We receive lots of reader responses from inside, and will share them from time to time here in our blog.
Dear Critical Resistance,
I pray this letter finds you well and in good spirits… I have received your paper now for a few years. I love your true and real look at the PIC. If only more tax payers realized what prisons have become. But politicians, state and federal alike, have played on their fears. Today taxpayers will gladly take money from education to keep just one of us locked up. This is being shown where the United States has went from being number 1 in the world in education to 21st and in the same time we have become the number 1 in locking up its own citizens.
I guess I need to get off the soap box because that is not what I’m writing to you about today. I read the article about the GA sit-down in your last paper. Just to let you know the reason more people did not sit down is the same as tax payers: Fear. In this state there are no guarantees of going home, well max-out only. They let you know if you participate in a work-stoppage or sit-down you will lose any chance of parole. For a lot of us that is the only hope that keeps us going. Myself, I have a life sentence. I am under the law that I come up at 14 years but in 2006 they passed a law that life sentences come up at 30 years. So more than likely they will set me off. They have done it to the guys under the 7 year law when the 14 year law was passed. Our files are “state secrets” so no one can ever look at them. Which makes it very hard to fight any “set-offs”.
So the rest of us are praying that a light will shine on this state to change. I know your belief is to do away with prisons all together, and that is great, but some time baby steps must be taken before we can walk. That is why prison reform are “baby steps” before we can walk again free, then we can run.
I read an article in The Week (March 11, 2011), “Prison without punishment” by Nicola Abe. It is about a prison in Norway that’s on an island where the inmates live in houses and run a small city headed by a warden. In the article the recidivism rate is stated at 16%, a lot lower than ours at 87%, huh?
I will stop here, I am usually a one-page writer. Please forgive me for any spelling or grammar errors. I was educated in the state (Georgia) that is last in education and one of the top in locking up its citizens. What can I expect from a state that started out as a penal colony for the Queen?
Dear Critical Resistance,
I just read a copy of your newspaper The Abolitionist and I love it! Can I please get on your mailing list to start receiving this paper? I will share it with all my friends here in the SHU.
My name is David Scott Mowatt and I got arrested on this case back in 1994 just after then-governor Pete Wilson signed into law the first 3 Strikes Law – AB 971. I got 25 to life for evading an officer in a vehicle which normally carries a maximum 3-year sentence. I’ve been through it all man and now I sit here in Corcoran SHU validated an associate of a gang and it’s all fabricated BS. I was on the Main Line (general population) getting 4.0 in college courses I paid for and participating in every self-help program I could find but somehow the prison administration found a way to put me in the hole, validate me and ship me here to Corcoran SHU to spend the rest of my life because I refused to be a prison snitch.
My celly is Mike Robertson #P23601…we lost a lot of weight during this hunger strike but was proud to do so. We are human. Thank you for your time and all you do.
DAVID S. MOWATT, CORCORAN SHU, CA
CR a Chara,
I’m writing after reading the printed interview with Eugene Thomas, issue #15. In his interview he mentioned the ultimate sacrifice of Bobby Sands and 9 other Irish political prisoners made 30 years ago during a drawn-out hunger strike.
It’s sad to say that 30 years later the same issues that caused these brave men to sacrifice their lives still remain unresolved and are still being fought for.
Men and women are still fighting British occupation in the British occupied 6 counties of Ireland (sometimes called “Northern Ireland”), Irish families are still being subjected to the same fascist and bigoted actions of British Colonial Police and Armed Forces. A lot of people think this was “squared away” with the Good Friday Agreement. Sadly this is not the case.
As the men and women of Ireland continue the fight for National Liberation the Brits are up to the same dirty tricks, putting them in prison for vague charges that amount to merely being vocally opposed to British Imperial rule of their homeland.
Today Irish POWs are subjected to the same treatment the prisoners of ’81 were subjected to. Constant and degrading invasive strip searches, physical abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, 23-hour lockdown, loss of “good time,” little to no educational opportunities, little recreation, refusal of visits with family and legal counsel.
The British have again tried to classify and treat the POWs as common criminals and again the British are being resisted. The prisoners are “convicted” in special no jury courts, with little to no evidence, where the only “evidence” needed in most cases is the word of a senior police official. The POWs are housed in a special high security section. A lot of special attention for mere “criminals.”
Recently two members of Republican Sinn Fein, Cait Trainor and Sean Moloney, were arrested by British Forces for refusing to condemn armed resistance in an interview. Also recently arrested was Marian Price, 32 County Sovereignty Movement Secretary, and Chairperson for the Irish Republicans Martin Cory has been held in jail for 15 months now with no charges. Why? For attending marches, rallies, and demonstrations. In Maghberry Prison Irish POW Damien McLaughlin has been beaten and forcibly strip searched 10 times during the month of February.
Not only is it the prisoners who suffer the wrath of bigoted British jailors, but the prisoners’ families as well. Families coming to visit are routinely harassed, verbally abused with bigoted remarks, strip-searched and followed home, and have their cars torn apart in a “search.”
Irish POWs are currently on strike, suffering beatings, resulting in broken limbs, broken noses, sprains and massive bruising, forced and violent invasive strip searches and lockdown. The prisoners seek to end degrading treatment, the repeated invasive strip searches, freedom of movement and freedom of association, among other things.
To find out more you can visit:
Moran buiochas for your time.
MICHAEL O’CUIR, FCC FORREST CITY, AR
My Friends of The Abolitionist,
Hey, howdy, n’ Hello. First off, I want to say “Right on!” for y’all’s happenin’ Abolitionist! Hell yeah!
‘Bout time for us to get some help! I dig what y’all got goin’ on! Keepin’ us informed on a lot of issues and also exposin’ some of the slimy shit the systems are trying to pull!
I am really proud of the fellas in Georgia. That was some koolness! Hope it got some things changed for real! Too many times the system likes to just plan to implement changes! Kind of like that slimy word that gives the prison systems plenty of time to do nothing and get smooth away wiff it. What word, you say? “Temporary!”
“The inmates are being “temporarily” housed in tents and will get moved into the building as soon as possible.” That “temporarily” bullshit let the Arkansas DOC house 120 inmates in a building only designed for 60 by using bunk beds! That sucked big time! ADC got away with that slimy shit for 9 years!…
This bit of wisdom be true! There is nothing as frightening as ignorance and stupidity in action.
So folks, please put me on y’all’s mailing list and please keep up the Great Happenins!
Loving kindness and compassion,
ROY TESTER, TUCKER CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, AR
I sincerely believe that Marilyn Buck’s physical departure from this hypocritical society only two weeks after their so-called freedom was what her enlightened spirit longed for. Her sentient spirit didn’t want to stay much longer, just enough to say goodbye to those whose love for her is genuine and sincere…
Her legacy has nurtured our spiritual growth… She has outgrown her earthly garments for the more appropriate grander being she is, was, and will always be. A true, enduring individual that continues from life to life…
DAVID LEWIS, DOC MCI SUFFIELD, CT