Slavery by the 13th Amendment

By Elisha Macon

When my wife told me that she had watched the documentary the 13th. She now better understand why I am still INCARCERATED in SIDE of ADOC. She now sees that IT’S not the crime that they say that I committed that has me INCARCERATED all these decades. And thousands of more men are in slavery,along with me. Yes, slavery people such as well as myself are TRAPPED into slavery through the courts systems, along with other agencies. HOUSING us worse than ANIMALS and working us SLAVES for nothing, while these different agency’s make billions of dollars off the backs of the SLAVES and our families who dare to stand by our sides and support us. These agencies are so corrupt that they even charge us SLAVES for medical treatments. They charge us SLAVES for disciplinaries. The very same items that our loved ONES use to have the privilege of sending us, we now must buy them from the agency. They have entrapped us into slavery with the new laws that our so called legislatures are passing TARGETING the black men of America. LOCKING us up for long periods of time. So many people are blind to these facts. Please I not only urge you to watch the documentary the 13th but I also beg you to. please don’t take my word for this and watch it for yourself please. Even if you don’t know anyone in prison, I promise you that someone who you love and care about is subject to fall victim to this SLAVES trade that is still operating strongly through the United State court systems. If you care anything about the future of our CHILDREN, PLEASE STAND with me and the OTHERS who are making the necessary sacrifices to change the way that we are being Mistreated and enslaved behind these plantation walls. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

ALABAMA’S NEW PRISON BUILD BEGS THE QUESTION: WILL ALABAMA EVER FREE BLACK AND POOR PEOPLE FROM SLAVERY?


 
Segregation Forever was created by former Alabama Governor George Wallace, when vowing to restrict Black people from entering state institutions. Today that same agenda is 
advanced by another Alabama Governor, Kay Ivey, who is refusing to release Black and poor White people from the segregation of the Alabama prison system, a state State institution where segregation is carried out by enslavement.


Author: David Files


On Thursday 9-3-20, Governor Ivey once again stood behind her podium still stained and scarred by the sins of Alabama’s past represented by the confederate flag. As she stood there talking, the same two words, “Segregation Forever”, once declared by a former racist Governor, stil echoes throughout her speech. The similiarities of Wallace’s declaration of “Segregation Forever” and Ivey’s determined actions to build new prisons is clear.


I remember just a few short years ago when Governor Bentley resigned as Governor and Ms. Kay Ivey took over the Governor’s seat. Ivey’s message back then was clear, simple and refreshing to the citizens of Alabama who were embarassed after Bentley’s escapades.

Governor Ivey vowed to clean up the mess. Ivey made promises to end corrupt Government actions and to clean up Alabama. At first nobody gave Ivey a chance at actually being elected Governor, much less even running for office. However, the “Clean Up Alabama” slogan provided the needed momentum to elect Kay Ivey as Governor. 


Since being elected, Ivey no longer means to clean up, but instead to cover-up the Alabama mess. Ivey was able to convince the Alabama Legislature to give her complete authority in selecting Charlie Graddick as the Director of Pardons and Paroles. Ivey fooled the Legislature, but she was unable to fool the citizens of Alabama, who saw a power hungry, fascist dictator in the making as they voted down Ivey’s attempt to obtain complete Authority in appointing School Board members.

Gov. Ivey, just because you lead the  near worst state in Education in America, doesn’t mean that we all are stupid.


Governor Ivey deliberately allowed the prison crisis to fall below a constitutional standards. Today, Ivey and every member of Government standing with her in these proposals of new prisons represent the meaning of a “Swamp”. The misuse, misappropriation and abuse of funds, unaccounted for amounts of money, a Criminal Justice System in desperate need of reform, a highly suspicious private company contract to build prisons and a skyrocketing ADOC budget, which happens to be the most corrupt department in America, is ridiculous.

 
With all of these facts staring Gov. Ivey in the face, she continues to blantantly lie to the citizens of Alabama by assuring them new prison facilities will fix the problem. It’s actually rather embarassing that Gov. Ivey and her cohorts stand up there thinking that what they are saying makes any kind of sense. The only thing that Gov. Ivey ever said that still rings true today is “it’s time to clean up  the mess in Alabama”. The very first step of that process Governor Ivey, is your immediate resignation as Governor.


Its truly sad that Gov. Ivey would have the nerve and lack of respect as a woman participating in racism, wearing blackface, to proudly proclaim that the 13th Amendment gives her Authority to warehouse and enslave human beings.

Gov. Kay Ivey in blackface

The fact is 53% of the prison population is Black, while only 27% of the Alabama population is Black. It seems to be a proud accomplishment of her Authority to warehouse and enslave Blacks in over half of your prisons while Black people only make up a little over a quarter of your state’s population. Thank you for enlightening us even more of your racist agenda Gov. Ivey. This is a perfect example of your “Segregation Forever” campaign to build new prisons. 


Governor Ivey took a tragic incident from a “non-violent” parolee named Jimmy Spencer, who sadly killed 3 innocent people while on parole, and continues to hold that tragedy against the rest of us unjustly, while denying us our deserving chance back into society. So now we hold the racist acts of past Governor’s against you Kay Ivey, because you have not only failed to prove that you are not like them, but instead have actually shown striking similiarities. There is a passage of Scripture which reads: Do not Judge others lest you yourself be Judged. It is one of my personal favorites. Today the only acceptable “Segregated” thing in Alabama is You, Kay Ivey, from the office of Governor of the State of Alabama. 


The Department of Justice (DOJ) report of the unconstitutional conditions in Alabama prisons is well documented and publicized. “Alabama prisons: DOJ finds ‘frequent’ excessive force against inmates” https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/5496089002

The levels of corruption inside the ADOC, which is disturbing and unacceptable, absolutely cannot be fixed by new buildings. By this assumption and plan of Governor Ivey’s that new prisons is the answer, when it is obviously impossible, raises serious questions of how far the levels of corruption actually reach in Alabama’s system. By proposing a plan indebting Alabama citizens for decades, that doesn’t fix the problem and can only be a solution to ease the DOJ investigation for fear of what may actually be discovered. In light of the DOJ report and their recommendations, the blatant responses from Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Governor Kay Ivey, and Commissioner Jeff Dunn can only mean one thing: If someone is doing something to the best of their ability and it is unconstitutional, then common sense would say they would gladly receive the assistance of the ones able to correct it.

Otherwise, as true in Alabama, if the operation is illegal in the first place and you are attempting to manipulate the ones telling you how to correct it, this can mean one only one thing:applying common sense, the “Alabama problem does not needs an Alabama solution”. It is no coincidence that this happens to be Gov. Ivey’s slogan used repeatedly concerning the unconstitutional prison crises. The blatantly incompetent responses by the leaders in position in Alabama in response to the DOJ reports is revealing. If you simply place yourself in the Governor’s position and look at the situation as a whole knowing of the corruption, what action would you take? Its simple. I too would propose the new mega-prisons, and welcome the DOJ lawsuit. By doing this I would tie up the lawsuit in court through vigorous litigation for the next two years until I get the prisons built. Then present to the federal court the solution in the form of the new prisons that temporarily relieves the problem of overcrowding and get the lawsuit dismissed. This way, I’ve accomplished the building of new prisons and relieved the burden of the DOJ investigation at the same time, while also expanding the operation of mass incarceration and enslavement.

This tactic currently in process in Alabama only kicks the can of needed and past-due reform, while also enslaving Alabama citizens to foot the bill of over 2.9 billion dollars over the next 30 years. So, what does it cost to cover up the corruption in Alabama? The answer is in the details of Gov. Ivey’s proposal to build new prisons. The fact that recent Governor’s in Alabama’s past have either been disgraced or convicted of corrupt practices serves as a reminder that the corruption hasn’t stopped.

 
If there are any allegations of corruption, racism and the desire the continue the enslavement of Black and poor white people for perpetuity that Governor Ivey’s office would like to disprove to the citizens of Alabama, we ask that you would open the books to every state agency and department, as well as all supervisors and ranking officials, and invite a Federal audit to investigate all transactions of funds and taxpayer money, fully transparent to the citizens of Alabama and media outlets since you have been Governor.

Furthermore you should release all Parole consideration records along with the criteria and guidelines used in denying the paroles. Along with an Executive Order promising that any and all corruption discovered in any capacity will be fully prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, including your own. This seems like a reasonable request to make of those sworn to uphold the law and abide by the Constitution, who so eagerly wish to enter into a 30 year $ 2.9 billion dollar debt to the citizens of Alabama. 


It is the sincere Hope and Prayer of all who see through the scheme of building new prisons that the information in this publication be exposed to everyone. By accomplishing this, everyone needs to pressure lawmakers to prevent the Governor from taking this fascist, racist and unacceptable action. If lawmakers cannot prevent this action, then articles of impeachment should be proposed and pushed forward to remove a Governor for overstepping her Authority in attempting to indebt the citizens of Alabama.

ITS TIME TO CLEAN UP THE MESS IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA !!!!

DOJ REPORT FINDS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AMID ABUSE



The DOJ investigation found that Alabama corrections officers frequently use excessive, and at times, deadly force in violation of inmates’ constitutional rights in 12 out of 13 prisons reviewed. It concludes the problem gives rise to “systemic unconstitutional conditions” and that “such violations are pursuant to a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of rights secured by the Eighth Amendment.”

ACLU’S BETH SHELBURNE RESORTS TO “BLACKFACE” REPORTING IN THE FACE OF GROWING DEMANDS FOR APOLOGY OVER ANTI-BLACK RACIST TWEET

JOIN FAM’S CALL FOR AN APOLOGY TO BLACK MOTHER MS. GABRIELLE EVANS

  If Beth Shelburne thinks that her strategic use and exploitation of a Black man who was murdered by Alabama Department of Corrections officers, Mr. Michael Smith, in her latest article is enough to quell our demand for an apology to Black mother Ms. Gabrielle Evans, for the anti-Black, racist, and disrespect that was shown towards her on July 15, 2020, think again !!!

Beth Shelburne exploits the death of a Black man, Mr. Michael Smith, with tokenism and “Blackface” reporting in her latest article as demands for apology grows. Photo Credit: Montgomery Advertiser.

  This past week, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT also had to check another reporter, Melissa Brown, one of Beth’s colleagues and good friend, for using coded, racially divisive language during her coverage of the death of U. S. Rep. John Lewis. Ms. Brown immediately acknowledged the correctness of FAM’s complaint about her racially insensitive reporting, issued an apology, and deleted her post.

  

  FAM was alerted to this post after it was spotted on Beth Shelburne’s page. Beth was sharing the offensive post while asking others to “listen” to Ms. Brown.

ACLU’s Beth Shelburne fanning the flames of racist and divisive language.

  

Despite the fact that Ms. Brown acknowledged her comments as racially insensitive and inappropriate, and deleted the post, Beth Shelburne refuses to remove her post sharing the comment.

Thus, on the same day that the U.S. and the world mourned the death of a fighter for social and racial justice, and the same day that Alabama State Rep. Dismukes was attending a KKK celebration that had the media up in arms, the ACLU’s Beth Shelburne was caught promoting racially divisive, coded language that has been used historically to try to keep the Black community divided, weakened, and incapable of uniting in order to fight back against Jim Crow racism and violent attacks by the KKK. This is the “good trouble” that Honorable John Lewis spoke of in life, which was disparaged by Melissa and Beth, but which Melissa apologized for, and removed.

As for Beth’s “BLACKFACE” article, she merely rehashes information that is already available to the public and which incarcerated activist, including members of FAM, have reported on for years, sheds no new light on the situation. Furthermore, Beth parrots almost verbatim the words that several other Alabama journalist have already wrote concerning the DOJ report.

Beth’s article REEKS of pandering to the Black community for her previous anti-Black, disrespectful insult towards Black mother Ms. Gabrielle Evans. That’s not an apology, that’s adding insult to injury.

Learn more here: https://freealabamamovement.wordpress.com/2020/07/26/beth-shelburne-owes-black-mother-mr-gabrielle-evans-an-apology-for-racist-tweet/

Another point worthy of note is that, just as is glaringly missing from the DOJ report, Beth and other members of the media continue to protect the names of the officers who commit these crimes. Not a single one of the officers were identified in Beth’s story.

The criminal acts mentioned in the DOJ investigative report were committed by individuals; the Black community is waiting for names, not more rehased stats. Everything else in Beth’s article has already been spoken on. If no new light is being shed on the matter, what are we doing ?????? I’ll tell you what: pandering and attempting to placate and play on the intelligence of the Black community.

Another red flag of this suspect reporting can be gleamed from the fact Beth took great pains to point out the earnings of ADOC attorneys who are making millions defending ADOC against allegations of abuse, torture, terror and murder. Yet, Beth fails to note or even issue a disclaimer pointing out the fact that her own employer, the ACLU, has also robbed taxpayers for over a million dollars in litigation against ADOC. Beth makes no mention of this – frankly, because this is where Beth earns her check.

Moreover, the ACLU is not the only non-profit “pain-pimping,” money-extorting group of non-profit attorneys robbing Alabama taxpayers for millions through bogus prison litigation. As FAM founder and spokesperson Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun pointed out in a 2016 video, Southern Poverty Law Center has cashed not one, but two, million-dollar checks in the past 3-plus years; but, as the DOJ Investigative report points out, with no results.

See video here: https://youtu.be/uGNCIVb72rA

Southern Poverty Law Center filed a 3-part class-action lawsuit against ADOC back in 2015. This lawsuit has been settled one claim at a time, with the third claim still pending. After each settlement phase, which SPLC collected appx. 1,000,000.00 USD at a time, SPLC has went so far as to allow the ADOC to be relieved of admitting to any wrongdoing.

SPLC allows the criminal enterprise ADOC to stipulate to no wrongdoing in exchange for millions of dollars in attorneys fees – $0.00 for the clients — while lives were lost.

Despite the release of liability by SPLC, Beth cites to the DOJ report in her lame “BLACKFACE” story, which clearly shows that the ADOC is guilty as sin. This is not unbiased reporting that we are receiving from Beth Shelburne.

Why didn’t Beth call out her employer and the other non-profit attorneys for their “pain-pimping” taxpayer-extorting million-dollar litigation tactics?

Southern Center for Human Rights collected 10’s of thousands in this litigation, but again, the settlement absolved ADOC of any wrongdoing

Let’s not forget that Equal Justice Initiative and Brian Stevenson did the exact same thing. EJI filed its class-action lawsuit against ADOC and St. Clair prison back in 2016. EJI settled for $ 600,000.00, the same amount Beth complains about for ADOC attorneys in her article. Brian Stevenson and EJI also allowed the ADOC to be absolved of all liability. And check this out: soon after Brian Stevenson and EJI entered into their $600,000.00 settlement, they began sending letters into the prisons stating that their settlement wasn’t being complied with, which means more litigation, more taxpayer fraud, more money for the pain pimps, but no results for the victims.

Notice how the EJI attorney uses the term “ADOC promised” instead of stating that the ADOC reached a $600,000.00 settlement to fix the deadly situation at St. Clair.

The only thing happening is millions of dollars in attorneys fees changing hands, while the people who are being injured, beaten, and murdered aren’t seeing one penny in compensation. And it is our attorneys who are making sure that we receive nothing in these settlements:

Southern Poverty, or more appropriate, Southern Pimps Law Center and all the others routinely enters into settlements where they  demand that their Black, poor and battered clients don’t receive one penny for state-violence, police brutality and police murder. Economic Racism

Meanwhile, the conditions inside of Alabama prisons continue to get worse. If you don’t believe that Beth Shelburne and her employer, ACLU and the rest of these non-profits are only about exploiting taxpayers for millions of dollars in attorneys fees, consider this:

Steven Smith was beaten to death at Donaldson Prison last year. Back in 2012 when the Southern Center for Human Rights settled their litigation with ADOC, many of the recommendations in that settlement mimic the recommendations you see in the DOJ report.

See: “Hicks v. Hetzel | Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse” https://www.clearinghouse.net/detail.php?id=11234

Click link to see full settlement

 

The reason why these issues are never resolved is because when the ACLU and other non-profit orgs. collect their fraudulent attorneys fees financial settlements where their poor clients receive nothing, they take the money and run. They don’t stick around to provide oversight to insure that the settlement terms are complied with. Also, the liability waivers that they routinely extend to the ADOC mean just that: the ADOC has done nothing wrong, so they have no real duty to fix anything. It’s all a money game.

Beth Shelburne, you can produce all the stories in Blackface that you like and think no one will notice what you are doing all you want. Just keep trying to deflect and play on the pain and suffering of hurt families. That age-old ante-bellum trick isn’t going to cut it with FAM. Not even blocking FAM from your account to try to silence our demand for an apology will help you.

Your anti-Black, racist, hurtful and disrespectful treatment  towards Ms. Evans, who had not even buried her child when you violated her in the most egregious and offensive way, won’t be soon forgotten. “Blackface” reporting ain’t fooling nobody no mo’. We are hip to every trick racism has.

  You, Rhonda Brownstein, Maria Morris, the law firm Zanzaur, Mujundar, & Debrosse, Southern Center for Human Rights, EJI, Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, and all the rest are naught but  pain-pimps cashing checks.

More Phase 2 settlement figures, all from 2017 alone:

$250.00.00 (SPLC)
$ 60,000.00 (SPLC)
$195.00 per hour monitoring fee, plus $200,000.00 more for filing motions. Southern Pimps Law Center has the game down pat.

$ 330,000.00, plus $ 18,000.00 per year
$230,000.00 more for the snakes.

Beth Shelburne, those from the Black community that you are entangled with like #AbolishRepEngland, and all others who refuse to denounce your disgusting, racist anti-Black and hateful acts and join this demand for an apology to our courageous Queen Ms. Gabrielle Evans, will be called out.

FAM demands social, racial, economic, political, and, among other things, fair justice. Not as a slogan but as a way of life.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

freealabamamovement@gmail.com

FAM Releases List of #12Demands ahead of Protest: Join the Call to Action Now!!!

PROTEST JUNE 23, 24 and 25 @ 8:30 am, at the Headquarters of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles

 

OUR LIST OF DEMANDS

DEMAND NO. 1. Mandatory Parole Criteria:

We DEMAND that the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, in conjunction with the ADOC, immediately develop an Educational, Rehabilitation and Re-Entry Curriculum for every person in ADOC who is parole-eligible. Upon completion of this curriculum and after serving the parole minimum date, this person should be automatically granted paroled.

DEMAND NO. 2 Parole End Date (PED)

The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles shall develop a Parole End Date (PED). Under current law, when an individual is granted parole, they must serve the remainder of their sentence on parole.

If that person has a life sentence or 99 years, for example, that person would remain on parole for the rest of their Life or for the balance of their un-served sentence.

No person should have to spend the rest of their life on parole. The reason why parole is granted is that the individual has demonstrated a fitness to re-enter society as a productive law-abiding citizen.

Once that person has demonstrated the ability to remain in society by being productive and law-abiding citizen over an extended period of time, there needs to be an ending period whereby this person can move on with their life free from the shackles of parole.

Under Alabama Law, 5 years is the maximum period of probation allowed. Parolees also need a Parole End Date of 5 years. 

We DEMAND that a 5-year maximum period of supervision be placed on parole and that any person who has already served at least 5 years on parole be released from parole supervision immediately.

DEMAND NO. 3. Removal of Charlie Graddick

Self-explanatory. The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles has become a dysfunctional institution under the Directorship of Charles Graddick and is exhibiting signs of institutional racism.

Emerging data compiled in a recent report by Southern Poverty Law Center shows that paroles are being granted/denied based on race and that Black people up for parole consideration are being disproportionately impacted. 

In May 2020, 160 people were considered for parole. Appx. 51 % were Black and 47% were white. Of these, only 15 made parole. 11 of the 15 were white, while 4 were Black.

“11 were white and four were Black.” Institutional Racism.


This is Institutional Racism being openly practiced by government officials.

We DEMAND that Gov. Ivey remove Charles Graddick immediately!!!

DEMAND NO. 4. 20-Year Show Cause Hearing for Parole Denial 

The ADOC receives over $600,000,000.00 tax dollars every year to run the Department of Corrections. According to ADOC, $22,000.00 is invested annually into each person in their custody.
This is more than the total cost of a four-year college degree from many colleges.

This level of funding is more than sufficient to produce results in areas of education, rehabilitation, re-entry preparedness and corrections or else ADOC is a corrupt Enterprise guilty of perpetuating fraud on taxpayers.

Therefore, We DEMAND that the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles implement Due Process hearings and Show Cause by Clear and Convincing evidence why any person who has already served 20 years or more in ADOC should not be granted parole immediately. 

DEMAND NO. 5. In-person/Video parole hearing

The current parole review process does not allow the person being considered for parole to be present at the hearing either in person or by audio/video means.

The potential parolee is given a pre-screening interview with a parolee investigator, who then forwards this information on to the parole board.

The potential parolee is not told what the parole board will consider when making the decision concerning his parole. Nor is the potential parolee afforded access to the files that the parole board will review when considering parole.

Furthermore, once the hearing starts, the potential parolee is limited to only three people being able to speak in his behalf, for 5 minutes each, while the State is afforded an unlimited number of speakers against parole, unlimited time to speak, and the Victims Advocacy Group is allowed to speak as “paid protestors.”

The hearing is unfair and heavily weighed against people who are doing all that we can to return home to our families. 

All prospective parolees must be allowed to speak before the board on this important decision concerning our lives and freedom (Please see A GUIDEBOOK TO PAROLE IN ALABAMA by the Southern Poverty Law Center for a comprehensive outline of the parole process in Alabama, in addition to other contact information and resources).  

We DEMAND that any future parole hearing be conducted in person or Livestream video.

DEMAND NO. 6. Due Process and Transparency: 

Currently, the parole board is not required to provide the reason why parole is denied. Also, the parole board is not required to provide any guidance for the potential parolee as to what needs to  done in the future to guarantee parole.

Under current parole guidelines, the parole board can deny parole and set off the next parole hearing date for up to 5 years, all without stating why the parole was denied in the first place, or what the person needs to do over the next 5 years in order to be parole eligible when the next hearing date arrives.

The current system does not offer any due process or fundamental fairness to the person that the hearing is all about in the first place.


We DEMAND that new parole guidelines be implemented immediately, requiring that a parole denial be accompanied by a specific reason for the denial and a specific criteria guaranteeing parole at the next parole review date.  

DEMAND NO. 7. Expanded representation on the Parole Board to include a Defense Attorney, Community Organization, and Civic/Religious Leader

The current Parole Bureau is made up almost exclusively of members with a background in law enforcement. This is not a fair representation of the communities who benefits from the Parole Bureau.

There are many stakeholders in the Parole Bureau who are not afforded representation on the Board. The Bureau needs to reflect the community as a whole.

Therefore, we DEMAND that the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles create a Community-based local Bureau of Pardons and Paroles immediately, to include defense attorneys, community organizations, and Civic/Religious Leaders. These individuals will review early termination of parole requests, pardon requests, parole revocation proceedings, and all other post-parole related matters.

DEMAND NO. 8. Waiver of all parole fees

People getting out of Alabama prisons are provided a $10.00 check and one set of clothes upon release. This is hardly adequate for a person to successfully re-enter society.

Parole fees are an added burden that forces the parolee to pay for their freedom at a time when they are just being released from prison, sometimes after decades of confinement, with no resources. 

Additionally, taxpayers already fund the parole system, so collecting parole fees is only a windfall to parole agencies. This practice of collecting parole fees from the poorest people in our society must end.

We DEMAND that the collection of parole fees be banned immediately.

DEMAND NO. 9.  Automatic restoration of voting rights

The history of disenfranchisement in Alabama is well documented. One need only read comments from John B. Knox at the Alabama Constitutional Convention of 1901 to see the racial intent behind disenfranchisement: 

“And what is it that we want to do? Why, it is, within the limits imposed by the Federal Constitution, to establish white supremacy in this State.” 

“But if we would have white supremacy, we must establish it by law—not by force or fraud.”

Source: Alabama’s 1901 Constitution: Instrument of Power – Litera Scripta | The University of Alabama “Speech of Hon. John B. Knox, President of the Late Constitutional Convention in Alabama, at Centreville, November 9, 1901.” | Alabama Bicentennial 



https://alabama200.org/educators/primary-sources/constitutions-and-citizenship/1901-constitution/detail/speech-of-hon.-john-b.-knox-president-of-the-late-constitutional-convention

The Bureau of Pardons should no longer be allowed to be used as an instrument of white supremacy and institutional racism. No person should lose their civil voting right for life due to a criminal conviction.

We DEMAND that the civil right to vote be restored to every resident of the State of Alabama and that the Alabama Board of Registars be ordered to cease and desist for ever denying the right to vote to any person of account of a criminal conviction that does not involve misuse of the right to vote or the voting process.
  
DEMAND NO. 10.  Release All Technical Violators

All persons currently being held in custody for a technical violation should be released immediately. “Technical violations” (T.V.’s) may be for something as minor as a failure to report.

Oftentimes, this comes about due to lack of transportation. They may also be a failed urine tests, failure to pay fees or court costs, etc.

Whatever the cause, a T.V. does not involve committing a new crime. The technical aspect of the violation should be dealt with on the local level, never resulting in a return to an overcrowded, understaffed, underfunded, dangerous and deadly Alabama prison.

In addition, hundreds, if not thousands of people have had their parole revoked and then returned to prison for being charged with a new criminal offenses. Many of these individuals remain even though the new criminal charge was ultimately dismissed or they were found not guilty of the new charge. These people had their parole revoked simply for being charged with a new crime.

While it is sensible to place a parole hold on a parolee pending disposition of the new offense, if the new charge is dismissed then parole must be automatically reinstated. 

We DEMAND that the ABPP immediately reinstate all parolees whose parole was revoked due to a new charge that has since been dismissed, or for a technical violation.

DEMAND NO. 11. Grant parole to every person serving time for a drug offense and all individuals with a victimless offense — not involving no more than de minimus physical injury — who have already served 10 years or more

The “war on drugs” has been a war on Black people. The damage has been done. It is now time to heal. Drug task forces and other drug-related law enforcement agencies must be de-funded and disbanded. These funds must be redirected towards retribution and investment into communities and families that have been decimated by the “war on Black, Brown” and other communities.

We DEMAND that any person who has already served 10 years or more for any drug offense or for a crime that did not cause physical injury be immediately granted parole.

DEMAND NO. 12. Defund and Abolish the Alabama Bureau of Parole Board

The current parole system in Alabama is not working and should be unacceptable to anyone following it closely. Bureau members in Montgomery never meet and actually talk to prospective parolees. Instead, Bureau members are making decisions impacting the lives of 1000’s of people, while sitting amongst themselves in Montgomery.

Bureau members are not using any known objective criteria or proven methods to guide their decisions or to understand them. This lack of process is ripe for abuse.

No prospective parolee is in attendance. No process guides the Bureau members’ decisions. The decisions of the Bureau are virtually unchallengeable.

At most, these decision-makers are reviewing files that were prepared at the Institutional level, where state employees have day-to-day interactions and evaluations with the prospective parolee.

These inside evaluators include social service employees, classification specialist, psychologist, and correctional officers. Oftentimes, these workers have the same or more education than the parole board members, plus, they have the added expertise that comes from hands-on experience from day-to-day interaction with incarcerated citizens. These are the people who are the most qualified to make parole suitability decisions.

Parole decisions need to move closer to the places where the individuals reside, and farther away from Montgomery where the process of evaluating and assessing re-entry readiness is none existent…
The current setup needs to be abolished. 

We DEMAND that the Office of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles and the Parole Board in Montgomery be defunded and abolished immediately.

CONCLUSION

These are the LIST OF DEMANDS for our Protest demonstrations on June 23, 24, and 25, @ 8:30 am, at the Headquarters of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.

Please call Governor Kay Ivey, Legislatures on the Prison Oversight Committee and your State and Local elected officials, and DEMAND that these changes be made Now. 



FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
Grassroots Leadership From The Inside


#CallTheABPP today and DEMAND change NOW!!!



  For more information about this Protest or to list your organization as a Sponsor or Supporter, please contact us:


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ADOC targets Black Newspaper For Reporting on Prisons 

The ADOC continues its efforts to muzzle the voices that are raising up behind prison walls. In their latest move, the ADOC has finally put into writing what it has been unwritten policy for the past 18 months: banning the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper from all ADOC prisons.

The pretextual reason for the ban, according to the ADOC, is that the newspaper is “racially motivated.” What the ADOC ignores is that its own existence is “racially motivated.” As many readers of the Bay View know, this newspaper extends its platform to the entire Black community, including those incarcerated in America’s prisons.

It was the Bay View Newspaper that started the coverage of FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, when no other news agency would, and their support never wavered. In addition, Bay View has continued to support ALL Movements being lead to end prison slavery in America, including in Alabama.

As a result of the current ban, a subscriber to the newspaper, Michael Williams, who is incarcerated at Holman prison, has went on a hunger strike in protest. The ADOC has banned many other publications over the past 3 years of any entity that covers the corruption and scandal that is the ADOC.

We encourage all of our supporters to make phone calls to the prison in support of Mr. Williams, and to demand that this unconstitutional ban be lifted. In addition, we encourage our supporters to contact legislatures in the House of Representatives and request that they investigate these attempts by the ADOC to stifle free speech and press, where ADOC officials are attempting to ban critique of their illicit practices from being exposed, while they seek over 350 million dollars in taxpayer funds to build new houses of horror and torture.

If ADOC wants to ban “racially motivated ” activity or ideology from spreading, perhaps they should start with the death penalty and habitual offender laws, which are used to disproportionately incarcerate Black people in the State.

Alabama Department of Corrections to be investigated for civil rights violations, by the Department of Justice


Above you see pictures taken by incarcerated men throughout multiple prisons in Alabama.These pictures depict only a few of the many inhumane conditions including but not limited to improper ventilation, smoke infested state buildings, improper plumbing, accessibility to homemade and real weapons, lack of security and in sanitary kitchens.

 These are only a few pictures that have been accumulated over the years. But most shockingly above you will see an inmate in a lockup cell at at Ventress Correctional Facility, that is hanging from a makeshift rope. Notably there is no correctional officer any where around and inmates were able to photograph this horrific scene.Thus giving credence to the claims of “no security”inside the prisons in Alabama. 

 The other alarming sight is the accessibility to obtain dangerous weapons. In a picture above you see knives that are in the possession of an inmate that bought them to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.

You also see urinals that are overflowing with urin on an everyday basis, as well as unsanitary kitchen’s. These are contributing reasons to a high rate if disease within Alabama’s prison system.

You also can see evidence of improper exhaust systems, as well as the illegal act of smoking by inmates and officers…if you look closely in the picture of the officer sitting on the stairwell you’ll see a cigarette in his hand.

Four years civil complaints have been filed with these affirmative allegations and the Alabama Department of Corrections deny that these things occur. 

Now that the Department of Justice is intervening will they themselves ignore the overwhelming evidence? 

                               Unheard voices.

URGENT UPDATE FROM HOLMAN

October 7, 2016

  Holman prison back on lockdown after another violent incident. Reports state that officers refused to enter the dorm and try to stop the stabbings, and then officers refused to open the door to allows the injured to escape.

   FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT urges all to contact Governor Bentley and the Commissioner’s Officer and demand that the media bad public representatives from Mother’s and F.A.M.ilies be allowed immediate entry into this prison along with DOJ investigators. 

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT RESPONDS TO DOJ INVESTIGATION 

​FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT (F.A.M.) RESPONDS  TO NEW D.O.J. INVESTIGATION: CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY 
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact info:
Mother’s and F.A.M.ilies 

P.O. BOX 186

New Market, Al 35761
freealabamamovement@gmail.com

  FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT (F.A.M.) is pleased with the news that the U.S. Department of Justice (D.O.J.) will be conducting a statewide investigation into the issues of abuse, violence and safe, secure and sanitary conditions in Alabama’s men’s prisons, even though we believe that the women’s prison should also be revisited. We would like to emphasize that we are looking for an open, transparent and inclusive investigation that will keep the public updated, informed and INVOLVED throughout this process. Alabama prisons are unique in that they are the most overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed prisons in America. Therefore, any solutions to the existing problems will need to be unique and require “outside-of-the-box” thinking as well.

We would also like to see accountability result from this investigation. In 2014, the U.S. D.O.J. released a report on its year long investigation at Tutwiler. In this report, D.O.J. investigators found that the civil rights of these women had been violated for over a 20-year period, and that at least one-third of all of the correctional staff at Tutwiler had engaged in some form of sexual misconduct with the women incarcerated there. Yet, despite these conclusive findings, which included child births and unauthorized abortions by complicit medical staff, not a single person was prosecuted for the violation of a single federal crime. 
Some of the questions we have to ask are, what is the purpose of this investigation? Are there federal criminal or civil statutes available where A.D.O.C. officials can be prosecuted and required to pay damages as a result of this investigation if they are found guilty of wrongdoing? Will the D.O.J. prosecute any findings of corruption? Will federal charges be brought against officers who are found to be using excessive force? In instances of death, will negligent D.O.C. officials be prosecuted?
 Other questions that have to be asked are, in the ultimate finding of unsanitary and unsafe conditions, what are the proposed solutions? Will the D.O.J. seek to alleviate overcrowding through release programs or more prisons? Will the people incarcerated have a voice and seat at the table towards fashioning solutions (as was done in California in the Askher settlement)? Will family members be allowed to be part of the investigation? Will there be briefing sessions for the public? Will there be on-site inspections where family members, interested organizations and the media will be allowed to attend? Will the investigation into sanitation include water testing, since officers at most prisons are warned to not drink it under any circumstance? 

When speaking of transparency, will the D.O.J. move for policy changes that will afford the media open access to Alabama prisons? Finally, will public organizations be factored into the role of oversight and implementation of solutions, such as educational and rehab programs?  
We cannot just go into an investigation without some clear understanding of what a solution will look like. We have learned from Tutwiler and all of the frivolous lawsuits filed by Southern Poverty Law Center and Southern Center For Human Rights, that oversight is just as important as the settlement itself, and oversight can not be left to the A.D.O.C. under any circumstance.

  Governor Bentley has stated that he welcomes the investigation and looks forward to working with the D.O.J. Well, why should the federal government have to come in and investigate matters that fall within his responsibility? If Governor Bentley does not have a Commissioner’s Office that is capable of assessing the rising violence, murders, drugs overdoses, etc. and understands that those issues need investigating and solving, then what is the purpose of having investigators on taxpayer payrolls?  
Governor Bentley is looking for a political bailout; he ignored dead bodies and waited for federal intervention so that he can maintain his “tough on crime” stance, while “blaming” the federal government for the needed and costly changes to Alabama’s prison system. But now that the ‘feds’ are here, F.A.M. and the family members of those incarcerated have an opportunity to seek real changes if, indeed, that is what the D.O.J. is here for. 

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
Freealabamamovement@ Gmail.com

Is The corruption in the Alabama Department of Corrections on the verge of being exposed?

(Governor Robert Bentley)

 This morning after breaking news from the Department of Justice in Washington that there will be an investigation in relations to the civil rights violations of thousands of incarcerated men and women, Robert Bentley, commissioner Jeffery Dunn, Grantt Gulliver, and so many more involved sweat bullets.

 During yesterday’s breaking news inmates across the state in facility dorms, and t.v.day rooms you could hear a pen drop. At the conclusion of the news you heard sighs of relief, sniffles and a few sobs, but big smiles grew as a sign of victory in a battle fought. 

 Convicts and officers across the state are now starting to see hope and anticipating the soon to come investigation and expecting results and positive change for the first time in the history of Alabama.

Today two of the most listened to voices sit in solitary confinement for starting this movement in Alabama.A movement that has grown and spread throughout this nation. These men were placed in solitary for exercising there 1st amendment rights of freedom of speech, and now are huge threats to the Alabama Department of Corrections in exposing the injustices. 

  The convicts and many correctional officers of Alabama are now calling upon the leaders of Alabama to release these political prisoners from solitary confinement at Holman prison and Donaldson prison.(Melvin Ray, and Robert Earl Council).

 This morning the prison activist groups Free Alabama Movement and UNHEARD VOICES chant we won’t be silenced, we will be heard!

 

ADOC has effectively ran their workforce off – September 30th, 2016

Only 7 cars in the HOLMAN parking lot, only 3 officers for Death Row and Segregation, Officer just confirmed that it’s over, as all CO’s are quitting this coming week ~”We’re tired of them playing games with y’all and our lives. It doesn’t make any sense. You be safe Lil Brother.”

Well they told me they had something planned,  now I see what it is.

The Administration has effectively ran their workforce off. Smh

#WeStandWithOurWomen, #WhereAreTheChildren

The Women at Tutwiler Women’s Prison have reached out to Mother’s and F.A.M.ilies and F.A.M. and are requesting assistance. In resoonsr, we are planning to conduct more demonstrations at Tutwiler prison as part of the FREEDOM TOUR 2016.

Additionally, we are asking that organizers and supporters around the country locate a women’s prison, jail, or detention facility in your city or state and conduct protests there also on the same day.


While the overwhelming majority of people who are incarcerates in this country are men, the women in prison are being subjected to the same abuses and more by sexual predator guards.


In Alabama at Tutwiler, we saw where the women were being raped and abused by officers like Carter Davenport when he was a captain at Tutwiler, who was then promoted to Warden and went on to cause more hell in ADOC. Before being forced to resign, Davenport was promoted repeatedly and protected by Asst. Commissioner Grantt Culliver, who has also been involved in sexual misconduct while on the tax-payers payroll.

BEWARE: Sexual predators and enablers on the loose in Alabama. 

When the women are being raped and  Commissioner Culliver is off rendezvousing with his tax-payer paid secretary/mistress, then we cannot expect our women to be protected if they are left standing alone. Therefore, we are calling on organizers nationwide to help us increase the exposure being given to the plight and struggle of our #WomenBehindTheWall.

 Was Asst. Commissioner Grantt Culliver out having sex with the secretary while Monica was being raped ?

Monica Washington is just one of the many women who have been raped and impregnated by a correctional officer. When the US Dept. Justice completed their report and found widespread sexual abuse at Tutwiler, they never once stated how many children were born, how many women told them that they were forced to have abortions, or who all amongst the medical staff were complicit in covering up these crimes. It’s time for the ADOC to tell us where those babies are and how many there are.

When “The People’s Platform ” hosted the Scott Sisters from Mississippi, they told us of how they knew of women who had given birth to four and five children. This is a national issue, supported by medical professionals who work at prisons, and the children are unaccounted for and have no parents at home. Where do the children go when the mother has no family while the father has a family at home that doesn’t know about his criminal sexual behavior at work?


Its time to Stand up and demand that the children be accounted for and provided for too, and that all responsible be held accountable.

Contact:
Mother’s and F.A.M.ilies
P.O. Box 186
New Market, AL 35761
Tel. 256.203.4371

freealabamamovement@gmail.com

#WeSTandWithOurWomen

#WhereAreTheChildren

PRESS RELEASE: Inhumane Conditions in Alabama Prisons Leads to Strikes by Incarcerated Men and Now Guards

URGENT EMERGENCY ALERT: As Incarcerated Men Strike for Rights, Guards Follow: Officers Stage Historic Work Strike at Holman Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT PRESS RELEASE CONCERNING HOLMAN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

CONTACT INFORMATION: 

Mothers and F.A.M.ilies
P.O. BOX 186
New Market, AL 35761
Tel. 256.203.4371

F.A.M. Leads Work Strikes in Alabama Prisons, Now Officers Stage Historic Work Strike at Holman Prison

Contact: freealabamamovement@gmail.com

Holman CF, Atmore, Al. September 24, 2016.

Last night at Holman prison an emergency situation developed as ALL of the officers assigned to the second shift waged a historic work strike for the first time in the history of the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Assistant Commissioner Grantt Culliver was dispatched to the prison, where he then had to order supervisors from another prison, Atmore CF, to report to Holman prison just to be able to serve meals. The officers at Holman, who have been defying ADOC policy and speaking publicly to the media, had communicated their plans to F.A.M. members, and expressed their support for non-violent and peaceful demonstrations against the human rights conditions existent at Holman.

Officers have also complained about overcrowding and the need for a mass release, more education and rehabilitation programs, as well as issues with disease and filth. Officers reserved their harshest criticism towards the Commissioner’s officer and what they perceive as a lack leadership from Commissioner Dunno and Culliver.

First hand audio account available here.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

______________________________

PRESS RELEASE: Emergency Alert: F.A.M. Press Release for Holman Prison

EMERGENCY ALERT: F.A.M. PRESS RELEASE FOR HOLMAN PRISON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SERIOUS HUMANITARIAN CRISIS AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS DEVELOPING AT HOLMAN PRISON

Contact Information:
National Representative
Pas. Kenneth S. Glasgow
The Ordinary People’s Society
334.791.2433
or
Freealabamamovement@gmail.com

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

Atmore, Alabama. September 16, 2016

A serious humanitarian crisis is developing at Holman prison as correctional officers continue to walk off of the job amid concerns about safety and apathy from Warden Terry Raybon and the office of ADOC Commissioner Jefferson S Dunn, as violence, including deadly stabbings and assaults continue to mount.

Several officers expressed dismay and fear after learning that two of their fellow officers, Officer Brian Ezell and another officer, reported to Warden Raybon that they had knives drawn on them and their lives threatened, and that neither Warden Raybon, nor Commissioners Jeff Dunn and Grantt Culliver would take any action to ensure their safety. Both of these officers then quit.

Several other officers have also quit in the past three weeks after witnessing a stabbing of a fellow officer in the temple and who had remained hospitalized with life threatening injuries until he was pronounced dead earlier today. This after a former warden, Carter Davenport, was stabbed in March amidst back to back riots and other violence at Holman.

Now, after seeing Warden Raybon release approximately 20 people from segregation on September 13, 2016, most of whom were all in segregation for violent incidents (only to see several stabbing take place, including one critically injured and another losing an eye), a total of eight more officers have either quit or turned in their two week notices. Officers are expressing concern that the Commissioners of the ADOC are intentionally exacerbating violence at the expense of human life in efforts to push forward their plan to extort the public for 1.5 billion to build new prisons in next years Legislative Session.

Officers have began to express support for the Non-Violent stance of FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT and their efforts to expose corruption, violence and other issues plaguing Holman and other Alabama prisons, and have went so far as to make repeated requests to Warden Raybon for the release of F.A.M. co-founder and organizer Kinetik Justice from solitary confinement, because officers now feel that he is being wrongfully detained and because he has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to conduct peaceful demonstrations at Holman prison to bring attention to issues within the ADOC and Holman prison.

We are asking that everyone call Commissioner Dunn and Warden Raybon and demand that they post daily reports of the staffing levels and incidents of violence taking place at Holman as a matter of public safety.

We are further requesting assistance in finding a Human Rights attorney and human rights observers to report to Holman immediately, as the level of violence is skyrocketing, and the men at Holman are left in a virtual war zone to fend for themselves, while officers continue to walk off the job in what is already the most understaffed prison in America. Officers are so afraid to enter the dorms that routine security functions like conducting count are being done by the incarcerated men themselves, and video footage attesting to this fact are widely available online and across social media.

Family members of those incarcerated at Holman are requested to call Commissioner Dunn and Culliver continuously, and demand that their loved ones be immediately removed from Holman, as there are insufficient officers to secure the prison.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

Warden Terry Raybon
Holman Correctional Facility
251-368-8173
Commissioner Jefferson Dunn
Commissioner Grantt Culliver
334-353-3883 (switchboard operator)

 

When will the Alabama Media start questioning the Narrative before Publishing a Story?

First of all, I want to correct this article and say that we were only on lockdown for a couple of hours. Security is still just as lax as the afternoon it occurred.

His name in here was Manny.  He and the other inmate had gotten into an altercation earlier that morning. The prison knew about this altercation and got the two inmates to sign a living agreement stating that they would not harm one or the other again.

The prison then placed both inmates back into the same dorm that they were living in before this occurred. So what do you expect?
The guy murdered Manny in his sleep. Because he could.

Because the Department of Corruption let him by placing both of these guys back in the same dorm after they had already fought. Manny’s blood is on their hands. And so is anyone who refuses to do nothing about the overcrowding our prison system faces.

Corruption and Misuse of Government Funds

This picture depicts the kitchen at Draper Correctional Facility in Alabama. What you see is pure filth and about 20 health code violations from mops in the cooking area, chemicals next to cooking pots, broken tile, and a cooking pot placed on a nasty floor to be filled with water to prepare food…

Photo of the kitchen of Draper CF

Kitchen at Draper CF, Alabama (ADOC) dirty and unprofessional conditions


Alabama prison carrying our racist psychological experimental program at Donaldson prison predominately against African American men

The experiment with the “behavior modification” dorm at Donaldson CF in Alabama continues. Hearkening back to the Tuskegee Experiment and other forms of medical torture that have taken place in Alabama against predominately African Americans, the Alabama prison system is again violating basic civil and human rights in the name of corrections by conducting a “behavior modification” experimental program and using over 80% African American men, including many who don’t have any behavior problems.

Over the past two weeks, the Alabama Department of Corrections has been going to other lower level prisons around the State and snatching up African American men and transferring them to Donaldson CF and placing them into a new experimental program called the “behavior modification” program. The first problem is, most — if not all — of these African American men came from general population at other prisons with no behavior records warranting their transfer.

Once in this program, all of their rights and privileges are curtailed. Among the most egregious violations has been the denial of showers for six consecutive days and counting, no personal or legal property, denial of all mail, books, and reading material, no visitation with family, and no paperwork or written explanation explaining why they are being placed into a “behavior modification” program; all while housed two to a cell.

Many of these men have such exemplary records that they qualified for an incentive package at their former prison, only to arrive at Donaldson to have their packages taken from them. In order to qualify for an incentive package, one must have 6 months disciplinary free records for non-violent rules violations and 1 year disciplinary free for violent disciplinary. Some of these men have multiple years of disciplinary free records, while others have never have any prior violent records.

They are forced to eat, sleep, defecate, and urinate with another person in the cell at all times. These cells don’t have a table to eat on, and if one or the other cellmates is defecating when a meal is being served, both of their trays are passed into the cell anyway. And, because they are being denied recreation time, they are locked down 24 hours every day in a two-man cell. Also of note is that the ADOC elected to start this experimental program in the heat of the Summer.

Again, the majority of these men, came from the general population at other prisons. Most of them have disciplinary free files, yet they are being placed into a behavior modification program. Some of them have level 4 custody for a medium security prison, yet they were transferred to a level 6 maximum security prison, which is the highest level prison in Alabama, and placed on total lockdown.

In fact, these men were placed into this experimental program before a S.O.P. manual was complete on how this program would be ran or what the criteria would be to place someone in this program.

If the majority of these African American men don’t have any disciplinary records to justify their placement into this program, and all of them came from general population at other lower level prisons and have lower custody classification status, why are they being placed into this experimental  “behavior modification” program? The answer seems quite simple: because this racist experimental programs was designed to be tested on and carried out disproportionately against African American men.

This is the same model that was used in the Georgia prison system.

The Georgia Department of Corrections hired a retired military officer to run their prison system, and he began a “behavior modification ” program that employs these same enhanced torture tactics that were first tested and used by the US military in Abu Gharib prison in Iraq. Alabama has now followed suit by hiring a retired military officer to run the Alabama Department of Corrections, and the new Commissioner is now implementing the exact same “behavior modification” program in Alabama. Georgia tested their program on mostly African American men also.

Please help us bring awareness to this racist and illegal experimental program at Donaldson CF and protest against its continuous by doing the following:

1) Join our media campaign to help expose this program and the fact that African Amwrican men in Alabama prisons are being targeted and placed into an experimental psychological torture “behavior program” even though the vast majority of them don’t have any behavior citations.

2) Contact Commissioner Jeff Dunn, Sen. Cam Ward, Governor Robert Bentley and the Civil Rights Division of the US Dept of Justice, and file a complaint and demand to know why this experimental program is being carried out exclusively against African American men.

3) Join FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT,  MOTHERS AND FAMILIES,  THE ORDINARY PEOPLE SOCIETY, and IWOC as we plan to organize protests at Donaldson CF against this racist and illegal experimental program.

4) Contact the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and file a complaint against any medical/psychology professional for engaging in experimental psychological practices and mental torture against African American men incarcerated at Donaldson prison.

Free Alabama Movement talks on Democracy Now about the deplorable state of Alabama’s overcrowded prisons

Photo from Democracy Now show of May 13 2016

Still from Democracy Now show of May 13 2016

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdemocracynow%2Fvideos%2Fvb.17414523278%2F10154142103348279%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=1&width=560

http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/5/13/alabama_prison_strike_organizer_speaks_from

http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2016/5/13/alabama_prison_strike_organizer_speaks_from

Kinetik Justice, a prison strike organizer and co-founder of the Free Alabama Movement, spoke with Democracy Now! from solitary confinement at Holman Correctional Facility: “These strikes are our methods of challenging mass incarceration, as we understand the prison system is a continuation of the slave system.”

This interview was conducted on DemocracyNow on May 13th, 2016. You can also listen to, see, read the interview with Kinetic Justice via this link.

ANOTHER DAY OF VIOLENCE AT HOLMAN

image

On April 27, 2016 the realities of Overcrowding continues to translate into violence. As yet again, 2 Officers were assaulted in the Segregation Unit in 2 separate incidents.
Due to such a shortage of Staff and surplus of prisoners, Officers result to being over aggressive in order to emphasize their control, which in turn causes an influx of violent altercations between the two.

Since the Riots of March 11th & 14th, where an Officer and the Warden were assaulted, a Lt and 3 CO’s have been assaulted in the Segregation Unit alone as prisoners fight back against the repressive treatment.

How long will the ADOC allow this Overcrowding and associated violence continue before they realize that the money is not worth the cost of keeping so many people incarcerated in its dilapidated system?

Once again, the ADOC CERT TEAM is expected to arrive at Holman Correctional Facility to reassert control and instill fear as a means of addressing the deteriorating conditions.
After 4 attempts in the past 45 days, seems like it would be clear that this is not the most effective method.

As until Overcrowding is properly addressed the violence will persist.

MAY DAY. MAY DAY !!! TIME TO SHUTDOWN

image

“As incarceration rates increase, parole has become a critical mechanism for controlling Alabama’s bulging prison population. In the early 1990s, a significant portion of Alabama’s prisoners were paroled, but in the past two decades parole grants plummeted even as prison overcrowding reached crisis proportions.The Attorney General’s Office opposes nearly all parole grants and has even pressured Parole Board members into rescinding parole determinations.” – EJI

This is why we must DEMAND that Alabama overhaul its Parole Process by creating a criteria for those incarcerated and once that criteria is met Parole is MANDATORY rather than based on the feelings of a Board that doesn’t even know the people being considered.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

CHANGE LAWS AND POLICIES – NOT BUILD BIGGER PRISONS

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT AVERS…

The ADOC’s practice of Housing men and women in a system that is over 190% its designed capacity is a willful disregard for the health, safety and security of over 25,000 Incarcerated Citizens. This practice is a violation of Humane and Constitutional standards. —– To properly reduce Overcrowding down to Constitutional standards would afford thousands of Fathers, Mothers, Sons and Daughters an opportunity to rebuild their lives. And for those still in the prison system, it would reduce the congestion inside the dormitories, reduce the level of violence and spread of diseases. Overall it would contribute to a more sanitary and humane living environment.

The ADOC’s Economical policies and practices of compelling Incarcerated Citizens to provide labor with no compensation, while imposing various fines and fees upon them, is hyper-exploitative, unjust and amounts to prison slavery.—–It is discriminatory and exploitative to force Incarcerated people to work while prohibiting them from being compensated; yet imposing arbitrary fines and fees upon them. To work is an essential part of rehabilitation and learning to be responsible for self, as from the compensation one is able to provide for their needs. Therefore, ADOC’s Economical policy of Free Labor is counter productive to rehabilitation and is exploitative and demeaning.

The ADOC’s policy and practice of not affording those Incarcerated with meaningful Educational and Rehabilitation opportunities falls below the standards of human decency, as it perpetuates ignorance and exploitation. It has been empirically proven that the lack of Education is a primary driver for incarceration, therefore, Rehabilitation has to include a meaningful opportunity for Education programs.

Unconstitutional conditions at Staton Corr. Facility

Something has got to be done. This place is a war zone. We have been under quarantine for months for a TB outbreak and being no one can come or go it has been crazy.

The children that they have here are daily robbing and fighting, and because there is no segregation unit here the administration are being forced to use makeshift areas to house the trouble makers: the barber shop the law library class rooms etc.

Yesterday there was a fight and they put the two inmates back in the same dorm which led to more problems. Then there’s the heat: it’s so hot in these small overcrowded dorms with only two showers for 68 inmates. There are no screens in the windows, so not only do we have to deal with the heat but the flies and other insects as well.

The kitchen is the worst I’ve seen: no ventilation when we go in to eat. It’s so hot it makes you sick to try to eat and then there’s the flies and nats and dirty tables something has got to be done.

The Warden here should have been fired years ago he don’t care. You have officers here that are just as dangerous but I’m glad they are because if they wasn’t this place would have long ago exploded with uncontrollable violence.

I have been gone for almost 29 years and with what I see here it scares me to know that in society you all are having to deal with these mentalities of youths with guns. I saw my classification specialist today and I had already been told that she don’t do nothing. Well because I am a voice that’s not afraid to speak out I was told that I wouldn’t be put back in for my custody and transfer I Until October, yet others are told 90 days for me it’s 6 months.

I was suppose to go to court on August 3 on the actions of Childetsburg CC but due to the quarantine being extended that will be postponed. I was just informed that they have an inmate housed in the backwater shake down area somebody needs to do something!

DASTORY TELLER7

Note: Staton CF is at 2690 Marion Spillway Road, Elmore , AL 36025

Same Ol’ Song: Alabama Prisons Refuse to Change

“It’s Time for a New Beginning.” proclaims a campaign billboard for Alabama’s new governor-elect, Fob James. With Wallace gone and anyone new coming in, many Alabamans have responded to that slogan with a new sense of hope for their state.

Yet only 15 minutes from that billboard, a few miles from the 1-65 interstate in southern Alabama, stands a grim reminder that the old Alabama is institutionalized in too many concrete forms to be transformed with one campaign slogan.

Stretching for hundreds of acres in Escambia County is a vast plantation owned by the state. There are no stately mansions with white columns and verandas. There are, however, slave laborers. But the slave gangs, while mostly Black, are integrated. In the foggy dawn light they doubletime out to vegetable and cane fields, where they labor from “can-see to can’t-see” under the watchful eyes of shotgun-toting guards on horseback. If a slave should run, haying hounds will chase him down, and whether he returns dead or alive depends on the whim of his captor.

Some historians claim that Escambia County, Alabama, was the last county in the Confederacy to free its slaves. But it is now 1979, and “slave labor” administered by the state Department of Corrections is still the dominant form of labor relations in Escambia County, Alabama.

The name of the “slave quarters” was changed to G.K Fountain Correctional Center when the citizens of nearby Atmore demanded in 1974 that the name be changed to disassociate their town from the notorious Atmore prison. It was Atmore prison that Heywood Patterson in his autobiographical Scottsboro Boydescribed as “The Southernmost part of Hell.” Many say it still is, despite the name change.

Across the highway is the newer, but no more humane, maximum security Holman state prison. Deep in the rear corner of Holman prison is a chair. It was brought there from the old Kilby prison near Montgomery. With a new coat of yellow paint, it resembles that new plastic furniture with the modern square look. But it’s different – it kills people. Its last victim was a woman in 1965.

In the cells adjacent to that chair are 42 prisoners, all on death row, all scheduled to die by that faceless yellow executioner.

How one of Alabama’s death row inmates got there is a story which, in itself, raises serious questions about the competence of the Alabama judicial system to impose such

Johnny ‘Imani’ Harris

The facts in the case of Johnny ‘Imani’ Harris are unique in some respects. But in several others his case reveals fundamental flaws in the judicial and corrections systems of Alabama; flaws that any serious “new beginning” in Alabama must correct as its first order of business.

Johnny ‘Imani’ Harris is a 33-year-old Black man who is on Alabama’s death row after a chain of judicial atrocities. He was convicted in February 1975 of first degree murder for participating in a protest in which an Atmore prison guard died. The guard was killed during the violent suppression of the prisoners’ protest in Atmore’s segregation unit on January 18, 1974.

The state did not prove that the inmate, Johnny Harris, killed Luell Barrow, the guard who died. At a July 1975 pre-trial hearing. Assistant Attorney General George Van Tassel stated, “It is not our position that this defendant (Johnny Harris) was actually holding the knife or anything else. We don’t contend that this defendant stabbed the guard.”

It was merely for his alleged participation in protesting conditions later described by Federal Judge Frank M. Johnson as “barbaric, cruel and unusual” and “unconstitutional” that Johnny Harris was sentenced to death.

William Baxley, then Attorney General of Alabama, personally prosecuted Johnny Harris. Apparently aware that he had not proved Harris’ supposed connection to the. death of the guard, Baxley told thejury, “If you don’t want to believe that this defendant is guilty on circumstantial

Page 11

evidence, then put it out of your mind and look at the la on aiding and abetting. If you are convinced that any of these people (other prisoners) committed first-degree murder,” Baxley reasoned for the jury, “then Harris is guilty as well.”

The all-White, male Baldwin county jury from which Basley had systematically struck the few Blacks and women in the prospective jury pool, returned a verdict of first-degree murder.

Baxley’s dramatic prosecution of Harris may have been a bid for white “law ‘n’ order” votes in the anticipated governor’s race. But his reenactment of the death sentence brought a memory of horror to many Black Alabamans. To them the death sentence translates into legal lynching as in the case of the “Scottsboro Boys” and many others who were not saved. A definite pattern of racial discrimination in applying the death sentence was documented by Bill Bowers, a nationally recognized expert on capital punishment, at a recent appeal hearing for Johnny Harris. He testified that between 1927 and 1965, 82 percent of all executions in Alabama were of Black people. Bowers also testified that the death sentence is far more likely to be imposed if the victim is White and the defendant Black than if the situation is reversed. In fact there is no White on death row in Alabama for the murder of a Black victim.

Yet, Baxley appealed to Harris’ White jury that, “If we can apply it (the death sentence) here, it will be a start toward bringing it back.” A local NAACP official said, “After seeing Baxley send this young man to the chair I don’t see how Black people could ever vote for him again.”

Baxley dug up an 1862 law used only seven times in Alabama’s history to use against Johnny Harris. The civil war era law mandates an automatic death sentence for anyone convicted of first degree murder while serving a life sentence.

The law assumes that the life sentence itself was received fairly, with all the constitutional protections of due process and effective assistance of counsel. In many cases, particularly those involving Black and poor defendants, that may not be a safe assumption, as we shall see in the case of Johnny Harris.

Railroaded For Desegregation?

In 1970, Johnny Harris moved with his family into an all-White neighborhood in Birmingham. They were met with garbage on their doorsteps, paint and acid on their car, and Ku Klux Klan literature slipped under their doors. The Klan activity in the neighborhood was so strong that members of the Black community on the other side of Border Street, which divides the Black and White areas, were forced to form a protective association.

The Harris family refused to he intimidated. But according to an investigator for the Harris defense team, “This is where the police came in.”

Page 12

There were five Birmingham police officers living on the same street as the Harris family. Gary Thomas Rowe, a former FBI informant, testified to a Senate Committee in 1975 that the Birmingham police department worked closely with the Klan in resisting integration. The arrest of Johnny Harris could well have been a result of that close cooperation.

One of the senior arresting officers in the case was Lt. Cook, who, according to Rowe’s Senate testimony, made the arrangements with the Klan for the police to look the other way for 15 minutes while Freedom Riders were beaten severely on May 14, 1961, in the Birmingham Trailways Terminal.

On August 19, 1970, Johnny Harris was arrested on his way to work. According to Harris, his picture was taken, he was forced into a line-up (after his accuser may have been shown his photo), and then he was told that if he didn’t confess to a robbery and a rape charge more cases would be put on him.

The alleged rape victim was a young White teenager with relatives on the police force. Harris was eventually charged with four robberies – of $11, $67, $90, and $205 – and the supposed rape.

Harris gave one of his court-appointed lawyers a list of alibi witnesses who were with him in bars on the other side of town when the crimes were supposed to have occurred. But the witnesses, including bartenders who supported his alibi, were never subpoenaed to appear in court.

The attorney appointed to represent Harris on the rape charge, Louis School, according to jail records, never once visited Harris before his trial date. And he didn’t bother to investigate the alleged rape victim’s medical report.

According to their own testimony in a hearing last April that challenged the five life sentences, Harris’ appointed lawyers waived a preliminary hearing, made no motion I’m hail, failed to question the line-up procedure, neither interviewed the supposed rape victim nor looked at a medical report on the alleged rape, never questioned Harris’ illegal arrest or the warrantless search of his house, made no pretrial motions, and filed no challenge to a jury pool in ss hich Blacks were greatly underrepresented. At the recent hearing, one attorney, School, produced his file folder on the Harris case, with only seven pages of notes in it. In other words, his attorneys prepared no defense at all. And in 1970, Harris could have received the death sentence for a conviction on any of the five charges.

Testifying on his own behalf on those charges for the first time in eight years, Harris explained at the recent

representation, particularly in capital felony cases.

The decision of the lower court was upheld by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and is now on appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.

In Prison – A Struggle For Survival

The rest of Johnny Harris’ story is bound up with the desperate lives of thousands of Alabama’s prison inmates.

Faced with inhuman conditions, Alabama’s prisoners took that action which Frederick Douglas said separated the slave from a beast of burden – they rebelled.

In 1972, the prisoners, tired of ignored petitions to the public and the courts, staged a 100 percent effective workstoppage. While sugar cane rotted in the fields, the administration tried to defeat the strike with every tool at their disposal.

They threatened mass punishment with guns pointed at the prisoners sitting down in the yard. The prisoners held firm. They tried to divide the White prisoners from the Black – the prisoners remained unified. Finally, they beat, transferred and isolated over 300 prisoners, hoping to disperse the “ringleaders.”

The partially successful strike ended from a combination of repression and promised reforms. But the administration swore to destroy the prisoners’ organization, the Inmates for Action (I FA). All of the officers of the I FA were placed in Atmore’s segregation unit.

Johnny Harris, like many other prisoners, protested the conditions. In 1973 he was charged with attempted escape and placed in the segregation unit. Here he took the name Imani, which means Faith.

Even in the dark recesses of Atmore’s segregation unit, the IFA continued to conduct meetings by shouting down the hall from cell to cell. They conducted daily classes in reading and writing, political education, history, and legal and physical survival in a “lecture hail” of cells where, as Imani later write, their classmates were “familiar to them only by voice, not by sight.”

On January 18, 1974, guards entered the segregation unit with bloody uniforms, after beating an IFA member at Holman Prison across the street. According to prisoners, they said, “We ought to kill these revolutionary niggers, the way we killed Clanzy,” as they started to reach for bats and ax-handles.

Fearing that an attack was imminent, two prisoners who were out of their cells grabbed two guards hostage and freed the other prisoners from their cells within the segregation unit.

When the warden arrived he was informed by IFA Chairman George “Chagina” Dobbins that the prisoners’ sole demand was to see certain named members of the press, clergy, legislature, and prison administration in order to expose the beatings and conditions to the public.

The warden, Marion Harding, according to prisoner witnesses, told Chagina, “You’re a walking dead man.” Harding, a few minutes later, led a shooting attack by prison guards on the prisoners. The warden ordered one of the guards to shoot Chagina Dobbins. Dobbins was incapacitated by the ensuing shotgun blast of birdshot in the side.

Harold E. Martin, editor and publisher of The Advertiser Montgomeryand Alabama Journal, investigated the incident immediately. On February 15. 1974. he wrote in The Advertiser:

The Board of Corrections released a statement from a “fact-finding board” that Dobbins was killed by gunshot during the riot.

But State Toxicologist Nelson Gruhhs. who viewed Dobbins’ body at Mobile General Hospital, said that Dobbins died from nine stab sounds in his head caused by a heavy.sharp instrument wielded with enough force to penetrate the frontal bone in to places.

Who stabbed Dohbins and when is a mystery!

That “mystery” never resulted in any criminal indictments b the state of Alabama. even though Dobbins was apparently murdered after being shot and while in the custody of state officials.

One of the prisoners charged with the killing of the guard-hostage was Frank X. Moore. Moore was released from prison shortly after the incident, but was re-arrested at the gate on the murder charge and held on an impossible S250,000 bail in Escambia County Jail. While awaiting trial. Frank X. Moore, an IFA member, was “found” hanging in his cell. Sheriff Scotty Byrnes said it was “suicide.” But autopsy photos indicate a struggle.

Two months after the incident in Atmore, another IFA member at Holman Prison was beaten to death. Tommy “Yukeena” Dotson had smuggled out to a visitor a “death

Page 14

list” of IFA members allegedly found on the warden’s desk by a trustee. According to the Mobile Press Register, the warden denied the existence of such a list. But on March 12. 1974, Tommy “Yukeena” Dotson, said to be next on the list after Chagina Dobbins, was killed. He was removed, naked and handcuffed, from his cell, and, according to testimony, on the order of a captain, was beaten with ax-handles until his skull was caved in. Undisputed inmate witnesses said a second group of guards then came along, beat him some more, and threw his limp body down a flight of stairs.

,An attempt by the state to cover up this murder by prosecuting other IFA members for an alleged escape attempt supposedly planned with Dotson, fell on its face. The state’s witnesses so contradicted each other’s testimony that Escambia County Judge Douglas Webb directed a verdict of “Not Guilty” for the accused inmates. But when this reporter asked Attorney General Bill BaxIcy 1 the state would prosecute any guards for the murder of Dotson, he replied, “There was no criminal negligence: they were doing their job.”

The guards were also “doing their job” during the January 18 Atmore rebellion. At the murder trial of IFA member Gamba Mani (Oscar Johnson), Paul Echols, a White inmate from Georgia, testified:

When the guards came in shooting, some of us got in cells… They told us to come out with our hands behind our head or we would get shot … As we got to the lobby, they beat us while they made us strip … They took all of our a itches, rings, and money . . . and stomped on them. Then the made us crawl on our hands and knees putting our hands and heads on the next man’s ass while they heat us. I Iic made us hark that day. I guess to low grade us and iiov, us the were superior.

Another inmate, Claude Harris, testified,

The guards lined up on both sides of the wall and beat us as we crawled through their gauntlet. We crawled up to the visiting room. There were two tables there, one for signing a statement, and the other for medical treatment We had to make and sign a statement before even getting patched up.

Instead of either indictment or reprimand for this barbaric group torture. Warden Marion Harding was praised by the Attorney General. Baxley said at the Harris trial, “The State of Alabama can be proud to have men like Warden Harding in charge of its institutions.” With the “mystery” of Chagina Dobbins’ death still hanging over him, Marion Harding left the Alabama prison system to take an administrative job with the federally-funded Law Enforcement Protection Agency, and has since become Auburn, Alabama’s police chief.

Meanwhile, Johnny “Imani” Harris sits on death row fighting against an execution for a crime he didn’t commit in a place where he should never have been. With a dedicated team of lawyers, and growing national and international support, Imani and his hard working defense committee are hopeful that his execution can be stopped. But such a triumph for justice, however important, is only the beginning.

Imani wrote in a recent letter,

Before the U.S. government goes degrading other countries about the way they treat theirs and American prisoners, why don’t they look at the way American prisoners are being treated here in this country. Where they and we are still citizens. Yes, stop and look at the way these prisons are run and the way we are treated.

 

Press Release: Protest at St. Clair Against Police Brutality and Cover-up of Corruption

April 29, 2015

bloody floorPRESS RELEASE

By MOTHERS AND F.A.M.ilies

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RE: PROTEST AT ST. CLAIR AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY AND COVER-UP OF CORRUPTION BY LT. RONALD CARTER AND THE RIOT TEAM

WHEN: Saturday, May 2, 2015, @ 11:30 am

WHERE: ST. Clair prison, Springville, AL

Contact: Ms. Antonia Brooks

Tel.: 256-985-1126

Email: freealabamamovement@gmail.com

On May 2, 2015, family members, friend, and loved ones of those who are incarcerated in ADOC are being asked to attend the protest at St. Clair prison against the police brutality by ADOC.

On April 17, 2017, Lt. Ronald Carter sparked more violence and police brutality at St. Clair prison when he beat Xavier Austin while in handcuffs. On this same night, another officer left his assigned security post and attempted to assault another man. These assaults, and the acts of self-defense in the face of this violence resulted in the RIOT TEAM being called into St. Clair on April 17 2015, and resulted in over 25 men being beaten by the RIOT TEAM.

Men lying handcuffed on the ground

“STOP POLICE BRUTALITY BY ADOC”

Police brutality at St Clair CF

“STOP POLICE BRUTALITY BY ADOC”

The ADOC is attempting to cover up this police brutality with a bogus investigation that has resulted in over 10 black men being charged with assault against Lt. Carter, but there have been no calls for any investigation into the police brutality claims, which were recorded and photographed. The ADOC is charging these men – all Black – in this matter based on “confidential sources”, but with no evidence of any kind, and in some instances even where ADOC’s own records show that these men are innocent.

RIOT TEAM BRUTALITYLt. Carter has been sued in multiple civil action and class action lawsuits for abuse as an officer while at Donaldson, including one beating that resulted in a man’s death.

11109450_1381111825552744_3192718925529773918_n 11150902_1378851579112102_6846024585230612933_nWhile at St. Clair, Lt. Carter has been named in more lawsuits for police brutality, several pending rigt now, including one filed by Bryan Stevenson of EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE, which includes an incident where Lt. Carter choked a handcuffed man nearly to death and another man, Ventura Harris, was beaten by Lt. Carter’s subordinates while he stood and watched. Mr. Harris required over 15 staples to patch his skull back together.

11133677_1378851595778767_7823395652741745430_nAlso, several officers signed a petition that was circulated at St. Clair by Officer Brian Fife, where they were complaining about the abuse and bullying tactics by Lt. Carter towards officers. Lt. Carter has also been accused of sexual harassment by at least one female correctional officer.

We are asking all family members, friends, loved ones and supporters to attend this protest to “STOP POLICE BRUTALITY BY ADOC”, and to demand justice for those who have been wrongfully accused and/or beaten as a result of the actions of Lt. Carter. Stop this cover-up now and demand accountability against police brutality.

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FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

FREE MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT

FREE MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT UNITED

MISSISSIPPI SOUTHERN BELLES

FREE DA TEAM

MOTHERS AND F.A.M.ilies

George Jackson University

Ida B. Wells Coalition

Black Autonomy Federation

IWW Alabama

IWOC

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FREE DA F.A.M. 3

Photo of Free Alabama Movement 3 and text Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.

Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.

PART 3

FREE THE F.A.M. 3: Non Violent and Peaceful Demonstrations threatened ADOC’s “Violent Culture of Control” Policies

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
P.O. BOX 186
NEW MARKET, AL 35761

Phone: 256-985-1126

freealabamamovement@gmail.com
http://www.freealabamamovement.com

“FREEDOM OR DEATH. AINT NUTHIN ELSE. . . STOP PLAYING WITH THE CONCEPT.”  Dhati

Ever since solitary confinement came into existence, it has been used as a tool of repression.

While it is justified by corrections officials as necessary to protect prisoners and guards from violent super predators, all too often it is imposed on individuals, particularly prisoners of color, who threaten prison administrations in an altogether different way. Consistently, jailhouse lawyers and jailhouse doctors, who administer to the needs of their fellow prisoners behind bars, are placed in solitary confinement. They are joined by political prisoners from various civil rights and independence movements.”

And that’s exactly what Alabama is doing with their Solitary Confinement- using it to repress and torture anyone that speaks the words FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT. For exposing Alabama’s on going Human Rights violation  James Pleasant, Robert Earl Council and Melvin  Ray were targeted, singled out and labeled “threats to the security of the ADOC,” then placed in Solitary Confinement with indeterminate sentences.

At the time that these men made their decisions to address the ongoing Civil and Human Rights violations that were apparent in the ADOC, the prisons were historically overcrowded, there was a wave of violence brewing statewide throughout the prisons, living conditions were deplorable, food and healthcare we severely substandard and causing many illnesses and death, and the prison administrators, commissioners, and wardens were all refusing to respond and address the complaints.

Then, on January 1, 2014, under the banner of FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, a Non-Violent and Peaceful Protest for Civil and Human Rights was launched at Holman  Prison, as over 1000 men went on shutdown [work stoppage].

Three days later, on January 4, 2014, 1300 more at St. Clair Prison joined in.  These demonstrations remained peaceful the entire time. ADOC officials  acknowledged to the AP that these demonstrations were peaceful:

“On Saturday, Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett acknowledged to the Associated Press that since New Year’s Day, at least some prisoners have refused to work in kitchen and laundry areas and perform other jobs.”

“Corbett told the AP that the protests at the St. Clair and Holman Correctional facilities have been peaceful . . .”

[http://alreporter.com/in-case-you-missed-it-2/5571-alabama-prisoners-strike-continues.html]

Unfortunately for approximately 8 families with loved ones in ADOC, these peaceful ended too soon, because over the course of the next 14 months after the demonstrations ended, with no intervention or improvements from ADOC, approximately 8 men were killed. and hundreds more have been stabbed.

* Our beloved Lil Mook, Marquette Cummins, who came to prison at 17 lost his physical life on January 6, 2015, on the second day of the shutdown. His Spirit lives on and serves as a reminder to us all that we must bring these prisons to an end because they ccontinue to take life, yet give nothing of value in return.

ST CLAIR DEATHSAlso, at the same time that these peaceful demonstrations were concluding, the US DOJ issued a report detail the two-decades long horror story that emanated from Julia Tutwiler Women’s Prison in Wetumpka, AL.

According to the report, which was completed after a long investigation, the women confined at Tutwiler had been raped, impregnated, sexually assaulted, abused and exploited for sex for over two decades. Children were born. Children were aborted. Women were beaten and raped, and it was estimated that at least 1/3 of the ENTIRE corrections staff had been involved in the abuses. In that time, less than 10 officers has been prosecuted, and the most time handed out was 6 months, with one officer getting 5 days.

Now, approximately 14 months later, and exclusively for organizing a “non-violent and peaceful protest”, these three men, Robert Earl Council, James Pleasant, and Melvin Ray, have all been labelled a “security threat”. In addition, F.A.M. and the family members and supporters, including those who had lost a loved one to the violence and who were supporting F.A.M.’s call for an end to the violence, were also labelled as a security threat.

Under ADOC rules, violence such as riots, assaults, destroying property, etc., all fall under security threats. In fact, under ADOC rules, a person who commits a murder while in ADOC custody must serve 30 [months] in solitary confinement. Yet, the people who are trying to stop this avoidable and senseless loss of life are subjected to indefinitely periods of solitary confinement. In other words, if any member of the F.A.M. 3 were guilty of committing a murder, they could look to be released from segregation in a definite period of time of 30 months, but for engaging in peaceful protests against the conditions that lead to violence and murder, these men became “security threats.”

Not a single ADOC rules prohibits “Non-Violent and Peaceful” demonstrations. In fact, the right to peacefully assemble is guaranteed and protected by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In response to the protests, in light of the conditions that were exposed by F.A.M. on social media like YouTube and Facebook, Gov. Bentley and Sen. Cam Ward created a Prison Reform Task Force and have since verified EVERY issue that F.A.M. complained of.

Additionally, EJI followed the demonstrations by filing a lawsuit about the violence at St. Clair, were hundreds of people have been assaulted, including one person by the warden, Carter Davenport, who has since been reassigned to another prison (he was a Captain at Tutwiler during the rapes, etc.). The SPLC has filed a lawsuit on the healthcare against ADOC after the demonstrations.

When Gov. Bentley, Sen. Cam Ward, Chief Justice Roy Moore, Attn General Luther Strange and other state officials acknowledged the problems within ADOC that were exposed by F.A.M., THEY were not labelled security threats. When al.com confirmed that Warden Davenport was the root of the violence at St. Clair they were not labelled a security threat. When the US DOJ reported on the abuses at Tutwiler, they were not labelled a security threat.

But when the people who live in the violence, the very people who are forced to live in the inhumane and uncivil conditions complain about the violence with -non-violent and peaceful protests”, they are labelled a threat to security, even where the violence levels, understaffing, and decrepit conditions show that there is NO SECURITY TO THREATEN, and certainly none to threaten with “Non-Violent and Peaceful Protests!!!

Join F.A.M. as we demand answers from ADOC and other Alabama officials about why these men are being punished for complaining about these ongoing civil and human rights violations.

#INCARCERATEDBLACKLIVESMATTERTOO

#freedafam3

Senate Bill 67: Reform or Racket to Exploit Crime and More Poor Families

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
By Melvin Ray
freealabamamovement@gmail.com
http://www.freealabamamovement.com

After over a year of research, meetings, studies and other expenditures of tax-payer funds, the Council of State Government (CSG) and the Alabama Prison Reform Task Force (PRTF) have given the Alabama people Senate Bill 67 as the solution to the issues in Alabama prisons and the state’s criminal justice system.

The PRTF and CSG got off to a controversial start when it was revealed that of the 25-member task force, not a single African American male would be part of the decision making process, deliberations, or considerations of the group. Being a black man, the hypocrisy of this struck me from the beginning: Black men, who make up approximately 13% of the total state population, are approximately 60% of the total prison population.

Note** The U.S. GOVERNMENT Bureau of Statistics, shows that 70%% of all crimes ccommitted in the U.S. are ccommitted by white people.

So, this means that the families and communities most affected by the prison and judicial system are black. Yet, in a way that only a state like Alabama can explain, not a single black man was invited to discuss what solutions would be best to fix a problem that has been created by people who look just like the CSG committee and the PRTF — predominately white men.

Alabama prisons currently hold over 30,000 people in space designed to hold less than 14,000 people. Of this 30,000, approximately 80% of ALL people who enter into ADOC are functionally illiterate — or worse. Most of these people are young, poor, unskilled, and addicted to some type of drug. The problems made manifest in such a setting are predictable and expected.

Overcrowding serves to breed problems:

MALNUTRITION

First, the budget is fixed to serve just over 13,000 , while the prisons hold 30,000-plus. With low budgets, the cheap, undercooked food being served lacks nutrition, inadequate portions, and consists mainly of processed foods. In a word, the people in Alabama prisons are malnourished.

UNSANITARY WATER SUPPLY

The water system in Alabama’s prisons was designed to filter and serve less than 14,000  people. So imagine what happens when this system is overburdened with 30,000-plus people. First, the water is not properly filtered before it enters back into the prisons. This contaminated drinking water is the major contributor to most ailments in Alabama prisons.

Food isn’t properly cleaned. Bodies aren’t cleaned. Clothes aren’t properly cleaned. Thus, diseases, infections, cancers, and deaths ensue.

Then, you have people literally stacked on top of each other. This breeds other problems: frustration, depression, and mental illnesses.

Untreated mental, emotional, psychological and addiction issues lead invariably to violent settings. St. Clair prison is Exhibit A in this crisis.

Death and disease are so widespread due to inadequate resources for meaningful healthcare.

Quarantines for outbreaks of TB, scabies, and Staph (and now food-food-poisoning) are now common protocols.

Sometimes, staff, family members who visit, lawyers, and people in the prisons aren’t even informed of outbreaks due to delays in detection.

Then, you have the actual living conditions. Filth is everywhere. The water supply is contaminated. Showers are almost always cold due to overuse because the water system wasn’t designed for so many people. Cleanliness is a constant issue. Mold, mildew, rats, roaches, spiders, snakes, and bugs are in every crack and crevice. Repairs to all areas of the infrastructure are needed, with some prisons being over 40 years old.

Health, food, and fire inspectors are rarely seen. When they are present, they are not doing their jobs of accurately reporting on the wholesale violations that are so prevalent.

However, when one examines SB 67, one doesn’t see a single one of these issues being addressed.
The human costs and abuse associated with reform needs are being totally ignored because no one cares about the inhumane, uncivilized treatment of men and women in prison. And certainly not those in Alabama’s prisons, who are majority black and all poor.

In fact, the PRTF is calling for 2,000 more beds to be added to existing facilities. Senator Cam Ward has stated that the goal is to reduce overcrowding to 140%, which courts have said is acceptable. But the question to ask is: why can a state Senator openly say that his goal is to violate a health/fire code for maximum occupancy, and feel no consequences whatsoever? Where is the Fire Marshall to remind Senator Ward that fire codes are to be strictly complied with, including occupancy rates? A Fire Marshall will close down a night club, a basketball arena, or a restaurant for being over-capacity, but here we see that the law doesn’t apply to the prisons.

Instead, it is the *goal* of Alabama officials to have a illegal, overcrowded prison system and the Fire Marshall says nothing.

SB 67 doesn’t address any of these issues. Sen. Cam Ward and his cabal have sat down as if they were doctors, to solve a problem without asking their patients a single question about what is wrong or what could be done to fix the problems. To my knowledge, the PRTF did not enter into a single prison and ask the occupants about our issues, where the problems areas are, or what solutions we see as being needed. Nor did they enter into a single black community, which is where mass incarceration has had it worst effects, to see how these issues should be addressed. White men in Alabama are not accustomed to consulting Black men on problems, even those problems created by white men that disproportionately affect black men, like mass incarceration.

Some Alabama prisons house in excess of 1,000 people – most of whom are illiterate – and don’t even provide a GED program, let alone sustainable job skills programs. There are currently no gang-intervention programs, no community volunteer programs at the community custody facilities, no Life Skills programs – and SB 67 is not calling for any of them. These are programs that most Black community leaders, religious leaders, mothers, and fathers will tell you that our communities need from the ADOC while they are holding these men for decades at a time. Yet, Senator Ward doesn’t see a need for Black voices on the PRTF or the all-white CSG.

In Alabama, where uneducated people fill the system, education is neither encouraged nor mandated. A person with a 10-year Sentence with no GED, skill or trade, and who has a known drug or alcohol addiction, does not have to attend school, learn a skill or trade, participate in any program — and can still earn Incentive Good Time. How can a person earn “good time” if they are not actively addressing their shortcomings and issues that lead them to prison in the first place?

As for the Alabama Parole Board, one has to wonder just how much longer the charade can go on. In 2015, they still don’t allow a person to attend their own hearing. We can watch Satellite television, use Tango and Skype, but the Parole Board still can’t find a way to hear from the person (not a file) going up for parole.

The hearing itself is a show of power and disrespect. The parolee gets all of two speakers, who each get  5 minutes to speak. A person who has made 20 years of change has to have someone else try to communicate that change in 2 five-minute exchanges. Then, the victim of the crime gets to speak.

They get unlimited speakers, for an unlimited time. If a victim can’t attend, no problem. Hired speakers (called Victim’s Advocates), on tax-payer dime, can speak. Again, they are not restricted by any time constraints, whatsoever.

The facts of the crime are already known. A parole hearing is supposed to be about what changes the person has made to show that they have learned from their mistake, improved themselves, and are now prepared for another chance at society.

The parole board sits on the file for decades, and never even sets out a curriculum for what they expect to see from a person vying for parole. It is all a tax-payer funded dog-and-pony show scam.

SB 67 is nothing more than an expansion of the scheme.

SB 67 is joining the nationwide, elaborate money grab operation (that once again is being funded by tax dollars) fueled by discriminatory practices in arrest, conviction, sentencing, and parole, and in the end, financial exploitation. Multiple “private prison” companies, “non-profit” organizations and community corrections companies will rely on more convictions, parole and probation violations, alternative sentencing, and the like to tax, fine, fee, and charge poor people til death.

So-called “regional” jails will be built for private jail operators to receive even more tax payer funds.
Work release-style facilities will be created – where SB 67 authorizes up to 65% of gross earning to be deducted from the paychecks of already poor people – to go into the pockets of the “community corrections” companies that will charge to serve as collection agencies.

The kickbacks from these contracts will be in the form of campaign contribution to people like Senator Cam Ward.

The greatest benefit from SB 67 will continue to be the massive amounts of free labor that is being exploited from the men and women in Alabama prisons. These prison industries, funded by tax dollars, are generating billions of dollars in revenue. However, no one knows how large these industries are, or where all of the products or money from these industries are going.

For example, Alabama Correctional Industries runs a $25 million-dollar chemical plant at St. Clair prison. Where is that money going to? ADOC has a cattle ranch and a fish pond. Where is all beef and fish going? It certainly isn’t making its way to the kitchens in the prisons. Elmore runs the largest recycling plant in the State. Where are the proceeds?

And in spite of all of this free labor, no credit is deducted from the sentence. No deductions from the fines or court costs that a person may have. No deductions for child support that continues to accrue, even though the father or mother is working 8, 10, 12 hours days for free or pennies in wages.

In addition to this, a person who is forced to work for free every day also must pay a medical co-pay when they get sick. Where is this money supposed to come from? That is where the exploitation of our families comes in, because when they do send us money, the State deducts their “charges” first and we get what’s left.

SB 67 is nothing more than a continuation of these practices, only now the exploitation is moving away from the prisons and closer to the communities.

Support the Strike at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Alabama!

This is a press release sent out by the Ida B. Wells Coalition: 

Scroll down plz for Updates!

Support the Strike at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Alabama!

Today, 48 hours before a peaceful work stoppage starts on Sunday, March 1, at St Clair Correctional Facility (SCCF) in Springville, Ala., riot police have been sent to the prison to beat, torture, and intimidate the men incarcerated at SCCF, whose demands include an end to severe overcrowding and filthy living conditions.

[Note added 2/28: the EJI is lawyer in a class action lawsuit against St. Clair CF, plz contact them too or forward yoru emails to contact_us@eji.org or call them also and ask them to take note and communicate with their clients: 334-269-1803. See below for update. Thank you]

Here’s how you can support the strike and help stop the brutality against the prisoners:contact_us@eji.org

  1. Call SCCF’s warden, Carter Davenport, at (205)467-6111. Tell him to stop the retaliation against the prisoners, who have a right to peacefully protest against their inhumane treatment.
  2. Send an email to the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). Go to the ADOC’s website, http://www.doc.state.al.us. Click contact us and then click constituent services. Type your message, addressing it to Warden Carter Davenport. Before sending your message, please sign it. (You don’t have to give your address.)
  3. Spread the word to others. We must flood the prison with phone calls and the ADOC with email.

JoNina Ervin – Memphis Black Autonomy Federation, Email:  organize.the.hood@gmail.com

Anthony Rayson – Ida B. Wells Coalition Against Racism and Police Brutality, Email: – idabwellsinkc@gmailcom

Background:

On January 1st, 2014, the Free Alabama Movement was launched as a cross-racial collective action, with work stoppages at Holman, St. Clair and Elmore Correctional Facilities.

This is an inside-outside solidarity network that is working closely with the Ida B. Wells Coalition.  We are looking to broaden the support for these courageous and conscious prisoners.

Literature created by these prisoners is available through the South Chicago ABC Zine Distro / P.O. Box 721 / Homewood, IL 60430.  Check their website, etc.

Freealabamamovement.com

Free Alabama Movement  /  P.O. Box 186  / New Market, Alabama  35761

Blog:  Freealabamamovement.wordpress.com

Twitter @FREEALAMOVEMENT

Internet Radio:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freealabamamovement

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC88hKOWZ7PKGaTMPpLMTA w

Antonia Brooks:  256.783.1044     Latosha Scott:  334.322.8989


Update 2/28:

Thanks to the efforts from the People who supported F.A.M. this morning and afternoon, the Riot Team has been ordered to leave St. Clair prison. Yet again, Brian Stevenson (EJI) seems to continue to screen his calls from the family members of the men at St. Clair.

Equal Justice Initiative has filed a class action lawsuit, but they have not returned to the prison to take any steps to protect the men from retaliation from the ADOC. In fact, despite several requests to do so, EJI and Brian Stevenson have not sent any notifications to the “class” that they claim to represent informing them of how to report retaliation or new claims.

No monitors or class representatives have been put in place at St. Clair, and many of the men at St. Clair don’t even know that the “class action” lawsuit includes them. If you have a loved one at St. Clair, we are asking that you contact EJI and demand that Brian Stevenson protect the class of plaintiffs that he and his “experts” will be getting PAID to represent.

Website: EJI.org

Contact: http://eji.org/contact

Equal Justice Initiative
122 Commerce St.
Montgomery, Alabama 36104

Phone: 334-269-1803
Fax: 334-269-1806
Email: contact_us@eji.org


 

LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELDS (short version)

LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELDS:
A Call For New Strategy in The National Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery – Short Version
By Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, w/contribution from Kinetik Justice Amun

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

After a period of over 40 years of an accelerated rate of incarceration, the issue of Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery have now reached its crescendo.

Spurred on by factors that included racism, capitalism, free labor, and a politically motivated desire to provide jobs to a valued voting block of rural, conservative white citizens by building prisons in rural and agricultural areas that had been decimated by the Industrial Revolution and the outsourcing of jobs to China, India, Indonesia, etc.

Then, once the prisons were built, the government manufactured a “war on drugs” designed to fill those newly built prisons with black, brown and poor whites who had been rendered unemployable by corporate downsizing and outsourcing in the early 70’s, and who were considered a strain on social programs, unwanted competitors for limited jobs, and ideal candidates for corporations that needed a large labor pool for forced slave labor.

Mass incarceration has now culminated in a for-profit Prison Industrialized Complex that now holds over 2.5 million men, women and children hostage for the sole and exclusive purpose of exploitation and free labor.

Today, January 2015, the people in America’s prisons, mostly black, brown (and white), and all poor, now make up a free (or penny wages) labor force for a 500 billion dollar per-year industry that is producing a range of products and providing services so broad and extensive that it touches every area of the U.S. economy.

Virtually EVERY person in prison, our families, friends and supporters, and even every organization that states that they are against mass incarceration prison slavery, are all contributing financially to the very companies that are exploiting the people through mass incarceration and prison slavery.

Have you ate at McDonald’s or Wendy’s lately? Shopped at WalMart or Victoria’s Secret? How about that Dell computer? Have you used a customer service center? Where do you bank at, Wells Fargo? Are you in the military? Have you seen a soldier in that finely stitched uniform with night vision goggles? Do you work for a State University or agency that gets its furniture repaired somewhere?? Or that purchases large amounts of cleaning supplies, or hand-made brooms, mops, etc.? How many of these companies do you do business with?

Well, if you get up out of the bed and do anything more than breathe, chances are you contribute to the bottom line of a company that is engaged in warehousing millions of people for exploitation through mass incarceration and prison slavery.

Just to get a general idea of how pervasive this modern-day forced labor, i.e. slave system is, check out this article titled: Corporations Involved in Profiting off Prison Labour. Prison for Profit Dirty Secrets1 :

“Prison labor— with no union protection, overtime pay, vacation days, pensions, benefits, health and safety protection, or Social Security withholding — also makes complex components for McDonnell Douglas/Boeing’s F-15 fighter aircraft, the General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16, and Bell/Textron’s Cobra helicopter. Prison labor produces night-vision goggles, body armor, camouflage uniforms, radio and communication devices, and lighting systems and components for 30-mm to 300-mm battleship anti-aircraft guns, along with land mine sweepers and electro-optical equipment for the BAE Systems Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s laser rangefinder. Prisoners recycle toxic electronic equipment and overhaul military vehicles.”

For a listing of the many other companies, products and services, read the article: Corporations Involved in Profiting off Prison Labour. Prison for Profit Dirty Secrets2:

Don’t Trust the Mainstream Media

All across America, one can’t turn on the news, read a newspaper, or follow social media without seeing that mass incarceration and prison slavery (‘corrections’ or ‘prisons’ in mainstream terms) have become a national problem. The ‘problem’ though, as being reported in the mainstream media (msm), is not about the human devastation that mass incarceration has wrought, but about the costs associated with maintaining budgets to keep so many people in prison.

The mainstream media, which is controlled by the business elite no less that our current politicians, are reporting on this ‘problem,’ but with no real solutions being offered.

CAUTION: I must add that the reason the msm is reporting on this issue is because the prison profiteers are promoting a ‘reform’ plan to the public that in reality is a new scheme that has been thoroughly exposed by N. Heitzeg and K. Whitlock in their Smoke and Mirrors series,3 to expand the privatized prison industry directly into the communities with community corrections, privatized parole/probation, drug rehabilitation centers, traffic court, and more, with the sole purpose of releasing low levels offenders, who will then be required to pay a ransom to enjoy a semblance of freedom.

Simply stated, every facet of the criminal justice enterprise will be contracted out to private for-profit businesses, and the human traffickers who own these businesses will become the new slave masters. The businessmen and women will make their campaign contributions, the politicians will ensure that the laws are in place, the police with make the arrest, the prosecutors and judges will guarantee the convictions, and the prisoner will be a slave.

The New Strategy: Using Direct Economic Action to Affect Change

When determining the best strategy to challenge Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery, it is essential that we step back and take a look at the entire system. We must identify the fundamentals of what makes this system work and why this system exists. Once we thoroughly understand the underpinnings of the system of Mass Incarceration we can begin to see why the old strategies and tactics have not and will not bring about any meaningful change. Then we can begin developing a New Strategy that attacks Mass Incarceration at its core.

Just like the Institution of Chattel Slavery, Mass Incarceration is in essence an Economic System which uses human beings as its nuts and bolts. Therefore, our new approach must be Economically based, and must be focused on the factors of production- the people being forced into this slave labor.

Our Three-Part Strategy

1) Organize prison shutdowns at prisons with major economic industries (tag plants, fleet services, food distribution centers, agriculture, etc.)

2) Call for a nationwide leaflet campaign, protests, and boycotts of McDonald’s restaurants, which is one of the major corporation that has a national presence and that benefits from prison slavery, in addition to others like WalMart, Victoria Secret, AT&T, Wells Fargo Banks, Wendy’s, GEO/CCA private prison companies that are listed on the NYSE, and more.

3) Having our families, friends, supporters, activists, and others holding protests at the prisons where the people are mass incarcerated and oppressed.

PART 1 : “SHUTDOWNS/WORK STRIKES”

1) Organize prison shutdowns at prisons with major economic industries (tag plants, fleet services, food distribution centers, agriculture, etc.)

Remember, we are working against a half trillion dollar system that is controlled by businessmen and women who are the modern-day slave profiteers. And just like any business, their focus is on the bottom line. From this viewpoint, we must organize work stoppages at prisons with economic industries that are operated by slave labor. The impact of a work stoppage is immediate and significant, as production is shutdown and profit margins plummet around the country.

Believe me, if you want to have commissioners, politicians and the like hunting you down, organize a strike. You won’t have to call them, because they will call you. Prison industry is more than just license plates. Now it includes military, food, clothes, mining, recycling, call centers, car parts, cleaning supplies, printing, and so much more.

And when we organize, we have to demand that real “reforms” take place that will afford everyone an opportunity to earn our freedom, NOT JUST EARN A CHECK FOR OUR LABOR, and that fundamental changes be made throughout the system.

Experience has shown us at FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT that this approach is more effective than hunger strikes, marching and writing letters combined, as those strategies will only bring publicity, lip service and some changes, while work stoppages shut down the entire economic system and gets directly into their pockets, which brings the movers and shakers to the prison for negotiations.

PART 2: McDonald’s

Ronald McDonald: A Slavery Master in Clown’s Clothing !!!!

When deciding on which company to protest we have to devise a strategy that we can use nationwide: We can’t boycott all companies because there are simply too many corporations involved. What we have to do is focus on just one of them at a time that uses prison slave labor and that is large enough and visible enough to bring a true awareness about prison slavery, and target that one.

Starting off we have identified McDonald’s as a company that presents itself as family-oriented, but which uses prison slavery to produce a number of goods:

“McDonald’s uses inmates to produce frozen foods. Inmates process beef for patties. They may also process bread, milk and chicken products.”4

We will start off our McDonald’s protest by locating and reaching out to the people in the prisons where McDonald’s products are produced. At the same time, we will begin letter-writing campaigns to their investors and shareholders, while also leaving leaflets/pamphlets on the cars of their customers at McDonald’s restaurants nationwide, and organize protests at their storefronts, in a mall or headquarters, or wherever we can, and call for boycotts of their stores to force then to stop using products that are manufactured by forced prison slave labor.

But we focus all of our attention on one corporation at a time, instead of using a scattered approach of multiple orgs spread out thinly over several corporate fronts.
When one falls, we move on to the next prison profiteer, which can be Victoria’s Secret, Wal Mart, GEO, CCA, JPay, Keefe, or something.

Part 3: Consolidating our Resources

HAVING OUR FAMILIES, FRIENDS, ACTIVISTS, AND SUPPORTERS ALL GALVANIZED AT A SELECT PRISON TO ENGAGE IN PROTESTS AND TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR THE PEOPLE ON THE INSIDE WHO ARE BEING OPPRESSED.

This strategic move is just as important as the strikes, because it brings all of the people together who oppose mass incarceration and prison slavery. We can’t have a unified Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery if we are in a long-distance relationship with our supporters, organizers, activists and others who support our cause. We have to get everyone organized at the prisons, so that we can confront the system at the site of its oppression: the prisons.

By having our supporters in one location for each State, we maximize our resources, increase our strength in numbers, and we move with a unified front.
Very little can be done by the State at this point except to meet our demands.

The protests against police brutality are taking place at police stations. The workers at Wal Mart are protesting at WalMart. The Occupy Wall Street Movement protested on Wall Street. Therefore, the Movement and fight against mass incarceration must take place at the prisons !!!

“The Old Way”

Now, let’s take a look at the familiar strategies of Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery, and see why we need a change in strategy:

1) Hunger Strikes
2) Marches and Protests at State Capitols, (as opposed to demonstrations at the prisons where they should be)
3) Letter writing campaigns, petitions and phone calls, etc.

1) HUNGER STRIKES
The demonstrations put on by the Men and Women in California (and Georgia, Washington State, and Texas) showed us all that with leadership and unity, we can defeat mass incarceration with the right strategy. But, we also learned that, while we did see progess in some areas, it has a minimal impact on the system of mass incarceration.

We have to strategize with the understanding that we are dealing with modern day slave profiteers. These businessmen will gladly let us die from starvation so long as their assembly lines keep moving.

“Leasing convicts to private businesses made a tidy fortune for both state and local governments, especially after slaves were emancipated. In 1878, 73% of Alabama’s entire state revenue came from prison labor. Reconstruction-era plantation owners, though, were hardly incentivized to care about their charges: When any of their starving workers died, they simply asked the state for new ones, at no cost to their bottom line.”5

The net effect on the bottom line from a hunger strike is negligible. This is not going to get the response we need, so we have to do more.

2) MARCHES
Sure, the traditional marches bring attention to issues and they bring people together, but they simply don’t bring about much results. If we must march, then let’s March at the prisons where mass incarceration and prison slavery are taking place at.
As I said above, when the people protest against police brutality in Ferguson, Memphis, and California, they are doing it at the police stations.

When “BANTHEBOAT”-activists protested in support of Palestine, they protested at ports. We have to ask ourselves: If we are protesting against mass incarceration and prison slavery, then why aren’t we doing it at the prisons where our economic strength can be felt?

Just like we saw in California with the hunger strikes, the families and supporters showed their support at the prison. The people in the prisons can see that support and receive the boost in morale that will be needed to carry this thing through. The meeting place is at the prisons!!!

3) LETTER WRITING, PETITIONS, ETC.
Letter writing campaigns and making phone calls are still effective, but we have to change who we are targeting and what we are attempting to communicate.

Letters/calls help when written to alternative media sources and other activists, organizations and supporters of our Movement, to let them know that we are striking so that we can inform other prisons in other states, so that they can join in also.

Letters/petitions also help when we target companies that are using prison made good to let them know that we will boycott them if they don’t stop, and it also helps to contact their customers and let them know that they are purchasing slave-made good. But the old habit of writing politicians and commissioners won’t work in today’s world, and just haven’t produced meaningful results.

It’s time to find a new target audience and bring attention to a new strategy and a new message!!

Is The Current Movement Against Mass Incarceration Spread Too Thin?

In F.A.M. we strategize around bringing all of the forces and resources together from each individual state into one collective whole. Groups that are fighting against the death penalty, solitary confinement, children in prison, voting rights, mentally ill people in prison, free labor, disenfranchisement, parole reform, and a few other issues. We will address all of these issues in our “FREEDOM BILL”, so everyone and every organization that is fighting against these issues should all be fighting together.
Note: Each State should draft their own FREEDOM BILL

The best way that we see to do this in Alabama is to identify the most economically important prison(s) in Alabama, and start organizing shutdowns until all of the strategically important prisons are shut down. One main prison will serve as the “headquarters” for our families, organizers and supporters, etc. At that point, the negotiations begin as to how to tear down the system of exploitation and create a new system based on the structure as outlined in the FREEDOM BILL, which promotes Education, Rehabilitation and Re-Entry Preparedness.

Take for example the situation that just occurred in California with the various lawsuits that the State fought for over 20 years (See the Plata decision by the U.S. Supreme Court) and passage of the Prop 47 law that went into effect. Despite the fact of California’s prison system being overcrowded with a 160% occupancy rate, the State’s prison officials and Attorney General’s office still refused to budge on releasing people who were eligible.

“Most of those prisoners now work as groundskeepers, janitors and in prison kitchens, with wages that range from 8 cents to 37 cents per hour. Lawyers for Attorney General Kamala Harris had argued in court that if forced to release these inmates early, prisons would lose an important labor pool.

Prisoners’ lawyers countered that the corrections department could hire public employees to do the work.” (LA Times, 11/14/2014 Federal judges order California to expand prison releases6)

As for the Firefighters, the Attorney General’s Office concluded that these men who risked their lives for the State, who saved the State over $1,000,000,000 billion dollars annually, were simply too valuable a commodity to release, even though these men worked outside of prison every day and were clearly not a threat to society anymore:

“About half of the people fighting wildland fires on the ground for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) are incarcerated: over 4,400 prisoners, housed at 42 inmate fire camps, including three for women.
Together, says Capt. Jorge Santana, the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) liaison who supervises the camps, they save the state over $1 billion a year.”7

While it is extremely rare to receive these type of admissions from the State, what we witnessed in the California litigation is the reality of modern slavery: Yes, the people have an education and are already working in society, but, NO!!!, they can’t be release because it would cost too much to replace their free or penny labor!!

This episode highlights why the strategy of work strikes/shutdowns being promoted by FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, and now joined by FREE MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT, is the key to bringing the system of mass incarceration and prison slavery to its death: If we are been held solely for our labor and exploitation even after educating and rehabilitating ourselves, then why should we continue to work? If the firefighters in California can’t be freed because they save the State a billion dollars that they don’t otherwise have, then why don’t the firefighters go on a workstrike? The fires will continue to burn until they either come up with 1 billion dollars to train other firefighters, or they can release them and then hire them to do the job that at prevailing wages.

Also please note that the State is saving one billion dollars just on the firefighters alone. How much more pressure would a work strike/shutdown put on the CDCR or any other prison system, when all the kitchen workers go on strike? All the maintenance and electrical workers? All the garbage workers? The yard crew? Gym and library workers? And then the BIG whammy, when ALL of the factory and farm workers in prisons go on strike at one time, and this strike is spread regionally and nationally?

The financial numbers and fallout from such a strike will be felt from Wall Street to Main Street, and every street in between. This is the power of economics at play, and this strategy is the only strategy that will stop mass incarceration in its tracks.

WE MUST LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELD IF WE AREN’T RECEIVING BENEFIT OF THE HARVEST

LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELD is a proven strategy that was passed down to us from our Ancestors from the slave plantations that was used to disrupt the economics of the field. The harvest of the planter season was reaped when the crops were picked from the field and sold on the open market. When the slave master had invested all that he owned into his next crop (prison factories), the slaves would wait until just before the harvest and rebel against the slave system by ‘going on strike’ and causing the crops to rot in the field. This tactic would completely ruin the slave master’s investment.

While these crops were rotting in the field, the slave master would come down from the big house, make nice and beg the slaves to go back to work

But when that didn’t work, the slave master, just like the modern prison commissioners and wardens, would then result to threats and violence. But those determined for their freedom would resist and fight to the end.

In the end, when the crops were left to rot in the field, the slave master would sometimes lose his plantation if he had used it as collateral to secure a loan from the bank to plant. This is what happens to a prison system that is built upon the exploitation and free labor of the people incarcerated: when the laborers stop working, the free labor prison system collapses because there isn’t any revenue coming in to finance the system of 30,000 people in Alabama, 23,000 in Mississippi, 160,000 in California, or 2.5 million nationwide, who still must be fed, still must be provided medical care, still must had lights, water and basic hygiene.

These obligations and costs don’t stop, but the means to pay for them — the revenue that is produced by our labor — stops when we stop.

In 2014, Alabama has a 400 million dollar budget to run its prisons, which is paid by the sale of the products and services that are manufactured by the slave labor from the people incarcerated.

All told, Alabama is making anywhere from 2 to 3 billion dollars each year from our labor, fines, fees, canteen, phone calls, etc. while over $500,000,000,000 dollars is made nationwide off of prison slave labor.

If we are to end Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery, which only those caught up in the slave system can do, then we must Unify nationwide from inside of these prisons and we must stop our labor and LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELD.

Notes

  1. See online at: http://truthcdm.com/corporations-involved-in-profiting-off-prison-labour-prison-for-profit-dirty-secrets/
  2. Idem: http://truthcdm.com/corporations-involved-in-profiting-off-prison-labour-prison-for-profit-dirty-secrets/
  3. See: truth-out.org/news/item/27125-smoke-and-mirrors-inside-the-new-bipartisan-prison-reform-agenda
  4. See: Atlanta Black Star, Oct. 10th, 2014: 12 Mainstream Corporations Benefiting from the Prison Industrial Complex http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/10/10/12-mainstream-corporations-benefiting-from-the-prison-industrial-complex/
  5. See: Buzzfeed News: The Prisoners Fighting California’s Wildfires, Oct 31st, 2014 http://www.buzzfeed.com/amandachicagolewis/the-prisoners-fighting-californias-wildfires#.ajPXZzq8xr
  6. See: LA Times, Nov. 14, 2014 http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-ff-federal-judges-order-state-to-release-more-prisoners-20141114-story.html
  7. See: Buzzfeed News: The Prisoners Fighting California’s Wildfires, Oct 31st, 2014 http://www.buzzfeed.com/amandachicagolewis/the-prisoners-fighting-californias-wildfires#.ajPXZzq8xr

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT & FREE MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT

Committed to Non-Violent and Peaceful Protests for Civil and Human Rights for the Men and Women Incarcerated in Alabama & Mississippi prisons, and any other prison where the People desire to be FREE.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
Contact Free Alabama Movement:

Antonia Brooks 256-783-1044

NewsBlog: Freealabamamovement.wordpress.com

Website: Freealabamamovement.com

Facebook group: Free Alabama Movement

Twitter @FREEALAMOVEMENT

Email: freealabamamovement@gmail.com – Freemississippimovement@gmail.com

Mail: FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, P.O. Box 186, New Market, AL 35761 – USA

Internet Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freealabamamovement

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC88hK0WZ7PKGaTMPpLMTA_w

Wake Up Alabama

Wake Up Alabama

Ismail Shabazz

DOC tries to address crowding in Bold letters Montgomery Advertiser January 3, 2012. After reading this story, I obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed in California and if the same was filed in Alabama, this state could be faced with the same. However, here in Alabama, the problem is a lot deeper. One of the biggest reason why Alabama’s prison system is so badly over crowded is because of the way they classify violent and non-violent offenders.

It was over five years ago that the above mentioned story was done and it has truly gotten worst. Here in the state of Alabama whenever you hear something about inmates being released its always said that it will be the non-violent offenders; the drug and property offenders, however, there are thousands of inmates in the ADOC that’s classified as violent offenders whose not actually violent at all.

Let’s look at Third Degree Robbery. By Alabama’s law code of Alabama, 1975 section 13A – 8.43 (a) A person commits the crime of Robbery in the Third Degree if in the course of committing a theft he:

  • Uses force against the person of the owner or any person present with the intent to overcome his physical resistance or physical power of the resistance or,
  • Threatens the imminent use of force against the person of the owner or any person present with the intent to compel acquiescence to the taking of or escaping with the property. This is a Class C Felony, sentencing range 1 yr and a 1 day to ten (10) years.

This is a crime involving no weapon and nowhere in the language of the crime’s elements does it mention violence. Yet, here in the state of Alabama, it’s considered a violent case. They say it’s the threat of violence, but the naked truth in any crime has the potential to become violent.

A shoplifter steals a pack of candy and is approached by security, it can instantly become violent if the shoplifter: (A) Fights (B) Pulls a weapon or (C) If it’s the security guard that fights, overreacts and uses a weapon.

Another perfect example, Friday, February 3, 2012 in The Enterprise Ledger, a man was shot by someone breaking into his car; Theft turned Violent.

What do you think, should a person be considered a violent offender if he has never injured anyone, Or if he’s never been convicted of a crime where a weapon was used?

Deep rooted flaws in the Alabama Prison System is why our system is screwed.

Let’s look at on facility with two classes of inmates: Community Work Center (CWC) / Work Release:

Community Work Center – Minimum out Inmates.

These Inmates are allowed to work in society. They wear white state issued clothes and they work City Sanitations, Police Departments, Senior Centers, Colleges, Parks and Recreation and the Road Crews. The State (DOC) is given $1500 per day per inmate and the inmate is given $200 per day.

These inmates are those convicted of many crimes to include manslaughter. Some can go to work release and some can’t.

Work Release – Minimum Community

These Inmates are allowed to work in society on private jobs and wear their own clothes. They can take passes home. These Inmates are convicted of many crimes to include: Assault, Robbery First with a weapon or injury.

The State gets most of their money.

On December 12, 2012, I ended a (25) year sentence for Theft of Property and began on Life for Robbery Third. It took me nearly 23 years to make it to a community work center in May, 2010.

For over two years, I’ve worked in the kitchen as the Baker and Store Room Clerk. After arriving at my present facility I’ve worked for the sanitation and parks and recreation and I never had a problem on my job.

However, because I am classified as a violent offender and because ADOC says I have (3) or more convictions involving either the threat of a weapon or injury resulting from the use of a weapon:

I am barred from Work Release.

Nowhere in the Language of Robbery 3rd does it states threat of a weapon, but because of the original charge of Robbery 1st DOC says it’s violent. I was not convicted for a crime in the court but I am serving time for what I wasn’t convicted for.

The difference between in an Inmate in Work Release and myself is the dress code, I wear white and he wears street clothes. He works and gets paid by the hour; I get $30 to $40 added to my account each month to be spent back to DOC and he gets passes home, I don’t.

I have served nearly 30 years in prison and I am not alone. Whenever I go up for parole they insure that a protestor is present, when is Enough! Is Enough! This a deep rooted problem and it’s time for a change.

More to come!

By: Ismail Shabazz

 

 

Press Release: February 1 Protest To Highlight Inhumane Conditions In Alabama Prisons

Free Alabama Movement

*For Immediate Release*

January 26, 2015
Contact: Ann Brooks (256)783-1044

Press Release
February 1 Protest To Highlight Inhumane Conditions In Alabama Prisons

(Springville, Ala.) – Demanding an end to the filthy living conditions on Alabama’s death row and “a culture of violence” carried out by officials throughout the state’s maximum security prisons, families and friends of the men, women and children who are incarcerated in Alabama prisons will hold a peaceful protest on Sunday, Feb. 1.

Sponsored by the Free Alabama Movement (FAM), the protest will begin at 11:30 a.m.in front of the St. Clair Correctional Facility (SCCF), located at 1000 St. Clair Road in Springville.

FAM was started by men in Alabama state prisons to expose “the deplorable conditions and the slave labor inside the cement walls” of the state’s prisons. FAM has posted videos on You Tube in which over 80 men who are incarcerated in the Alabama Department of Corrections give their personal accounts about the inhumane living conditions they endure in Alabama prisons.

Three Alabama maximum security prisons, St. Clair CF, Holman Correctional Facility, and Donaldson Correctional Facility, all went on lockdown at some point in the past 10 days due to violent-related incidents.

Men and women are confined to their 8 by 12 foot cells 24 hours a day during lockdowns, and their family members
and friends cannot visit them.

On Jan. 25, several men on death row at Holman held a peaceful protest. Holman officials have denied these men use of equipment to clean their cells, and these men are being forced to eat cold sack lunches three times
a day. “We are human beings. Just because we’re on death row doesn’t mean that we have to live like animals,” said one death row inmate. The guards used pepper spray to punish the peaceful protesters in the segregation unit at Holman who were also protesting the inhumane living conditions.

SCCF has turned into one of the most dangerous prisons in America, according to the FAM. The prison’s warden, Carter Davenport was previously suspended in 2012 for assaulting a man confined at St. Clair in the head while he was handcuffed.

Riot police have been called in at SCCF, according to FAM. In the last two weeks, there have been at least 20 incidents in which people were stabbed or assaulted by an officer,  at SCCF. Prisoner Jarvis “Flame” Jenkins was beaten twice by guards and was seen with blood dripping from his clothes. Another SCCF prisoner, Derrick LaKeith Brown, has been hospitalized with injuries for a week.

Prison officials Warden Walter Myers and Captain Darryl Fails, and others, removed  James Pleasant from his cell at Holman on January 23, 2015, and told him that he, Robert E. Council (Holman) and Melvin Ray (St. Clair), known as the FAM 3, were problems to the ADOC and threatened to kill them for exposing inhumane and illegal conditions inside Alabama prisons.

FAM has been organizing Non-Violent and Peaceful Protests throughout the ADOC since January 1, 2015, when over a three week perios, over 4500 men participated in the demonstrated, which were supported by their families, friends, loved ones, and supporters nationwide.

For more information, call Ann Brooks at (256)783-1044.


UPDATED: On January 27, 2015, St. Clair CF went back on lockdown, where the overcrowding and lack of leadership from Warden Carter Davenport continues to cause a violent atmosphere.

REMEMBERING ROCRAST MACK: BEATEN TO DEATH BY ADOC OFFICERS

Remember Young Brother Rocrast Mack.

“STOP THE VIOLENCE, WARDEN DAVENPORT MUST GO”

“Another officer approached Mr. Mack and ordered him to get on the ground. Witnesses saw Mr. Mack comply with these orders and quickly get on his knees and place his hands on his head. Soon after, at least five other officers, including Lieutenant Michael Smith, arrived at the scene after responding to a call for back-up.

Even though Mr. Mack was on his knees and subdued, witnesses report that officers violently assaulted Mr. Mack. Officers beat Mr. Mack with batons and fists, striking his head, face, and body.

The correctional officer who initially got Mr. Mack to submit to arrest tried to intervene and attempted to pull the officers off of Mr. Mack and put himself between Mr. Mack and the assaulting officers. This officer was threatened by other guards and forced to retreat. Lieutenant Smith was heard to say that the guards were going to kill Mr. Mack.”

http://www.eji.org/rocrastmack

ADOC officials issue death threat to FAM members as unrest continues in Alabama prisons statewide

On Jan. 22, 2015 – at Holman Prison Seg. Unit – unbearable living conditions caused myself and several of my comrades to take a stand for our well-being.

Due to my Membership Affiliation with the FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT i was singled out and targeted (AGAIN) by Holman’s administrative officials because I wanted justice. I was extracted out of the cell and taken to the Admin. Shift office where i was questioned for hours. After refusing time and time again to work with the Administration to quiet the unrest by the youth, Captain Darryl Fails issued a death threat to myself, Mr. Robert E. Council, and Spokesperson Melvin Ray stating that he wish there was not so much media hype around what goes on in prison b/c they would love to do to us what they used to get away with yrs ago and they would silence us for good.

Warden Walter Myers agreed and said, “yeah, they lucky!” In turn i replied, “yall gonna have to kills us b/c it’s FREEDOM OR DEATH aint NOTHING else.” Seeing that fear was not a factor, i was dismissed.

Commissioner Kim Thomas resigns from ADOC

State officials made a surprise announcement on Tuesday that Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Commissioner Kim Thomas has resigned.

In the same press release, the Governor’s office also announced Colonel Jefferson S. Dunn will become the new commissioner after he retires from United States Air Force in March.

Billy Sharp will take over as interim commissioner. Sharp is well-known in Tuscaloosa County where he recently served as interim sheriff and as a volunteer instructor with the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission for 37 years at the Tuscaloosa Academy. He also worked at the Alabama Criminal Justice Center for 31 years.

http://www.myfoxal.com/story/27955393/adoc-commissioner-kim-thomas-resigns

Alabama Parole

This is a follow-up Article plus Affidavit by Ismail Shabazz, who is in Childersburg Comm. Work Center, and he can be reached by writing him at:

Ismail Shabazz, #155100

Childersburg Comm. Work Center

P.O. Box 368
Childersburg, AL 35044-0368


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The Voice of a Slave & The Solution

The Voice of a Slave, written by Ismail Shabazz, submitted on Jan. 6th, 2015.

Ismail Shabazz, AIS nr 155100

Draper CF

Contact: Ismail’s wife: ishabazz64@yahoo.com

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The Solution, by Ismail Shabazz, Draper CF

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Why the ALA. Dept. of Corrections Chooses Violence over Non-Violence

The unjustified and ongoing solitary confinement of the F.A.M. 3, James Pleasant, Robert. E. Council, and Melvin Ray for the assumed (but unstated) purpose of organizing Non-Violent and Peaceful Protests for the continuing civil and human rights violations in Alabama prisons continues.

In the face of their detention, it has become even more evident that the ADOC tolerates and accepts (and even promotes) violence over non-violence. Since the inception of F.A.M., there have been over 6 murders to occur at Holman and St. Clair prison, one riot, over 60 stabbings and many assaults on officers, by officers, and amongst the men incarcerated, and not one measure has been taken to stop this violence — except FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT.

During the historic peaceful demonstration by F.A.M. to start the year, not a single act of violence occurred, and the overriding message from F.A.M. leaders was that the violence must end, and education, rehabilitation and re-entry preparation must begin.

“They Break Bread, Then Drink Wine”

By Mae Smith
November 13, 2014

AL DOC has told me that they can no longer communicate with me concerning my son, seriously do they think I am going to just stop inquiring about his wellbeing?

He has been beaten, abused and locked in solitary confinement for almost 2 years and now they are giving him weekly injections all in order to kill him, because they don’t go to prison for the murders they commit, they break bread and drink wine!!!

Free Alabama Movement Blasts Racial Make-Up…

…of Governor Bentley’s and Sen. Cam Ward’s Prison Reform Task Force and The Council of State Governments: Cites National Report that Debunks CSG and their Justice Reinvestment Initiative program

On June 10, 2014, Governor Robert Bentley, surrounded by Sen. Cam Ward, Commissioner Kim Thomas, Chief Justice Roy Moore and others, announced the formation of Alabama’s 25-member Prison Reform Task Force and a AM17375-2partnership with the Council of State Governments (CSG), to address longstanding and nationally publicized issues that affect Alabama’s prison system.

According to Gov. Bentley, the solution to Alabama’s prison woes, which include a nation-leading 200% occupancy rate that has led to extreme overcrowding, excessive violence including 4 murders in 2014 already at St. Clair prison, least-in-the-nation investments in education, rehabilitation and corrections, high recidivism, widespread diseases like Staph, TB, STD’S, Hepatitis, scabies, and others, over-targeting of Black men (Black men make up only 14% of Alabama’s total population, but 62% of the prison population) and understaffing, among other issues, can be found in the CSG’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI).

FAMpluslogoAccording to FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT Founder and Spokesperson Melvin Ray, the recipe being offered by Gov. Bentley and lead by Sen. Cam Ward in the JRI is nothing more than bloated political speak and, so far as solutions are concerned, is D.O.A. Mr. Ray says that anyone thinking that the JRI program can solve Alabama’s historic mess need only read the report issued by a national group of researchers, analysts and advocates titled, “Ending Mass Incarceration: Charting a New Justice Reinvestment.”

This National Report highlights some of the very issues that are already plaguing Governor Bentley and Sen. Ward from the start: misdirected focus on “costs” as opposed to corrections, lack of racial and demographic diversity from the communities and leaders most affected by mass incarceration, and failing to acknowledge the racial equation that is so evident in Alabama’s (and the Nation’s) criminal justice system.

Ray says that “throughout Governor Bentley’s speech, not once do we hear the words Education, Rehabilitation or Re-Entry Preparedness. It is these structural deficiencies that are driving mass-incarceration in the first place, along with poverty and unemployment. But, we can’t expect to have that discussion when the PRFT and the CSG board more so resemble a Ku Klux Klan rally than it does the racial balance of the State, or the communities that fuel mass incarceration. The people most affected by mass incarceration — the African American community — needs a seat at the table also.robert bentley

When race has so obviously been at the forefront of the drive behind mass incarceration and prison slavery, the African American community cannot expect a group made up almost exclusively of white men to address issues that they created in the first place. There is a real “human cost” at stake here with so many black men being in prison, but Governor Bentley’s committee doesn’t even pay lip service to that issue. Their plan under the JRI of building satellite prisons in our communities and calling it community corrections just won’t do. African American communities are already devalued. Building satellite prisons in them will only exacerbate that equation even lower.”

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT CO-FOUNDER Robert Earl Council said that the legislation that will address these concerns has already been written in their “FREEDOM BILL.” Mr. Council says that without a focus on education and rehabilitation that includes re-entry programs, the African American community can stay prepared for more of the same.

The ACLU/SENTENCING PROJECT Report (which can be found on their websites) echoes these complaints. According to the Report, “The Justice Reinvestment Initiative, as it has come to operate, runs the danger of institutionalizing mass incarceration at current levels.”

The Report goes on to say that, while the JRI was originally intended to reduce prison populations and pass those savings on to affected communities “to make them safer, stronger, more prosperous and equitable,” the savings have not been realized, and “as it turns out, without significantly reducing corrections populations.”

Despite the fact that the JRI has been implemented in over 28 states, Sen. Ward can only point to Texas as a State that he says the JRI has improved.

Yet, the Report belies Sen. Wart’s comments, and show that Texas’ “prison population went from 171,790 in 2007 up to 173,648 in 2010, then down slightly to 172,224 in 2011.” (p. 6) In the last several years, Texas’s prison population has risen from 171,790 at the end of 2007 to 172,224 at the end of 2011, and is projected to increase further. The JRI trumpets Texas’s “success,” and the Texas reforms were a success in one sense: Texas is one of our toughest-on-crime states, so any progress on criminal justice reform is an accomplishment. However, if the metric is reduced to corrections populations and costs, the Texas JRI program must be viewed as a failure.

Another area of concern for FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT expressed by Mr. Council is “the total lack of representation by a single African American male on either the Governor’s PRFT or the Board of the CSG.”

The 25-member PRTF has 20 white men, 3 white women, 2 African American women, and 0 African American men.

African American men only make up 13% of Alabama’s total population, there are 16,861 African American men in Alabama prisons, who constitute 63% of the total prison population. Based on these statistics alone, Mr. Ray says that the total exclusion of African American men from the PRTF is totally unacceptable, indefensible, and indicative of the systemic racial barriers and white supremacist ideology that continues to exist in Alabama. When Sen. Ward was confronted with this lack of racial inclusion, despite the enacting law (SJR 20  calling for racial inclusion, Sen. Ward said that he is more concerned with diversity of thought than diverse representation.

But as F.A.M. supporter Ms. Barbara Wine states, diverse thought can hardly come from such a homogeneous group:

“A group of white men will always come up with a white man’s idea. Ideas and solutions drawn from a diverse team representative of the population affected, can draw from a range of life experiences, cultural awareness and social knowledge, which will yield better results. White men (especially in the South) did not want to let slavery end, so they kept it alive in the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and enforced it in the prisons. It is a disgrace upon this country that in the Land of the Free we still has a provision in our U. S. Constitution in 2014 that authorizes slavery.”

The National Report supports the need for racial and community inclusion “especially from minority leaders and elected representatives of high incarceration communities (and grass roots organizations, grass-top leaders, among others), WHO ARE OFTEN MARKEDLY MISSING.” (emphasis added)

Rep Barbara Boyd, D Anniston, AL

Rep. Barbara Boyd D-Anniston, who is one of the two female African American’s on the PRTF along with Sen. Vivian Figures, D, Mobile, stated in a discussion with F.A.M. on July 15, 2014, (FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT has over 200 supporters from Rep. Boyd’s district), Alabama already had a prison reform task force that was spearheaded by Rep. John Rogers D- Jefferson (an African American and long-time proponent of prison reform in Alabama) and didn’t need another one. Instead, according to Rep. Boyd, what Rep. Rogers needed, but couldn’t get, was support, funding and a commitment from the power establishment and Alabama Legislature to implement suggested reforms.

Ms. Antonia Brooks (mother of F.A.M. Founder Melvin Ray) says that “the families, friends and loved ones of those incarcerated must be afforded a seat at the table of this debate” and that “Sen. Vivian Figures and Rep. Barbara Boyd owe more to the Black community than to accept a token appointment to a committee that is so obviously promoting a white supremacist agenda and deliberately excluding the group of people most impacted by mass-incarceration – Black people.”

Ms. Brooks stated that F.A.M. has a March planned on the State Capitol next month (August 2014) and that she looks forward to an opportunity to one day sit down with Sen. Figures and Rep. Boyd to hear from them on their appointments and to present them with the “FREEDOM BILL” that is being pushed by FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT.

With over 1.4 million black men in America’s prisons and, as stated by noted author Michelle Alexander, with more Black men under the control of the CJS in 2014 than were enslaved BEFORE the Civil War, Prison Reform in Alabama must address specific issues – – including racism – – that have contributed to mass incarceration, crime, and punishment.

Mandatory GED completion and graduation from a technical school are things that F.A.M. says must be made mandatory in sentencing for anyone serving a split sentence, earning good time, or who hopes to earn an early parole or be placed in an honor camp or work release program (Requirements that are currently lacking in Alabama). Mentoring programs, community volunteer work in sports, arts, and music, and developing Tutoring programs, Gang Intervention and Leadership Programs, and volunteer assistance to elderly, like mowing lawns, etc., which would start at community “Honor camps,” are programs being pushed by the Freedom Bills that F.A.M. says must be included in any Prison Reform if the ills of mass-incarceration are to be seriously addressed.

Under the current model of governance in Alabama, where the community is not made a part of the discussion and white men dominate the debate, we can’t expect enlightenment and diverse, outside-the-box ideas to enter the room

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=8L2NFDR3Z83YJ

A Flicker Turns Into A Flame: Alabama Prisoners Want Change – A Report From F.A.M’S Southern Region

A Flicker Turns Into A flame: Alabama Prisoners Want Change
A Report From F.A.M’S Southern Region

By Kinetik Justice Amun (g.n. Robert E. Council)

10599613_1518395251745511_5416659300835430917_nToday in America, there’s the resurgence of a People’s Movement sweeping across the Nation — As the flame of inhumane treatment and economical exploitation has billowed into a wildfire demanding change.

Reminiscent of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s, from California to Ohio, Texas to Florida, there is a deafening call for an end to America’s systemized targeting, mass incarcerating, warehousing, then economically exploiting those considered, “LOW CLASS,” i.e., New African, Hispanic and poor whites.

Suffering from gross incompetence, sub-par management of resources and the Nation’s highest OVERCROWDING RATIO – 200% over its designed capacity-that flame of change touched the Alabama Prison system.

On Jan. 1, 2014, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMNET launched a cross-racial collective action – a PEACEFUL & NON VIOLENT PROTEST for Human & Civil Rights, in the form of a work stoppage, which spread to St. Clair Corr. Fac. on Jan. 3, 2014 and Elmore Corr. Fac. on Jan. 5, 2014.

“THE FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT”

Free Alabama Movement is an “INSIDE-OUTSIDE” solidarity network, which has brought Alabama Prison Class and Human Rights Advocacy Groups together across Racial, Ideological and Geographic differences – thereby created a cross-denominational solidarity, unlike anything ever seen in the Alabama Prison System.

Free Alabama Movement is a peaceful & nonviolent protest for the human and civil rights of over 27,000 incarcerated citizens and several more thousands of family & friends of those incarcerated citizens.

Our message is clear – we proclaim that Alabama’s practice of:

1. WAREHOUSING INMATES IN OVERCROWDED DORMITORIES….
2. PROVIDING NO EDUCATIONAL OR REHABILITATIONAL PROGRAMS….
3. PROHIBITING AN INMATE FROM BEING COMPENSATED FOR HIS LABOR,

WHILE FORCING HIM TO PAY FINES AND FEES…. IS INHUMAN & EXPLOITATIVE IN VIOLATION OF THE STANDARDS OF HUMAN DECENCY…

Our Goals are defined:

1) Overcrowding MUST be addressed: 8-10 Thousand People released.

2) Taxation without compensation (free labor) abolished.

3.) Parole Board overhauled to establish parole criteria.

4.) Abolish Life Without Parole, Life/Barred from Parole & the Death Penalty.

5.) Amend Arbitrary & Discriminatory Applied Laws, i.e. 13A-5-40 (16)(17)(18).

WHY FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT?

In every stage of these inhumane conditions, we have petitioned the courts for redress, in the most humble method-filing lawsuit after lawsuit. Our repeated petitions have been answered with time-stalling rhetoric, as we continue to suffer from neglect while the D.O.C. daily reaps the financial benefits of our economical exploitations.

And as of June 2013, Alabama law makers established that prisoners could no longer file “class action” law suits against the D.O.C. in regards to inhumane living conditions. (See AL Prison Litigation Reform Act).

History has taught us that convincing the court to issue new rules to improve day to day life in prison and changing exploitive policies requires, not only petitions, but also the creation and maintenance of a legitimate prisoners’ rights movement-both inside and outside the prison walls. Clearly stated, to make real sustaining fundamental change in the
inhumane treatment and overcrowded prison conditions, we can’t rely on lawsuits alone – they have to be connected to the larger struggle.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT IS THE LARGER STRUGGLE – GET INFORMED!!

Why a Work Stoppage?
It is our understanding based on various in-depth studies that *MASS INCARCERATION, UNCONSTITUTIONAL OVERCROWDED PRISONS AND THE INHUMANE TREATMENT ARE MORE ABOUT ECONOMICS THAN THE HUMANITY OF
PEOPLE.

The numbers support our contention that “MONEY” is the motive and most important factor in explaining the policies and conditions within the D.O.C. Therefore, an economical response is our most effective strategy.

A Peaceful & Nonviolent Economical Response…

Each institution is a “STATE FREE LABOR FORCE”, which generates BILLIONS of dollars each year, in tax dollars, industry market, imposed fines & fees, co-payments, court costs and the millions saved by inmate “FREE LABOR.”

We have researched and studied the lessons of previous prison movements throughout the country; and the evidence of the Jan. 1, 2014 – Jan. 21, 2014 work stoppage has confirmed that prisons don’t function without inmate labor. And every day that the prison doesn’t function the prison profit margin plumets.

Based upon these premises and understanding the motive behind Alabama’s Prison Policies, Free Alabama Movement takes the position that – if we, collectively, engage in a proactive peaceful & nonviolent work stoppage, the financial burden will compel the Dept. of Corrections and the law makers of this state to be more receptive to our demands for fundamental
Human Rights. This method also affords us the opportunity to show society that many of us are intelligent & rational men striving to resolve our issues with the most peaceful means possible; and to combat the misconception that we all are, irrational, violent predators lacking any morality and humanity.

All of Free Alabama Movement’s action have been and will continue to be peaceful and nonviolent as we work to bring about a positive change within the Dept. of Corr. If they refuse to recognize the legitimacy of our Human and Civil Rights Struggle against the practices of the D.O.C. then it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to use their powers to stop
Alabama’s inhumane treatment and economical exploitations.

Maybe that’s what it might take – as Alabama has a long history of having to be forced into glory, by the intervention of the Federal Government.

For those familiar with the Alabama history, let’s not forget that it took the Federal intervention to abolish slavery, Federal Intervention to enforce reconstruction, Federal Intervention to outlaw convict leasing, Federal Intervention to enforce Civil Rights Laws in the 1960’s and Federal Intervention in the 1970’s when Alabama became the 1st prison system taken
over by the Federal Courts due to inhumane treatment of its prisoners.

40 YEARS LATER, the Alabama prison system is once again on the brink of a possible federal take over.

In the 1970’s, the inmates resorted to VIOLENCE in order to push change.

TODAY, THE FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT VOWS AND IS COMMITTED TO EFFECTING CHANGE BY PEACEFUL & NONVIOLENT MEANS…

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F.A.M.-bw wpPlease donate to Free Alabama Movement via Paypal by clicking on our logo, thank you!


The FAM 3: A violent response to Non Violent and Peaceful Protest in Alabama

The FAM 3, Part 1: A violent response to  Non Violent and Peaceful Protest in
Alabama

By Kinetik Justice Amun

The Alabama prison system is one of the worst in the nation in regards to overcrowding, inhumane treatment, unsanitary living conditions, inadequate health care and lack of Educational opportunities.

Earlier this year, in response to those horrid conditions, over 4,500 Men at 5 different Institutions in Alabama engaged in Non Violent & Peaceful Protest in the form of a work stoppage. For 3 weeks these men refused to work for free while being dehumanized and economically exploited.

After a press conference at the State Capital and several meetings with the Commissioners of the Department of Corrections, it was agreed that the Alabama prison system needed some drastic changes. This is what they told the public, while internally they began targeting the men they felt like were responsible for organizing and orchestrating such a mass shutdown of their economic stronghold.

Melvin Ray, Robert Earl Council and James Pleasant were targeted, singled out and labeled “threats to the security of the ADOC”, then placed in Solitary Confinement with indeterminate sentences. For the past 9 months, these 3 men have been harassed, intimidated and threatened with physical abuse (and one has been assaulted and deliberately denied medical treatment).

In the course of their continued struggle to get justice in the Alabama prison system, these 3 men have become known as the Free Alabama Movement 3 or (FAM 3).

Part 2:

Warden Myers seems to be holding his end of the bargain as records show that in the last 6 months:
1. An inmate stabbed another inmate several times. He served 4 months in Solitary Confinement.
2. The Wardens runner was found in possession of 3 grams of crystal meth. He served 16 days in Solitary Confinement.
3. 2 inmates assaulted one another with weapons. One served 45 days in Solitary Confinement. The other served 63 days in Solitary Confinement.

So, as Warden Myers stated, drugs and violence are acceptable parts of prison.

However, what is not and will not be tolerated- FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT. For promoting FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT- teaching other inmates the law and expressing their views about the on-going Human violations occurring at Holman Prison, Robert Earl Council and James Pleasant have been placed in Solitary Confinement with indeterminate sentences.

To date, Robert Earl Council has served 9 months in Solitary Confinement with no consideration for release. James Pleasant has served 8 months in Solitary Confinement with no consideration for release. So, once again, it appears that Warden Myers is truly a man of his word.