Expansion Of A Criminal Enterprise: No New Prisons

An Insider’s Perspective

A $3 Billion Dollar Wasteland is Not What Alabama Needs

#NoNewPrisons

#NoNewPlantations

#ADOCisaCriminalEnterprise

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so many problems, claiming so many lives and contributing to the public health crisis we are facing because we have an outdated ideology running an outdated prison system.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.

https://www.alreporter.com/2020/02/25/he-was-a-human-being-family-hopes-sons-death-at-holman-prison-not-in-vain/?amp



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.

“Former Alabama prison guard linked to sexual assaults in 3 states pleads guilty” https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/2020/01/former-alabama-prison-guard-linked-to-sexual-assaults-in-3-states-pleads-guilty.html?outputType=amp



• Over 70 correctional officers arrested for drug trafficking or other attempts to transport illegal contraband throughout Alabama communities and into a prison

https://www.alreporter.com/2020/02/25/he-was-a-human-being-family-hopes-sons-death-at-holman-prison-not-in-vain/?amp


• 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.

See US DOJ Report, January 14, 2014. Not a single person was arrested or fired for these sex crimes.



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.

Abolish Slavery Alabama: Remove Art. 1, sec. 32 from the Alabama Constitution of 1901

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

Too Many Families Separated by A System Built on Slavery and Exploitation

  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.

COVID-19 DEATHS IN US PRISONS AND JAILS HAVE SURPASSED DECADES OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT TOTALS

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.

Slavery, Not Mass Incarceration

Abolitionist Max Parthas

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.

The history:
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.

Abolish Slavery

#FREE THE 13th: VIRTUAL PANEL DISCUSSION ON SLAVERY AND REPEAL & REPLACE THE 13th AMENDMENT

#AbolishSlaveryAlabana

#ABOLISHSLAVERY
#AbolishSlaverUtah
#EndSlaveryNebraska
#AmendThe13thNJ

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:
https://www.facebook.com/events/993615377819047/

Eventbrite page:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-the-13th-registration-124958146179?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=esfb&utm-source=fbm&utm-term=listing&fbclid=IwAR2NdUWo3y7-1WswJUBjw9e9PWbKMpZSlVruglywD4EEVLYXjxjn-Q7_dAs

Event video presentation
https://youtu.be/Kxnk7E1iY-I

Partners and sponsors:
http://www.AbolishSlavery.us
http://www.positiveleadersunitedinsolidarity.com
http://www.abolitiontoday.org
http://www.amendthe13thnj.com
http://www.endslaveryne.org
http://www.abolishslaveryutah.org
http://www.wearemarchon.org
http://www.freealabamamovement.wordpress.com
http://www.epicxteam.org
http://www.ubfsf.org
http://www.not-forgotten.org

Free the 13th Registration, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-the-13th-registration-124958146179

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.

Abolish Slavery: No Exception

Re-posted from the page of the one and only Max Prathas, the Abolitionist that the enslaved trusts

What’s Really Real?

The fight against intangibles and ideals historically lacks one simple but crucial factor. The fact that the 13th amendment never abolished slavery. It was legalized instead under state actors. There’s entire best selling books that break it all down and oddly, never mention the transfer from personal chattel slavery to state convict leasing, and finally, to the modern warehousing of bodies. Many and varied are the explanations in our heads for currently having the largest prison population ever seen on earth. A narrative which fills that void where “Slavery Never Ended” should be instead.

Harvard professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad astutely observed that the 13th amendment exception clause has never received the adequate academic scrutiny it deserves.
And that is it in a nutshell. Maybe, those studying slavery, will act like they heard.

I’ve listened to entire panels of highly esteemed academics and constitutional experts in grandiose halls discuss the 13th amendment on its anniversaries and never once mention the infamous exception clause. One time, an elderly gentleman from Jailhouse Lawyers Speaks stood up in the audience and asked about the exception as loud and as clear as could be. With living examples of the amendments sections. It was embarrassing to see the responses and sad to know how long they’ve gone without asking any new questions.

To date, 25 other states adopted their own twisted remixed diction of the pro slavery language found in the amendments description. As was intended, many came long after the civil war had ended. Even though all those states used/use convict lease systems in these incidents, it’s supposed to be just a crazy coincidence.

Legal slavery is not an intangible. It’s not an ideal. It’s not what people think and feel. It’s a real thing we suffer from every day which is written into the constitution and exploited nationwide. And it pains me inside to say it was made that way.
But Slavery can be Abolished.

Just do a little research and you’ll see multiple court cases in places where slavery or slave like conditions in prisons was challenged by an inmates appeal and the court threw up the 13TH amendment like Captain America’s mighty shield. “It says right here, slavery and involuntary servitude is allowed, sooo… case closed. Appeal denied. Sorry. At least you tried.”

Even the NCAA grabbed a vibranium copy of the 13th to ward off college players who generate billions in revenue. So, don’t tell me what they never knew. They know, and now you do too.

You can test the truth of every word I say. Laws exist in reality and affect us every single day. Enforced by guns ready to be fired with as much force as is legally required. Punishable by incarceration or execution. By gas, chemicals, or electrocution. A simple traffic ticket violation can end with cops calling a hearse. Tax evasion means prison with potential death or worse. Just walking down the street with sagging pants and underwear showing (for men only) in some counties is punishable by 6 months in jail time and/or a $1,000 fine.

Try and resist the fascist fashion police and you may end up deceased just like Ervin Edwards in Louisiana. Or broken and brutalized like high school sophomore Jonathan Villarreal as was graphically described by his parents.

Muricans like to consider themselves a just and fair society. Generous and compassionate. It isn’t, and they are not, but neither do 99.9% of rappers have as much as they claim that they’ve got.
Thinking you hear coins clinking never filled anyone’s purse and following desert mirages never quenched anyone’s thirst. I guess, like the present president, everyone thinks the laws of attraction works.

As someone who spends all their time finding ways to change the public’s mind, let me chime in with this advice albeit unsolicited.

if you want to combat pink power, It’s easier and more permanent to remove pro slavery language from a states constitution using a voter initiative.

Max Parthas 9/11/2020