“I would like to point out some of the issues at hand . I’m not afraid of the backlash. If a man has not discovered a cause he is willing to die for, the causes he is living for are in vain. This is not just a political issue at hand nor a whimper for comfort in a punitive situation. This is a plea for the consideration of humanity!!! We are oppressed in an unconstitutional “cruel and unusual” environment created by the state. Kay Ivey says ” The demands are unreasonable ” What’s unreasonable is to warehouse humans and use their forced uncompensated labor to generate capital for the state in the name of Public safety yet using minimal funding for inmates. While simultaneously housing them in dalipidated over populated facilities infested with drugs , void of proper medical treatment , and no security. What’s Unreasonable is , ” The state bleeding the federal government and tax payers for rehabilitation program funding in the guise of inmate reform. What’s Unreasonable is , “A parole board that Alabama inmate never see to present there on cases neither in person nor by virtual meeting. A parole board that has no oversight , no standard guidelines to meet yet have the power to repeatedly. Denie inmates who have shown by there personal efforts to comply for years with court and Doc recommended programming and educational milestones just to be denied for another 5 years. What’s Unreasonable is ” Those previously sentenced under the 446 act to life without parole for a property crime that the state used as a means of mass incarceration and isolation of a particular race. Yet he sleep next to a man who was sentenced for the same crime and has the same criminal history that under new law has only 84 months. What’s Unreasonable is ” 60 plus years after the the civil rights movement in which Alabama was the center of attention it’s administrative body still has a rebellion to the God given rights of it’s citizens and The U.S. Constitution. We don’t want special treatment we simply want and demand our Constitutional guarantees and especially equal protection of law without retaliation…”
Day 5. As the historic Alabama prison strike winds down the final days of it’s first week, it seems pretty clear that the ADOC wants violence. Over the past 72 hours, ADOC has started calling riot teams into the prisons in full CERT uniform, even though the work strikes have accounted for the most peaceful periods of incarceration in Alabama’s troubled prisons.
The ADOC has resorted to intimidation tactics and allowed officers to harass and assault suspected leaders. At a few prisons, ADOC officials have allowed certain officers to walk around and escort small groups of individuals to workplaces, even though the people are performing little to no work when then enter the factories. These exercises are meant to create the illusion that the strike is not working and encourage others to go back to work.
Even more egregious, ADOC has utilized mentally ill individuals as canon fodder, ordering them to perform minimal jobs when large groups of people are moved to the dining halls and medical areas. The ADOC’s intent is clear: use mentally ill as props. However, this tactic is placing lives in danger. When men on peaceful strikes see these people working, it causes resentment and tension. Several people have been displaced because of ADOC antics.
Some in the prison system are planning to start outing the names of suspected collaborators, which will only increase tensions but it will also place the burden on ADOC to stop fomenting violence. . . or else.
“(message to Alabama statewide)
Attention: To all my brothers and sisters in this struggle and movement,PLEASE WHATEVER YOU DO,DO NOT GET COMFORTABLE! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY DON’T FALL FOR ANY PSYCHOLOGICAL GAMES COMING FROM ALDOC OR THEIR INFILTRATIORS!!!!…make no mistake about it,we are at war. Not a war of violence but a mental war..but its still WAR. Let us be mindful that war is a game of chess. So in anticipation of whats to come please be on point and on the lookout for the psychological move that will be sure to follow..notice that the first few days that they tried starvation. WE ENDURED! today the brought a decent breakfast and probably will be a decent lunch…they seen how ppl was complaining for the first few days and thought we would fold,now its hot meals. Next they will start letting you outside to get fresh air a little more each time.. PLEASE RECOGNIZE AND DON’T GET COMFORTABLE!!!..next they are going to offer yard call knowing that we hate to be caged(well they think we do)…after they offer yard call ,they are slowing going to put some officer or one of their infiltrators that crossed the picket line,inside the snackline..then eventually the store. After that when you are standing in the snackline or the store line or on the yard THEY ARE GOING TO EASE A WORK CALL IN……. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE PSYCHOLOGICAL GAMES AND WOLVES IN SHEEP CLOTHING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS… PLEASE BEWARE OF THE WARDEN WANTING A SO CALLED MEETING WITH ALL OF THE DORM REPRESENTATIVES! …at the end of the day,just think about it,WHAT COULD THE WARDEN DO FOR US AND OUR CAUSE??.. these meetings with all the dorm representatives at one time with the warden only lets them know who to put on the hit list that will follow days later 👀… PLEASE PAY ATTENTION AND DONT GET COMFORTABLE…if the warden wants to meet with the representative,tell him that the WHOLE DORM AS A WHOLE is the representative…the days of standing alone is OVER! we are standing in solidarity as one . That is what this whole movement is about,thats why its a STATEWIDE PRISON INMATE STRIKE…do not fall for the trap of divide and conquer, especially when we have shown the whole world what ALABAMA INCARCERATED UNITY LOOKS LIKE,,✊🏿….under no circumstances go to the snackline or commissary store. It defeats the purpose of assisting the state by putting the money that we took out of their pockets back in…let everything in the snackline go bad or let the guards buy it,…all of us as a whole have to be one accord… PLEASE STAY FOCUSED, DON’T GET COMFORTABLE AND AT ALL TIMES REMEMBER ALDOC WILL DO ANYTHING AND SAY ANYTHING TO WIN….SO WE HAVE TO BUCKLE DOWN AND BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING…NO SNACKLINE! NO STORE! NO PACKAGES! NO FINANCING THEIR FIGHT TO KEEP TREATING US INHUMANLY! NO FINANCING THEIR LEGAL FEES TO HIGHER LAWYERS TO COVER UP THE MURDER OF OUR LOVE ONES!….#standupstandstrongstandtogether”
“This is limestone. The c.o.’s there are doing nothing as usual. Rubbish is piled high outside the chow hall, flies and maggots everywhere are now posing a health risk, the laundry has been collected but not washed and some poor men have no extras to wear. They are refusing to hand out the weekly toilet paper rations which the men should’ve had on Tuesday night and joking aside things are getting desperate. On Monday and Wednesday many dorms had only been fed one meal of grits and stale bread by midnight and the men are starving. I am proud of each and everyone of them and the other facilities that are ploughing through this cruel and depraved treatment and remain strong 👌”
On September 26, 2022, over 12,900 men across Alabama’s prison system launched a massive peaceful protest in response to the humanitarian crisis taking place inside ADOC
Over 12,500 strong for #shutdownADOC2022
St Clair *. 1117
Bullock * 1483
Reports emerging out of Limestone Correctional Facility that Robert Earl Council has been assaulted by ADOC correctional officers and placed into the solitary confinement unit. This is at least the second time Mr. Council has been assaulted by ADOC staff in the past 21 months. In January 2021 , Mr. Council was beaten nearly to death at Donaldson Correctional Facility.
“I don’t know how many people are truly paying attention to the revolution taking place right under your noses. We are the sons, brothers,uncle’s and father’s of family members that are trying to be held captive in the belly of the beast for all our days. But God has given us the opportunity to use this platform (social media) to let our voices be heard. We need you more than ever right now, our families,friends and love ones. We need your voices to be heard as well. Alabama has been a slave state as long as some of us can remember. A modern day pharaoh, who refuses to let it’s people go. But through the grace of God and the determination of His believers we shall overcome. Stand with us!! Let’s force the hand of our oppressor!!
“LET MY PEOPLE GO”!!
“Hello active men and women in our current movement of freedom✊🏾. If I may have a moment of your time, I would like to share a proposal… I am among the population of inmates across Alabama being denied not only my freedom, but my rights as well… Though we all seek out to complete the same mission, we are on two different battlefields… The ADOC are hitting us with the same tactic across the state and that’s depriving us of food in a attempt to make us submit by starvation… Now we all know that this is an act of retaliation by the ADOC so my question is how do we respond? Because In all honesty, if a stretch is needed in order to make a change for our freedom, they will beat us along the way why? Because it’s almost like their day is still normal… Yes They have to cook and yes they have other new small jobs, but they are MINIMIZING EVERYTHING THAT THEY DO…. As we have all seen the “meals” that they have been preparing, thats is the bare minimum of cooking with little to no work at all, So I feel like we all as a TEAM should come up with something, an act that goes on almost simultaneously across the Alabama prison system causing the officer’s day to increase in work, whether it’s every inmate putting in a request to go over to the healthcare or whatever we may come up with I just Know that we need to do something to somewhat even the playing field… Me personally, I’m solid as a rock and I have people that need me out there, Just like many other great men in here, so I can speak for us all when I say we’ll go through ANYTHING that the ADOC throws at us💪🏾… But u have to understand that everyone is not as strong mentally to endure these kinda conditions, so I can’t stress this enough WE HAVE TO HURRY. If any thoughts or ideas come to mind small or large, bring them to the group ASAP…. We need all our minds to come together because we’re in this TOGETHER ✊🏾🗣️🗣️🗣️🗣️”
“How can ADOC think we don’t know whats going on? We talk to our loved ones, we visit our loved ones, we see, we hear, we read and those who wasted a vote on a woman who only cares about lining her pockets, and doing what shes told? They may have done wrong to end up in prison, but they have not lost all their rights. Their constitutional rights are being ignored. Warden Terry Raybon is retaliating because of the inmate strike. He fed only the inmates who are diabetics and thats it. My loved one tells me everything. They shut down everything statewide. The kitchen at Fountaine correctional facility yesterday. Why? Something must be done to change this…. http://www.alabamaprisonnews.com”
Day 2 of the unprecedented labor strikes and humanitarian protests has started. Reports are trickling out of at least two prisons continued resistance at both Bibb Co and Staton prisons.
We will keep everyone updated as more reports come in.
“I’m at Bibb county prison….Today is September 26, 2022….marking the start day of a peaceful institutional shut down across the state of Alabama and across the United States for the ones who have love ones and friends doing time… today is not a day of sympathy or negativity…but smiles and rejoice because for one God woke us up….in the voice of DJ Khaled…”God Did”….so there’s no need for sadness or old come together negro songs but positive noise in the form of upliftment and encouragement….the numbers we have in here and out there amongst our love ones speak so loud I can’t hear myself think…lol…💯💪😎…. get louder….now we jus need the #DOJ to step in and make things fair because this is Alabama….only God can make this right….stay safe and motivated….💯💕
“This was sent to me and I absolutely LOVE IT so I’m sharing with you….
September 26th, 2022 is a historical and unprecedented day with the success of ALL major prison facilities going on a labor strike. Not one incarcerated citizen reported to their slave jobs which was confirmed by the ADOC Commissioners office. Every incarcerated citizen in ADOC who made this happen should be proud of this accomplishment. You have proven to yourself, the state of Alabama, and the world that over 10,000 men and women “can” stand together where it’s always said it can’t be done.
To top it off it is the first time since the riot at St. Clair Correctional Facility in 1985, that a governor has publicly addressed any issues brought by those incarcerated. This speaks volumes regardless of Kay Ivey’s response.
What has taken place should tell Alabama taxpayers a few things as well. First take into consideration that these men and women who participated in this labor strike did so in a manner that shows they are civil and can do things the way responsible citizens do things. Not a single ADOC staff or confined citizen was hurt.
Next it should be considered that those who participated in this historical event are tired of being treated as less than animals and are demanding their humanity to be given back.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s response is not shocking at all. None of Alabama’s taxpayers will ever agree that Ivey is the brightest crayon in the box.
It’s time that we ALL understand that public safety is entwined with what takes place in our prisons and our court rooms. It is entwined with what kind of individual we are releasing back to society.
Is time we are given an opportunity to discuss changes in current Alabama laws that have played a significant role in the current issues surrounding the inhumane conditions writhing ADOC. it’s time the lawmakers give us an opportunity to be heard and present solutions. And yes, it’s time Alabama stops telling those who are within the prison system nothing will change.
There are reasonable demands that can contribute to public safety as well as the safety of those confined. For instance the HOFA act “should” be repealed and those who were sentenced under this act SHOULD be resentenced under the presumptive sentencing standards. If the HOFA is wrong today and needed correction which prompted the truth in sentence presumptive sentencing standards as a reform, it was wrong then.
HOFA is the leading contributing factor of the overcrowding in ADOC today.
Good time incentive (IGT) should be given to all who are eligible to return back to society. IGT gives not only hope but builds responsibility and accountability within those who are confined. This rehabilitation incentive will lower the violence, drug use and overdoses that haunt the Alabama prison system. This benefits public safety to the T. It brings actual changes to the incarcerated, it saves the taxpayers money through medical bills, it provides tools of rehabilitation. It gives the fate back to the incarcerated giving hope.
Let’s look at changing the language of Section 15-22-20. It reads:
Board of Pardons and Paroles – Creation; composition; compensation.
(a) There shall be a Board of Pardons and Paroles which shall consist of three members. The membership of the board shall be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, or economic diversity of the state. At least one member shall be a current or former law enforcement officer with a minimum of 10 years’ experience in or with a law enforcement agency which has among its primary duties and responsibilities the investigation of violent crimes or the apprehension, arrest, or supervision of the perpetrators thereof.
It should be amended to read “One (to be interpreted ONLY ONE) member shall be a current or former law enforcement officer with a minimum of 10 years’ experience in or with a law enforcement agency which has among its primary duties and responsibilities the investigation of violent crimes or the apprehension, arrest, or supervision of the perpetrators thereof.
This amendment will allow for this to be true:
“…. The membership of the board shall be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, or economic diversity of the state.”
Currently the Alabama Parole board is not inclusive (not excluding any of the parties or groups involved in something.) It’s not, reflecting “racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, or economic diversity of the state. Economic diversity of the state with three members coming from former law enforcement backgrounds. One a former district attorney and attorney General, one a former probation/ parole officer, one a former state trooper. This amendment will allow public safety to not be compromised.
These are examples of things that are beneficial to public safety, and these are not the only ways they are beneficial and uphold public safety by any means. The other demands are not abandoned here and we demand now a public forum to be heard challenged and the opportunity to rebut.
As Kay Ivey said, the demands might just be “unwelcomed by Alabama”, but that cannot be unreasonable until Alabama SHOWS them to be just that.
Alabama demands change and to be heard. We are part of Alabama.
WE ARE Men and Women”
“Allen Earnestly gave me a prompt and a task about what he would like posted, so here it is :
What was clearly shown from the governors office response today and the meals served on the inside was that inmates are nothing but a number to the state of Alabama. The governor completely ignored any of the very reasonable , logical and humane requests on the list of demands . ￼Her only response is more prisons are on the way.￼ She has the ability to call a special session and may do so if our loved ones on the inside and continue sitting down. The only way any change will come is if the men and women on the inside continue to stand up for themselves, by sitting down.
It’s apparent that the governor‘s office feels that this is just some sort of show for today. It’s up to everybody on the inside to show the state of Alabama that that couldn’t be farther from the truth . It’s not going to be pleasant, it’s not going to be comfortable, it’s not going to be routine.
￼ Despite the governors dismissive words, inmates are humans. Inmates are more than just their ADOC number. ￼ It’s time for inmates to come out of the shadows. ￼
￼ Let it be said that there are inmates that should never return back to society. There are people who cannot be rehabilitated . ￼ There is no problem in admitting that. But, that is not the bulk majority, and that is not who we are discussing here. Kay Ivey wants to act like the protest and the shutdown is just asking for the flood gates to be opened. Of course, this is convenient for the governor to group all inmates into one group to put fear in society. She will do or say anything to present inmates as anything but human. There are going to be bad apples in any class of people. ￼ She’s choosing to ignore that the majority of inmates desire to be rehabilitated ,desire to be reunited with their families, desire to be a productive member of society, and she refuses to acknowledge that so, so many have over paid their debt to society at this point.
I just can’t understand￼ how the governor and lawmakers can just be so proud of themselves for holding people in human storage units. The thing about lawmakers is a lot of them are guilty of crimes themselves, but it’s privilege ,status, and money that keeps them from serving time.
￼To be human is to err. ￼ Our incarcerated friends and family are paying for those crimes and mistakes with years of their life. There is no greater payment. This is time you can’t get back. What the people from the inside and outside are asking for is that time to be equal to the ￼crime.￼ and while serving that time, people are asking for an actual environment that invites rehabilitation. The people that judge inmates, both civilians, and both of those who makes the laws, most likely wouldn’t last half of a day in the conditions that these men and women endure.
￼Once again, if today has shown you anything by the tablets being cut off, by the meager food, and by the governors statement herself, is that you need to show these people that you are valuable. You are more than just that AIS number don’t let them win. That’s exactly what they are expecting and hoping so they can continue to ignore and keep the inmates in the shadows. Keep applying the pressure .
Oh….. AND VOTE THAT DEMENTED WOMAN OUT OF OFFICE. Get all your friends and family and everybody out there to vote. If you aren’t registered, make sure you get registered as soon as possible, but I believe it’s towards the end of next month that you must be registered by. This is important.”
“Incarcerated individuals of Alabama tofay you have banned together to stand up for your rights and your freedom. That shows everyone yourselves included that you can be peaceful individuals. Today should show you that you are all capable of leaving the violence behind, stop the stabings, stop the violence inside. You have the power to stop this but you are also the ones doing it. I know your in a living hell but today even through this hell so many of y’all have banned together to stand up. So banned together every day and stand up. Stop the violence, stop the drugs, stop the abuse. Each and every one of you have a role you can play in fixing this and now we know you can. Today is just the start. Make them all see your worth your freedom and y that you deserve it.”
“THIS WAS SENT TO ME FROM AN INMATE THIS MORNING ……
I wish someone would tell them to speak on and educate the public on how this shyt really works like for example. You know nobody else is getting sentences under that habitual offender act because the court system in Alabama had come up with and started sentencing people under the point system wich is a very very much more fair way of sentencing people and everyone automatically gets treated fairly the same as the next man who may have the exact same charges . And the reason it was changed and they stop using the habitual offender act not law cuz it’s never been a law it’s an act but anyways the reason for doing away with it is because it has been proven to be a unfair cruel and unusual punishment on top of all that it’s also the very reason that prisons in Alabama are so over full and crowded and that is facts thats not including the horrific and unfair and unjust parole board. Anyways bk to the subject at hand the habitual offender act ok so it’s been done away with because of a hundred proven facts that showed how it 2as not good for anyone the public ,the prison system,the state , the rights of people incarcerated and the state of Alabama nobody has ever bennifited from the way they where using this act. And so then how can you justify them not allowing neveryone no matter how far back it went that they 2h3re sentences ,how much time they have did or the nature of their crime . If the act was wrong and unjustly ,UN fair ,cruel and unusual punishment then we should be allowed actually it should be mandated that the courts bring every single person back to court to give them a chance to prove their case and if they can prove that you have been sentences way more harshly , that compared to someone with the very same or similar or even way more time even with someone with a more serious charge or case getting lesser time than you did cuz they sentences under the point system and you under the habitual offender act then I should get a fair chance to do that.”
Today across the state, incarcerated individuals and their families are banning together as one in a show of solidarity against the inhumane and unjust treatment of them all. No matter what role you play in this state you have influence, a voice and a choice. It is past time for something to be done in this state and we, the people of Alabama, are tired of standing back and waiting for change to come. Today we start the strongest and hardest fight against the state of Alabama to do what is right for these individuals. No man or woman deserves to be treated as less than animals, we all have basic human rights which you are not allowing. The more harm that comes to these men and women at the hands of Alabama the harder we will fight, we’re not backing down. ADOC stands for the department of Correction and they are the ones needing correcting, there is no corrections going on in any of these prisons. There is no Justice being served when men are starving. There is no Justice when basic medical needs aren’t met. There is no Justice when you keep men well over the age of 70 dying in prison. There is no Justice by keeping terminally ill patients in prison. There is no Justice when you don’t follow your own parole standards. There is no Justice when you punish families of these individuals by restricting visits, and overcharging for basic needs. These are just a few of the injustices that are taking place by your hands and it needs to change NOW.
Today we stand, today we fight, tomorrow we will win.
An Alabama Citizen.”
“Alabama prison Commissioner has lied.. We are getting reports that all major institutions are under lock down not “operational”. That means no yard time, no trade school, no rehabilitation programs, no law library, nooooo normal activities. Not to mention no adequate meals, even though they are bringing Decatur workrelease inmates in to make food.
This is punishment and retaliation… Tactics to break what is breaking ADOC.”
Multiple Alabama Prisons reporting strike activity across the State. Limestone, St. Clair, Bibb Co., Donaldson, and Elmore.
The Alabama Department of Corrections has indefinitely closed down the chemical plant at St. Clair prison as of last week. Reports were circulating throughout St. Clair that there was an accelerated rate of cancer diagnosis at St. Clair for the month of August. While we do not know if these two things are related, we do know that as of today, the chemical plant is closed, indefinitely.
Some workers have had prison jobs for 20, 30, and 40 years. When we ask them to support the shutdown, please be reminded that these people are likely to get bored with just sitting around. Organizers and dorm reps have to plan activities specifically for some in this group.
Everyone should have a daily plan for the shutdown. For example,
1. Wake up at, say, 5:30.
2. Get self together. til 6:00.
3. Prayer / Meditation 6:15 – 6:45.
4. Every dorm starts the morning with a moment of silence and togetherness. Form a circle, and spend a few minutes together. 7:00 – 7:45.
5. Exercise, read, play cards, etc., until chow call.
6. After eating, group or community meeting. Discuss news, etc. 12:00 – 3:00.
7. Get ready for last meal.
8. Get shower and prepare to watch TV, read, play spades, dips, pushups, etc 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
9. In bed. 10:00 pm
Everyone will have their own schedule. Make sure you have one for every day. Those people whose schedule has included going to a job every day will need support adjusting.
Maintaining a shutdown is an every day job. Make sure you do your part.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SHUTDOWN: Discipline your mind and stay focused
1. During a “shutdown”, no one in ADOC custody (with an AIS #) should report to work for ANY ADOC job, or any job that ADOC profits from. This includes work released, honor camps, all squads, Level 4’s and Max camps. If you know someone at any ADOC prison, make sure they know about the shutdown.
2. Read the List of Demands so that you know what you are sacrificing for, and be able to understand why a “shutdown” is necessary, and stay informed.
3. All non-emergency contact or association with all ADOC officials should cease 72 hours before the shutdown begins (September 23, 2022). The only person or people who should be talking to ADOC officials during the shutdown are designated leaders and spokespersons. All other should stand down or be viewed with heavy skepticism.
4. Do Not !! come off the shutdown until all demands are met.
5. During a shutdown, everyone should move as a group. No small group of people should be outside their living area or away from their community alone. Remember, we are all together. We go to the dining hall together, we return to our living areas together, and we stay together. Period! Build and organize.
6. During a shutdown, embrace each other and promote unity at all times. Do not engage in violent confrontations with each other, under any circumstance. If you see a situation evolving, step in and help diffuse it. Exercise together, play cards, bet for pushups instead of money, read together, pray, etc., and definitely study together.
Things get intense during a shutdown, so maintain peace with your fellow brother and sister. Do your best to control yourself first, as this will help you to avoid unnecessary confrontation with those who are sacrificing along with you. This will help you be able to step into other situations and diffusive them.
7. Do not exploit financial markets during a shutdown. This includes not trying to jack up prices for food items, tops and coffee. People are sacrificing for a greater cause, so no one should take advantage of the situation. Warning ⚠️: No one is under any obligation to protect the person or property of an exploiter.
8. During a shutdown, film and/or document all activities occurring at your prison, but do not identify yourself unless you feel comfortable doing so. Remember, it is better to pre-record than to go Live. By pre-recording, you have time to secure yourself and property before the video is released. Keep your tablets charged and use them sparingly. Do not communicate important information on a tablet or wall phone.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET SNATCHED UP
9. Do not panic if you get snatched up and placed into solitary confinement. If you know you are taking on a prominent role or may be identified as a leader, get prepared. a) Separate important mail and legal documents, b) make sure someone in the prison has your emergency contact information, c) notify family members of what’s going on and how/why your normal communication routine may change, d) be sure to back up first, and then delete important information from your phone, and don’t forget to check your notepads, etc.
STORING FOOD AND OTHER PREPARATIONS
10. This is an important topic that always comes up during a shutdown, and a very important decision. There is no one way to handle it. As far as the shutdown goes though, there are some practical considerations that should help you with this decision.
a) A food truck (and the store truck) runs every week at a prison. This means that a prison has storage space for ONLY ONE WEEK’s worth of food supplies at any given time. No army can go to war with only ONE WEEK worth of food. But we already know that it takes more than one week to make change, so choosing the right strategy for food is important. Having a sound strategy in place eliminates situations where some people have food and some don’t. We have to think BIG to accomplish BIG things.
Consider this, the Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted for 13 months. In order for us to see real change, this process that is starting on September 26 will take some time too. Realistically, we can’t save and store enough food to last until real change will occur, so why even try? Here’s what we can do strategically to maintain unity and to keep the Movement going strong.
b) When chow is called, every person, in every dorm should go to the dining hall and take at least one tray, whether you plan to eat it or not. By requiring the state to make enough trays to serve everyone, we apply additional monetary pressure on the state food budgets, and we keep staff in the kitchen longer. Also, no one should leave the serving window until they have a full portion on their tray. We should move at a reasonable pace to the chow hall, we should take our time to eat our meals and wait until everyone is done before exiting the chow hall, and we should move back to the dorm at a reasonable pace. Other people may have different strategies, just make sure that everyone at your location is on the same page and using the same strategy. Communication is important. Know your plan.
HOW TO HOLD ADOC ACCOUNTABLE DURING THE SHUTDOWN
11. The ADOC is still responsible for all basic services, even during a shutdown. In addition to cooking and serving meals, ADOC also must ensure that clothes are washed, trash is taken out, showers are cleaned, and emergency medical services are provided.
If ADOC is not performing any of these vital tasks in a public housing areas, contact the Department of Health and Human Services and report the violation. If possible, take pictures and film videos. This evidence can be used in a class action civil suit later.
Medical staff and nurses are required to respond to all medical emergencies. This includes chest pains, shortness of breath, and overdoes, etc. Medical staff has a duty to report to the dorm areas and transport those in need of dialysis and other assistance. Make them do their jobs. If they refuse to come to the living areas and attend to emergencies (like they do when an officer is down), call the Alabama Board of Nursing immediately.
12. Finally, use social media, the advocacy groups and outside supporters. If you don’t have family support or you don’t want to be exposed, make sure you link up with support groups and others to assist you. No one is alone during a shutdown.
These are helpful suggestions for anyone participating in a shutdown, especially those new to ADOC, or have never participated in a shutdown before. If you are new, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Every prison has their own politics and leadership. Figure out what works best at your prison and hold your prison down. And, if your prison is the first one on shutdown or at some point becomes the only one on shutdown, don’t worry about what is going on at other places. Maintain your discipline and stay focused. If you hold your prison down long enough, others will join. Do your part, do your best, and don’t allow anyone to deter you.
See you on the other side of the fence,
“Another life lost here at Bibb county this morning, A life that could’ve been save but the police wouldn’t open the door to get him to the infirmary and on top of that, when the police did push him to the infirmary, they left him outside instead of taking him inside to get him check. Smh. We need to do something, before the next person is your love one were posting about.RIP MEATBALL”
A call to action has been issued from inside ADOC for a statewide shutdown on September 26, 2022, in unison with the Rally being scheduled for the same day in Montgomery, Alabama.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey responds to graphic video of a beating inside the Alabama Department of Corrections.
Alabama parole attorney does research and discovers that the only individuals granted parole on the day his client was denied, had swastika and nazi tattoos on their ADOC page.
Springville, Alabama. News broke this morning that another person was found dead from a probable drug overdose at St. Clair prison in Springville, Alabama.
“To be fr us inmates gotta take over all these Alabama prison and take control of every facility and don’t let the police count or enter the building or let dem go out of the building if we want justice and a better life in here fr hell alot of us have time which means there’s no going home right now or probably never go home and it’s only hurts us bc we talk about this bullshit errday but we ain’t standing up period yes we all of us that’s wearing a brown uniform 💯 but we standing up against each other on sum city stuff or gang stuff and the real Gangsta are the ppl who count us errday with a police badge on there shirts or jacket’s or put us in lock up or take our things we plan so hard to get in these prison and it’s funny to dem bc we ass men in brown uniform are sweet not on no gay shit just sweet bc I only seen a few men stand up in these 17 yrs to the police bc it starts with us but we so blind to the fact of making money in here and helping our family and love ones on the outside which is great I love helping my mother and kids but we don’t see that it only takes us as men white black Mexican Bloods, Crips ,disciples to have Alabama prison make the world news but hey one man can’t do it on his own so I guess we gone forever hurt each other and stay in this hell hole 🙏😈”
Now that you’ve watched the videos about medical neglect in the Alabama prison system, here’s what you can do as a concerned citizen or family member to get that person some help pursuant to the Alabama Medical Furlough Act.
Your help could possibly lead to someone regaining their freedom through a medical furlough.
Link to video: https://youtu.be/3E2yLlxigCs
Exclusive new video release from inside Alabama’s death camps.
State inmate serving 1-year sentence dies in Bullock County
By WSFA 12 News Staff
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 11:53 AM CDT
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – A state inmate serving at the Bullock County Correctional Facility has died, according to the Alabama Department of Corrections.
ADOC says Casey Cook, 26, was found unresponsive Tuesday. After an evaluation by medical staff, Cook was pronounced dead.
Cook’s body was taken for a full autopsy. His cause of death is pending, ADOC added.
Cook was convicted in St. Clair County for possession/receiving a controlled substance and was serving a one-year sentence at the time of his death.
The residents inside Alabama’s prison system have awaken once again to news of yet another death inside ADOC.
Last week it was reported that the Alabama Department of Corrections is on pace to surpass last year’s death toll, which was the deadliest of record over the past decade.
The same day this report was published, at least three more deaths were reported. Since then, appx. 7 total deaths have occurred, including the execution of Mr. Joe Nathan James, Jr.
Despite the ongoing humanitarian crisis inside ADOC, Regions Bank and other state businesses continue to partner with ADOC to build new death cages and death chambers.
“July 20,2022 alone; 3 men died in Louisiana State Penitentiary:1 suicide & 2 overdoses. That’s not counting the rest of the month or yr. Y is it that,now laws have changed where men can & will be released,when it was once stated that 95% of the men in Angola would die there;are now going home daily & yet obstacle’s are still taking the lives of these men WHO R MAJORITY MEN OF COLOR? PPL, OPEN YA EYES!!! PPL OPEN YA MIND!!! I SAY AGAIN TODAY AS I SAID YESTERDAY,REACH OUT 2 YA LOVES ONE’S & OR FRIENDS INCARCERATED BC THE PRISON OFFICIAL’S DO NOT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THEM @ ALL.SO IF U LOVE THEM AS U SAY U DO IT WOULD VITALLY WISE OF U 2 ACTUALLY SHOW THAT LOVE VERSUS JUST SAYING THT WORD. 4 THOSE OF U WHO NEVER VISITED A PERSON IN PRISON,U CAN NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY GO THRU MENTALLY OR EMOTIONALLY.PPL INCARCERATED BIGGEST MENTAL PLAGUE R THE SECURITY BC OF THE UNNECESSARY SHIT THEY DO.. DEALING THE FOOLISHNESS FROM SECURITY ALONE IS MENTALLY DEPRESSING 4 A # OF REASONS I CAN NOT ADDRESS ON FB BC I’LL GO 2 FB JAIL,JUST KNOW I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE. CONJOINED WITH THE LIVING CONDITION’S. ON ANY GIVING DAY THE HEAT IN THE DORMS,NOT OUTSIDE,WILL BE 100° + THAT’S ENOUGH TO FRUSTRATE SOME1 & CAUSE CHAOS. PPL ✔️ ON YA LOVES ONE’S & SHOW THEM THE LOVE THEY NEED 2 HELP THEM GET THRU WHATEVER THEY GOING THRU AN COMFORT THEM MENTALLY.”
40 Days and 40 Nights of Prayer / Meditation 🙏 For Change in ADOC.
Beginning Saturday July 16, 2022, until August 25, 2022, at 7 am and 7 pm.
Please join families, friends, loved ones, supporters, and other for this powerful Prayer / Meditation spiritual journey starting tomorrow at 7 am. If you would like to start a prayer group or if you prefer to pray alone, share your details.
You can also call in to the prayer line @ 551.258.6160 where we can all pray and uplift each other together.
We will be following up the 40 Days and Nights Prayer / Meditation event with a Prayer Vigil and other events in Bham, Alabama on August 25, 2022, from 10 am – 1:00 pm.
Plans are tentatively being discussed to host families, activists, supporters and others at Linn Park in Bham, Alabama, followed up by events at Region’s Bank.
Start making plans today to attend.
For more details, email email@example.com.
More details to follow. . .
A atory from inside an Alabama prison:
“This is no joke this is a true ,fact.employed by the Alabama Department of corrections Warden Carmelia Cargyle, verbally insulted and physically displayed a attempt to assault and undermined another Warden by the name Warden G.Givens awhile this Warden Givens was administering store call canteen call during the afternoon hours at Staton Correctional facility in Elmore Alabama where she has been directed to assist in the plight of all the negative activity that has been going on with this institution so far. Where in Cargill wanted the yard closed totally with not even a single person moving, and Warden Givens was watching over male inmates on the recreational yard picking up their food and supplies, when Warden Camilla Cargill stepped out of the building from nowhere and started shouting at everyone inmates officers and this visiting and acting Warden Givens , stating and shouting did y’all hear what I said get the hell off this yard! Warden Givens politely trying to speak toward and Cargill notifying her that she was about to wrap the situation up and when she walked towards this lady in response wouldn’t Cargill through her hand up two inches away from Warden given space and face and told her to shut up and that she ran this prison ,not her! Warden givens apologize to the inmates and officers that were present and follow Warden Cargill inside at Staton and Correctional facilities administration building, haven’t seen Warden Givens since then, sad no accountability, no leadership, no professionalism, no peace, and we wonder why the prison system are falling apart.”
Message from inside an Alabama prison requesting assistance:
“Today at staton Correctional facility, during feeding hours in the evening Correctional captain Smith, along with Correctional sergeant wheats turns turns black white and in between inmates around and does not allow them to eat, because they have hair on their face?? I guess because they have beards or mustaches they look too masculine and they want to feminize the man maybe because it doesn’t turn them on I don’t know? But I will say this everyone needs to call Downtown Montgomery and ask why this Correctional captain is back in this camp? Because he Captain Smith and Captain Rogers who is located at Bullock Correctional facility at the very moment as acting captain were moved out of facilities because of the death of a white male inmate by the nickname of Cody at Staton Correctional facility back in February this white male was murdered and e dormitory , only after the white male presented himself to both captains and told them he was in danger and they Rogers and Smith turned this young white male inmate around and told him to go to the dormitory and face your fears!! Downtown Montgomery John Ham James ham at the commissioner if y’all ain’t getting rid of these two MFS by the end of the week we know we need to get rid of you and Kay Ivey all together!!! The boy got stabbed and killed in this dormitory because of hearsay, and died on the way to the hospital he was about to end his sentence and go home to his mother, Captain Rogers is still working for the Alabama Department of corrections and he turned this bar around 👉🗡️ Captain Smith still working for the Alabama Department of corrections and he echo the command to this young man to come back to a dormitory to lose his life! Captain Rogers was transferred to ventures for 2 months where he sexually harassed female officers, plotting to have sex or else with them and when one of the females reported the incident. They transferred him to Bullock Correctional facility so Warden Patrice Richie Jones could babysit him and and bandage the deceit and ugly villain that the Alabama Department of corrections employees to this date somebody please some advocate, please! Get off of the remote and pick up the cell phones, in the old vintage phones, and any other devices of communication and call Downtown Montgomery central office John or James ham whatever his name is and ask them why do they have these two sick individuals still working in the system when they need to be getting booked in on charges of criminal negligent homicide, why these individuals denying your children food? And! When they could have left your kid at home if they weren’t going to feed clothes and make sure that their medical and their mental in their life needs were taken care of! Somebody everybody please pick up your phone and call and ask and tell in the man that central office command these people off their property Captain Rogers, via Bullock Correctional facility, Captain Smith via Staton Correctional facility Sergeant Wheats via Correctional facility these are the men that are dissolving your institutions that are allowing neglect, and evil and death into your institutions and one of them calls himself a preacher 👀👀👀👀👀👀👀how sick.”
Atmore, Al. Yet another casualty of the drug epidemic is being reported out of GK Fountain CF in Atmore, Al. Bobby Gilbert, known throughout the system as, was found dead from a drug overdose. Snake is the second person to die from an overdose at Fountain in the past week. He is also at least the fourth person to die in the Fountain lockup unit in the past year.
The conditions inside Alabama prisons continue to breed despair, hopelessness and desperation. Unfortunately, because the ADOC lacks the resources to provide the help needed for the men and women under their care, drugs are fast becoming a third rail way out of misery.
Free Alabama Movement
March 5, 2022.
Atmore, Al. We are receiving a report out of GK Fountain prison in Alabama that a person has died from a drug overdose in the solitary confinement. This would be the third or fourth overdose death in the solitary confinement unit in the past year.
As the drug epidemic continues to rage uncontrollably throughout the ADOC, government leaders ignore the current suffering that is claiming lives while they pursue new mega facilities to serve as the death camps for a new generation.
Getting this drug problem and violence under control will require assistance from families as well as the men and women on the inside. The less we do, the less of a commitment we have to stopping these deaths and the less we’ll be effective in our demands for changes at the parole board and State House.
The maxim Organize or Die has never been more applicable.
Free Alabama Movement
Over the past week, in addition to the multiple violent deaths and drugs overdoses at multiple Alabama prisons, there was also an escape from GK Fountain prison in Atmore, Alabama.
Fountain prison had been a Level 4 medium security facility until 2020 when it was upgraded to a maximum security Level 5 facility.
Over the past two years, hundreds of men with life without parole and others who were classified as maximum security were transferred to Fountain.
After the recent escape, the ADOC starting transferring these men out of Fountain today, back to the remaining overcrowded and exceedingly dangerous maximum facilities. Transfers are ongoing and people have been arriving at other max camps late into the night.
Taxpayers, on the other hand, are footing an enormous bill for these transfers. Mental health services, medical and other needs are going to be disrupted, while those in trade schools and other programs will have to start over. All of these operations will require costs that will be paid for with valuable tax dollars. The fact that thousands of dollars were spent to reclassify this prisons upgrade security, conduct hundreds of transfers only to now scrape everything less than two years later, is yet a other sign of ADOC’s incompetence.
ADOC’s overcrowding woes are expected to get worse at the remaining max camps, bringing more problems to an already out of control system.
Free Alabama Movement
As if the Alabama prison system didn’t already have enough issues, a new crisis is looming over the prison system – a food shortage. A cutback in meals and the unavailability of some food staples are already being felt and causing panic. In addition, many supplemental food items on the canteen are either unavailable or being sold with limits on quantity. Some prisons are serving bologna, hot dogs or corn dogs as much as 8 to 9 times per week over the course of 13 lunch and dinner meals.
Fruit, a necessity for providing nutrition to help stay healthy during the pandemic, is increasingly scarce, while people in some solitary units are denied fruit, milk and dessert outright. Evidence of food shortage issue have also surfaced after several individuals incarcerated throughout ADOC shared photos of skimpy food trays, while others have written about how food quantity and quality have diminished over the past 6 to 8 months.
The prison rumor mill, always a source for information, is saying that the prison system’s food supply chain is strained due to COVID-related disruptions and that food trucks are arriving at prisons with limited inventories. Anxiety is rising over concerns that ADOC could be face a major food shortage issue later this month.
Continue to follow Free Alabama Movement for more updates on this developing issue.
Rikers Island hunger strikers continues.
From wikipedia’s article / Drapetomania
” If treated kindly, well fed and clothed, with fuel enough to keep a small fire burning all night — separated into families, each family having its own house — not permitted to run about at night to visit their neighbors, to receive visits or use intoxicating liquors, and not overworked or exposed too much to the weather, they are very easily governed — more so than any other people in the world. If any one or more of them, at any time, are inclined to raise their heads to a level with their master or overseer, humanity and their own good requires that they should be punished until they fall into that submissive state which was intended for them to occupy. They have only to be kept in that state, and treated like children to prevent and cure them from running away.”
Reports of another person dead from violence in Commissioner Jefferson Dunn’s ADOC.
“Jonathan Clay Click, 33, was discovered unresponsive in his bed at William Donaldson Correctional Facility in west Jefferson County at 4:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. He was pronounced dead at 5:14 a.m.”
Police department complex, fencing, cop cars and vehicles fill the inside, tons of cop traffic in and out, building and cop body cams, and a dead body inside one of the police vans and they say the van was broken into, had no clue of a dead body in it and ruled it ‘not suspicious’ immediately.
This is who was inside that van and there is a dirty cop somewhere in the bushes, maybe more than one.
The body found was that of:
Christina Shawntell Nance (29 years old)
Ms. Nance had been arrested by the Huntsville Police TWELVE (12) times over the past decade, most recently in March, 2021. Most of the charges were for disorderly conduct and other non-violent misdemeanor crimes.
Appears the HPD and/or MCS and MC Jail has even altered at least one of the records, the first arrest where she was 19 and got youthful offender status but the age shown today is 29, her current age, her age at death. They also put her same photo in the 2011 arrest jail record as the March 2021 photo. What the hell? The jail isn’t supposed to show a photo of a youthful offender at all. But it certainly would be the very same photo as 2021. Can you say cover-up?
Christina is someone’s daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend. And they are surely grieving her loss and asking a damn lot of questions.
You can bet money, most likely she was again arrested and some cop purposely or otherwise, left her in that van to die. And be assured people at HPD know and they are covering it up. And whomever is responsible will not be held accountable.
What the hell is wrong with our local law enforcement, every damn agency, what the hell is wrong with them? And with the judicial system, especially the district attorney and his office, that cover it all up.
Let’s hope this family lawyers up with Ben Crump or Hank Sherrod or someone equally skilled at smelling and seeing bullshit when it’s in our faces.
Some cops and deputies and others need to go to prison for this.
Bring in the national new outlets. Something is very wrong and the big dogs need to be investigating this case as murder or manslaughter or wrongful death.
BE SURE to look at all the comments below on this site, even if you only see the shared original post. Just click the site name and find the post near the top of the timeline. It’s important additional information.
Don’t lie to yourself about your prospects for Parole. This is the reality you are confronted with.
Today, September 9, 2021, marks the 50 year anniversary of the Attica Rebellion that claimed the lives of almost 40 people for the sake of human rights and human dignity. A full half a century since the gauntlet was thrown down and change was demanded from the revolutionaries, visionaries, activists, organizers and ordinary yet extraordinary men at Attica.
On September 9, 2016, five years ago and 45 years after the Attica Rebellion, the Free Alabama Movement acknowledged the legacy of those who sacrificed before us by taking action to organize the September 9, 2016 Nationwide Work Strikes, Boycotts, Protests and Social Media Campaigns.This organizing effort resulted in the largest prison-led strike in US History. We, like our predecessors, were being denied basic human rights and our dignity and self respect were being challenged by a system bent on destroying us. There was no better way to honor the Attica sacrifice than by taking action in the Spirit of Attica.
Since the Free Alabama Movement’s
contributions to the struggle began in 2014 and especially our national campaign in 2016,, we’ve seen the rise of a “national” Prisoner’s Human Rights Movement being led from the inside unlike anything we’ve seen before. We mark fifty years since Attica and five years since the 2016 national action by reaffirming our resoluteness to destroy the same system that remains committed to destroying us.
From New York to California to Texas to Alabama and all points in between blood marks the path of resistance behind these walls and fences, in the dungeons and cages. We remember those who set the example at Attica fifty years ago by continuing to embrace and love the Spirit of Resistance and Sacrifice that has travelled with us from the Motherland, rose up at Attica in 1971, spread itself across the nation in 2016, made countless appearances in prisons across the nation, and continues to inspire action today. We must make everyday Attica; that is the only way we win!
Dare to Struggle,
Free Alabama Movement
IFA ( Inmates For Action ) Prison Organization, Chagina (George Dobbins), Yukeena (Tommy Dotson) and Frank X. Moore Assassinations
Lest We Forget – April 26, 1975: Inmates For Action (IFA) member, Frank X. Moore killed by officials in Escambia county jail in Alabama
Alabama’s prisons were overcrowded and prisoners were routinely denied basic items such as clean drinking water and eating utensils, while being subjected to violence and extended periods of solitary confinement. To call attention to their demands for improved conditions, prisoners organized as Inmates for Action (IFA), and engaged in work stoppages and strikes in Alabama’s Atmore and Holman prisons. IFA also led classes for prisoners on subjects such as Revolutionary Theory and Black History. In response to prisoner activism, prison guards tortured and murdered IFA leaders Chagina (George Dobbins), Yukeena (Tommy Dotson) and Frank X. Moore. Furthermore, guards continued to deny access to necessities, and attempted to repress continued organizing among the prisoners. Outside of prison, the Committee for Prisoner Support in Birmingham (CPSB) and the Atmore-Holman Defense Committee planned demonstrations, assisted with legal strategy in support of IFA and campaigned for accountability for the murders.
The IFA was founded in the Alabama prison slave system at the Atmore State Prison (now Fountain Correctional Facility) in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The politics of the IFA were the politics of the times: a little socialism, black nationalism/revolutionary nationalism/cultural nationalism, and anti-capitalism and anti-racism. The IFA was mainly composed of black prisoners, but I know at least one white prisoner was a member of the IFA. The IFA was a formation of the times, a time when young black people had become disillusioned with the Civil Rights Movement. This was the generation that birthed Black Liberation and saw the politics of the Civil Rights Movement as bankrupt of any ideas to liberate black people from the white supremacist, racist, capitalist political power structure. Revolution was in the air and seemed possible.
Following the footsteps of the Black Liberation Movement organizations on the streets, the IFA established political, cultural, and general education classes to educate the prisoner population. Many prisoners at that time in the South couldn’t read and write, and the white supremacist power structure wanted to keep it that way. This was also a time when there were no black prison guards, wardens, or commissioners, not that it means anything because today the black prison guards, wardens, commissioners are just as brutal and fucked up as their white counterparts were then.
The IFA intervened in an attempt to change this backwards and predatory culture into a culture of unity and revolution. In fact, the IFA was instrumental in stopping the practice of prisoners keeping count of how many prisoners were in the prison for the guards. They openly challenged the rape culture. In 1971, the IFA staged a successful workstrike at Atmore and Holman prisons in protest of the beating and murder of prisoners on the workfarm. That was unheard of at the time in Alabama prisons. The IFA was so successful in educating prisoners as to who their true enemy was, that when they transferred Mafundi to Holman and placed him in the all-white dorm in the hopes of the white prisoners killing him, the white prisoners joined Mafundi in rioting.
In 1974, IFA members took prison guards hostage at knifepoint in the Atmore prison lockup unit and declared the action “a revolution.” After subduing the two guards they proceeded to open all the cell doors of IFA members who were in the lockup at the time. Most of them were there for “inciting a riot” or “assault against a guard.” They then began to exact “revolutionary justice” on all those prisoners who had been working with the white racist prison guards selling water and ice to other prisoners in the stifling hot lockup cells.
In the aftermath of this “revolution” by IFA members, one white guard lay dead, another seriously wounded, and a number of prisoners were seriously injured by IFA members. The warden and prison guards stormed the lockup unit with shotguns and rifles ablazing, wounding some of the prisoners. Johnny Imani Harris received the death penalty for the murder of the guard, Lincoln Kambui Heard received a life sentence and Oscar Johnson received thirty years. Others also received sentences for taking part in the “revolution.” Johnny Imani Harris eventually had his death sentence overturned and was released from prison.
The IFA didn’t limit their activities and organizing to the prisons. Richard Mafundi Lake and other ex-cons who were IFA members took their organization and activities to the streets of Birmingham and other smaller cities on Alabama. In Birmingham, where they were most active, they monitored the police with scanners and intervened when the police attempted to make arrests. Many shootouts between IFA and police occurred. They held community meetings to organize against police brutality and racism on the part of city officials.
They didn’t forget their brothers left in the prisons. They organized family transportation to the prisons, they aided escapes from Atmore, Holman and some road kamps. They created the Atmore/Holman Brothers support committee to support those still in the prisons facing new charges for assault and murder on prison guards. They IFA had a motto – “Kill one of our, we kill two of yours.” And they lived by that. Many IFA members were killed inside and outside the prisons. George Dobbins, Tommy Dotson, Charles Beasley, Frank X. Moore is just a few of the IFA members murdered by the state inside and outside the prisons.
The state saw the IFA as too powerful and influential in the prisons and gaining respectability in the streets and started shipping many of them to the federal system. Anthony Paradise, Lincoln Heard, Youngblood, Fleetwood, Mustang, and others were sent to Marion, Lewisburg, Leavenworth, Atlanta federal prisons.
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Tameka was sentenced to Life in a Mississippi prison for possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana
She’s 46 and has been there since she was 34
Sign petition https://www.change.org/FreeTamekaDrummer
Commute Tameka’s Sentence
End life sentences for drug possession
When Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies executed a search warrant on the residence belonging to Fred Batts and Perrion Roberts on Monday, March 29, 2001, the first item of evidence they logged onto the Property Sheet was a bulletproof vest.
Sergeant Charles Berry testified that this bulletproof vest was found behind a chair in the den area of the Batts/Roberts residence and that it had a blood smear on it. The only known photograph of the vest shows it sitting on top of a stove, and there are no known photographs of the vest behind a chair or account of who moved it. Sgt. Berry said that he had been told that DNA testing showed that the blood found on the vest matched Andre Horton’s blood. Sgt. Berry did not say where the vest was or who did DNA testing on it. During closing arguments in the case, Madison County District Attorney Robert Lee Broussard stated that this DNA was the best proof you can get:
When former co-defendant Fred Batts turned state witness, he testified that the bulletproof vest belonged to Melvin Ray.
Yet, we have the same problem with the bulletproof vest that we have with all of the other evidence in the case: no one has EVER actually seen the bulletproof vest. It was never brought into the courtroom. No person from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences came to court to testify about performing DNA testing on the vest. No one seems to know where on the vest the blood was located or how big or small the blood sample was.
The Ray family uncovered interesting information about the bullet proof vest, and they say they have irrefutable proof that Fred Batts lied when he testified that Melvin owned this bulletproof vest. They say that the Serial Number on the vest, #031914, tells a powerful story and that it proves who is the true owner.
Fred Batts was released from prison on February 8, 1999. Prior to his release, Fred Batts was assigned to Red Eagle Honor Camp in Wetumpka, Alabama. As a trustee, Fred Batts worked at the Alabama State Troopers Association on Coliseum Boulevard. At this location was a salvage yard where wrecked State Trooper vehicles and old police equipment is kept, including worn-out bulletproof vests. All of these vests are blue in color.
The bulletproof vest found at the Batts/Roberts residence on 3203 Rita Lane was blue in color. The Ray Family says that through phone calls and other methods they were able to verify that the bulletproof vest manufacturer confirmed that they distributed the exact same model of bulletproof vest found at the murder scene and allegedly with Andre’s blood on it, to the Alabama State Troopers Association in Alabama.
After the press conference, the bulletproof vest will be one of the items of evidence that the Ray Family will be demanding that District Attorney Broussard account for and produce. They say there are other issues with the bulletproof vest, but for right now they are demanding to see the bulletproof vest in question for the first time. They want to see the chain of custody records and all DNA reports about the vest, and they particularly want to know, where on the vest was Andre’s blood?
The fact that this vest potentially belongs to a police department raises serious questions about why Madison County DA Broussard allowed it to disappear before trial, and why no forensic scientist ever came to trial to testify about the blood smear and DNA testing done on the vest.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Madison County Courthouse
Melvin Ray (Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun) is the only person convicted of murder in Alabama in the 21st century where:
1) No physical or DNA evidence of any kind connects him to the crime in any way, and
2) No physical or DNA evidence of any kind was admitted into evidence at his trial.
We want answers and we Demand to see the evidence:
How did it happen?
Why did it happen?
Who had possession of the evidence when the trial began?
Where is the evidence today?
Yet another person had been found dead in ADOC. A 27 year old young man serving a 5 year sentence was found dead in his assigned cell at W. E. Donaldson CF yesterday. This death occurred one day after another individual was found dead at Alabama’s Bibb County CF.
At the same time, at least two Alabama prisons are on lockdown as they are mired in violent beatings and almost daily stabbings.
The bottom is falling out, and we expect the conditions to get worse at a rapid pace. It’s beyond clear that the DOJ isn’t going to act soon enough and State leaders aren’t going to do anything.
A white male has been pronounced dead at Bibb Co Correctional Facility. In the image you can see the yellow crime scene tape but you also see other people still milling around as if everything is normal.
The fact that just one bed rack over you see multiple people going about their way shows that ADOC does not take deaths seriously. We are in trouble people, and it’s only getting worse because our legislatures have no plans of repealing laws that will released anyone.
Death is becoming too casual and normal.
Free Alabama MovementF
ATTENTION: FAM will be issuing a public statement concerning an important change in position concerning the term and use of work strikes.
Our position on work strikes is about to fundamentally change. This concept has served FAM well but the time has come for advancement. We can no longer embrace characteristics of a labor movement as we are fighting for our lives against a vicious enemy. We must embrace tactics that accurately reflect upon the ideals, principles and objectives of our struggle for freedom, human rights, and human dignity. The concept and ideology of a “work strike” is no longer capable of bringing revolutionary change. We have to assess our position on the battlefield and make changes where necessary to win. A full statement will be forthcoming concerning this important change, and FAM forever remain on the frontline.
Jerald Sanders was sentenced as a habitual offender to life without parole for stealing a bicycle.
“In re Jerald Sanders v. State. | FindLaw” https://caselaw.findlaw.com/al-supreme-court/1473565.html
We need the entire historical application of this law for every single person it has been applied to. From 2021 backward to 1977. The public cannot participate in the debate if we aren’t informed of ALL of the material facts.
Free Alabama Movement
Further debate on Representative Chris England’s House Bill 107 calling for the repeal of Alabama’s Habitual Felony Offender Act is set to take place soon in the House Judiciary Committee.
The Free Alabama Movement is trying to learn more information about the group of people sentenced to life without parole as a habitual offender. This additional information is vital to any legitimate debate about why this law should be repealed. We also need to know more about the historical application of this law.
According to a report by Alabamians For Fair Justice, 75% of all individuals sentenced to life without parole as a habitual offender are Black.
Ronald Mckeithen. Over 37 years for convenience store robbery.
This racial distinction is consistent with other laws enacted during the tough-on-crime era. For example, in 1997, a special report to Congress by the U. S. Sentencing Commission found that Black people accounted for nearly 90% of all people convicted of federal crack offenses, even though the majority of crack users are white. Additionally, from 1988 to 1995, federal prosecutors did not bring a single white person to trial under the crack provisions of federal law in 17 states.
Based on our math from the limited resources we have access to, appx. 750 people in Alabama are sentenced to life without parole as habitual offenders. This number needs to be accurately determined. We also want to know which counties imposed each of these sentences of life without parole.
The ACLU’s Smart Justice Campaign reported that 527 of the appx. 750 LWOP sentences are for non-homicide offenses.
“Report: HFOA — Smart Justice Alabama” https://alabamasmartjustice.org/report-alabama-hfoa
We need to know the demographics of these 527 people sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide offense. Many of the recent high profile cases where LWOP was rescinded (Archie Hamlet, Jerald Sanders (LWOP for stealing a $16.00 bicycle) Geneva Cooley, Ira Coney, Alvin Kennard, Flavius Henderson, Ronald McKeithen, Derek Jenkins, Stanley Washington, and several more) involved Black people.
Archie Hamlet served over 22 years on a LWOP for 14 lbs of marijuana before his sentence was reduced in 2017.
Of the appx. 527 still serving LWOP for a non-homicide offense, what were they convicted of? What type of prior felonies were used to enhance? How much time has each of them already served? We also need to know the racial composition of this group because data suggests that Black people are disproportionately and over sentenced to LWOP. How many of these non-homicide cases involve Black people?
One of the more well known and egregious instances of injustice concerning a life without parole as a habitual offender involves a Black man, Willed Simmons. Clearly, racial justice is an important factor to consider when debating whether the habitual offender law needs to be repealed.
Willie Simmons was convicted of first-degree robbery for wrestling a man to the ground over $9.00 and sentenced to life without parole in 1982. Simmons, an Army veteran, became addicted to drugs while stationed outside of the United States. He was prosecuted under Alabama’s habitual offender law, which is similar to other three-strikes laws. Simmons had three prior convictions
Furthermore, it appears that less than 250 people combined have life without parole for some form of a homicide or other crime. We are very interested in learning the specifics of each case, what type of prior felony convictions were used to enhance, as well as the demographics of this group, especially as it relates to the 75%?
There are many other unanswered questions about this law that needs to be known. For example, what are the prior felonies used for enhancement purposes? Some enhancement priors, such as minor drug possession, shoplifting, and other theft offenses, are now reclassified as Class D offenses, and can no longer be used for enhancement purposes. How many of these felonies are still being used today to maintain these sentences?
Other important unknown factors include:
1. What offense was each individual convicted of when they received the sentence of life without parole?
2. If convicted today under current Alabama law, what would the sentencing options be?
3. What prior felony convictions were used to enhance and how old were the prior felony convictions?
4. Were any felonies used to enhance that are no longer considered felonies under current Alabama law?
5. How many prior enhancement felonies were for offenses like burglary, shoplifting, check/debits cards, theft, minor drug possession or sales, or other similar offenses?
6. How many people serving life without parole have already served at least 20 years or more?
7. How many people serving life without parole as a habitual offender were sentenced after being convicted for their first felony offense involving serious physical injury or death (all priors convictions were for property crimes or drug offenses)?
We need research help to get answers to these and other questions. If you are interested in assisting, please share information to firstname.lastname@example.org under the title Habitual Felony Offender Act.
Free Alabama Movement
By the National Freedom Movement Coalition
Original Story posted February 5, 2021.
Contact: NFM Media Dept.
On January 30, 2021, four Black men at Donaldson Correctional Facility were targeted for abuse and brutality by officers and sergeants; the four men were Ephan Moore, Robert Earl Council, Wilbert Smith, and Derrol Shaw. Officers attacked and severely beat Moore and Council, who sustained critical injuries.
Moore has reported to his family that officers beat him in two separate locations, once in the dorm and a second time while he was handcuffed to a wheelchair in the infirmary. So far, Moore has had two surgeries – with more scheduled – after being stomped, beaten, and struck in the head with an object that is being described as a meat cleaver wielded by Officer Brown. Moore’s family reports his injuries as an orbital and nose fracture, a broken jaw, two broken hands, and at least 10 staples in his head, among other injuries.
Council’s injuries, which include serious head and face trauma and broken ribs, were so severe that he had to be airlifted to UAB Trauma Unit. As of February 2, 2021, Wilbert Smith’s whereabouts are unknown and his status is the same — he was believed to have been escorted out by members of CERT (Correctional Emergency Response Team) who arrived at Donaldson after the prison was put on lockdown just after the beatings of Moore and Council. Shaw was forced to defend himself from the brutal attack and was able to escape serious injury, although he was overwhelmed by the chemical agent that was sprayed.
A few media outlets, taking word primarily from the corrupt, brutal Alabama Department of Corrections, have begun putting out articles on this attack, but focusing more on two guards who were allegedly stabbed — witnesses say Ofc. Brown sustained injuries from the meat cleaver he used to butcher Moore — and downplaying the injuries of the Donaldson 4 as if they were minor. It is worth reiterating that Ephan Moore was struck three times in the head with an object described as a free world meat cleaver carried by one of the officers; eyewitnesses report seeing his head split open all the way down his face; he was brutally attacked after having a mental health crisis in his dormitory. Sgt. Binder – one of the attackers – had previously beaten Moore, according to a civil complaint about the incident.
Robert Earl Council (also known as Kinetik Justice) was attempting to de-escalate the situation and was pleading with guards to stop beating on Moore before retreating to his cell after being overcome with the chemical spray. Sgt. Milton and several other officers stalked Council to his cell where they then struck him in the face with a metal baton. Sgt. Binder and Ofc. Griffin then proceeded to strike Council in the head with batons, rendering him unconscious. While unconscious, Council was beaten profusely then dragged out of his cell by his feet, leaving a trail of blood. Images of a vast pool of Council’s blood inside his cell were captured in widely circulated video.
Council is the third member of the Free Alabama Movement to be beaten or targeted for attack at Donaldson. In 2016, James Pleasant was beaten while housed in the “hot bay” unit by the same officers.
Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun had a hit put in his life by the warden and captain at Donaldson in 2016. He was also harassed by Officer Binder and others, and was severely beaten by Commissioner Dunn’s hit squad in 2015.
See video of Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun beaten by officers:
Also see: Donaldson Revealed, written in 2016: https://freealabamamovement.org/?p=1099
Meanwhile, the officers who were allegedly stabbed and received “multiple other injuries” were treated first at the onsite medical facility, and then at a local hospital before being released. These alleged injuries are superficial at best.
In response to the most recent attack, ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn has announced his intent to implement the use of body cameras on supervisors at the prison, and is conducting a review of staffing to determine if adjustments are needed. This is an outrageous, ineffective response to the ongoing brutality at Donaldson Correctional Facility, most of which has been documented by incarcerated activists in the facility, led by the Free Alabama Movement. How are body cameras supposed to be effective when officers can walk around the prison with a meat cleaver, brutally beating on other human beings and then facing no consequences? There has been no indication that any of these officers will face charges or even lose their jobs for nearly killing two people.
Meanwhile, officers wasted no time charging men at Donaldson with unfounded disciplinaries related to the assault. This brutality has been documented for years, so what good would body cameras be? Additionally, Dunn has requested the FBI’s Northern District Office assist in an investigation into the incident. But this assault occurred in the midst of a years-long Department of Justice investigation into ADOC which has yet to prevent such brutality from happening.
More than a Decade of Abuse Recorded at Donaldson
For a full understanding of this particularly vicious attack, it is necessary for the press and the public to understand the full scope and long history of brutality at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility. It took a federal lawsuit to force Donaldson to remove a sign from the back entrance of the prison that greeted new arrivals with the ominous greeting: “Welcome to the House of Pain.” The pain administered at the prison more than lived up to this “creed.”
Most of this brutality has been documented heavily in the last 7 years since the formation of the Free Alabama Movement, but it also goes back before then; in 2009, a class-action lawsuit known as “Hicks vs. Hetzel” was filed on behalf of those incarcerated at Donaldson for the inhumane conditions allowed to persist there — at that time, Donaldson was at 173% capacity, overcrowding that led to illness, an increase in violence between prisoners, and increased brutality from officers. Donaldson is designed to house only 700 people, and is regularly overcrowded and understaffed; as of 2020, the capacity is 1,500 people. In this era of COVID-19, overcrowding effectively turns Donaldson into a petri dish and superspreader for the virus- at least two people incarcerated there have died of the virus, though the number is likely to be higher. This is another failure of the ADOC and more blood on their hands.
On March 14, 2016, following two back-to-back riots at Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama, five men: Amir Davis, Antonio Spencer, Kendrick Gaskin, Kevin Etheridge, and Tyreke (last name unknown) were transferred from Holman to Donaldson. Upon arrival, all five men were beaten sadistically and sexually assaulted by over 10 guards at Donaldson. In an interview, Kendrick Gaskin describes how they were taken to a back gate at Donaldson, removed from the van in handcuffs, shackles, and body chains, and then, one by one, taken to a shack where they were brutally beaten, sexually assaulted by stomping them in their genital area, and how the nurses in the infirmary either refused to document their injuries or had simply written that they had “fallen off the van.” When word of these horrific attacks reached the family, Commissioner Price and the wardens of Donaldson began another process of a cover up, which succeeded; none of the officers were charged or even terminated for these beatings and sexual assaults.
See interview of Kendrick Gaskin Part 1:
Gaskin Interview Part 2:
This culture and customary sexual abuse at Donaldson is well documented in the lawsuit filed by Sammy Duncan, whose testicle had to be removed after he was sexually assaulted by the “Donaldson Stomp” and beaten.
See class action lawsuit: https://t.co/I9wPFvVAcB
The officer who carried out this attack, Lt. Jenkins, has a long and sordid history of brutality and violence. Jenkins has been promoted several times during his tenure under Commissioner Dunn, showing a pattern of reward for brutality at Donaldson.
Additionally, there have been multiple lawsuits brought against Donaldson Prison and ADOC on behalf of the men incarcerated there who have been beaten, brutalized, and raped by officers. In 2017, Jeffrey Paul Eugene Stout was severely beaten in the notorious “hot-bay.” A second threat to beat him again, made by officer Charles Willis just days later, was partly captured on video.
See video of Jeffery Stout being threatened here:
There have been multiple murders of men at Donaldson by guards, all of which have been covered up by the wardens, the Commissioner, and the ADOC as a whole; one of the more notable cases was Steven Davis, who was beaten to death by officers in the “Behavioral Modification” or “hot-bay” dorm in 2019, which is a newer, horrific addition to Donaldson. His killer, Ofc. Gadson, was promoted by Commissioner Dunn less than six months after this murder.
Just in the past year, two more at least two other men were brutally killed by institutional malice and neglect. On June 22, 2020 Darnell McMillian died in a suicide watch cell after reports indicate that officers pepper sprayed him and locked him in the cell, where he asphyxiated. And in December 2020, Tommy Lee Rutledge was left in a 101 degree cell in a mental health unit to die of hyperthermia, in the midst of a cold December night. His body was found facing the window and with an internal temperature of 109 degrees.
See video of other men beaten to death:
In the last decade men incarcerated at Donaldson Correctional facility have filed dozens of lawsuits detailing the use of unconstitutional excessive force by prison staff. Below are just two of their stories:
Adrian Dunning: On July 5th, 2018, Officers entered Dunning’s cell in the hotbay to collect him for a visit to the healthcare unit. Upon entering the cell they sprayed him with mace and proceeded to beat him with their feet, fists, and batons. The defendants then dragged the plaintiff out of his cell and into the main area and continued beating him, in view of other prisoners. Fearing for his life, Dunning wrestled free from the officers, and climbed the stairs up to the top tier. Several of the defendants followed. Dunning climbed over the rail, and tried to scale his way back down to the floor away from the defendants. Officer Maclemore hit Dunning’s hand with a baton, causing Dunning to lose grip and fall around 12 feet to the ground. The defendants surrounded him again on the lower level and continued the beating. Dunning sustained the following injuries: broken hand, femur, nose as well as blunt trauma to the front of his head and eyes. He was medi-evacuated to the University of Alabama hospital where he received emergency surgery. This event is described in the federally filed complaint.
Christopher Jordan Jackson:
On April 22, 2016, Captain Baldwin and the CERT team, including Officer Edmonds and Officer Melton came to Jackson’s cell, which was flooded from the toilet. Angered by the state of his cell, the officers ordered Jackson to strip, and then proceeded to beat him while he was naked on the unsanitary floor. The officers used their batons and stomped on his body. The beating was so severe Jackson defecated on the floor. Following the assault, Jackson received 16 staples to his head. Breaking protocol, the nurses and officers refused to photograph any injuries other than his head, and prohibited Jackson from writing an incident report. Two weeks later his hand was X-rayed, revealing broken bones. Prison officials refused to send him to an outside hospital, nor put his broken hand in a cast. Jackson’s efforts to reach the physical abuse department, the FBI, and the DOJ received no response. This event is described in a federally filed complaint.
Also see Dewey Buttram video interview about his abuse at Donaldson here:
Also see video interview of Zachery Wilson here:
The public needs to know that the statements being issued by Commissioner Dunn are damage control and an attempt to cover up a slaughter at the hands of his correctional officer gang. The call for the FBI to get involved in the investigation alongside the ADOC’S Investigative Division smacks of a fraud, as the DOJ has already castigated this agency as part of the culture of violence and corruption within ADOC. The solution to this problem begins with accountability, starting with the termination and arrest of these officers for assault and attempted murder. Additional measures must include:
- Return Robert Council and Ephan Moore to a free world hospital where they can receive appropriate medical care and rehabilitation services
- Commissioner Dunn needs to be fired or forced to resign effective immediately
- The investigation into this matter needs to include advocacy groups, independent counsel and independent media representatives, not simply state and federal officials.
- The families of each of these men must be allowed to visit them immediately. The families and/or legal representatives of all four men must be allowed daily contact indefinitely to be assured of their well-being.
- The officers involved must be terminated immediately and charged, including but not limited to all wardens and Sergeant Binder, Sergeant Brown, Sergeant Melton, and Officer Griffin.
- Each of the Donaldson 4 must be allowed unrestricted access to an independent media source accompanied by counsel of their own choosing pursuant to Adm Reg. to tell their story if they see fit.
Special thanks to our National Freedom Movement Coalition supporter Workers World Party for their outstanding work and commitment to this effort. They can be reached at http://workers.org
Support for Ephan Moore:
Imagine opening your front door and finding a man lying on your porch bleeding from several stab wounds while screaming for help as he’s being viciously attacked. Imagine not being able to open your screen door due to a body that’s pressed against it, beaten unconscious with a sock that had two combination locks inside. Imagine your next door neighbors getting into a heated argument over drugs that caused one to literally gouge the other’s eye out, or your neighbor across the street murdering a guy then carving letters on his forehead after he dies. Imagine sharing a meal with friends in your dining room and someone approaches one of your guests from behind and plunges a knife into their neck, causing blood to gush out and land on your face and food. Or imagine someone’s bottom lip being bitten into and ripped off, and blood flowing between the fingers of the victim. Now imagine such brutality occurring in your community so frequently that you’re no longer shocked or horrified, but instead you find it more an inconvenience than a terrible tragedy. This is the community I’d lived in for over 35 years.
Within two years, there had been 19 homicides in the Alabama prison system, causing it to have the highest homicide rate in the country. There are daily assaults, often so severe that ambulances and helicopters are a constant necessity in order to save lives. Alabama’s prison culture resembles a jungle, where you’re either predator or prey, victim or victor. When a lion jumps on the back of an animal, grabs it by the neck, smashes it to the ground, breaks its back, it’s not doing a bad thing. It’s doing what’s appropriate, what’s in its nature. Survival. We’ve all experienced a fight-or-flight response to danger. But what if there is nowhere to flee, that your life or death is determined by how brutal you’re capable of being. Requests for safety and protection too often fall on deaf ears, and can easily tag you a snitch, which would put you in even greater danger. And if the prison officials are forced to get involved before there’s serious bloodshed, you will be asked to sign a living agreement, promising to end the quarrel or be placed in segregation. But once you’ve seen how someone can magically remove their handcuffs and attack another prisoner who’s still wearing his, you realize that segregation isn’t safe, that you need to learn the trick with the handcuffs.
Some of the savagery I’d witnessed would cause an average person to question their sanity, to call their Mama and say I want to come home. It’s as if an apocalyptic beast is roaming these prisons with an unquenchable appetite for blood, mostly black men’s blood. And the officials in Montgomery are contributing to their demise by pretending the bestiality that thrives within the walls is under control, but it’s not. The overcrowdedness, the mind-numbing procedures, the rules and regulations that are enforced by too many racist ego-tripping officers, as well as black officers who believe they must be just as cruel to prove they are not like us, each ill-equipped to handle the unrestrained authority they possess. Prisons are supposed to be about rehabilitation, about preparing us to be productive members of society. But instead it cripples and stagnates growth, causing degradation, anger and frustration, often creating a worse version of the person who arrived.
Some may feel that this is what they deserve, that they lost their right to be treated as human beings once they broke the law, not worthy of any consideration nor second chances. But one should not make a final judgment on a person until he or she is dead, because, until then, there’s room for change, to be better and do better. Yes, there are many in prison that should never be placed in society ever again. Yet there are so many good, responsible, changed men who simply want another chance to prove their worth. But the way things look, they may not survive to receive that second chance. The noose was so tight around my, that it took Alabama Appleseed and the DA to pull it. Yet I’m afraid for those that are still there that can’t breath.
Lest We Forget – April 26, 1975: Inmates For Action (IFA) member, Frank X. Moore killed by officials in Escambia county jail in Alabama Alabama’s prisons were overcrowded and prisoners were routinely denied basic items such as clean drinking water and eating utensils, while being subjected to violence and extended periods of solitary confinement. To […]IFA ( Inmates For Action ) Prison Organization, Chagina (George Dobbins), Yukeena (Tommy Dotson) and Frank X. Moore Assassinations
An Insider’s Perspective
A $3 Billion Dollar Wasteland is Not What Alabama Needs
Over the past several years nearly everyone in Alabama has heard about the many plans and attempts to build new prisons. We, the now- 23,000+ men, women, and (far too many) children incarcerated in the Alabama Department of Corrections have heard about these new prisons too.
We know that the public does not want them. We know that the Alabama Legislature refused to budget them. We know that families who have been extorted, lost loved ones, or don’t know when their loved ones are coming home don’t want them. We also know that the residents of Brierfield and Tallassee, many college students, and thousands of other Alabamians don’t want them either. I can safely say that all 23,000 of us and our families, who are ALL struggling to survive in these death camps, don’t want them either.
Yet, despite this overwhelming public opposition, private prison corporations have signed contracts to build them anyway. What is really going on? Why are corporations and publicly elected officials willing to defy public sentiment and build them anyway? And, why are they willing to invest so much money into a prison system that is already in a deadly crisis?
We all know that we should follow the money on this one but not just the money changing hands in the secret contracts. No, the real money to follow will be after the prisons are complete. The collect calls, medical co-pays, the fees, usury prices for canteens purchases, incentive packages, and cheap tablets the ADOC is rolling out. These are the associated industries that use tax dollars to build the complexes but then exploit them for every bloodsucking penny they can collect as ransom from families. And let’s not forget the biggest prize of them all: the free labor and the factories that will produce hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods and services every year. These profit motives render the dissent of citizens as irrelevant.
It is this greed that is causing so many problems, claiming so many lives and contributing to the public health crisis we are facing because we have an outdated ideology running an outdated prison system.
From a humanitarian perspective, the ADOC was a failed institution before COVID-19 hit. Since the pandemic arrived, everything has gotten worse. For those of us living the nightmare, we don’t see how new prisons that will house more people for the next 30 years will make anything better. We haven’t heard how the new prisons plan to deal with the existing problems. Nor have we heard how the new prisons will help us deal with the traumas we are experiencing in the current system. From a practical standpoint, all we can see from the inside is how these new facilities are nothing more than our next death camps; the places they’ll send us to die over the next 30 years. We do not want a $3 billion dollar casket. No New Prisons !!!
We reach these conclusions based on what we are witnessing, experiencing and living through on a day-to-day basis. Under Commissioner Jefferson Dunn’s leadership and his “culture of violence”, the ADOC is now the murder capital of the entire State of Alabama, and the murder capital over all prison systems in the nation. It was not like this before he arrived, and there were at least 6 thousand more people in the system in 2015 than there are now. Commissioner Dunn’s officers are routinely on the news for sexually assaulting or beating men and women to death. There are also weekly news reports of officers arrested for attempting to bring drugs into the prisons, drug overdose deaths, suicides, etc. Alabama’s prisons are so infested with drugs, that drug overdose deaths are now deemed “natural causes” on death certificates.
The U.S. Department of Justice states in a July 2020 Investigation Report that Commissioner Jefferson Dunn maintains control of the ADOC through a “culture of violence.” Every single person in ADOC custody has been harmed by this “culture of violence.” Our concern is that this “culture of violence” is transferable, and building new prisons will only transfer a humanitarian crisis into the new communities instead of solving historic, systemic, racial and cultural problems that have plagued the Alabama prison system since after the Civil War.
Since October 2019, ADOC correctional officers have beaten at least four men to death and gassed a fifth person to death. At the same time, the ADOC leads the nation in homicide rates, while ranking among national leaders in suicide, drug overdose, and COVID-19 death rates in its prisons. This is what a “culture of violence” and corruption will get you. The Alabama Department of Corrections is a place where death occurs frequently. New prisons won’t solve these old problems.
On January 30, 2021, correctional officers beat two men so severely that they had to be ambulance and air-lifted to a hospital just to save their lives. One week later, on February 8-9, in a 12-hour span two more lives were cut short by the “culture of violence.” A third person, over 70 years old and posing absolutely no threat to society whatsoever, died as well.
All of this leads to a great amount of trauma, stress, and other challenges associated with living in an environment like this every day. Many of us are released back into society carrying these invisible and untreated injuries with us. We have yet to see how the $3 billion dollar prison plan will address these longstanding and traumatic injuries.
There are also additional problems that three new prisons will bring to their new communities. For example,
• Officer Matthew Moore, 50, was a serial rapist employed by ADOC for over a decade. Moore was convinced on multiple counts in Georgia, including aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, and aggravated assault after kidnapping and raping several women. Authorities also state they have DNA evidence implicating Moore in additional sex crimes in Alabama and Florida.
• Over 70 correctional officers arrested for drug trafficking or other attempts to transport illegal contraband throughout Alabama communities and into a prison
• In 2014, the US DOJ found that over a 20-year period, at least half of all correctional officers who worked at Tutwiler Women’s Prison sexually assaulted the women incarcerated there. No criminal charges were filed and not a single officer was arrested. Many of these sexual predators will be roaming around the new communities undetected.
In addition, there are public health issues that routinely emanate from the prisons: ADOC’s abysmal health and safety record, including its Covid-19 response; frequent outbreaks of hepatitis, tuberculosis, and scabies. We are awaiting word of how these new prisons are being designed to deal with pandemics, epidemics, and other widespread infections that threaten closed populations. We don’t see any plan to protect our lives or the lives of those in the communities where we reside in today’s prisons, and we don’t see one in the plans for tomorrow’s prisons either.
The State of Alabama does not need new prisons to address its current prison crisis; instead, Alabama needs to identify the laws, policies and practices that led to the crisis. This starts with historical facts that connect the prison system to the institution of slavery, especially Article 1, Sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901 . Article 1, Section 32 of the Alabama Constitution contains the provision that created an exception to the complete abolition of slavery, by preserving slavery as punishment for crime. This new form of slavery would be managed and ran by the prison system. Following passage of this law, Alabama prisons began filling up with Black bodies and became work camps under slave-like conditions for people convicted of a crime.
Then there is Alabama’s habitual felony offender act , a law that has been used to fill up Alabama prisons to the point where we now have the most overcrowded, underfunded, and corrupt system in the nation. Historical data evidences a need for social and racial justice in the Alabama Criminal Justice system, especially with the death penalty being disproportionately used against poor Black people, and the fact that over 70% of all people sentenced to life without parole under the habitual offender law are Black. These and other historical issues extend beyond the prison walls and must be addressed by the Alabama Legislature. This includes removing funds from ADOC’s budget and redirecting those funds towards healing, rebuilding, and rehabilitating those injured by the current system.
Neither Governor Ivey nor any other state leader can show us proof of any improvements made to the ADOC over the past 30 years that justify committing an additional 3 billion dollars to the system for another 30 years. However, the arc of human history shows unequivocally the ability of human beings to evolve, get better and reach higher stages of evolution in life if given the resources and a chance. So why are we going backwards by building new prisons before we first invest in people?
An Inside Perspective on Governor Kay Ivey’s plan to build new prisons.
Reports out of Donaldson prison in Bessemer, Ala, that a second person is dead overnight in ADOC custody. Late last night, a death occurred at St. Clair prison. The ADOC was found to have a culture of violence that extends to all levels of the administration and throughout the prison system. Yet two more lives are now gone while no one in ADOC is being held accountable.
Free Alabama Movement is calling on the DOJ to seek immediate relief in their pending litigation in the form of a declaration of a State of Emergency in the ADOC amidst the humanitarian crisis that is out of control.
It appears that another person has died due to the violent culture that is the ADOC at St Clair prison in Springville, Alabama.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2021
ONE MILLION FAMILIES FOR PAROLE RALLY
On Saturday, April 3, 2021, the National Freedom Movement, in conjunction with other organizers, organizations, activists and advocates from around the US are joining the call to action for a 1,000,000 Families For Parole Rally at Parole Boards, Dept. of Corrections Headquarters, and/or State Capitols in states across the country.
America’s parole system is broken and failing to respond to the humanitarian crisis taking place in prisons across the country, leaving countless lives in danger. In the midst of a global pandemic and a humanitarian crisis throughout US jails, prisons and other places of incarceration, Parole Boards are guilty of exacerbating the crisis by denying parole due to bad parole laws and for political and financial reasons.
To bring our loved ones home, and for real change to occur, we must unite across the nation and demand changes to this broken and ineffective parole system. Federal parole must be reinstated, a mandatory parole criteria must be implemented nationwide to justify the billions of tax dollars being spent for “corrections”, an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic has to be immediately instituted to save lives, and, among other demands, a 3-year limit on parole supervision must be implemented so that people who have successfully integrated back into society can get their lives back.
Participating states thus far include Alabama, Mississippi, Indiana, New York, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, and California.
Anyone interested in participating in this event or assisting in the planning and organizing should contact us immediately at:
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We are concerned about Donaldson 4 member Mr. Wilbur Smith, and we need assistance in getting an update on his status and well-being. Please contact the ADOC and demand that they provide an update the status, location and health of Mr. Smith. As of this writing, there have been no reports on Mr. Smith and no one has been in contact with him. Please email us at email@example.com and provide updates.
On January 30, officers at Donaldson brutally beat Ephan Moore, a person known to have a mental illness, and Robert Earl Council (AKA Kinetik Justice), a freedom fighter known for his nonviolent organizing. Following the vicious assault, Moore and Council were left fighting for their lives, and the prison was locked down with officers continuing to beat and harass people incarcerated there, including Wilbert Smith and Derrol Shaw. This is only the latest in a long history of officer brutality at Donaldson CF and throughout the Department of Corrections.
The Department of Justice sued ADOC in December for, among other things, failing to prevent officer violence. They have authority to investigate and prosecute brutality against incarcerated people. We are calling on the DOJ to immediately terminate the officers involved in these attempted murders and to investigate the leadership at Donaldson and ADOC which has allowed this violence to continue unabated. This includes Commissioner Dunn, who has overseen the most brutal prison system in the US for years now without accountability. Read the full letter to the DOJ below, and join us in calling for justice for the men at Donaldson Correctional Facility and throughout ADOC.
To the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and attorneys with the DOJ Special Litigation Section:
The undersigned organizations and individuals, unified and standing in solidarity around the nation, are calling for the immediate termination and arrest of officers involved in the attempted murders of Robert Earl Council, also known as Kinetik Justice, and mental health patient Ephan Moore, as well as those involved in the beating of Wilbert Smith and the use of excessive force against Derrol Shaw at Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer on Saturday, January 30, 2021.
We further call for DOJ investigators and independent observers to be allowed immediate access to Donaldson to ensure that further retaliatory action is not taken against anyone incarcerated there, and that the family of all four of these men be allowed to visit them immediately, including Robert Council who remains in the hospital, even now, fighting for his life. Finally, the DOJ should immediately investigate the role of Commissioner Jefferson Dunn in responding to this and other incidents and consider removing him from leadership of ADOC.
Witnesses and disturbing video have shown that at least four officers – including Sgt. Binder, Sergeant Brown, and Sgt. Melton, and Officer Griffin – beat Mr. Council and Mr. Moore with batons and kicked them in the head until they were unresponsive. Eyewitness accounts state that Mr. Council was trying to defuse the situation when he was attacked from behind by armed officers. Videos show blood in and around the cell where he was dragged out by the feet, as well as a dislodged tooth that was found in the cell. Mr. Council was evacuated by emergency helicopter to a hospital in Birmingham, where he remains in intensive care. Witnesses stated that the initial blow to Mr. Moore’s head was so vicious that it split his face open, and that officers continued to punch and kick his head once he was on the ground. Mr. Moore’s whereabouts and condition are unknown at this time.
This is an extreme incident, but it is not an isolated one. The DOJ is well aware of the horrific and unconstitutional violence committed by Donaldson staff against the people incarcerated there and in other Alabama Department of Corrections facilities. In the DOJ’s recently filed lawsuit against the State of Alabama, the government acknowledges that ADOC fails to protect people in prison from excessive force from staff. The complaint singles out a 2019 incident where Donaldson officers killed Steven Davis. Mr. Davis was beaten beyond recognition by some of the very same officers that have now tried to kill Kinetik Justice and Ephan Moore, including Sgt. Joe Binder.
Just in the last year at Donaldson, at least two other men were brutally killed by institutional malice and neglect. On June 22, Darnell McMillian died in a suicide watch cell after reports indicate he was pepper sprayed by officers and locked in a cell to asphyxiate. Just last week, reports surfaced that Tommy Lee Rutledge was left in a 101 degree cell to die of hyperthermia, in the midst of a cold December night.
Since yesterday morning’s attack, Donaldson has been locked down and ADOC’s CERT team (Correctional Emergency Response Team) has been committing further violence, assaulting Wilbert Smith and Derrol Shaw, among others at the facility. This only underscores the pressing need for federal intervention.
It is clear that the administration at Donaldson is incapable of keeping the population safe from its own bloodthirsty officers. The urgency of this situation demands immediate action by the DOJ to prevent further loss of life. We call upon the Department to do everything in its power to protect the people incarcerated at Donaldson, starting with the immediate termination and prosecution of the officers involved in this incident. As the governmental agency tasked with investigating and holding ADOC accountable for its unconstitutional conduct, nothing could be more squarely within the DOJ’s responsibility.
Mr. Moore is a mentally ill person who should be receiving treatment, not brutality. Victims Shaw and Smith were innocent bystanders, and Kinetik Justice is a freedom fighter known around the world for tireless efforts to organize people in prison to secure their human rights. Kinetik Justice’s advocacy with the Alabama Resistance Movement and the Free Alabama Movement has resulted in constant retaliation from the Alabama Department of Corrections, including efforts to silence him by putting him in solitary confinement, censoring his communications, and putting his life in danger. Now, it appears they have tried to silence him in the ultimate manner that has always been reserved for Black freedom fighters.
But justice cannot be silenced. We call upon the DOJ to take immediate action against these officers and against the system which has been shown – by your own agency – to enable them.
Imagine being in an Alabama prison with a severe mental health illness. Imagine being raised in foster care. Imagine your Mother being deceased. Imagine being tortured because they knew you had no one to call. Imagine every time you heard a code being called either you were being beaten or someone in your metal health unit was being beaten. Imagine not taking your mental health medicine because no one cared if you took it or not. Imagine hearing a code and being afraid and not knowing what to do. Imagine being beaten unconscious. Imagine being dragged to a medical infirmary only to be beaten some more. Imagine someone seeing you being beaten and their human impulse and empathy compels them to scream “Stop, please.” Imagine your help being beaten without mercy. Imagine your help being dragged out by his feet, face down. Imagine a trial of blood. Imagine the victims and the abusers all being Black. Imagine chemicals being sprayed. Imagine being beaten just because. If you can’t imagine these things, then you have no idea who the Donaldson 4 are. Do something NOW !! What is going on at Donaldson and around the State of Alabama is unimaginable.
Alabama Correctional Officers Respond to Mental Health Crisis With Deadly Force, Leaving at least Four Men Injured, Two in Critical Condition
January 31, 2021
On the morning of January 30, 2021, Mr. Ephan Moore, a man known to have a serious mental illness who is incarcerated at Donaldson Correctional Facility, experienced a mental health crisis resulting in an incident with Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) staff that correctional officers responded to with deadly and brutal force.
One of the witnesses to Moore’s beating described seeing him being struck in the head by a Sgt. Brown with an “ax-like” object that split Moore from the top of his skull all the way down his face. Moore, who was immediately rendered unconscious by the vicious blow, was then beaten and stomped by a group of four to five guards, according to the witness. The witness stated that if Moore is still alive it would be a “miracle.”
Robert Earl Council, also known as Kinetik Justice, attempted to intervene and pleaded with the officer to stop beating the unconscious and critically injured Moore. After making the plea and retreating to his cell, Sgt. Melton tracked Council to his cell, struck him in the back of the head, and, along with COs Bryant and Griffin, as well as Sgts. Brown and Joe Binder, beat him for several minutes. He was dragged, unconscious, out of his cell by his feet, leaving a pool of blood, as well as a trail of blood as he was dragged. The aftermath of the brutal assault was captured in a widely circulated video taken from inside the prison.
Exclusive video footage here: https://youtu.be/psKNCMP8KTM
Mr. Council is currently in the Trauma Unit of the University of Alabama – Birmingham (UAB), where he was airlifted from William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility. As of 5:30 p.m. CST on Saturday, his condition is listed as stable. The whereabouts of Mr. Moore and his current condition remain unknown at this time and no known family contact has been discovered.
Shortly after Kinetik and Moore were removed from the dorm and Kinetik was airlifted to UAB hospital, a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) group was called to Donaldson Correctional Facility, where at least one other prisoner, Wilbert Smith, was beaten as well. Both the conditions of Ephan Moore and Wilbert Smith are unknown at this time. Derrol Shaw, who shared an assigned cell with Kinetik Justice, was also sprayed with chemical agents and placed into solitary confinement. His condition is also unknown.
Additionally, family members of Kinetik were able to locate him and dispatched immediately to UAB trauma center, where ADOC and UAB staff denied them access to see him. Advocates and organizers in Birmingham have been gathered outside of UAB for hours demanding that the hospital allow Kinetik’s family in to see him.
Multiple attempts to contact Donaldson Correctional Facility by prison abolitionists, concerned citizens, and other advocates in order to demand answers have been rebuffed throughout the day; as of 3:00 p.m. CST on Sunday, advocates were reporting that the guards answering the phones at Donaldson were laughing at them and then hanging up on them. Donaldson prison remains in full lockdown as Sunday evening. The ADOC has not released any details concerning any of the men’s conditions.
More updates, as well as a joint statement by advocacy groups, are expected to come in the following days.
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Jim Zeigler: Prison lease plan may be a 30-year mistake costing $2.6 billion
By Guest Author -January 25, 2021
We are risking a 30-year mistake that would cost us $2.6 billion.
Governor Kay Ivey is just days away from signing contracts that will saddle taxpayers with a minimum $2.6 billion bill for leasing three new mega-prisons for 30 years. In the end, we will own equity in the prisons of exactly ZERO. The companies that held these lucrative leases will own the prisons, and we, the taxpayers, will have to start completely over and pay for the prisons a second time – pay 100% again.
We would shell out billions of dollars but own nothing in the end. We Alabamians cannot let this happen.
That is why I am calling for an independent management audit of Alabama’s Department of Corrections. I invite my fellow state leaders to join me in this call for transparency.
Is that too much to ask when our state currently allocates a whopping 25% of our general fund budget to the prisons? That’s $624 million in 2020, folks! And you can bet your bottom dollar that percentage will keep rising.
Next week, ADOC will present their proposed budget to the legislature in the budget review committee meeting. I implore our elected officials to thoroughly interrogate the spending practices and promises of the money-eating ADOC.
Given that ADOC is so heavily funded and is about to be hit with an additional $88 million a year expense for 30 years, it seems prudent for legislators to have a chance to evaluate the underlying data that supposedly justifies the prison lease plan.
ADOC says they need new prisons rather than renovate the existing ones. They insist it will be cheaper to pay $88 million in annual rent payments for 30 years–totaling $2.6 billion–than to fix and maintain the existing structures or to have the state build new prisons using bond funds.
ADOC claims that the “consolidation cost savings” associated with closing old prisons and opening new ones will cover the $88 million price tag. Their conclusion is based on a 100% confidential study done for nearly $20 million by for-profit companies Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood and Hoar Program Management.
If the claimed “consolidation cost savings” end up being overstated, ADOC will have to come crawling to the legislature licking their wounds when they inevitably need more taxpayer money. Even if ADOC does manage to scrape together the money within their current budget for the first few years, what happens when these private prison owners hike up the price after 10,000 inmates have been transferred in? The leases must be renegotiated every year. Alabama will have little choice but to pony up whatever amount the owners ask for. This is a 30-year mistake.
Beyond these likely problems, the failure of ADOC to do its basic job — keeping society, staff, and inmates safe — should have us all asking, “What exactly is ADOC doing with that $624 million anyway?” An independent management audit of ADOC finances would allow legislators and the public at large to look behind the curtain and expose any misuse of our tax dollars.
As it stands, the prison lease plan–one of the largest public expenditures in state history–will be pushed through with little opportunity for legislative or public scrutiny unless we halt it now.
Despite ADOC efforts to conduct the entire process in secrecy, anyone who’s paying attention knows enough to see what a terribly wasteful and irreversible deal this is for Alabama.
Our elected legislators have never laid eyes on the ADOC plan, and they won’t be given an opportunity to do so until Alabama is already locked in. The checks and balances by the legislative branch have been eliminated in the prison lease plan.
ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn promised they would release the proposed contracts for these prisons by the end of 2020. Here it is, almost the end of January 2021, and nothing. Is it because ADOC doesn’t want to give the legislators any time to address their dealings in their upcoming session?
ADOC insists secrecy is needed to negotiate the best deal possible with the private developers who will build and own the three mega-prisons. The more likely explanation is that ADOC wants to push this lease deal through without answering anyone.
There are no good reasons why we’re jumping into bed with for-profit corporation CoreCivic—a company with a record of abuse and mismanagement. Just ask Kansas, Tennessee, and Idaho if they would ever sign up to work with CoreCivic again.
A brief dive into ADOC public records reveals wasteful, unaccountable spending for decades. Since 2012 ADOC has spent $32.5 million on outside law firms, despite having an internal legal team.
As for wage costs, ADOC pays over $30 million in overtime pay per year–more than four times the next highest paying agency.
How easy it is for these government bureaucrats to spend our money!
Given that we are the only state prison system in the country currently facing a prison lawsuit by the Department of Justice, we must be doing something wrong.
Other states know better than to let their prisons run unchecked. Many conduct needed audits to catch problems before they balloon out of control.
Take Mississippi, a state that recently conducted a thorough audit of its prison system. Like in Alabama, Mississippi’s prisons were under investigation by the DOJ for alleged unconstitutional treatment of inmates. In response, their commissioner called for an independent management audit to root out wastefulness or corruption.
The resulting report detailed hundreds of thousands in wasteful expenses in the Mississippi DOC budget, including massage chairs, Himalayan salt lamps, and six TVs for the commissioner’s executive suite. When the findings were released, the prison system adopted all 18 recommendations within the report aimed at fixing the abuses.
“Without the [audit], it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to uncover some of the misspending here,” Mississippi State Auditor Shad White said. “It is encouraging to see [the DOC’s]proactive approach to fixing the problems.”
So far, Mississippi has avoided a DOJ lawsuit.
Alabama has not been so blessed. In December 2020, the DOJ officially sued Alabama following findings of unsafe conditions, rampant violence, and excessive use of force on inmates. What ADOC conveniently ignores is that buildings will not address the failed ADOC leadership, from Commissioner Jeff Dunn on down.
Before suing, the DOJ tried to negotiate with Gov. Ivey, Dunn, and Attorney General Steve Marshall. That went nowhere. In fact, prison conditions have worsened since the DOJ released its initial investigative report in April 2019. Like moving into a new house to save a broken marriage, new buildings will do nothing to address the real problem: failed leadership.
We are inching closer and closer to the federal government taking over the Alabama prison system — a process that means the Feds call all the shots, but we foot the unlimited bill.
Perhaps the only way to avoid a statewide takeover is to convince the DOJ that Alabama is actually trying to address its prison problems like Mississippi did. And that starts with a transparent and honest conversation about resource allocation.
If the Alabama State Auditor’s office (my office) had the authority to order such an audit, it would have already been done. But a past legislature took away such authority from the Alabama State Auditor’s office. In Mississippi, the State Auditor does have authority for a management audit, and it is producing excellent results for the taxpaying public.
If Gov Ivey really wants to find an Alabama solution to this Alabama problem, she will encourage a management audit of ADOC.
Jim Zeigler has been the Alabama State Auditor since 2015.
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Ivey administration inches forward on plan to lease prisons
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Jim Zeigler: Prison lease plan may be a 30-year mistake…
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Alabama Today will be the first place Alabamians of influence go for an inside look at breaking statewide, political and business news. The Alabama Today team includes freelance news reporters, as well as guest columnists from around the state.
On April 3, 2021, the National Freedom Movement will be mobilizing people around the nation to demand changes to America’s broken parole system. Organizers, activists and advocates are starting to compare notes and are coming to the realization that parole boards across the nation are functioning in the same arbitrary manner and using the same excuses to deny paroles to millions of families.
If you are interested in hosting an event in your state at the parole board or some other location to highlight the abuses of your state’s parole board and the need for change, please contact the NFM and start organizing and planning with us today.
Register here: https://form.jotform.com/210077530275147
Parole board members and governmental offcials must be made to understand that, with Covid-19 and deteriorating conditions on the inside, parole decisions are life and death decisions more than ever before. The inhumane nature in which parole decisions are costing lives must be elevated on a national scale as our loved ones inside US jails, prisons, immigration detention facilities and juvenile facilities are dying directly at the hands of parole board decisions.
Join the National Freedom Movement as we demand more paroles and fundamental changes to parole systems, including the federal BOP. Millions of lives are at stakes, so support the call for Millions of Families For Parole.
There have been over 100 documented prisoner rebellions related to negligence over COVID-19 safety. Its time we step it up on the outside. A quick and massive release of prisoners is the safest and most responsible option. In reality, its long overdue.Feb 1st Call to Action: Demand Mass Clemency on “National Freedom Day”
The Alabama Department of Corrections has responded to Demands from Free Alabama Movement via the call for a #30dayEconomicBlackout from January 1, 2021, to January 31, 2021, by violently attacking and beating Mr. Ronnie Miller, who is one of 11 men on hunger strike at Kilby Correctional Facility.
FAM has called for the boycott of prison contractors and state agencies admidst the ongoing human rights violations and humanitarian crisis taking place inside the Alabama Department of Corrections.
We are being told that a Sgt. Williams cleared CERT team officer Landrum to carry out the assault. As more details emerge, FAM is requesting that supporters please call the Commissioner of ADOC Jefferson Dunn and the Warden at Kilby CF and demand that the violence and harassment against all participants in the boycott stop.
Please contact @ADOCDunn Commissioner Jefferson Dunn 334-353-3883, or email Jefferson.dunn@doc.Alabama.gov and demand that the violent attack and harassment against all participants in the #30dayEconomicBlackout stop. Also demand that Mr. Miller be taken to an outside hospital for an independent evaluation.
PURSUIT OF JUSTICE
“Proposing a Bill for a one-time ‘Pursuit of Justice claim’ that an inmate can file, excusing procedural defaults, that prove Constitutional violations that occured in their case. The issue may be time-barred or previously denied due to procedural default. This one-time claim gives a person opportunity to expose Malicious Prosecution and prove Constitutional claims previously denied by default.”
By: David E. Files Jr.
Through the Innocence Project several states have passed prison reforms and enacted policies that allow inmates to challenge their convictions, and in some cases actually prove their innocence.
Alabama is long overdue for reform not only prison reform but Criminal Justice reform as well. For example the Alabama Rules of Court state that an inmate has only a one year time period after an appeal or conviction to file a Rule 32 Post-Conviction claim. Alabama Appellate Courts have repeatedly stated that a person ignorant of the law is no excuse for not meeting the requirements set forth in the Rules of Court.
A person wrongly convicted in an Alabama courtroom who has no knowledge of law or the Rules of Court and unable to afford an Attorney to pursue Post-Conviction remedies is completely helpless. Upon conviction a person is sent to an Alabama prison system that itself is held in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
A person sentenced to prison in Alabama with no control as to what facility they are sent to is then required by law to litigate their case and file appropriate Petitions within a specified one year limitation or his Constitutional claims are barred from review and consideration in Alabama courts.
The transfer process upon arrival at Kilby Correctional Facility usually lasts approximately 30 days to several months before being transferred to another facility based upon their classification level.
The process of transferring facilities can easily cause a person to lose vital legal papers they may have in their possession. In some cases officers at different facilities will confiscate or purposely destroy legal papers especially if the person is unaware. All too often a person will not realize their legal papers are missing until it is too late. This tactic used by ADOC officers is intended to further hinder and frustrate the efforts of an individual seeking to pursue Post-Conviction claims.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of Alabama and the Prison System for its unconstitutional conditions. In the lawsuit the Justice Department outlines in explicit detail a corrupt system in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
My question is, how can it be possible that a state in violation of the Constitution turn around and prohibit a person from seeking relief from his conviction based on Constitutional claims in his case?
The ADOC is well-known as the most violent and overcrowded prison system in the country. Sadly this didn’t just start. This reputation has lasted for several years.
The DOJ lawsuit provides information through lengthy and vigorous investigations of widespread violence, inmate on inmate as well as ADOC staff on inmate violence.
The investigations also uncovered corruption throughout the ADOC Administrations as well as an extremely overcrowded inmate population that is warehoused in illegal and inadequate living conditions. These are the findings of the U.S. Justice Department, not baseless inmate allegations.
As these facts come to light how can it be possible to expect a person placed in such conditions to:
1. be provided a safe and adequate Law Library for a person to properly research and litigate his case;
2. if the institution has a functioning Law Library the inmate will have access due to Institutional Lockdowns because of rampant violence in the facility and/or staff shortages that result in the Law Library
3. the overcrowded conditions that severely limit authorized usage of the Law Library;
4. the inmate having proper assistance to help and guide them while pursuing a claim.
All of these factors on top of chaotic, toxic and deadly circumstances that surround the person on a daily basis. These unconstitutional conditions make it nearly impossible to meet the requirements set forth in the Alabama Rules of Court.
The Constitutional violations of the ADOC, as horrendous as they are, still fail in comparison to the Constitutional violations that occur in the Court System. Meanwhile those violations remain hidden and protected through Procedural Defaults that are supported by the Rules of Court in Alabama.
As horrible and illegal as the Prosecuting Attorney General William Dill’s actions in my case at trial are I’m positive there are many
worse examples that numerous other inmates who are entrapped in Alabama’s State of Slavery prison system could also prove if given an opportunity.
I am asking for support in proposing a Bill that would allow Alabama inmates to file a one-time Pursuit of Justice claim to prove Constitutional violations that occured in their case that remain hidden and protected through Procedural Defaults such as being time-barred. How is it that such a request that would allow a person to prove he was wrongly convicted be denied that opportunity because of unreasonable demands in an impossible circumstance. How is that JUSTICE?
The awful discoveries outlined in the DOJ lawsuit against Alabama and the ADOC prove what anyone who has experienced the ADOC already knew. Imagine the discoveries of unjust and Malicious Prosecutions
that have taken place in Alabama courtrooms by over zealous Prosecutors who know the the system is rigged and by obtaining a conviction their actions will likely not be discovered because an Appellate Court will not review the merits of a claim that is Procedurely Defaulted. Thereby protecting their illegal unconstitutional actions to secure a conviction instead of ensuring Justice.
Before my trial I had faith and confidence that the TRUTH would prevail in the courtroom. Sadly this is not always the case in Alabama.
I am asking that everyone who reads this letter share it with people that you know and help promote this proposition for a Bill that at least gives a person the opportunity to pursue Justice in their case.
The injustices of Malicious Prosecutions should not be allowed to stand and their protection through Procedural Defaults should be reversed and exposed. These practices must be exposed and the trusted officials found in violation of unconstitutional and illegal practices be held accountable.
Whose signature is that on this contract for prison slave labor?
Today, December 2, 2020, is International Abolish Slavery Day, and oh my! did it start with a bang. This date is historically important in America because of its historic practices of slavery and due to the fact that the 13th Amendment to the United States continues to have an exception clause that legalizes slavery and Involuntary servitude as punishment for crime.
Imagine waking up this morning to learn that a joint resolution has been submitted in the US Congress calling for a repeal of this Amendment. Wow!!
Over the past several years, many incarcerated organizers, activists, artists and scholars in US prisons have worked to highlight not only the slavery exception clause in the 13th Amendment, but also the institutions this Amendment is responsible for creating (the network of Departments of Corrections around the country.
We’ve also fought the inhumane, barbaric practices that are carried out in these institutions, such police brutality, systemic and institutional racism, human warehousing, human trafficking, selling children to private detention, forced labor, and financial exploitation.
We’ve also fought to build awareness about and bring changes to the laws like the Black Codes, Vagrancy laws, the school-to-prison pipeline, the 1994 Crime Bill, the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, as these are slave laws used to keep the plantations full.
The highpoint to date of this 2020 activism was undoubtedly the October 26-30, 2020, P.L.U.S. Party Initiative #FreeThe13. This four-day virtual panel discussion broke down the history of the institution of slavery and then put it back together for people to understand in its current rendition.
Immediately following the #FreeThe13th event, Free Alabama Movement, in conjunction with Be Frank for Justice, collaborated around hosting an “Abolish Slavery Alabama” day in Alabama on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at a former slave depot in Montgomery, Alabama, to mark not only the exception clause in the 13th Amendment, but also similar slave language in Art. 1, sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901. December 6, was chosen because this is the day in 1865, that this Amendment was ratified.
During the course of these conversations around December 6th, Amendment 4 was ratified by Alabama voters on November 4, 2020, which authorizes the Alabama Legislative Reference Service to, among other things, identify for removal all racist language from the Alabama Constitution. The Amendment 4 effort was led by Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform and sponsored by State Representative Marika Coleman.
This, of course, opened the door wide open to conversation about Art. 1, sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901. The Paul Cuffee Abolitionist Center then stepped up as the sole fiscal sponsor for this event on December 6, 2020, making this event a reality in Alabama.
According to history, there is no language or law in the Alabama Constitution or criminal laws more racist, dehumanizing, debasing or debilitating than Article 1, sec. 32 of the Alabama Constitution:
Plain and simple, this is a slave law. After the Civil War ended, what must be understood is that slavery was never totally abolished. Instead, only a particular form of slavery was abolished — private ownership of slaves by ordinary citizens was banned. In its place, the 13th Amendment transferred slavery to the government under the criminal justice system.
When that was done, Black people went from representing less than appx 15% of people in US prisons prior to 1865, to over 90% less than 15 years later. Human beings in Alabama (just as in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and many other places) have been forced back into slavery in the Alabama prison system under the 13th Amendment and Article 1, sec. 32.
Since 2018, four States have removed slave language from their Constitution, with Utah and Nebraska being the most recent in 2020.
Free Alabama Movement has been waging a campaign against slavery and slave Plantation conditions in Alabama for some time now. For the most part, we have been alone in this slave state in this endeavor. None of the so-called human rights orgs. or the other lot have joined FAM’s call. Why? And, where are the Alabama organizations today, now that Art. 1, Sec. 32 and Amendment 4, are staring us all directly in the face?
The changes needed in the Alabama prison system start with the historically racist practice of slavery and involuntary servitude that are enshrined in the Alabama Constitution of 1901 Art. 1, sec. 32. Now is the time to remove not only the language from the the Alabama Constitution, but to also abolish the practice of Slavery, its institutions, and the laws used to uphold it.
Please join the call on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at Montgomery Plaza, from 3-5 pm, Cst to remove this racist language from the Alabama Constitution of 1901.
FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
📢🗣️Support FAM $CashApp: https://cash.app/$FREEALAMOVEMENT
1. 2013-current. FAM was founded in 2013, and officially launched in August 2013.
2. January 1, 2014. Organized first multi-prison non-violent and peaceful work strikes, boycotts and protests in Alabama.
3. 2014-2019. January 2014, several FAM leaders and organizers were targeted by ADOC and placed into solitary confinement, including its founder Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun and co-founder Kinetik Justice Amun, both of whom remained in solitary confinement for the next 5 consecutive years. Despite FAM’s non-violent and peaceful organizing, FAM leaders were retaliated against, beaten, tortured, food poisoned, and arbitrarily denied basic constitutional and human rights, including mail, visits, phone calls, humane housing, deprived of natural light, and more. Even in the face of strong opposition and repression by the state, FAM was able to continue to move ahead in the struggle for Freedom.
4. 2014-2016. Conducted at least one multi-prison work strike every year in ADOC, plus the National Prison Strikes. After the initial strikes on January 1, 2014, all other Strikes, Boycotts and Protests were led by FAM from solitary confinement.
5. 2014-2018. Family members and supporters conducted over 20 protests outside multiple Alabama prisons and other locations, including in Clio Alabama, Donaldson CF, Holman CF, St. Clair CF, Limestone CF, Tutwiler CF, Kelly Ingram Park, Edmund Pettus Bridge, ADOC Headquarters, State Capitol, and the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Headquarters (#ParoleWatch).
6. 2014 (currently being revised). Published book FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT (known as the “manifesto”) on January 2, 2014.
7. 2014- current. Created first multi-medium social media platforms as part of prison-led organizing strategy, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, WordPress blog, Blogtalk radio, and website.
8. 2014-current. Created Free Alabama Movement YouTube channel. Have since released over 200 exclusive exposè
videos from inside ADOC. FAM’s bold and aggressive tactic of guerilla filming spawned a new era in the Prisoner/Enslaved-led Human Rights Movement. Incarcerated Activists all across the nation began using cellphones as a powerful weapon in the narrative around criminal justice reform, prison reform, and abolitionist freedom struggle.
9. 2014-2016. Created, produced, directed first-of-its-kind inside-led, underground Blogtalk radio show, “THE PEOPLE’S PLATFORM”.
10. 2014. Published “A Flicker Turns Into A Flame”
11. 2014. Drafted the “FREEDOM BILL”
12. 2014-current. FAM leaders and members have conducted over 100 media interviews from inside with outlets such as:
San Francisco Bay View
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
Al Jazerra America,
13. 2014-current. FAM has been featured in several short-documentaries, including two w/ HBO/Vice, and two w/ Al Jazerra.
14. 2014-2019 Hunger Strikes. State retaliation and abuse against FAM leaders led to hunger strikes that spread to multiple prisons over a span of 5 years, exposing ADOC as a barbaric and inhumane institution.
15. 2015. Published “Let The Crops Rot In The Field” and laid out “The Solution:FAM’s 6-Step Plan of Action 2015.” These documents and the plan outlined therein established the framework for building the infrastructure that led to the first nationwide, Inside-led national initiatives and actions based on work strikes, boycotts and protests. FAM’s infrastructure elevated the profiles and voices of Inside-led organizations nationwide and has hosted and facilitated the organizing of EVERY Inside-led national event since 2015.
16. 2015. Nationwide S-TO-P CAMPAIGN against McDonald’s, highlighting the school-to-prison pipeline.
17. 2015-2016. FAM led multiple peace initiatives under the Universal Peace and Unity Summit. Over this period of heightened violence, FAM was the only entity able to lead multiple successful peace accords in the tumultuous ADOC. FAM never had an incident of violence associated with any of its multiple work strikes and boycotts, and ADOC recorded its lowest levels of violence during FAM activities.
18. 2016. Historic September 9, 2016, 45th Anniversary Attica Rebellion Nationwide Prison Strike. Largest prison strike US history. Over 24 states and 30,000 freedom fighters.
19. 2013-2018. During the height of FAM organizing, ADOC saw the total prison population drop from appx. 30,000 to appx. 23,000, before rising again.
20. 2013-2018. During the height of FAM activism, the Alabama Parole Board created an emergency board and granted over 4000 paroles. The number of parole grants began to lessen in 2018, eventually recording record lows in 2020.
21. 2013-2019. As a result of FAM’s exposure of living conditions and intensive media coverage, two Alabama prisons closed (Holman and Draper).
22. 2015 and 2019. FAM witnessed two Governor-appointed Prison Reform/Oversight Committees that were created to address issues highlighted by FAM advocacy and exposure.
23. 2014-2016. FAM saw two conservative sentencing reform measures passed.
24. 2014-2016. FAM’s exposure of ADOC central to class-action litigation filed by Bryan Stevenson and EJI, Southern Poverty Law Centers, and Southern Center for Human Rights.
25. 2016. In an unpredictable and surprising action, in 2016, ADOC correctional officers at Holman CF adopted FAM’s strategy and led their own work strike, where they were protesting, among other issues, the same ADOC leadership and inhumane living conditions as highlighted by FAM. While not all issues were the same between FAM and the officers, the impact of FAM’s influence for change was undeniable.
26. 2016. FAM’s exposure of ADOC, pro se litigation, and advocacy work led to “first-of-its-kind” statewide investigation of all Alabama men’s prisons by the US Department of Justice. These investigations produced two separate reports, both of which found the ADOC to be violating the civil, human and constitutional rights of those serving time in ADOC custody.
27. 2017. An anonymous ADOC employee released a trove of over 1000 graphic, gory photos depicting violence and barbaric savagery inside ADOC. While a select few of these images were made public, many in the mainstream media withheld 800 of these photos, protecting ADOC and collaborating in their mutual interest.
28. 2018. Campaign to Redistribute The Pain 2018, a nationwide bi-monthly boycott of canteen, collect phone calls, visitation vending machines, and incentive packages.
29. 2018 National Prison Strike. Following FAM’s visionary approach to organizing prison labor nationally and relying on the infrastructure put in place leading to FAM’s historic September 9, 2016, 45th Anniversary Attica Rebellion Nationwide Prison Strike/Boycott/Protest, the 2018 Nationwide Prison Strike took place after the Lee County, South Carolina riots. FAM’s leadership and national Campaign to Redistribute The Pain 2018, spanning the entire year of 2018, were integral to the 2018 National Prison Strike. Since that first nationwide effort in 2016, FAM inspired at least 5 other inside-led national events.
30. 2012-2019. Assisted in filing over 250 excessive force, police brutality, ethics complaints, and Section 1983 civil class action lawsuits against ADOC officials.
31. 2014-2020. FAM’s advocacy and activism produced intensive media coverage that resulted in investigations, forced resignations, demotions and firings of at least one ADOC Commissioner (K. Thomas), Associate Commissioners G. Culliver and J. DeLoach), Wardens (Estes, Davenport, E. Evans, and others.
32. 2015-current. FAM’s advocacy and activism led ADOC to adopt policies requiring warden training and rotations. Results are negligible though due to a lack of accountability enforcement, although a few wardens have shown negative pattern behavior resulting in resignations or other forms of termination.
33. 2019. FAM’s hunger strikes exposed and led to the end of ADOC’s secretive and highly inhumane “bucket detail” and extortion schemes by officials at Limestone CF. FAM leaders caused the end of the 25+ year careers of Warden DeWayne Estes and Captain Patrick Robinson, and civil litigation.
34. 2015/2019. FAM jailhouse attorneys, who have filed pro se litigation on his behalf for years, uplifted the story of Willie “Fire Plug” Simmons on their WordPress blog. FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT’s network of activists and contacts who played a vital role in uncovering this story and facilitating Mr. Simmons’ access to press went uncredited when Mr. Simmons’ story exploded and went worldwide.
35. 2019. Launched #ParoleWatch2020 in response to the Charlie Graddick-led Bureau. FAM is the only organization in the State to conduct protests at the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Headquarters. Graddick resigned effective November 31.
36. 2014-current. FAM’s influence over the course of 7 years has inspired the creation of or brought close collaboration with over 40 organizations, including Unheard Voices, Free Mississippi Movement, APSP, UHURU Movement, Free South Carolina Movement, Mississippi Southern Belles, Free Ohio Movement, FAM Queen Team, T.O.P.S., IWOC, JLS, United Black Family Scholarship Foundation, End Prison Slavery in Texas, Amend the 13th, Decarcerate Louisiana, NABPP, Faith In Action, The Plus Party, Be Frank 4 Justice, Abolish Slavery National Network, EPIC, Ida B. Wells, and many, many more.
37. 2020. Statewide host of August 22, 2020, National Day of Freedom and Justice events.
38. 2020. Co-Presenters for the Harvard Prison Divestment
39. 2020. Co-lead organizers for the October 26-30, 2020 Plus Party #FreeThe13th 5-Day Virtual Rally.
40. 2020. Host of the December 6, 2020, Abolish Slavery Alabama event, marking the 155 year anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment and the exception clause that allows slavery and involuntary Servitude to continue as punishment for crime.
41. 2021. On January 1, 2021, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT is calling for a #30DayBlackout Boycott and Strike.
42. Our greatest accomplishment is the awareness, education and Spirit of Freedom that we were able to share with over 10,000 men in the ADOC; the tens of thousands of men and women behind cages, walls and fences in America who participated in the 2016 and 2018 nationwide strikes/boycotts/protests; and innumerable others we have impacted around the world. FAM’s banners have hung in four continents around the world, Europe, Africa, South America, and North America.
Special Thanks to the Ratcliff Family and the San Francisco Bay View Black Newspaper. As always, there are some people and organizations that rise above the rest and stand in such a way as to merit special consideration. For FAM, this honor goes to the Bay View and Mr. and Mrs. Ratcliff. We can’t even recount the many deeds or the many ways. All we can do is stand in awe, admiration, appreciate, respect and Love. ❤️
We are not done yet. . .
The price of Freedom comes at a great cost to Freedom Fighters behind the walls.
When will it end? When will Black people be allowed to live in this country in peace and free from any form of slavery? 400 years and there are still laws and constitutional amendments on record that people have been enslaved under. Over 1 million Black Families have a loved one in a prison. This shit is getting to a point where we are going to have to put morals to the side and go down and meet them on a savage level just to see our humanity respected. Slavery must end in this country. Those who profit off prisons must be held accountable. We can’t keep masking this shit in terms that deliberately evade addressing the problem.
We don’t know what the future holds for those who demand freedom, but we do know that the slave’s future will be whatever his master decrees by the whip or nightstick. Our Movement has to unite once again and we must take decisive action. These prisons are turning into mass graves. Don’t wait for death. Take steps to deliver death to the system.
All Power. Unite or Die.
During the holiday season something as simple as accepting a collect phone call may save a life. It is well documented that during holidays people in prison are more vulnerable to suicides, drug overdose, and other acts of self harm. We miss our families. We remember growing up in these moments and the feelings and experiences that we shared while surrounded by family.
Being separated and knowing that we are missing out on these interactions is depressing, and this depression is added onto an already toxic, hopeless and difficult situation. So if you a fortunate enough to receive a call from a loved one who is incarcerated, please take the call. Remind them that they are still loved and not forgotten, and take a picture or share something that lets them know that their place or spot is still reserved for them.
You never know, but that little gesture may save a little few.
Enjoy your holidays. Free Alabama Movement
By Kinetik Justice Amun
Who would invest in the incarceration of other people if only crime, punishment and correcting individuals was the purpose?
By most historical accounts, from the inception of dominating, controlling -incarcerating- enslaving people there has been a central theme to extract their labor or steal their resources.
Today is absolutely no different. There is so much talk about crime rates, rehabilitation programs, etc. But underneath all of the rhetorical statistics, the real dialogue is purely economical.
Prisons are “Cash Cows” and the Cows look just like you.
Stop evaluating the current crisis through the lens of Humanity, Justice, Right & Wrong, if you truly want to understand Mass Slavery /Incarceration.
Look at from a pure Economical perspective –
Try Chattel Slavery… From a Moral and Humanity perspective it was wrong, some even agreed that it was evil. However, from a strictly economical position, a Capitalist HEAVEN-FREE LABOR MEANS A LOT OF FREE MONEY
Chaos is brewing in ADOC as COVID-19 continues to spread and claim lives. Testing of some positive individuals at atleast two State prisons are being redone as the number of positive results continues to rise to crisis levels.
Also, it appears that the entire population at Bibb County CF has been tested. With additional testing, Bibb CF saw a spike in positive results. BIBB CF is one of the institutions where retesting is underway, while residents feel that ADOC is attempting to skew results. ADOC is not saying why testing is being redone.
ADOC’s medical contractors and healthcare professionals are also facing scrutiny. There are serious questions and widespread allegations being made about tampering and discarding testing kits. Meanwhile, no explanation is being provided as to why retesting is being done? Why the need for secrecy over the reason for retesting? Questions also remain about oversight regulations and audit processes regarding tests? There is much to unpack in Alabama DOC.
As infection rates and death tolls continue to mount while testing continues to lag behind, the call and need for more people to be released is growing louder. Alabama remains an outlier amongst other states who are already releasing people in an effort to save lives. With inhumane conditions and a lack of adequate cleaning supplies and PPEs already an intractable problem, COVID-19 remains a serious threat to everyone incarcerated in ADOC and the entire State of Alabama.
Re-post, originally posted by American Litigation Consultant, LLC
November 13, 2020
The new death penalty: COVID has now killed more US prisoners than capital punishment over last three decades.
I am sad to report that we have passed yet another milestone in COVID prisoner deaths, which prompts another one of my series of “new death penalty” posts. The Marshall Project continues the critical job of counting via this webpage of deaths from coronavirus reported among prisoners, and as of Thursday, November 12, this accounting had tabulated “at least 1412 deaths from coronavirus reported among prisoners.”
As I have said in other posts, this considerable and ever-growing number is sad and disconcerting on its own terms, but it is even more remarkable given that it now amounts to more than the total number of prisoner deaths resulting from carrying out formal death sentences in the United States for the entire period from 1990 to 2020. According to DPIC data, there were a total of 1406 executions from the start of 1990 through today.
Of course, as I have mentioned before, comparing capital punishment and COVID incarceration carnage is problematic in many ways. All persons executed in the US in recent times have been convicted of the most aggravated forms of murder. The vast majority of prisoners to die of COVID were not criminally responsible for a death (although, as noted here, some persons on California’s death row are part of the COVID prisoner death count). In a few older posts here and here, I noted that nearly half of the early reported deaths of federal prisoners involved individuals serving time for drug crimes.
Another problem with comparing capital punishment and COVID incarceration carnage relates to that correctional staff do not die from administering capital punishment, but many have died from COVID. The Marshall Project reports “at least 93 deaths from coronavirus reported among prison staff.” I am still pleasantly surprised that this too-big number is not even larger, but I will be ever troubled by the thought that all these COVID casualty numbers could have been lower if more aggressive depopulation efforts were taken to move the most vulnerable and least risky persons out of the super-spreader environment that prisons represent.
A few of many prior related posts:
The new death penalty: COVID has now killed as many US prisoners as has a quarter century of capital punishment (from October 2020)
The new death penalty: COVID has now killed more US prisoners in months than the US death penalty has in the last two decades (from August 2020)
The new death penalty: COVID has now killed more US prisoners in weeks than the US death penalty has in over a decade (from May 2020)
The new death penalty: COVID has now killed more than 500 US prisoners and prison staff according to UCLA Law data (from May 2020)
The new death penalty: COVID now a leading modern killer of California inmates on death row
From drug sentences to death sentences: documenting arbitrary and capricious drug war casualties
Memorializing more drug war casualties: updating the federal drug sentences that COVID-19 turned into death sentences.
While the BOP is doing its best to address this pandemic, Congress and the Senate need to do more to ensure that people convicted of victimless crimes like non-violent drug offenders need to be sent home where they can be monitored via GPS. This will reduce the prison population dramatically and save lives. We encourage everyone involved from inmates, to BOP staff members to write your representatives and place the foregoing facts before them. Stay Safe.
Come on out to our November fundraiser! Friday, Nov. 20 and Saturday, Nov. 21, the Bay View National Black Newspaper and friends will be celebrating the history, people and culture of Bayview Hunters Point, featuring the beautiful people of the neighborhood partying, dancing, playing music and indulging in our amazing local restaurants. With words and…Bay View Fundraiser 2020
The need for social justice and the abuses that African Americans face in America’s criminal justice system is no longer capable of being ignored. Every day another innocent person is exonerated, the system is exposed, and the decades of life lost behind prison walls that cannot be returned are grieved. We’ve also learned from […]ALABAMA JUDGE MAKES UP THE LAW AS HE GOES: WHY JUSTICE IS SO DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN FOR BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA
One day after FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT calls for peace and unity in the Alabama prison system, several people were injured in incidents of violence. We continue to call for a Truce and an agreement amongst all Tribes and street organizations to work for peace and unity, over self-destruction. I cannot say it any plainer, we are killing each other, thereby killing ourselves.
FAM also wants to point out to everyone that some of those people who many of us consider as our allies in this bottomless pit, the very ones who like to condemn the violence that takes places in the prisons, especially those in the news media, have declined to highlight or publish this call to end violence. Ditto for the non-profits and others who are profiting off the slave empire.
Don’t be deceived my brothers and sisters. We have to be our own best advocates. The system of white supremacy and Black genocide work hand in hand, and those who make a living or profit from it will never collaborate with us to stop the slaughter. Nevertheless, we can do it ourselves ❗❗❗
Stop the Violence in the Alabama prisons and let’s save our communities.
THE VIOLENCE IN THE ALABAMA PRISON SYSTEM HAS TO STOP. WE GOTTA GET BACK TO LOVING OURSELVES, LOVING EACH OTHER, AND FIGHTING IN UNITY FOR OUR FREEDOM. WHEN WE WERE UNITED FROM 2013-2017, WE SUCCESSFULLY FORCED THE STATE TO RELEASE OVER 2000 PEOPLE. WHEN THEY REALIZED THAT WE HAD A MOVEMENT THAT WAS CAPABLE OF ENDING THEIR INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY, THEY SLAMMED US WITH DRUGS. THEIR DRUGS DECIMATED OUR FRAGILE STRUCTURE AND WIPED OUT OUR UNITY. THEY TURNED US AGAINST EACH OTHER AND ALLOWED US TO KILL EACH OTHER BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT OTHERWISE WE COULD NOT BE STOPPED FROM DESTROYING THEIR SYSTEM. WE GOTTA ACKNOWLEDGE THIS AND BOUNCE BACK. RECENTLY, WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT BUILDING PEACE AND UNITY THROUGH A TRUCE. WE GOTTA STOP KILLING AND STABBING EACH OTHER AND START BACK FIGHTING THE SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION THAT ALLOWS US TO KILL EACH OTHER FOR THEIR BENEFIT. LET’S BUILD PEACE AND UNITY.
AS FOR OUR OUTSIDE SUPPORTERS, WHILE WE APPRECIATE ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE SO FAR, RIGHT NOW WE NEED FOR Y’ALL TO HELP US DELIVER A MESSAGE OF PEACE AND UNITY. CONDUCT VIGILS AND SHARE OUR DEMAND FOR PEACE AND UNITY. POST IT ON YOUR PAGE. SHARE IT IN YOUR STORY. TELL THE MEN AND WOMEN IN ADOC THAT YOU SUPPORT THE CALL FOR PEACE AND UNITY. AMPLIFY THIS MESSAGE AND ADD YOUR OWN. WE NEED HELP RIGHT NOW WITH THIS. WE CAN’T DEFEAT OUR ENEMY IF WE ARE KILLING OFF EACH OTHER ❗❗❗
PEACE AND UNITY IN ALL ALABAMA PRISONS.
STOP THE VIOLENCE
THE JUDGE AND THE LAWYER Gary McAliley To destroy Council’s last line of defense, Judge Gary McAliley appointed Dale Marsh, as lead attorney to defend Council against the Capital Murder charges. Upon being notified that he was appointed to represent Council, Dale Marsh brought to the attention of the Court that he had personally known […]THE FIXERS
JUSTICE FOR THE GADSDEN 6
October 23, 2020
A Short Introduction to The GADSDEN 6
Gadsden, Alabama. “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Over 32 years have passed since the early morning hours on March 24, 1988, when six Black youth from Huntsville, Alabama.,Fred Brown, Archie Hamlet, Roland Martin, Melvin Ray, Curtis Richardson and Steve Stewart, were arrested for a department store burglary in Gadsden, Alabama. The consequences of those arrests, the magnitude of the injustice, and what corrupt juvenile authorities did that day are only just now being discovered and understood:
Juvenile proceedings where no attorneys or parents are present. Motions filed and ruled on where no one was present except the judge and prosecutor. Transfers to adult court without hearings and, in the end, over 20 felony convictions, 170+ years combined sentences, over 30 combined years served, and the subsequent use of these illegal felony charges as sentence enhancers, resulting in over 70+ years of extra time served.
The wheels of injustice began to spin swiftly the moment the GADSDEN 6 were arrested and taken to the police precinct. Once there, detectives proceeded to interrogate us for several hours. At no point during the interrogations were our parents contacted, nor were we afforded attorneys. When the interrogations ended, the detectives charged us with over 30 combined counts of burglary and theft.
The chicanery did not end with the interrogations.
Later that same morning, all six of us were taken before juvenile court judge Robert E. Lewis, for what was supposed to be an initial appearance hearing. At the initial appearance hearing, we were expecting: a) inquiry into what we were being charged with, b) to be informed of our rights to an attorney and, c) to be advised that our parents would be notified and allowed to be present at all future hearings. But, this is not what occurred at all . . .
Instead, the supposed initial appearance hearing quickly turned into a detention hearing, where it was to be determined whether probable cause existed for any or all 30+ charges. Proceeding in this manner guaranteed that, by the time our families or attorneys got involved, the decision justifying our detention would already be made.
There was, however, a major problem with this impromptu “detention hearing”. There was no legal counsel present on our behalf to examine the probably cause claim and evidence rendered. To remedy this problem, certified court records show that the adults in the courtroom, the judge, police detectives, and prosecutor, came up with their own unique solution: someone “stipulated” to probable cause — meaning that they (the police and prosecutor) conceded the children’s guilt — to ALL 30 charges on behalf of all six children. The act of stipulating on our behalf is illegal, and beyond dispute.
On April 6, two weeks after the stipulation, the same certified court records show that Judge Lewis decided to appoint attorneys. By then, cause for our continued confinement had already been decided. We were simply awaiting our ultimate fate.
April 27, 1988, 34 days later. . .
On April 27, 1988, the matter of the GADSDEN 6 would come to a close in juvenile court. The prosecutor filed a motion to transfer all six of us to adult court, and Judge Robert E. Lewis granted it that same day. Again, though, no attorneys or parents were present when the transfer motion was granted. In fact, no one was even notified that the motion to transfer was filed and had been granted until the next day.
ADULT COURT PROCEEDINGS
Once in adult court, the GADSDEN 6 all received guilty pleas. We were told we could either plead guilty and be sentenced to 10 years, split to time served, or we could risk being taken to trial on each count one at a time, where we could end up with life sentences. Weighing these options, we were all forced to plead guilty. In total, we received approximately 20 adult convictions, over 170 total years, and have suffered a lifetime of collateral consequences as a result of these felony convictions. What we are learning now, however, is that the GADSDEN 6 were never legally transferred to adult court as authorized by law; that jurisdiction over our cases remained in juvenile court; and that all of our adult felony convictions are illegal and void.
2020. Thirty-two years later
The Etowah County juvenile records depict a picture fraught with unethical and criminal misconduct. We now know that the process whereby the “detention hearing” was instituted is unprecedented; we also know that the probable cause “stipulation” entered on that fateful first day in court was illegal and amounts to judicial and prosecutorial misconduct; and, we now know that the supposed “transfer order” to adult court, issued without a hearing, was not done in a manner authorized by Alabama law. It was all a fraud. All a sham. All amounting to an untenable miscarriage of justice.
EFFORTS TO UNDO THIS INJUSTICE BEING MET WITH RESISTANCE
Efforts to undo this injustice have proven difficult. In May 2015, Etowah County Judge and former prosecutor William B. Ogletree, denied a petition for relief seeking to undo and correct Judge Lewis’s order. In denying justice, Judge Ogletree put forth a ruling that basically attempts to rewrite Alabama law.
Judge Ogletree cited Title 12-15-203 (i), Code of Ala. 1975, for the proposition that he was refusing to reverse these illegal convictions on the ground that one member of the Gadsden 6 had been “previously certified” in another juvenile case.
Yet, this statute clearly states that a child must have an adult “conviction or adjudication as a youthful offender” before they can be transferred to adult court without hearings, without attorneys, and without due process. Not a single one of the Gadsden 6 had ever been convicted or adjudicated as a youthful offender in 1988. In fact, at least four (4) members of the GADSDEN 6 had not even been “previously certified” on April 27, 1988, yet they too were transferred without hearings, without attorneys, and without notice to their parents. These irrefutable facts prove that the officials in Etowah County know that what they did was wrong and that they have no intentions of providing justice to the GADSDEN 6
Sign the Petition https://www.change.org/p/kay-ivey-justice-for-gadsden-6/dashboard
I know it’s the trendy term (Mass incarceration) but, in addition to understanding when this term appeared, you must understand two things about that misnomer.
Mass incarceration did not exist as a description for the warehousing of bodies through prisons prior to 2010 and the publication of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Between the launch of twitter in 2007 and 2009, there were only 4 mentions of mass incarceration.
Literally, it didn’t exist before that.
You need to know:
1- Mass incarceration is a misnomer that does not point out the racial and class aspects of the largest prison population to ever exist on planet earth. It implies that this phenomenon is applied equally across national demographics. A burden shared by all citizens. If that were true there would be over 5 million more “white” people in prisons right now.
In reality, this is a textbook example of the fallacy of the average.
2- Mass incarceration is not a crime. There are no laws against mass incarceration. THERE ARE LAWS against slavery. Slavery can be abolished.
It’s true that Michelle Alexander advanced the understanding of our for-profit and race/class based criminal injustice system. What she didn’t do was label it correctly or offer the proper solution to the problem.
The answer to legalized slavery is not reform. It’s abolition.
You can not FIX, REFORM, or REPAIR a crime against humanity. And that is exactly what we are dealing with. A crime against humanity called slavery. The same slavery we’ve always dealt with.
The differences between antebellum chattel slavery and modern 13TH amendment slavery is that A- You are not born a slave but you can certainly become a slave at any moment. Especially if you live in high crime, high poverty conditions. B- Today’s slaves are not owned by individuals. They are owned and operated by the state or private prisons and their shareholders.
Get your language right and your mind will follow.
Join us as we review the dynamics of slavery, past to present, and discuss 21st century abolition efforts to address the 13TH amendment.
#FreeThe13th is part of a national effort of activists and organizers from behind the confines of prison walls, to the community, committed to ending slavery and prison profiteering. Over the course of 4 days, speakers will examine the dynamics of slavery, review the implementation of processes to keep slavery active, and discuss next steps required to truly abolish slavery in America.
FB Event page:
Event video presentation
Partners and sponsors:
Get registered for the #FREE THE 13th Event as the conversation about the 13th Amendment and its connection to the continuation of the institution of slavery and the Abolitionist Movement to end slavery in America builds momentum.
“When the public is told that prisons are overcrowded, the prisoncrats package these reports in a way that has the public thinking that the problem is nothing more than inadequate space to store our property neatly into our locker boxes or that we don’t have the space of a five star hotel. This is all deliberate misinformation and deceitful propaganda.
Without proper visuals to go with the content being disseminated, society don’t realize that, in actuality, we are stacked on top of each other in the same way that our African Ancestors were packed inside of slave ships. These slave plantation-like conditions are producing catastrophic results in environments that are unimaginable in a supposed civilized country. However, these images are hard to come by. The administrators know this and they work to keep it that way. That’s why cameras, reporters, and filming crews are banned inside of prisons, except for the “dog and pony” shows that showcase the few “public consumption” areas of a prison.
Removing the veil of secrecy is a task that those of us on the inside must play a vital role in. If the media won’t come to the mountain, then we must bring the mountain to the media. In other words, we have to continue with the process that we have already started, which is to create our own media. Taking these cellphones that we have at our disposal and using them to expose the system is one of the fundamental principles of Free Alabama Movement. Indeed, no one else can do this but Us. No one else is responsible for this task but Us. Without exposing the system for what it truly is, we are DEAD.
Last year, the commissioner for the Alabama Department of Corrections was forced to admit in a news interview that the infrastructure for the Alabama prison system was not designed to rehabilitate, but to warehouse human bodies.
Alabama Has the Deadliest Prisons in the Country: It Says It’s Looking for Reforms, by Arian Campo-Flores, Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2019:
“Our infrastructure was not designed to rehabilitate. It was designed to warehouse,” said Jefferson Dunn, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections.
Commissioner Dunn says that work is being done to correct these issues. The problem though is that Commissioner Dunn has been on the job for over 5 years now, and human warehousing has been going on in Alabama long before he arrived and throughout his tenure. The same problems and constitutional issues there are being reported on about the Alabama prison system today, are the same as those that were being said about the Alabama prisons in the 1870’s, 1920’s, 1970’s, and now in 2020.
Commissioner Dunn is only speaking now because we have placed these issues into the public sphere of conversation to a degree that he can’t avoid. Human warehousing and all of the evils that are attendant to it remain a part of the Southern culture and way of life, as they have been since Black people were first enslaved in the Heart of Dixie. Prison slavery or public/State ownership and control of the institution of slavery, the successor to the private ownership industry of slavery, won’t end until we end it.
Exposing its existence and disabusing the lies that conceal it are a big part of that process.
When we did our own filming from the inside by cellphones and leaked this information out in wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, especially in Alabama and California, our videos were featured on HBO/Vice News, ABC News with George Stephonopolous, the Tamron Hall show, and a special report by Gail King ABC This Morning. This shows that when the public actually sees the reality of what the insides look like, they will respond to it.
Predictably, the government responded in retaliation. But their reactionary attacks proves the point that they want the truth hidden; therefore, we should go even harder in our efforts to expose them. What we need to do next is to organize something like a National Prison Slavery Exposure Event where we just unleash thousands and thousands of videos, pictures, and testimonies, all at one time, and all across social media for the world to see. In other words, we have to meet the challenge in such a way that the system can’t simply react with their typical forms of retaliation, but instead, they have to bow down to the truth. (More on this later) “
More to come . . .