him and asked, “You want me to snitch, tell on people?”

He said, “Yup, or sign a statement from time to time.”

I told him, “You’re F_______ crazy!”

He stated, “You’re going off the yard if you don’t.”

I replied, “The disciplinary chairman told me I am going back to general population.”

He said, “Nope.”

I said, “I’m done here.” And back to my cell I went.

Soon, I am once again taken to a meeting with him.

He tells me, “You remember what we talked about?”

I stated, “Not this again.”

He said, “The deal is, your little buddy thinks he’s slick.”

I said, “WHO?”

The inspector gave me the name, and then said, “You know him, right?”

I said, “Yes. He’s a close friend.”

He said, “All the better, you know what he is back here for.”

I said, “No, I don’t.”

He said, “Bull! Help me set him up and I’ll put you back on the yard, same yard, same unit you came from and your troubles will be gone and I’ll sweeten the deal with a pay number.”

I looked at him and told him to go F___ himself. I stood up and asked to be taken back to my cell.

About a week later, the inspector walked past my cell, took a step back, looked in the window and said, “Last chance.” I flipped him off.

Not long after that, I was transferred back to the maximum prison where I was before for over 14 years.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

This type of treatment to prisoners in the Nevada Department of Corrections must stop. This is abuse, and it is abuse by staff, staff who are given authority over the investigations of prisoners.

Young prisoners need to be supervised more closely.

It is my belief that over half of the prisoners in administrative segregation, disciplinary segregation are there because of the illegal tactics of institutional inspectors.

It is time that the public, viewers of this site and sites like these, speak up and write the Nevada government.

Prisoners are people, too. We need a voice.

Without your assistance young prisoners will be lost to society. The young are our future.

I am a prisoner in NDOC, with more to come…”

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Struggle


STRUGGLE

To live, to fight for what you believe in, to fight for what you have coming to you. To overcome adversity, to eliminate all distractions and to remove self-destructive influences from your life. To fight for your freedom.

To survive, to resist, to become stronger under dire circumstances, to revolutionize and politicize your mind while confined behind enemy lines. To fight against enemies who are more powerful than you, with no fear in your heart and no doubt in your mind.

To oppose the oppressive elements of the system, to oppose government and all elements of authority and power, while building yourself up, educating yourself and putting your knowledge into practice. To achieve self-discipline. To organize yourself and your people, even under the most extreme circumstances and to make solid connections with serious comrades, that will lead to uplifting movements.

Struggle is being able to maintain a sense of confidence while living under the most despairing situations, it’s being able to stand your ground no matter what, it’s being able to maintain a sense of self, while moving with purpose. Struggle is being able to move forward while striving against great odds.

Struggle is life and life is struggle. It’s what makes us stronger, it’s what makes us intelligent, it’s what makes us grow inside. There’s nothing like struggle, there’s nothing greater than achieving the things you’ve set your mind on, there’s nothing like helping your people rise up. Struggle is an essential to life.

El Coyote
E.S.P. 2007

Currently there are 545 lawsuits in federal courts of Nevada: 407 of them from Ely State Prison!

From: Nevada Prisoner Voice:

LEGAL ISSUES:

There were 545 lawsuits in federal courts 19 Feb 2009. The bulk of the work for the federal court in Reno is from NV prison inmates at Ely State Prison.

407 == Ely State Prison
27 == Florence McClure Women’s Correctional
72 == High Desert State Prison
5 == Lovelock
11 == Nevada State Prison
16 == Northern Nevada Correctional Center and
7 == Southern Desert Correctional Center.

Professional standards accreditation that can prevent such lawsuits is overdue.
New leadership is needed that will embrace accreditation for all aspects of prison policy and operations.
This is not an expensive process compared to the current cost of litigation.

A federal public defender has stated that 90% of Nevada’s prison problems would disappear if Nevada prisons were accredited to professional standards, like schools and hospitals.

Why has leadership refused to implement accreditation?
Accreditation can save taxpayers millions in legal fees and benefit both prisoners and staff.

April 14, 2009 Meeting of the Board of Prison Commissioners


(contains shocking photos)

I attended the meeting and made what little presentation that I could since we only had five minutes each and many of us got cut off, we felt, before five minutes… shocked!

It was the most explosive meeting that I have ever been to. 20 people were in Las Vegas… 21, I’m told in Carson City.
In Las Vegas, the atmosphere was electric!

Parents and relatives made very emotional… to take care of a brother’s health problems at Ely and said to Mr. Skolnik words to the effect that she was going to be his biggest nightmare… about substandard dental care for a son… a young woman whose son died years ago told his story… she wept along with members of the audience… a woman could not visit her son in Ely because they think she is a felon, but she is not… a mother said they should ask for food donations from groceries… and the clothing issue came up… size 16 shoes for a son who wears 9 1/2? and so much more… a California nurse with nobody in NDOC asked for compassion and better health care… four Pahrump residents came to ask the governor to stop the building of a CCA prison in their town… a prisoner from NDOC years ago said that the co/s were overworked… Mr. Hinton slammed the commissioners for not taking responsibility and action… a mother in tears told of High Desert State prison only allowing fifty visitors during visiting when NV prisoners need to keep family ties so badly and that families have to wait in line for an hour and a half to get in… another mother asked to have all the wardens at Ely fired…

[an inmate shot inside the NDOC prisons]

Two correctional officers in Las Vegas, who are humane (one who has a law suit against the department himself) were there. They could not comment publicly, but let me know afterwards that they are for firing Skolnik and McDaniels.

Perhaps the high point was Ralph Kenmore’s testimony (see his story on our website… http://www.nvpv.us… under Read Postings. NDOC kept him inside much longer than he should have been… presenting the documents to prove it. He was brilliant… just released 30 March 2009!

Kim’s reading of Marritte Funches’ accounts of life at ESP was awesome… Tonja presented only a tiny portion of inmate problems, but she put 14 prisoners’ accounts on the record, she said… Anyway our gal Kim in Las Vegas got to finish Marritte’s entire letter. It was also very emotional for everybody.

I got a retired attorney to read part of a gal from Holland’s letter… putting it on NVPV today, too, but, she got to it later after making her couple minutes, so she only covered the mission statement, which she throught was the most important… to confront commissioners with the fact that they were not doing their job for health care.

I personally put it in the hands of Robert E. Walsh to the position of Deputy Secretary of State for Southern Nevada…. along with a copy of Maritte’s letter, as well.

You could hear a pin drop as Kim read Marritte’s letter. It was awesome.

People clapped after the testimony for several people, including mine, for which I was grateful, but attendees in Carson City told us that they turned off the sound during the clapping. Clapping and shouting out had never happened before, except once at a CURE meeting about 10 years ago when Director Crawford came to speak to parents and loved ones just after she came in as director. High hopes then, but little change ever occured.


[an inmate in NV prison, beaten]

I think that it went fabulously well. I believe that there were at least six people, maybe seven, who called for Skolnik’s being fired (including me… well, I said we need new leadership in the director’s office and at Ely…) See below for my complete statement… that I doubt they will ever read!

Why the vote to oust Skolnik did not come up, as discussed last meeting. The co’s said the commissioners would do it after the meeting. After so many asking for Skonik’s and McDaniel’s firing, one would think that they will surely be gone. But, yesterday Peggy Mace Johnson (former NV Democratic Party head) said that Commissioner Miller told her that he would remain until legislature closes (June 1, 2009)… That’s all I know about Skolnik leaving. Surely McDaniels will go soon, too, because of the ACLU lawsuit in which he’s personally sued for the Patrick Cavanaugh death. (See that on http://www.nvpv.us, too.)

There was a beating involving two inmates and two officers the night before the meeting (13 April 2009) at High Desert State Prison outside of Las Vegas.
A blurb on with few details on Channel 3, Las Vegas. If you get that story, let me know! It’s not on their site, but I confirmed it with Joyce Kolnik at the station…
I showed photographs of past NDOC brutality to the commissioners. Perfect timing to indicate the ongoing pattern because NV prisons are not accredited to professional standards of operations by the American Correctional Association! That I asked for at legislature more than a decade ago.


[death row inmate at Ely State Prison, beaten]

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for victory that will push Skolnik and McDaniels out! Let positive change begin with accreditation to standards!
MM

MY PRESENTATION 14 April 2009 NV Prison Board of Commissioners:

TO: Nevada Prison Commissioners:

Attorney General Masto
Secretary of State Miller
Governor Gibbons

FROM:
Mercedes Maharis MA MS MA, Hereford, AZ === For the Record.
Lifetime Member CURE, Washington, DC
Past Director Nevada CURE
Co-founder Spartacus Project
Co-Author Spartacus Project Report

DATE: 14 April 2009

Good Afternoon,

We have become a nation of prisons, but how are we going to take care of our prisoners? We cannot.

What is the true cost of continued Nevada prisoner warehousing?

It cannot be calculated.

Can a Nevada prison sentence become a death sentence?

Yes, it can, and in many cases, it has.

In the summer of 1971, the classic psychological Stanford Prison Experiment asked important questions.

What happens when we put good people in an evil place?

And, does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph?

The planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended prematurely after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated.

Guards became sadistic. Prisoners became withdrawn, depressed and showed signs of extreme stress and began behaving in pathological ways.

Here are four examples of sadistic, excessive force inside Nevada prisons that you may not have seen… worse by far than Abu Ghraib.

1. Defenseless, beaten, still in prison, now with hepatitis C, suspecting reused needles in the medical department, since he was locked in a single cell for nearly two decades;

2. Defenseless, but shot in the back, unable to get prison medical employees to remove the buckshot causing severe migraine headaches. He currently has an open warrant in Florida. Would we be functional after such treatment?

3. A victim. His only choice to relieve excruciating pain was dental extraction in a Nevada prison, but, he was expected to reenter society with no front teeth and get a job. His fate? Unknown.

4. Unarmed, but clubbed mercilessly, out now, his fate also unknown.

On the other side of the equation, there is the issue of the older prisoners devouring the younger ones through domination by fear and sexual assault.

Of the 50 or more outsiders who saw the Stanford prison, only one participant, a PhD brought in to do interviews, ever questioned its morality. The link of this ignored social research is on Nevada Prisoner Voice for your review.

Yet, Nevada prisons continue, defying logic and common sense.

The system is broken, as Asm. Segerblom stated April 2, 2009, at the Nevada corrections committee meeting.

UNLV criminologist, author Randall G. Shelden has thrown in the towel. He wrote last week that he has come to believe that change will never come from inside the Nevada prison system.

December 5, 2000, I appeared before the Nevada Prison Commission to address lack of prisoner medical treatment, excessive use of force and late parole release. But, these issues continue today with no relief in sight.

After reviewing thousands of Nevada prisoner letters and legal documents over the years, we think that the current administration policy and operations are preventing the positive changes that can alter prisoners’ lives, officers’ lives, the family’s lives of both and community progress.

This is why new leadership today in the director’s office and at Ely State Prison immediately. Tomorrow may be too late. Buildings instead of drug programs: ineffective and unacceptable.

The enclosed April 13, 2009 New York Times editorial states, “The most effective programs provide inmates with high-quality treatment in prison and continue treatment when prisoners return to their communities.

Such programs have been shown to reduce both drug use and recidivism. But, good programs are rare, according to a report earlier this year in The Journal of the American Medical Association.”

We ask you to provide critical drug treatment and education to every Nevada prisoner who needs it for the benefit of all. If you will not, send prisoners home under house arrest to get treatment and education.

226 NV prisoners died Jan 1, 2000 to June 4, 2007. Up to date death information? We can’t get it. NDOC does not make it a priority. Mr. Reed, NDOC statistician, wrote me January 22, 2009, “As for the death statistics, I don’t have a projected date. We are very busy with other projects.” Not recording or revealing current prisoner deaths in prisons is unacceptable morally and reveals insensitivity to human life. Five more deaths have occurred at Ely alone since June 4, 2007. See Nevada Prisoner Voice (www.nvpv.us) for death information.

There were 545 Nevada prisoner lawsuits in federal courts 19 Feb 2009. The bulk of the work for the federal court in Reno is from NV prison inmates at Ely State Prison.

These 20 positive changes will avoid future litigation and create a safer, productive environment for the benefit of all:

* Humane Nevada Prison Conditions
* Effective Medical, Dental and Mental Health Care in Nevada prisons
* Immediate Food, Clothing, Shelter and Exercise Relief

The recent reported food and milk reduction… two packets of dried milk down to one at Ely, for example, is unacceptable. Withholding food is inhumane. We also brought this up to the Governor’s Committee on Corrections about a decade ago, but, still, there is no relief.

Accreditation to Professional Standards, that we also requested at legislature a decade ago. No standards for facilities is disastrous for prisoners and staff.

* National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC) Accreditation
* American Correctional Association Accreditation

Concerning prisoner jobs:

* Expansion of Nevada Prison Industries and Agriculture
* Termination of Discriminatory Practices in the Nevada Prison Industries’ Classification Process
* Minimum Wages for Prison Workers

Concerning confinement:

* Closure of All Nevada Prison Control Units
* Termination of Perpetual Lockdown status for Ely State Prison, Ely, Nevada, with no due process re classification

NOTE: Administrative Segregation is solitary confinement, and highly destructive to the human psyche per expert psychiatrist Dr. Stuart Grassian’s 59 page report: http://law.wustl.edu/Journal/22/p325Grassian.pdf This report is also linked on the Nevada Prisoner Voice website.

* Removal of the civil justice system for Ely State Prison from White Pine County to Clark County, Nevada
* Termination of Mixed Classifications Policy and Practice to stop future Sexual Assault and Rape
* Access to Nevada Department of Corrections’ Official Reports and Statistics
* Termination of Nevada Prison Censorship, including mail, and Retaliation for Political Activism
* Reinstatement of Hardback Books, Typewriters, and Regular Pens for Fair Access to Education and Communications
* Introduction of personal netbooks as personal learning tools and to enable computer literacy
* Termination of mailroom personnel interference with US mail
* The Appointment of Volunteer Ombudsmen for Each Nevada Prison Facility
* A Prison Monitor Corps of Retired Educators and Business Professionals whose duties include audit and oversight of the prison budget, time keeping, the grievance system.

And lastly,

* Termination of prisoner family money confiscation without due process.

After reviewing Nevada Prison Commission minutes 1996 to the present day, we can find no record of Nevada commission members Board of Prison Commissioner ever discussing or carrying out this duty that NRS 209.382 mandates:

The board shall take appropriate action to remedy any deficiencies that the State Health Officer reports after examination of medical, dental services, diet of offenders, sanitation and safety in institutions and facilities. NRS 209.382.

You must also reinstate the semi-annual health inspections, all but discontinued though they are still mandated by law.

Otherwise, you will have failed to fulfill your jobs to protect the health and welfare of Nevada prisoner, wards of the State of Nevada.

If you will not do this, then you must send prisoners home today under house arrest and let their families find the health care that so many desperately need.

Prisoners are people, human beings with gifts and talents that can be uncovered with proper guidance under your wise supervision.

No==to preventable suffering and deaths. No==to prison officials’ medical malpractice. No==to homicidal neglect. Yes==to immediate positive change!

In closing, Commissioners, you have the power to see that Nevada prison officials and employees do no harm and that our prisoners return to society better than when they entered prison.

It is possible that the three of you could win the Nobel Peace Prize if you decide to empower our Nevada prisoners to succeed.

Thank you,

Mercedes Maharis MA MS MA

ENCL: Nevada Prisoner Death List 1905 to June 4, 2007 (3 pgs.)
New York Times Article 13 April 2009 ADDICTION BEHIND BARS (1pg.)
Fix the Prisons? By Randall G. Shelden (2pgs.)
Four Use of Excessive Force Photos (4)

POINT BOARDS: (1) each: Stop Inhumane Prisoner Deaths!; Stop Prison Medical Malpractice!; Adequate Prisoner Food! Clothing!; Fire Skolnik and McDaniels!; Stop Prison Kangaroo Courts! Prisoner Education and Rehabilitation!; Prison Board: Do a Better Job!; Where’s the Water? @ H.D.S.P Indian Springs

Las Vegas Sun: Inmates’ lawsuit could mean trouble for Corrections Department

From: Las Vegas Sun

PRISONS:
Inmates’ lawsuit could mean trouble for Corrections Department
Medical case could expose flaws in system
By Abigail Goldman

Thu, Apr 16, 2009 (2 a.m.)

Inmates at Ely State Prison have won the right to pursue a class action lawsuit against the Nevada Corrections Department, and prison officials should be very worried.

Not just because the suit — which alleges medical care for Ely inmates is so bad it’s deadly — casts a bad light on corrections. And not because the inmates could win big settlements from the state — they aren’t even asking for money.

The real reason prison officials should be concerned about the class action lawsuit is this: The Ely case is about more than the Ely prison. This case is actually about a systemic failing of the entire Corrections Department. If the Ely suit succeeds, the first domino falls.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada in March of last year, argues that Ely inmates are grossly deprived of basic medical care. The key here, the reason the case has implications for the entire state prison system, is that the inmates’ medical problems are partly because necessary prescription medications not being distributed regularly, if at all.

Now take a step back: Nevada’s prison pharmacy is a centralized operation, run out of a hub in Las Vegas. If there are problems with prescriptions in Ely, the logic goes, there are problems everywhere. It’s not the prison, it’s the system.

Now take another step back: A 2006 state audit of prison medical services revealed “significant weaknesses” in pharmacy operations, including a central pharmacy that sometimes took more than four weeks to dispense medication. This audit lays a nice foundation for someone to argue issues at Ely are a small part of a larger, long-standing problem.

U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks, who certified the class action lawsuit on March 31, allowed the ACLU to represent not just the roughly 1,000 prisoners currently incarcerated at Ely, but any future inmates sent to the maximum security facility. Five inmates are named in the lawsuit, but the door is open for an unforeseeable number.

The state attorney general’s office represents the prison system and fought against the class action status. It had good reason to do so. If the ACLU was forced to represent each inmate separately, the cases could be bogged down with painstaking examination of individual medical treatment histories, burying the central but general issue: prison health care in Nevada.

Grouping inmates in one case, packing a complaint with numerous, horrifying stories of negligent care, forces the court to focus on the overarching issue. This is another reason state prison officials should be concerned about the Ely case: By granting class action status, the federal judge acknowledges this isn’t about a few guys griping, but, as he wrote in his ruling, about an “inadequate medical system.”

Moreover, a class action case allows the ACLU to circumvent laws designed to thwart inmate lawsuits. The federal Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, enacted to limit the number of frivolous lawsuits filed by jailhouse attorneys, made it harder for inmates to sue prisons. As a result, Nevada inmates have to complete a complicated formal grievance process before they can file a lawsuit against the state. The five men named in the Ely suit went through this process and were legally allowed to lawyer up. Now that the judge has certified the class action status, however, the ACLU is allowed to work backward, finding and representing inmates who didn’t jump through the necessary hoops — maybe because they were too sick to stand it.

And if new cases come to light, examples of inmates worse off than those named in the Ely suit, that’s something for all of us to worry about.

Strategy and Power


Here another part of a Zine by Coyote.

Strategy and Power

Knowledge is power but for anarchists it’s the essence of life. In a prison cell I sit, hungry for knowledge, but not power. My enemies are powerful, so to stay on my toes I have to be as smart, or smarter, than them. There are a lot of people in prison who are naturally intelligent but do not seem to realize or understand the depth of their intelligence because they have been caught in the system for so long. The system is oppressive to growth and intelligence. But even under these oppressive circumstances we can still grow inside, both intellectually and spiritually. In fact, it’s usually in the confinements of a cell that many prisoners eventually take the time and effort to awaken the intelligence inside of them. Usually this is done as a mean to survival, because keeping the mind keen and c1ear of destructive thoughts or illusions is indeed a way to resists the psychological oppression that prisoners often go through in isolation.

In my essay “The Importance of Resistance”, I briefly mentioned how a lot of prisoners study books on power, warfare and strategy only to end up using that knowledge on other prisoners. I would like to expand on that in this essay.

It is important that oppressed people and imprisoned people take the time to study strategy. It is even more important that we study and learn strategy as a mean to protect ourselves against corrupted people’s manipulations and deceptions, but not to become corrupted ourselves and not to manipulate or deceive.

As prisoners we are a powerless people. In these maximum security prisons they’ve got us confined to these cells, we don’t have power over anybody but ourselves. A lot of prisoners are under the impression that being powerful is to maintain power over other people which in truth only contributes to a “self-destructive mentality.”

As an anarchist I don’t buy’ into the concept of power and control. I am being held in prison against my will because of my enemies’ power and control, so I know first-handedly that when people are given a position of power over other people, their power is abused and used to control and oppress. The only type of power that I strive for is self-empowerment. Self-empowerment is the only type of power that does not corrupt.

To learn strategy is learning how to survive. This is important in these dark corners of incarceration because most of us have inadvertently been trained to believe that we can’t trust each other and that we have to survive by any means and that’s their best strategy against us because it keeps us divided and conquered, under their oppression.

If you’re locked down, confined and with nothing in your cell, studying strategy would be a productive way to pass your time. Even if you have appliances in your cell you should still try to find the time to study up on different strategies, because these are essential studies for anyone who desires to engage in resistance.

Study strategy, practice what you’ve learned, memorize and recite these lessons everyday and you will soon become one of the most cunning and strategic prisoners around. Just be sure to use this knowledge for the means of arming yourself and protecting yourself from other’s deceptions and for the means of uplifting yourself and others and be careful not to let this knowledge corrupt you or make you scandalous.

Life in prison is a struggle. A lot of us are living real foul and doing “hard time” in here.
Some of us don’t have friend and family on the outside to send us money to buy food and hygiene products, so we are forced to hustle or go without. It’s situations like these that turn a lot of us out, as we become unprincipled; doing scandalous deeds; being manipulative and dishonest just to make ends meet.

It’s cool to have a hustle and to make money, but you’ll get farther and feel better about yourself if you use creativity to make money rather than having to “be slick” just to get by. There are all kinds of hustles a prisoner can get going for himself if his head is in the right place and if he stands by his principles as a “convict.” We shouldn’t have to be forced to associate with rapists, child molesters, snitches and P.c. – just to get by in here, we shouldn’t have to be slick or dishonest just to make a couple of bucks.

It’s better to have integrity than to live foul. People will get farther in life by keeping it real with themselves and with whoever they decide to associate with. These locked down situations are sucking the life out of us and depriving us of our ability to socialize.
They’re trying to strip us of our souls in these graveyards. There’re trying to decimate our minds, alter our senses and crush our hearts in here, to the point that we don’t know who we are, what we’re living for, or where we’re going with our lives. We are living in devastating circumstances. We can’t let them get us like that, we can’t forget who we are, we have to really get in touch with who we are or else we will end up letting them determine that for us. We can’t let them determine who we are. We have to know ourselves.

I know what I live for, what I aim for, what I struggle for. I know what I’m striving for and believe me, it’s not power! Every day that I am alive is another day of resistance and every breath I breathe is an act of resistance. We are all struggling the same, but we’re not struggling together. There are too many amongst us who are motivated by greed, power, materialism and corruption, causing others to take up the same attitude and behavior just to protect ourselves in this somewhat primal environment, and it is destroying us.

When it comes down to it, we don’t have control over anybody but ourselves and the only time someone has control over us is when we let them have that control. Control is nothing. Power is nothing. There are more important things in life. Let us stop this madness, instead of trying to control other people’s thoughts and actions, let us start trying to take control of our own lives …

(written by Coyote)

Pack the Nevada Prison Board Meeting April 14

From SF Bay View:

On Tuesday, April 14, in Las Vegas (by video) and in Carson City (live) the Nevada Board of Prison Commissioners will meet to allow the public to put on record its complaints against the Nevada prison system and make suggestions for improvement. Prisoners are asking other prisoners to urge their supporters, friends and loved ones to attend:

“It is important to get as many people on our side to attend this meeting as possible. Those who have no one to attend this meeting on your behalf, you can submit a brief outline of any complaints or statements for the board. We will have a representative there to place them on the record. Just be sure they’re relevant and easy to read.

“And while it is not a requirement, we prefer you focus on issues you have already made a record of via the grievance procedure, as we are also compiling evidence for a major class action lawsuit we hope to file soon. So be sure to include a copy of any grievances supporting your claims. We’re specifically looking for cases of medical neglect, staff assaults on inmates, any grievous abuses of authority or failure to enforce rules that protect your rights, health and safety. We are also looking for witness accounts of abuse or mistreatment of mentally ill inmates.

“You can mail your submissions to Tonja Brown, 2907 Lukens Lane, Carson City, NV 89706. Your loved ones may email her at Tonjamasrod40 at aol.com.”

Those who can attend in person can choose either the Carson City or Las Vegas meetings, which will both be held on April 14, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.:

• Nevada Legislative Building, Room 1200, The Media Room, 401 South Carson St., Carson City, NV 89701

• Grant Sawyer State Office Building, Room 2450, Gaming Control Board Room, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas. NV 89101

For more information, email info at makethewallstransparent.org.

I´d love to hear from anyone who shares my plight

John sent us his introduction, and we would like to share it with you.

It has been more than a decade for me stuck in this place of walls, violence and oppression, but I refuse to lose myself here. I haven´t allowed myself to give up. Survival is at the heart of me and even at my most vulnerable times, when hope seems absent, I rise. My message cannot die – Perseverance. This is an omnipotent force in my life that drives me and defines me… And I will always breathe the burning air of resistance, and seek change.

Every word I utter is a piece of me and everything I do comes from my soul – be it a physical act or one with my pen/voice. I count myself a member of the Code. There are not so many of us in any place at any given time and we need more brethren! I believe wholeheartedly in my cause grounded in realism and a desire to rise up, but I am oftentimes confined without recourse except to suffer my circumstances by myself. I can´t win alone wearing this uniform, never taken seriously or respected. I also know these things, and no obstacles tossed before me will stop me. I will always try!!

My cause is change and to climb from the gutters of humanity, but it is hard in here without help and I implore any in society who hears my pleas to take a step in the right direction to make a difference. It takes all to effect change, and to better this world. Awareness must be spread and our efforts unified under common goals. I need you whoever you are – inside prison or outside. Take a stand with me…

Until I lay in a box to rot, this body will fight the mechanisms of adversity. I will still choose my battles and nothing here will be strong enough to hold the truth back, because I will make it known in every venue I´m given.

I rarely dwell on the minutiae of my life or things I cannot change. I am not depressed or derailed by constraints. I do not fall victim to hopelessness or allow authoritative words conform me. Prison has never been able to subdue my heart and soul or imprison my purpose. I refuse to let it and no matter how long or short my future is, I will live each day the best I can, trying to help others who want to do the same, because a day of life is a gift and may turn into the best day of our entire existence. I just patiently await that day that will come – never fearing it. I am tired of the faces that turn away from us when we suffer humiliation and degradation like a third world country. We are supposed to be civilized. Yet, our destinies will visit us heedless of our circumstances and we cannot stop it – only prolong the inevitable. I don´t try to interfere, I embrace it and strive for things to be better for me and those worthy to walk beside me.

This place has also helped me. Being shut away and shut away by humanity has both matured and strengthened my resolve. I´ve seen the worst of the worst as well as the best most – loyal comrade. In them lived the seed of revolution and a heart of solidarity. I know it also lives outside prison and I need help in finding it. For, I embrace any siblings of these things and seek any waving that banner of change… My Fight is everyone´s Fight…

I speak these words in the hope a kindred spirit or advocate of my message hears me. I wish to continue to learn and spread culture / understanding / code of honor. And I want others to learn so that we can reshape the world! Lend a hand and be informed. Let me reach out to others in here and out there. I am an activist of many words / ideas and this is my greatest medium. I am trying to do more than exist!

With my Freedom stolen from me so early, it has become my quest to learn and know solidarity. Now, at 31, I believe I´m a rock of truth / discipline. I am often called “hardened”, but I stand up for everything I believe in. I hide nothing with tactics and am what I am…

I´d love to hear from anyone who shares my plight and wants to help me in my goals. I want to think beyond conformity and complacency to try to help others do the same… Please contact me:

John Neff, #54213
P.O. Box 1989,
Ely, NV 89301

Imprisoned radical intellectual seeks help for his case

Imprisoned radical intellectual seeks help for his case

Coyote Sheff is a self-styled anarchist. This according to him means that “what I do as an anarchist defines what anarchism means to me.” He became aware of anarchism while in prison. Coyote is an intellectual and a writer. Coyote has published three Zines up to now with the help of South Chicago ABC, and he has started his own prison chapter of ABC, educating other prisoners around him.

Coyote shares stories of abuses and injustices inside Ely State Prison with the world, through his Zines and articles published on the net and in the SF Bay View, and this has caught the attention of the administration of this prison, notorious for not giving medical care to inmates held there, and being a prison on permanent lockdown.

Since writing an article about a fellow inmate in Ely State Prison, who is suffering from potential kidney failure without the prison authorities doing anything, the state of Coyote´s confinement has been hightened to “High Risk Potential” (HRP), which means he is shackled in hands to his belly, and his feet, everywhere he goes during the one hour a day break; his cell was raided every day during three weeks, and they are now trying to bring new criminal charges on him for alleged weapons in his cell, a charge thought up to try and get his prison sentence prolonged, even though Coyote is nearly at the end of his prison sentence. In Coyote´s own words: “I´m kind of close to being released, but these people here are trying to make it so I never get out! Because that is what happens when you are a radical, in here they either kill you with medical neglect if you have a lot of time to do in prison, and if you do not have a lot of time to do in here, then they will try to set you upon new charges, giving you more time.”

The prison administration is cracking down on all of Coyote´s mail, not allowing any literature to be sent in to him from his friends who support him in his struggle to express himself (denying him his constitutional rights). He is being denied a due process hearing about the HRP status too.

“All of this is due to my political activism within these walls; because of my efforts in politicizing prisoners in Nevada as well as prisoners in other states. And especially because of my connections to political and radical activists on the outs. They are trying to crush me with the pressure of their boot on my neck.”

For his case in fighting the false charges brought against him, Coyote seeks funding for his attorney. He himself has already been successful in gathering donations while in his cell, but he still needs a little more to make the total sum of 2500 US dollars complete. That is why we ask you to please consider donating an amount however small towards helping this unselfish, lively brother who is doing so much for us in the form of writing and motivating others.

If you want to read more by Coyote, please see our sidebar with “Coyote Calling”.

This is also on: Make the Walls Transparent

Please also visit Coyote´s Myspace page: myspace.com/abcnevada

If you want to donate anything towards this cause, please email this address:
coyotecalling at gmail.com

The money will be sent to Coyote´s family to pay for the attorney he has.

Coyote´s address for support:

Coyote Sheff, #55671
P.O. Box 1989,
Ely, NV 89301 – 1989
USA

Another unexplained death in ESP

From Make the Walls Transparent:

Another inmate died with no explanation, at Ely State Prison. His name is George F. Reyes, he was 49 years of age.

Read here the faits divers in the Ely Times:

March 24, 2009

Report of a death: Officers received a report of a inmate at the Ely State Prison that had died. Officers identified the deceased as George F. Reyes, age 49. The deceased was sent to the Washoe County Coroners Office for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.