TX T.E.A.M.O.N.E. Campaign to End Solitary Confinement & Repeal BP-3.91

The American reformers who first devised the penitentiary believed that criminals could ‘reformed’ through solitary confinement, labor and religious indoctrination. The use of solitary confinement and isolation-sensory deprivation began at Philadelphia Eastern State Penitentiary in the 1820s. What was actually discovered was that conditions of sensory deprivation caused mental deterioration and psychosis. Leading writers like Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin, upon touring the penitentiary, spoke out against its conditions of mental torture. As Dickens observed, “I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body.” The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rules such solitary confinement ‘mentally destructive’ and outlawed it.

It stated, “A considerable number of prisoners fell, after even a short confinement, into a semi-fatuous condition, from which it was next to impossible to remove them, and others became violently insane; others still committed suicide, while those who stood the ordeal better were generally not reformed, and in most cases did not recover sufficient mental activity to be of sufficient service to the community.” (see; RE Madley, 134 U.S.160,168 (1890) )

Since that time, however, solitary hasn’t ceased. This is even after courts and legislators in the 20th and early 21st centuries have outlawed even the new and more ‘scientifically’ designed forms of solitary confinement.

TX T.E.A.M.O.N.E. was founded by persons who have endured years and decades of solitary in the forms of SHU (aka EOB) and Ad. Seg. (now called restrictive housing).

Many modern courts have found that the same conditions and injuries to prisoners from confinement in modern control units as did the high court of 1890 in the Madley case. see e.g. Madrid V. Gomez, 889FSupp.1146 (1995)

“Mant, if not most inmates in SHU experience some degree of psychological trauma in relation to their extreme social isolation and the severely restricted environmental stimulation in SHU. This court concluded that confinement under such conditions may press the outer bounds of what humans can psychologically tolerate. The psychological consequences of living in these units for long periods of time are predictably destructive, and the potential for these psychological stressors to precipitate various forms of psychopathology is clear cut. Another court found that isolating human beings year after year or even month after month can cause substantial psychological damage, even if the isolation is not total. Davenport V. DeRoberts, 844F.2d 1310, 1316 (1999)

As a study of sensory deprivation by a team of 4 psychiatrists at Harvard conducted for the CIA revealed:

  1. The deprivation of sensory stimuli induces stress
  2. The stress becomes unbearable for most subjects
  3. The subject has a growing need for physical and social stimuli
  4. Some subjects progressively lose touch with reality, focus inwardly, and produce delusions, hallucinations, and other psychological effects

Segregation is the modern form of solitary confinement. Segregation inmates are almost completely deprived of the commonplace incidents and routines of prison life. In theory, RHU is not a punitive measure. In practice, it can only be described as punishing.

It is with the preceding information that TX T.E.A.M.O.N.E. has been inspired to put our lives on the lins in the most literal sense, by refusing the necessary nutrients for survival, and good health. This coming Black August 21st, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of George L. Jackson, TX. T.E.A.M.O.N.E. will be leading the masses of TDCJ’s Allred Unit in a hunger strike to protest and bring attention to the fundamental injustice that is embodied in the mere use of isolation-solitary confinement. We ask the inside community to join us in struggle as we already have a case in the courts challenging TDCJ’s use of RHU. We ask the outside community to join us in solidarity. (Solidarity actions will be listed at the end of this pamphlet.)

What is BP-3.91

Board policy 3.91 has recently been revised and is set to take effect August 1st. These revisions seek to create an asexual environment in prison. If the penal system has its way, all publications or pictures which may possibly cause arousal will be considered contraband.

While We recognize the needs of some to rehabilitate themselves from what may be considered perverse sexual behavior, the same can not be said for all, nor even most, prison captives. For factually speaking, each individual inmate has individual needs in regards to the realm of recovery and redemption.

TDCJ, when it benefits their agenda, seems to agree. For, in recent years, they have mandated that each captive complete an “individual treatment plan”. All captive persons must complete the plan prior to their release on parole or risk remaining in prison.

What penological reason does BP-3.91 serve?

At the date of this writing TDCJ has refused to state any reasoning for this policy amendment. This refusal in itself is unlawful, by the standard set by the Supreme Court’s Turner case. That aside, since they’ve left the reasoning up to interpretation, let’s interpret it:

Why on Earth would anyone want an asexual environment? One where, in theory only, sexual desire doesn’t exist? We say in theory only because factually speaking, no matter the variations of sexual expression, desire and arousal are as natural as breathing. What then happens when large masses of people are warehoused, cut off from all social stimuli, as we are in RHU? Frankly, this act falls in line with historical missions of the American establishment, in terms of genocide, a slow and deliberate depopulation of outcasted sectors?

Remember eugenics? The selective breeding of persons in order to weed out unwanted social characteristics that were thought to be founded in ones genetics. Remember forced sterilization of both women and men who were largely held captive, were mentally unequipped, or otherwise considered a liability to the social order. This BP-3.91 is aligned with this grim history. But that’s not all! BP-3.91 will ban any material which depicts a person with their face covered! We are still in the middle of a pandemic. Enough said.

Solidarity Actions:

Those outside persons who’re not local should call the Texas Board of Criminal Justice on August 1 at 512-475-3250 demanding BP-3.91 be annulled as it has been revised, as it is an unlawful use of prison censorship.

On August 24 supporters should call the Executive Director of TDCJ at 936-437-2101. On the 24th we will have been on strike for 3 days, which makes it official. Demand that TDCJ begin to rectify it’s inhumane confining of RHU inmates indefinitely and without meaningful review. Express your support for the hunger strikers on Allred.

Those who’re local to this region: we ask to come out in droves to support our cause via an outside noise demonstration at the grounds of the Allred prison colony. We NEED and appreciate your support.

TX T.E.A.M.O.N.E. Triumphant

Government Lies, Trumpism and Government Charity – by Harlequin

Q: How do you know when a politician is lying?

A: Their mouth is open and speaking!

This may be a quirky quip designed to get a chuckle out of people, but it certainly speaks the sinister truth! The truth is that politicians lie and scheme each step of the way to convince the people to vote for them and get them in the office they’re running for. Time and time again, these same politicians fail to follow through with their promises to the people, although it was the people that put them into the seat of power. Then the game playing begins., Have you noticed that, especially a lot lately, that every time something goes haywire in this country, politicians are quick to blame everything on another country. Lately China and Russia are the USA’s favorite scapegoats. It never occurs to these corrupt people in power that the problem may come from within.

When Trump got into office as POTUS everyone looked at Russia for somehow rigging the election results. China was blamed for the Coronavirus pandemic. Russia was blamed for the attack on a vital pipeline system in the country. Yet, this isn’t something new. This practice of scapegoating has been going on since the beginning of the inception of capitalism and imperialism. The blame is always shifted.

Lets touch on Trump. What an utterly incompetent, egotistical maniac! He terrorized the nation when in office in 2016 and he refused to accept that he lost in 2020. Fascism will always attempt to gain power at any means necessary. In 2016, we were given the option of voting for two fascist idiots to be “commander in chief” of the nation. We live in a country where we are told who we can vote for. Biden is no better. Yes, he stepped in and pushed for trillions of dollars in aid, but it’s not free money, people! We will be paying for that for generations. Our taxpayer money will pay for both the CARES Act and the stimulus money. Also, a little known fact: The 1.2 trillion dollar bill that Biden signed payed for a nonessential subway system for speaker-of-the-house Nancy “Piglosi” Pilosi. She now has a subway system essentially in her backyard for use in commuting into work every day. We are paying for a luxury gifted to Piglosi.

We live in a world of greed. At the start of the pandemic, millions of tons of food was dumped, all because capitalist corporations couldn’t make a profit from it. Yet, we have millions dying from hunger daily across the globe. This nation produces enough food in one day to feed the entire world for a year.

We need a revolution to overthrow the capitalist pigs! How long will we stand by and allow all of this to happen? I know my conscience will not allow me to just sit back and watch this unfold. I am involved in teaching others, helping them to WAKE UP to reality. So – won’t you join me in this struggle to save our world before it’s too late?

In Struggle,

Harlequin

Write Harlequin at:

Thomas Flick LJ9467

SCI Mahaonoy

PO Box 33028

St. Petersburg, FL 33733

This Land – by David Elmakayes

Is this the “land of the free”? The land that was promised to our ancestors that died fighting to create “this land”? I thought this was the land where dreams of fairness and mutual respect lives on. The land where you are defined by your actions, not your looks or beliefs! But for too long these ideas have taken refuge inside works of literature, television programs and dreams. In this land “Equality should have no boundaries; opportunity should have no boundaries”. Worth should outshine color. The ball should bounce the same for everyone on “this land”. Funny how in this “land of the free” the only time we are treated equal is once you’re incarcerated. Ones name is replaced with a number. You’re given the same food, jumper and shoes, undergo the same subjugation and humiliation. If we can be equals in prisons, then we should be equals everywhere.

David is currently being charged for his participation in last summer’s George Floyd uprising in Philadelphia and is need of a new attorney. Please donate at: https://gofund.me/53f3ddb1

You can write David at:

David Elmakayes 77782-066

FDC Philadelphia

PO Box 562

Philadelphia, PA 19105

A Letter from Acre

June 19, 2021

Hello friends, allies and comrades alike! My name is Acre. I briefly occupied a long standing aerial blockade known as a “treesit” against the Mountain Valley Pipeline. I was sentenced to 4 months real time (more on paper). The judge said, “A day for each day in the tree”. However, the physical blockade lasted much longer than my stay – a little over 2 ½ years! The physical stand I and many others have taken against the MVP represents much more than just fighting climate change. My occupation and extraction from pipeline property symbolizes a larger struggle against settler colonialism. The police told us we were on land that didn’t belong to us, but the truth is we are all on stolen land. The inherently unethical nature of capitalism and expansionism assigns arbitrary values to invaluable things and poses real violence to the earth and its occupants (two legged, four legged, winged, gilled alike). How do you put a price on a persons time as the prison system does? Or the contents of soil or the purity of the water? These are things we never get back, yet they are constantly taken without our consent. It’s a violation of the autonomy of our natural world. I encourage you to see my actions as a guide to stand up for what you believe in.

Love and Rage,

Acre

Have You Ever Thought About the Origins of Prison? – by Pepe (a.k.a. Scott)

One day I was staring out the window with a smirk on my face as I looked across the farmland hat surrounded the prison on all sides. Another inmate came over and asked what I was laughing at. I responded with a question of my own, “Have you ever thought about the origins of prison?” He said “no” and I told him, “I was laughing at the irony of this priso being built in the middle of a giant farm.”

For most of our existence, us humans were hunters-gatherers. Basically this meant our food came from hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants. We would follow the herds and growing seasons of plants as we moved across the land in pursuit of them. Such a nomadic lifestyle required us to have few possessions because, as our food source moved, we had to pack up and move with them if we didn’t want to starve. The human species spent several million years living this year until about 10,000 years ago when a major shift in the way we obtained our food occurred and it dramatically changed the way we lived. This shift was the invention of farming and since then things have never been the same.

Now we no longer have to travel across the land hunting and gathering our food. With farming, we could just simply grow what we want to eat, so we gave up the nomadic lifestyle, settled in one place and became agriculturalists. This was the birth of our modern civilization. But, something happened that, likely, noone had foreseen. Having control over our food supply meant we could grow more than we needed, and that’s just what we need. For the first time in our existence we had an excess of food, something that was not possible with our nomadic hunter-gatherer past. But, when you have an excess, you have to store it somewhere, and if it can be stored, it can be stolen, and if it can be stolen, you need someone to guard it. This could be seen as the origins of policing. Then, you need to do something with the people these guards caught. This is the origin story of prisons. It’s something that most of us don’t ever think about, not even those of us that are stuck spending years inside a prison.

Of course, this is an overly simplistic description of events. An entire book can be written on the subject, and many have. But for now, as I sit in my bunk and stare out the window, I can’t help but laugh at the irony in the placement of this prison.

Scott Bodnar 25434-014

Federal Prison Camp

PO Box 2000

Lewisburg, PA 17837

Dear Anarchists – by Jeffrey Prager

Dear Anarchists

We are anarchists

At war, the government the target

We won’t stop till it’s a carcass

Politics, we shall abolish it

All of it!

Police officers…

The ones sworn to protect?

Ha Ha I object!

I better stop before I get a bullet in my back

or a knee on my neck, choking out “I Can’t Breathe”

(Murderers)

And y’all have the nerve to steal our tax dollars

claiming to clean up the neighborhood

Yet you sell “confiscated” drugs back on the streets

and while Uncle Sam’s building high rises

the lower class struggles to make ends meet

That little girl at school?

Those are the only meals she eats

(You see)

If you can’t read between the lines

We’re struggling just fine

We don’t need y’alls help

So you can take your Constitutions

and shove it…

Back on your shelf.

Solidarity,

Jeffrey Prager 2060601

810 FM 2821

Huntsville, TX 77349

I’ve Been Thinking – by Jeffrey Prager

Hello Comrades! It’s me again. I know, I know, it’s been a while since y’all heard from me. For those of y’all who didn’t know, about 8 months ago, due to the pandemic, my now 8 year old daughter passed away. I’ve been battled depression and punched down suicidal thoughts. I literally went to the point of pulling out my hair. Literally! I’m still healing, but I’m back!

Since I’ve been gone I’ve done some serious thinking. What the fuck is wrong with this world? Our so-called worldis crumbling I our hands, yet all we do is stare at it happening. We need to put our heads together and heal these wounds. I can’t be the only one thinking this.

I’ve been thinking – Red, white and blue is supposed to mean “freedom”, except when it’s flashing behind you. Cops are supposed to be trusted because their motto is to “protect and serve”, yet unarmd black men are being killed, indigenous people targeted. Take your damn knees off our necks. We Can’t Breathe! There’s so much hatred and racism out there. I grew in a white supremacist household. It took me a long time to realise that, at the end of the day, we are all human.

I’ve been thinking – There’s so many repeat offenders, yet no rehabilitation. This is really legal modern-day slavery. No wonder the prison system is always packed. So let me get this right… you want to keep me locked up for 15 years, slave in the laundry department folding half-washed clothes for no pay and release me with only $100 and a bus pass to whatever town in Texas I want? You call that rehabilitation? I call it bullshit. Get your knee off our necks. We Can’t Breathe!

I’ve been thinking – that we, in solidarity, need to come together and do more thinking for a better community, a better society, a better world.

In Solidarity,

Jeffrey Prager

If you like this and want to hear more from me, you can contact me to me directly at:

Jeffrey Prager 2060601

Wynne Unit

810 FM 2810

Huntsville, TX 77349

Fire Ant: Anarchist Prisoner Solidarity #9

From bloomingtonabc.noblogs.org

Fire Ant is a quarterly publication focused on spreading the words of anarchist prisoners and generating material solidarity for our imprisoned friends. Begun as a collaboration between anarchist prisoners and anarchists in Maine, Fire Ant seeks to raise material aid for anarchist prisoners while fostering communication between anarchists on both sides of the walls.

Issue #9 is a special June 11th edition. It features an article about Eric King, an update from Sean Swain, a letter about Prison Lives Matter by Jennifer Rose, a piece by Comrade Z, explorations of prisoner support by Peter Werbe and someone from the Anarchist Black Cross, and the 2021 June 11th statement.