Press Release Package to Michael Harriot (CNN)

God hates it when the innocent are afflicted with violence and bloodshed. He hates evil and political corruption. He hates courts that are false and leaders that are abusive of their power. We need to rest assured that he will provide deliverance for his faithful followers and administer justice to those who have abused or harmed other people – if not in this life, for sure in the life to come.

We the “Concerned citizens of Alabama” are seeking help for the incarcerated women and men who have been brutally raped, beaten and murdered by the inside officers.

We are asking that these women and men have proper food (that does not say on its labels “NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION”).

We are seeking help for people with a mental illness who are being “over- medicated” to the point they are unable to function.

For the women and men who are not getting the proper equipment to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus that surrounds them in the prison facilities; and all the injustices that our people face each and everyday.

At Donaldson Correctional Facility, the individuals with mental illness are housed in the gym of the facility due to overcrowdedness. The gym has very few windows and there is no ventilation flowing through. When it rains, the floors are flooded and these mentally ill men get wet. They sleep on the floor of the gym on a mat that was assigned to them. No beds or bunks but matts on the floors.

Women at Julia Tutwiler Prison are being raped everyday by prison officers and getting impregnated and having their child/children “ripped” from them. Women are also being raped and tortured with “flashlights” by ADOC prison officers.

Men at Bullock Correctional Facility are medicated to the point that when taking the meds administered by ADOC officials, they sleep for two (2) and three (3) days. When awakened, they find CONDOMS in their rectum. This is torture and taking a man’s manhood from him.

Another important factor is COVID-19. There have been many many deaths due to this virus and pandemic that we are all affected by. This virus is in every correctional facility in the state of Alabama. When an incarcerated person complains of feeling sick to someone of authority at the facility, he or she is denied medical attention and has to wait days to see a nurse. When it’s too late, they either die or have tested positive and in many cases are then sent back to their assigned bed (spreading the virus to other inmates) or finally transported to a hospital and in many cases have died upon arrival. That is mere hate and unconcern of human life. There are not enough masks or sanitizer for every incarcerated person.

Staff/employees of the ADOC have been diagnosed with this deadly virus as well. On Wednesday, June 24, 2020 only four (4) ADOC officials reported for work at Easterling Correctional Facility in Clio, Al due to being sick, tested positive for Covid-19 and in fear of contracting this deadly virus. The entire facility is on lockdown with the exception of one (1) dorm and the individuals in that dorm are being forced to work in the kitchen and serve food to everyone in the facility — putting their lives at risk.

Another demand we, the “Concerned Citizens of Alabama” are demanding is the removal of Alabama Parole Board Director, Charlie Graddick. 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. Approximately 51% were black and 47% were white. Of these, only 15 made parole. 11 of the 15 were white, while 4 were black. This is a clear example of Institutional Racism that is being openly practiced by government officials.

Removal of the Director of Paroles, Charlie Graddick, is indeed needed due to there being a conflict of interest on Graddick’s behalf. Graddick sentenced many men and women to prison when he served as a Judge in Mobile, Al, before he was appointed to Alabama Attorney General’s Office. Graddick has now been appointed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey as Director of Paroles for the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Parole.

Graddick also uses the word “hanging” at press conferences when speaking in regards to people up for parole, and his motto is “LOCK THEM UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY”. In his position as director of ABPP, the lives and future of many men and women sits rests in his hands.

Lastly, we, Concerned Citizens of Alabama, demand automatic restoration of voting rights upon release from incarceration without having to wait 3 years for a pardon to have their voting rights restored.

This is just the “tip of the iceberg” of some of our concerns for our incarcerated men and women of Alabama.

We are also requesting a meeting with Governor Kay Ivey and Director of Paroles, Charlie Graddick to express our concerns regarding our incarcerated men and women in the Alabama prison system.

Sponsored by “Concerned Citizens of Montgomery, Al, joined in by “Concerned Citizens of Alabama”

Thank you kindly for your time,

Rev. Albert Sankey, Chairman (334) 269-5876
“Concerned Citizens of Montgomery”
Kimberly Garner, Co-Chairman (205) 563-3786
“Concerned Citizens of Montgomery”
Donna Smith – Parole Advocate (256) 404-5394
“A Voice for the Voiceless & “A Hope for the Hopeless”

4 or 5: How Many People Made Parole on June 25, 2020?

Yesterday, June 25, 2020, the #AbolishABPP held 36 Parole hearings. According to their news release, only 4 people were granted parole.

However, when you read their parole list from this same website, it shows GRANTED by the names of 5 different people:

1. Jamal DeCosta Short

2. Kandance Leanne Short

3. Anna Maria McNutt

4. Charles Wayne Phillips

5. Terry Wayne Short

See: https://paroles.alabama.gov/2020/06/25/parole-decisions-june-25-2020/

So, why is it that the #AbolishABPP is issuing conflicting statements within the same document? Here’s what we think:

As everyone knows, over the first two days of our #J232425 Protest at #AbolishABPP headquarters, FAM and the FAM Queen Team noticed that not a single Black woman had been granted parole. At the time, 72 hearings (35 on Day 1 and 37 on Day 2) had been held. Twenty-five Paroles were GRANTED as of Day 2, 17 to white males, 4 to white females, and 4 to black males.

 

After publicizing this information across social media, the very next day, June 25, 2020, #AbolishABPP granted its first and only parole to a Black woman, Mr. Anna Maria McNutt. We also noticed that #AbolishABPP was stalking our Twitter account when we sent out an ALERT after Queen Nikki D was blocked from entering the building where the #AbolishABPP is located. Queen Nikki D was attempting to deliver #FAMs12DEMANDS to the #AbolishABPP. So they definitely knew that we were informing the public about the Institutional Racism that was going on at the #AbolishABPP.

Damn stalkers need to be paying more attention to parole-ready men and women instead of lying on Twitter

 

 

It appears that many deserving people are being left hanging for parole by #GraddickMustGo, while there is credible evidence suggesting that racial quotas and Twitter posts are dictating parole considerations. Does any of this have anything to do with the fact that the #AbolishABPP is providing conflicting results in their statements? FAM thinks so.

Why is it that these people can’t count to 5? Is that the reason why parole numbers are so low?

We already know that the#AbolishABPP does not have any criteria or guidelines for granting Parole.  Why is it that these people can’t count to 5? Is that the reason why parole numbers are so low?

So, who was #5? When were they added to the list? Are Paroles being granted based on Twitter posts to mask institutional racism? What’s really going on?

#GraddickMustGo

#RemoveTheNooseFromABPP

#AbolishABPP

#DefundABPP

#OperationToppleAndDismantle

 

#PAROLEWATCH Update: June 24, 2020

Day 2

For the second consecutive day, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT and FAM Queen Team lead a Protest at the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. We will be back at the Bureau tomorrow to complete our 3-Day Protest #J232425, where we are demanding immediate change to the Bureau’s operations and leadership.

Day 2 saw a continuation of the pattern of Institutional Racism that has defined the Bureau under Charlie Graddick.

There were 37 parole hearings today. 21 White, 15 Black and 1 Hispanic. For the second consecutive day, no Black woman was on the docket. The results were as follow:

1) 10 Total Paroles were GRANTED

2) 9 White males were granted parole

3) 1 Black male was granted parole.

This is the second day that people who are White were granted at least 80% of all Paroles.

We are seeing once again that race is playing a significant role in determining who is incarcerated and who is released. FAM, FAM Queen Team and other organizations and supporters will be on site and presenting our #FAM12DEMANDS to the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.

Contact:

Alert: Protest Going on Outside Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles

ALERT: Going on NOW !! Free Alabama Movement and FAM Queen Team Protest in Montgomery at the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.
#J232425
#GraddickMustGo
#AbolishABPP
#DefundABPP
#AbolishRepEngland70
#Abolishbsingle362
#23000CantBreathe https://t.co/wRYZX3ALqH

32 COVID-19 Deaths So Far in ADOC: Silence is Deadly

32 COVID 19 deaths so far. Who are they?

Finally, the ADOC has release an updated report of the number of people who have died from COVID 19 inside Alabama’s deadly prisons. According to the ADOC website, 32 men and women have succumb to this deadly virus. But who knew?

From reading news reports you would think that hardly anyone is dying from COVID 19 in ADOC. How is it that 32 people have died from COVID 19 but no one has sounded the alarm that something tragic is going on? Where are these deaths occurring at? Has the ADOC identified a source? Which prisons are having the most outbreaks? What control measures and prevention strategies are being implemented? Is the public aware of the location of any clusters? What is really going on? 32

As many have heard by now, FAM is conducting a Protest at the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. #J232425. The ADOC and the Parole Bureau have got to release people from these death camps. Let’s work collectively to free our people from these Death Camps before it’s too late.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

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:


Email:  freealabamamovement@gmail.com fam@famqueenteam.com,

or

Twitter: @FreeAlaMovement

or

Like our FB fan page: freealabamamovement#RedistributeThePain 

Rep. Chris England, ADOC Correctional Officers beat the man to death, hog-tied him, and then covered it up

Rep. Chris England was a member of Gov. Kay Ivey’s Prison Reform Study Group. When the PRSG ended, Rep. England co-sponsored legislation that FAM quickly called out as grandstanding. Rep. England responded to FAM’s Statement by admitting that his Bill “wasn’t being offered as a solution to our crisis.” Worthless Legislation !! The PRSG did not uncover this murder and cover-up. So far, the citizens of Alabama and the Black community haven’t received any relief from the institutional racism and oppression that is the ADOC.

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News
Alabama prison guards allegedly beat, hog-tied, ignored inmate who later died: Secret report

Billy Smith
Billy Smith and his mother, Teresa. Smith died in November 2017 after he was beaten in an Alabama prison. (Courtesy Teresa Smith | Injustice Watch)

By Adeshina Emmanuel | Injustice Watch
Originally published Feb. 18, 2020, this article is the first in an Injustice Watch series detailing problems in Alabama’s prisons. Injustice Watch is a nonprofit investigative journalism organization based in Chicago.

An Alabama prisoner died weeks after he was allegedly beaten by a fellow inmate, beaten again and hog-tied by prison guards, and then denied treatment by a nurse, according to a secret Alabama Department of Corrections report obtained by Injustice Watch.


The report contains shocking details about the death of Billy Smith, including apparent efforts to conceal the timeline of events and obscure the roles that correctional employees played in his fatal ordeal.

Smith, 35, was found dazed and injured on the floor of a bathroom at Elmore Correctional Facility in November 2017 after another man allegedly punched him in the head and knocked him out over a bungled drug deal.

Inmates took Smith, bloodied, to the shift command office, where witnesses said he complained about head pain and refused to wait outside. Officers then allegedly beat Smith, hog-tied him, and left him strapped to a gurney.

Smith lay untreated for at least an hour, witnesses said in the report, bleeding heavily from his nose and pleading for help.

Officers then took him to a nearby prison medical facility, where a nurse refused him treatment. When authorities returned with Smith, he was unconscious and trembling.

Prison officials then sent Smith back to the medical facility, and paramedics took him to a hospital. Smith, who suffered a fractured skull and brain bleeding, never woke up again. He died 26 days later from blunt force head trauma.

Smith’s mother, Teresa Smith, said the Alabama Department of Corrections never reached out with condolences or an explanation. Smith, who left behind three children, was serving time for a 2006 murder.

“For him to have to die like that — he got the death penalty in my view,” Teresa Smith said in an interview with Injustice Watch. “People say he deserved what he got, but nobody deserves to suffer like that. I know that inmates are prisoners, and maybe they are there for a reason, but they’re not animals; these are people’s sons, brothers, and daddies.”

Teresa Smith
Teresa Smith’s son, Billy Smith, died as a prisoner at Elmore Correctional Facility in December 2017. (Adeshina Emmanuel | Injustice Watch)

The details of how guards allegedly left Smith without prompt care for his wounds and then inflicted more injuries were included in the confidential investigative report that the Alabama Department of Corrections has kept secret from the public. In the report, inmates contradicted the explanations correctional staff gave investigators.

Some prison supervisors first denied seeing Smith hogtied, but later revised their statements or were otherwise called into question by video described in the report. An office log was found apparently altered, with notes about Smith missing and a dubious signature. One sergeant failed a polygraph exam, and an assistant warden edited her time card without explanation, according to the report.

Injustice Watch emailed the Alabama Department of Corrections with a long list of questions and sought interviews about what investigators found. Officials responded with a statement confirming that they had probed the circumstances around Smith’s death and forwarded findings to prosecutors, but declined to say much more, “out of respect for the legal process.”

Bryan Blount, who was serving time at Elmore for a 2002 murder, is scheduled to go on trial for manslaughter next month for allegedly causing Smith’s death. So, too, is former correctional officer Jeremy Singleton, who prosecutors say struck Smith multiple times on his head and failed to seek timely medical attention for the inmate.

Mickey McDermott, Singleton’s lawyer, said his client is innocent. Blount’s attorney didn’t return calls for comment. Neither did the state medical examiner who investigators said concluded that Blount was responsible for Smith’s death. Injustice Watch also reached out to the other officers accused of abusing Smith, the nurse who denied his care, and prison supervisors mentioned in the report. All either failed to respond to requests or refused to answer questions about what state investigators found.

The Shift Commander’s Office

Late in the afternoon of Nov. 13, 2017, prisoners found Smith with a bruised forehead and a bloody nose in a prison dormitory. Two officers were watching the dorm, according to the report, which houses nearly 200 inmates.

Prisoners told investigators that Blount punched Smith in the head about 5:30 p.m., knocking him to the concrete floor. The fight was over money — Blount accused Smith of shorting a package of synthetic marijuana. Prison officials alleged that Smith smuggled drugs for Blount from a nearby trade school where Smith attended classes. Smith, of Arab, Alabama, had struggled with addiction and crime since his teen years, his mother said.

Former Elmore correctional officer Joel McClease told Injustice Watch that an inmate brought him to the bathroom, where he found Smith lying on the floor by a toilet. Other prisoners told him Smith was intoxicated. McClease remembers helping Smith to a shower, saying he was conscious but unsteady on his feet. McClease said guards were typically advised to send injured or sick inmates to the shift office so that supervisors could then take them to a nearby prison health facility where nurses could evaluate their condition and fill out a “body chart.”

McClease said he radioed supervisors and requested that an “ambulance unit” of inmates come with a stretcher and transport Smith to the front shift command office.

According to the report, one of the inmates in the ambulance unit told investigators he remembered finding Smith lying on the floor, possibly intoxicated, wearing only boxers and a sweatshirt after his shower. He had a cut atop his head and a bloody nose.

Smith stood and was helped into the gurney. He was taken to a grassy area outside the shift commander’s office, where it was cool and raining. About an hour had passed since the fight.

Nurse Tara Parker was in the office passing out medicine to a long line of inmates. Singleton had just arrived to work an overtime shift as a transport agent, moving inmates from prison to prison. At least two supervisors, Sgt. Jonathan Richardson and shift commander Lt. Kenny Waver, were in the office as well.

Waver, according to the report, said he threatened Smith with a can of mace when Smith first arrived on the gurney because he refused to sit down. But both shift leaders denied hitting Smith or seeing anyone abuse him, and both failed to return calls and letters seeking comment.

Smith continued to complain that he was cold and that his head was hurting badly. According to what several inmates told investigators, Smith defied correctional officers who told him to stay out of the office for fear he would track blood inside.

As the situation escalated, Singleton allegedly smacked Smith hard in his face and head, punched him twice in the ribs, and swept his feet from under him, causing him to fall on his side, three prisoners who helped guards transport Smith said in the report. McClease told Injustice Watch that he left his post to smoke a cigarette, looked down toward the shift office, and saw Singleton hit Smith.

“Singleton was coming out of the door, and Billy was standing on the wall right next to the door, and Singleton turned around and punched him,” he said. “And everybody who was in the pill call line scattered.”

Several prisoners also accused other officers in the report of attacking Smith. Officer Ramus Johnson allegedly “grabbed inmate Smith by the shirt with his left hand and slapped him twice with his right hand and pushed him to the ground,” according to one account. Another prisoner claimed to have seen Officer Walter Green punch Smith in the ribs after putting on gloves with hard plastic knuckles. Neither of the officers responded to repeated requests for comment.

At some point, witnesses alleged, Singleton punched Smith in the face and then “hogtied” him with help from other officers. They cuffed his hands behind him, shackled his feet, and then connected the cuffs to the shackles. Many law enforcement agencies have banned this sort of dangerous restraint method. Some critics liken it to torture.

Smith was laid on his stomach on the gurney, strapped in, and left behind the office beyond the view of cameras, yelling for help for at least an hour or more, according to the report. After he began to vomit, Waver ordered Singleton and rookie officer Ell White to take Smith to the health care unit down the road at Staton Correctional Facility. White, whose personnel file says he is a motor transport operator for the Alabama National Guard, did not return requests for comment.

Inmate runners said the officers unstrapped Smith and that he walked to a prison transport van near the back gate. Video footage showed the van leaving the prison about 9 p.m. Smith entered Staton under his own power, Singleton and White said. But he didn’t leave that way, according to the report.

Denied Care

Jackson Hospital
On Nov. 13, 2017, paramedics took Billy Smith to the emergency room at Jackson Hospital with a fractured skull and a bleeding brain. He died 26 days later. (Adeshina Emmanuel | Injustice Watch)

Parker, the nurse, told investigators that she left the shift office at Elmore Correctional Facility and returned to Staton to find the officers in a hallway with Smith. Parker said she told the officers that she needed a few minutes to get settled, but would return. The officers placed Smith in a holding cell to wait.

The officers told investigators they saw Smith sitting on a bench with his eyes closed, and that he eventually slid off and began kicking, hitting his head on the floor, and grabbing at Singleton’s legs. They said they didn’t hit Smith or let him fall.

White said Smith collapsed when officers tried to get him to stand up. Smith became unresponsive, so White rapped him lightly on the back of his neck to wake him. It was “nothing ruthless,” he said. White declined to take a polygraph about that account.

In a second interview, White said that he picked up a water cooler inside the cell and began pouring water over Smith to wake him up. He also said Singleton poured water and ice over Smith, but Singleton denied it. Nurses later discovered the sound of water in Smith’s lungs, according to the report.

When Parker got to the cell, she said there was blood smeared on the walls, and that she found Smith rolling around on the floor, thrashing and yelling. Parker remembered the officers saying that Smith was “wigging out” on drugs, investigators said. In Parker’s statement, she admitted that she made two big mistakes: The nurse did not complete a body chart on Smith, and she ultimately refused to treat him, she said, because he was acting erratically.

Parker initially told investigators she didn’t see water on the ground in Smith’s cell and didn’t see anybody pour water on him. More than two months later, Parker gave a second statement, telling investigators that she did see White pour water over Smith in the holding cell.

Once Parker refused to treat Smith, the officers said they loaded Smith into a wheelchair and rolled him to the van. Singleton said that the officers buckled Smith into the van, but that he unbuckled himself and tore at his clothing. But White, in his second interview, had a different story than Singleton: Smith was not moving when they got to the van, and the officers didn’t buckle him into his seat.

The van was captured on camera returning to Elmore just after 10 p.m., about an hour after Smith was taken to Staton. At least two inmate runners helped unload Smith. They saw him lying on his left side, unresponsive, stuck between two benches, with his shirt over his head, his pants around his ankles, and his boxers down to his thighs, according to the report. One of the runners said that he pulled a trash bag filled with ice from between Smith’s chest and one of the seats.

The inmates who transported Smith, as well as a supervisor who saw him after he returned to Elmore, offered the same account: Smith was wet, shaking uncontrollably, and making a strange snoring noise. “Oh my god,” Waver exclaimed when Smith was rolled back to the shift office, according to one inmate runner’s account. Supervisors then ordered him taken back to Staton.

Parker and one of the inmate runners said that Smith returned to Staton with several marks on his body that were not there before. Parker told investigators it appeared Smith had been dragged. After nurses evaluated his condition, they gave him medicine meant to treat drug overdoses, but it had no effect, according to the report. After that, authorities took Smith to Jackson Hospital, in Montgomery, but the report doesn’t say when.

There are discrepancies in different witness accounts. Some inmates, including retired officer Joel McClease, said that they saw Smith walking on his own closer to 10 p.m.

One of the prisoners who helped transport Smith initially declined to talk to investigators until he was transferred to another prison, 25 miles away. There, he gave investigators a statement largely supporting the descriptions of how Smith was mistreated. He later told investigators that Singleton unexpectedly visited him, saying, “I suppose I know why you are up here.”

The prisoner said Singleton confided that “they are trying to pin that inmate’s death on me,” and then told him to “stay strong.”

The prisoner told investigators that he took the statement to mean he should stay quiet about what happened to Smith, according to the report.

John Crow, who was the warden at Staton during Smith’s incident but has since moved on to another facility, didn’t return calls for comment. And nurse Parker, contacted in February by Injustice Watch, refused to answer questions about what happened at the shift office or the medical facility in 2017 when Smith suffered fatal injuries while she was on duty.

“Please respect the fact that I do not want to talk about this case,” she said. “I do not want to be bothered anymore about the situation.”

“Exceptionally Cleared”

Department of Corrections
State investigators interrogated many of the correctional employees named in the Billy Smith case at Alabama Department of Corrections headquarters, in Montgomery, Alabama. (Adeshina Emmanuel | Injustice Watch)

The Alabama Department of Corrections’ Investigations and Intelligence Division began looking into Smith’s injuries on Nov. 14, 2017, the day after he arrived at the hospital.

Investigator William D. Favor and a partner, T.A. Wallace, found Smith unconscious, visibly battered, and recovering from an emergency brain surgery when they arrived at the hospital. A nurse told the investigators that Smith had a fractured skull on the left temporal area of his head and a swollen brain that had shifted to the right. Favor wrote in his report that Smith was brought to the hospital “due to a possible drug overdose.”

The investigators reviewed his body and observed: “several cuts to the top of his head, abrasions and bruising on both legs, hips, shoulders, however; he did not appear to have any defensive marks or bruising on his arms nor did he have any cuts to his knuckles and hand that would indicate hitting any object with his fist.”

Then–Elmore Correctional Facility warden Joseph Headley, who didn’t return Injustice Watch’s requests for comment, was among the first people Favor interviewed. Headley, now the warden at Staton Correctional Facility, never indicated that guards or nurses had mishandled Smith, according to investigators. Instead, he helped connect investigators with alleged witnesses to Smith and Blount’s dormitory fight.

When investigators later approached prison leadership with harder questions about what had happened to Smith under their watch and asked whether officers had abused Smith, leaders responded with apparent defensiveness, deception, and a lack of cooperation, the investigators’ report shows.

Assistant Warden Gwendolyn Babers, who refused to be interviewed for this story, denied ever seeing an inmate abused, according to the report. A prisoner, however, alleged that Babers had exited out the front side door in view of the shift office, and spoke to Waver briefly while Smith was hog-tied. Investigators couldn’t confirm that inmate’s account. And Babers’ time card showed that she clocked out about 40 minutes before Smith was brought to the shift office, according to the report. However, investigators noted that Babers’ time card was edited on the day Smith was hurt, and that “the reason for the editing is unknown.”

Waver denied that any officers under his command struck Smith and denied seeing Smith hog-tied on the gurney, though in a later interview he acknowledged seeing Smith handcuffed and shackled on the gurney outside the office for an hour or more.

Richardson denied seeing any officer strike Smith and said he could not confirm if he was hog-tied. The corrections sergeant said he had only been outside the office once during Smith’s ordeal — when other witnesses said he was being beaten — but video later showed he had been outside at least six times, according to investigators.

Investigators also found that the original copy of a shift office log was missing notes about Smith’s first trip to Staton that a clerk remembered entering, and it lacked a required signature from a supervisor. A copy of the unsigned, incomplete log was found on a clipboard in the women’s bathroom. The purported original was later found in a locked file cabinet bearing Richardson’s signature.

Richardson denied knowing whether anyone had changed the shift log and insisted that he had signed the log. He failed a polygraph exam when agents asked him if he had seen Smith hog-tied, if he had signed the shift log after it had been altered and if he knew who had made the changes, the report shows.

A state autopsy concluded Smith had died of blunt force trauma. After hearing investigators describe the details of Smith’s fight with Blount and witness statements about Smith’s contact with officers, a medical examiner with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences attributed Smith’s fatal injuries to his fight with Blount.

In February 2019, one of the investigators referred a manslaughter charge against Blount to the Elmore County District Attorney’s Office.

Investigators declared the Smith probe “exceptionally cleared” and closed it in October 2018, due to the case against the inmate. But in July 2019, the grand jury returned indictments against both Blount and Singleton, who had been promoted to sergeant a year prior.

Prison officials put Singleton on mandatory leave after learning of the indictment, and he resigned about a week later, in August 2019, according to a statement from the Department of Corrections.

Both Singleton and Blount are scheduled to begin trial in December.

McDermott, Singleton’s lawyer, said “the state of Alabama can’t have it both ways” by charging both men with manslaughter even though a state autopsy concluded Blount was at fault.

He accused inmates of making false statements, and blasted corrections staff at Elmore for allegedly scapegoating Singleton while other employees got off the hook.

“Mr. Singleton has been sued civilly, he’s been charged criminally, yet if you read the report, the person who denied medical treatment to Mr. Smith was a nurse,” McDermott said. “The nurse has not been charged, she has not been sued, but clearly she refused medical treatment to this inmate, and I’m sorry, but if you look at it, it looks like her delay contributed to this man’s death.”

Smith’s mother, Teresa Smith, also rejects the notion that only Blount and Singleton are responsible. That is one reason why her family filed a civil lawsuit against Singleton, Warden Headley, who transferred to Staton last year, Waver, state prison chief Jeff Dunn, and former associate commissioner Grantt Culliver, who retired in 2018 amid a sexual misconduct scandal.

She hopes that the story of how her son died can help spur greater accountability at Elmore Correctional Facility and other Alabama prisons, and urge consequences higher up the organizational chart when corrections employees mistreat inmates.

“I want to save another mama, or another child, from having to feel pain like this,” she said. “I don’t really blame the prisoner, because I don’t think he killed my son. I know that the guards did it, and it wasn’t just one person involved.”

Click here to read the rest of Injustice Watch’s Alabama Prison Crisis series.


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ALERT: FAM Press Statement and Call to Action: #EnoughIsEnough PROTEST

 JUNE 6, 2020

PRESS STATEMENT

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PUBLIC (PLEASE SHARE)

FROM: FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, FAM’S QUEEN TEAM, NINE DIVINE

RE: PROTEST TO BE HELD AT ALABAMA BUREAU OF PARDONS AND PAROLES ON JUNE 23, 24 AND 25

#FREEUMALL
@humunsofalabamadoc
#EnoughIsEnough

ALABAMA DEPT OF CORRUPTION, STATEWIDE.

To all concerned citizens in the State of Alabama, all incarcerated individuals, to our elected and appointed State officials, and to all of our supporters around the World:

On June 23, 24 and 25, at 8:30 am, FAM and a Coalition of organizations, including FAM’s Queen Team, Nine Divine, family members, activists, attorneys, and supporters are calling for a 3-day Protest at the Headquarters for the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles in Montgomery, Al.

We are making this Call to Action to address the ongoing humanitarian crises taking place inside of the Alabama Department of Corrections, as well as to address decisions being made by the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles that are only exacerbating these issues.

Enough is enough !!!

DEADLY VIOLENCE

Under the current leadership of Commissioner Jefferson Dunn, Alabama’s prisons are the most deadly, overcrowded and underfunded in the nation, and the unfathomable lose of life cannot continue on as usual. In May alone we mourned the death of six more men (and presumably women too) due to violence, suicide or other negligent acts while in ADOC custody.


At the same time, there were many more struggling to survive stabbings, self-mutilations due to mental health issues, and officer use of excessive force and brutality. As we release this statement, Donaldson prison was placed on lockdown due to another episode of violence that has been brewing for three days while ADOC staff stood by and allowed it to happen. We are sick of the savagery and barbarian that is the leadership of ADOC Commissioner Jefferson Dunn.


Enough is Enough !!!

Enough of the murders and drug overdoses. Enough COVID-19 deaths (Mr. Hershell Moon died from COVID 19 on June 3, 2020). Enough physical and sexual abuse. Enough of the suicides. Enough of the preventable medical deaths. And enough of death by incarceration. Enough !!! This level of suffering cannot continue to go on.


Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.

Meanwhile the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles is denying parole at a staggering rate. In May 2020, 160 people were afforded parole hearings. Of those 160, only 15 people made parole according to a new SPLC report. Also according to SPLC, 11 of the 15 were white, while only 4 people granted parole were Black. These four Black people made parole despite the fact that 51% of those up for parole were Black. These numbers reveal yet another example of the systemic racial issues that plague the Bureau of Parole under Charles Graddick.

 

One should not be surprised to hear Charlie Graddick using the word “hanging” when talking about people in Alabama prisons.

Many deserving individuals who have served decades in Alabama prisons or who will serve decades more are being denied parole even though they are deserving of freedom. Yesterday, June 4, 2020, according to Beth Shelburne, the Bureau denied 37 out of 38 paroles, including a man who has already served 33 years for 2nd and 3rd degree burglary charges. This is outrageous misconduct and a waste of tax dollars. Arbitrarily denying parole to over 75% of all eligible people reveals systemic issues and an addiction to incarceration and oppression. This Must End !



Moreover, the parole process is a complete sham. There are no objective criteria by which a person is reviewed for parole. No one knows what the Board members consider as evidence of rehabilitation and parole readiness. The person being considered for parole is not even allowed to be present to speak at the hearing or to speak via video. This does not make any sense. It is 2020, where judicial proceedings, visitation and other important business is conducted via video technology; yet the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles conducts their business as if we were still living in 1901..

These outdated practices, outdated ideas, and outdated leaders must go. The time for change is now, and Charlie Graddick Must Go!!!

Enough is Enough !! #WeCantBreatheInADOC, either.

In the past, the “Alabama solution” to these same problems has always been the same: Build more prisons !!! Well, building more prisons has not solved our problem; it has only solved theirs.

Today, we must send a message to Montgomery that we reject their solutions.

No more waiting for a Special Session. No more backwards Bills by Rep. Chris England and the other Prison Reform Study Group members. No more Prison Reform Study Groups. By the time these things come to pass, we will be dead in the Alabama Department of Death.

Alabama prisons also lead or are near the top in suicide deaths.


#NoMorePrisons
#NoMoreParoleBureau
#NoMoreCharlieGraddick
#NoMoreDeaths

If you are a family member or support person for someone up for parole on June 23, 24 or 25, please contact us at the information below and provide us with details of accomplishments and any other information that you feel supports your loved one’s release.

THANK YOU,

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
FAM’S QUEEN TEAM
NINE DIVINE

If you or your organization would like to be added as a co-sponsor or supporter, please email us at:
freealabamamovement@gmail.com, or fam@famqueenteam.com



Lieutenant Ronald Carter of ADOC Strikes Again: Commissioner Dunn Fails to Protect Life

Many people are tuned in to the most recent media coverage of events about the murder of an innocent and unarmed Black man in Georgia and another incident where a Black woman was body-slammed by an officer for not wearing a face covering in a public storefront. However, another attack by a peace officer against an unarmed Black man in Alabama, Mr. Andre McKinney, has not made its way into the news cycle. Why? Probably because Mr. McKinney is incarcerated, and these types of stories rarely ever make the news.

Andre McKinney was beaten in the head with a “1×4” by a correctional officer on April 25, 2020, while handcuffed.

Nevertheless, there are certain facts about this incident aside from the fact that Mr. Kinney is a victim of unprovoked police brutality that are news worthy.

Many activist and others who are following the Alabama prison system know that late last year two men, Stephen Davis and Micheal Smith, were beaten to death by Alabama correctional Officers. No arrests have been made in either incident. Additionally, the officer involved in the Davis murder, Kendrick Gadson, has already returned to work and been promoted by Commissioner Dunn to the rank of Sergeant.

These were the second and third reported incidents of a person in custody of ADOC being beaten to death by correctional Officers. Rocrast Mack III was also beaten to death in 2010, and his attackers were convicted and sentenced to federal prison.

Rocrast Mack III

At the same time, the ADOC is currently being investigated by the United States Department of Justice for, among other things, violence levels in Alabama’s men prisons. Coincidentally, the ADOC stalled federal investigators for over one year, refusing to turn over internal documents and reports relating to use-of-force by correctional officers, which turns directly into this latest attack against Mr. McKinney.

Lt. Ronald Carter, the officer involved in the attack and beating of Mr. Kinney, is no stranger to such accusations.

In a class action lawsuit filed while Lt. Carter was a Sargeant at Donaldson Correctional Facility, Carter was accused of beating multiple individuals, all while in handcuffs. In addition, then-Sgt. Carter was once relieved of duty when other officers turned on him in a lawsuit after it was uncovered that Carter was running an illegal racketeering operation using cigarettes and coffee to extort incarcerated individuals, their families and to conduct other illegal activities.

Carter, however, is a second generation officer who was able to get rehired after resigning when his racketeering activities were uncovered. His mother, Mary Carter was a long-time ADOC correctional officer officer and served as a warden for many years during her tenure with ADOC. She is now retired.

By 2014, Carter had risen to the rank of Lieutenant, and his reputation for violence was well documented. At that time, he transferred to St. Clair prison from Donaldson prison, where he served under notorious warden Carter Davenport. As an enforcer for Davenport, Carter carried out a reign of terror that lasted for several years.

Three incidents bear mentioning here.

1. Jermaine Tillman.

Jermaine Tillman was beaten and asphyxiated by Lt. Carter while handcuffs. Mr. Tillman had to be resuscitated multiple times to survive. This incident resulted in a civil settlement of tens of thousands of dollars.

2. Ventura Harris.

One day Ventura Harris was called out of his assigned living area by two officers. When Mr. Harris stepped into the corridor, Lt. Carter was waiting. Lt. Carter had the two officers to place Mr. Harris against the wall and handcuff him to the rear. While Mr. Harris was handcuffed to the rear and defenseless, one of the officers took a set of handcuffs and delivered a blow to the back of Mr. Harris’s head. The blow was so violent that it busted his scalp all the way to the skull.

Harris also settled a civil rights lawsuits for tens of thousands of dollars.

3. Xavian Austin (April 17, 2014 PRESS STATEMENT https://freealabamamovement.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/press-release/)

Mr. Xavian Austin was apprehended for allegedly possessing a cellphone. The officers who apprehended Mr. Austin placed him in handcuffs to the rear and proceed to escort him out of the dorm. Once outside, Mr. Austin was roughed up and his head was ran into a concrete wall.

From there, Mr. Austin was taken to the shift officer, where Lt. Carter was waiting. Mr. Austin was summarily beaten by Lt. Carter and then taken to the infirmary. After being screened by medical staff, Mr. Austin was taken to a remote location where he was beaten again by Lt. Carter and his crew.

BUT . . .

Later this same morning after the Austin attacks, Lt. Carter himself would be stabbed multiple times, have his jaw broken, and suffer multiple other injuries. This incident set off a wave of violence in the ADOC that has not dissipated to this day.

Lt. Carter was absent from the ADOC for over two years, before finally resurfacing at Childerburg Work Camp. Apparently, Commissioner Jefferson Dunn has positions for violent officers like Lt. Ronald Carter.

Lt. Carter seems to have learned a few things after watching how the Stephen Davis murder played out. Recall that the officers who beat Mr. Davis to death claim that Mr. Davis attacked them with two knives in hand. Mr. Davis was beaten beyond recognition, forcing his mother to hold a closed casket funeral.

In the disciplinary report filed in the McKinney assault, Lt. Carter claims that Mr. McKinney took a 1×4 and struck himself in the head while “handcuff[ed] to the front.”

“While detained in the Lieutenant Office with handcuffs to the front by Lt. Ronald Carter. You, inmate Andre McKinney B/179884, did pick up a 1×4 pick of wood and intentionally strike yourself multiple times in the head to self-inflict wounds. “

The Alabama Prison System under the leadership of Commissioner Jefferson Dunn is a bottomless pit of moral decay and hell-on-earth that knows no sin or evil too great. It is time to STOP making demands for change to Commissioner Dunn and start making the DEMAND that #DunnMustGo!!

Please follow us for details of actions being planned to demand Justice for Mr. McKinney.

 

How Many Children in Alabama’s Juvenile Detention Facilities are at risk of Death from COVID-19?

APRIL 9, 2020

PRESS STATEMENT

IMMEDIATE PUBLIC RELEASE

FROM: FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

TO: GOVERNOR KAY IVEY AND CONCERNED ALABAMA CITIZENS, JUVENILE ADVOCATES AND STATE LEADERS

RE: CHILDREN IN JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITIES DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC: WHERE IS THEIR ADVOCACY AND WHY ISN’T ANYONE DEMANDING THEIR RELEASE??

With each passing day, the clamor about a potential human rights nightmare taking place inside America’s overcrowded prisons and jails grows louder. We are seeing more and more videos emerge from inside these facilities by courageous (and sometimes sick) men and women showing the world that the structure and conditions inside of the human warehouses are tinderboxes for COVID 19. As a result of these images and stories and advocacy, thousands of men and women across the United States have been released, with the promise of more releases to come. Just yesterday, Alabama’s Parole Bureau announced plans to re-start parole review amid mounting pressure from public discontent.Despite these positive, though belated development, the loudest noise emerging from this crisis is the silence that is emanating from the lack of dialogue about the thousands of vulnerable children who are detained in Alabama’s Youth Detention Facilities. Where is their advocacy and why is no one demanding their release ? It’s time to start asking ourselves a few questions:

  1. How many children are currently in the custody of Alabama’s juvenile detention facilities?
  2. What are the conditions that these children are being detained in as it relates to COVID 19?
  3. Are any children at any facility being subjected to a heightened risk of exposure to COVID 19 as a result of their housing/living conditions?
  4. What type of safety precautions are in place to protect these children from COVID 19?
  5. Has Alabama released any children from juvenile detention facilities due to COVID 19? If not, why?
  6. Are these children being provided masks, gloves, soaps, hand sanitizers, and other PPEs?
  7. In this State of Emergency is the media allowed into these facilities to assess the conditions that these children are being house in and to verify any account given by juvenile authorities?
  8. With COVID 19 now having a disproportionate impact on African Americans, what are the demographics and racial make-up of Alabama’s juvenile populations overall and at each facility?
  9. Who is responsible for devising and implementing emergency planning as it relates to children in juvenile detention facilities?

These questions obviously lead into the most important question of them all: Has anyone (staff/judicial official/case worker) who has come into contact with these children tested positive for COVID 19 ?, or has any child tested positive for COVID 19? Indeed, has any testing at all been done? Are temperatures being checked? What protocols are being followed to protect these children?As I said, there is a deafening silence coming from this segment of the COVID 19 prison/jail commentary. When we talk about the most vulnerable people in society to COVID 19, who is more vulnerable than a child? These children lack the mental acumen to fully grasp and comprehend this once-in-a-lifetime type of pandemic. Then, we have to take into account that some of these children suffer from mental health and emotional issues, psychological trauma from being in these facilities that weaken their immune systems, physical disabilities, etc. Are they being allowed phone calls every day to contact their families? Are they in school or has their school been suspended? We have all of these children locked up in these juvenile detention facilities that look and operate just like jails and prisons, yet we aren’t receiving any information on their well-being and we don’t know what the plan is for their safety.We have to keep in mind that these children are not criminals. They have not been convicted of any crime. No, instead, many of them are simply juvenile delinquents and have sentences that range from maybe a few days to less than six months. This is because their delinquent act may have been running away from home. Acting out in school. Shoplifting or stealing a bicycle or car. Etc. You know, the very things that juvenile are apt to do. Some, of course, may have committed more serious offenses, but the issue is, should these delinquent acts now carry a potential COVID 19 death sentence because they so happen to be in a juvenile detention facility when this deadly virus emerged? The answer to that question is, emphatically, no !!! So, the final question is, what should we be doing to #FREEOURCHILDREN?Many of us in FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT have travelled through these juvenile detention facilities in the past on our way to these adult prisons. That is why it is easy for us to notice the silence across the spectrum of conversation when it comes to children in detention. These children, most likely, are living in the same squalor and moral decay that we now find ourselves living in in these adult prisons. In our opinion, which is supported by studies on the school-to-prison pipeline, the juvenile justice system have served as a feeder system for the adult prisons. In fact, many of these facilities don’t prepare these children for a successful re-entry into society; instead, they prepared us for successful entry into the adult prison system, all the way down to the (illegal) free labor. These juvenile facilities are an important part of the overall carcearal eco-system, as the adult prison system depends on these juvenile facilities to keep turning out assets for future capitalization. Thus, we should not only be fighting to save the lives of these children from COVID 19, but in doing so we will also be saving them from a dysfunctional juvenile system that will only serve to prepare them to spend time in an adult prison – namely, the new facilities that Governor Kay Ivey is planning to build.SINCERELY,FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

#FREEOURCHILDREN

 

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT PRESS STATEMENT: WE ARE BEING LEFT TO DIE

F. A. M. 3

 

PRESS STATEMENT

APRIL 5, 2020
11:00 am
FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

RE: Deadly conditions inside of Alabama prisons and the need for decisive actions by Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

TO: GOVERNOR KAY IVEY, THE ALABAMA LEGISLATURE AND OTHER STATE LEADERSHIP

Dear Governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama Legislature and ADOC Commissioner Jefferson Dunn:

We are releasing this statement from inside the Alabama prison system on behalf of ourselves, and on behalf of our families and those who are impacted by the Alabama prison system, including the employees and their families. All facilities within the Alabama prison system are facing a new crisis involving Covid-19. Because of the limited information we were provided, we’ve only recently become aware of  the two ADOC employees that tested positive for this deadly virus. Meanwhile those of us on the inside, inclusive of less than 20 individuals total, only recently began being tested.

We, our families, the employees, and their families, are fearful for our lives and well-being in the midst of this crisis. We are looking to our state leaders to take actions that reflect (show) value for our lives equally to that of any other human life. 

For the past several years, much attention has been paid to the Alabama prison system, but very little has been done to remedy the problems that the prison system is faced with. Now, with COVID-19 looming as a threat projected to kill approx. 250,000, experts, legal professionals, and others, are forecasting catastrophic results for America’s overcrowded prisons.

These pressing issues dictate that it is time for politics to take a backseat and for sound-humanitarian action to be placed in the forefront concerning the lives of those of us who are incarcerated in the Alabama Department of Corrections (as well as those whose lives that are directly or indirectly connected to the prison system).

It is well established that Alabama’s state prisons are severely overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed relative to the overcrowded population and are already dealing with substantial issues. With much of the disaster still ahead of us, we have yet to receive any protective supplies to help combat this deadly virus, and it is well-known that there are few ventilators available in the prison system.

Based on the response that we have seen so far within the ADOC, it is a legitimate question to ask: Do the leaders of this state care about our lives inside of these prisons?? Are we nothing more than commodities being used to fund the canteen and incentive packages, and for the use of our free labor? 

On January 26, 2020, Alabama prison Commissioner Jefferson Dunn stated during an interview with the Wall Street Journal the following:

“Our infrastructure was not designed to rehabilitate. It was designed to warehouse.”

Consistent with that statement, one federal judge after another has described Alabama prisons as deplorable and in violation of the basic human rights and moral decency of those incarcerated with the ADOC facilities. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, who is currently presiding over class-action litigation Duke et al., v. Dunn, et al., Civil Action No. 4:14-CV-1952-VEH, (Equal Justice Initiative) concerning Alabama prisons, recently approved a private settlement where over $600,000.00 in attorney fees was paid to attorneys from Equal Justice Initiative finding that systemic overcrowding levels were creating problems that rendered St. Clair prison (and  many others) uncontrollable, and that the ADOC must reduce the population of the prison in order to meet the federal constitutional standard.

Already though, this order and private settlement are being reviewed for non-compliance by ADOC. In addition, on April 4, 2019, the US Department of Justice stated that after investigating the ADOC for nearly two years, the conditions of Alabama prisons violate the Eight Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. 

Furthermore, there are multiple class-action lawsuits pending in federal court concerning these and other conditions, including inadequate mental health care and inadequate medical care; plus an additional 70-plus lawsuits pending against ADOC officers for using excessive force, sexual assault by corrections staff, inhumane conditions of confinement, and for retaliation by ADOC against those individuals who have exposed these conditions inside the prisons. These issues point to clear signs that Alabama’s $600,000,000.00 prison system is out of control and a failed state institution.  

Just this past Monday, March 30, 2020, yet another person was killed due to violence inside an Alabama prison. This death is compounded by the fact that in 2019, the Alabama prison system recorded more deaths due to violence than in any year prior. In addition to violent deaths, Alabama’s prison system leads the nation, or ranks near the top, in suicide deaths. Reporter Beth Shelburne recently described the culture inside of ADOC as criminogenic, meaning that it engenders criminal  behavior. This is substantiated by the fact that over 70 officers have been fired in the past two years for trafficking drugs into the prisons. Several other officers have been convicted for violating the rights of incarcerated citizens, and last year two individuals (Stephen Davis and Michael Smith) were beaten to death by correctional officers. Both incidents remain under federal investigation. 

Despite this grim reality, solutions to these problems have not been forthcoming, and countless people continue to be negatively impacted by this failed institution. Based on current empirical data from how the government has responded to previous conditions in ADOC, we are posing the question: how many of us will be left to die in this COVID-19 pandemic? 

In the event of an outbreak, what, exactly is the ADOC’s plan to respond? Why has this plan not been communicated to us?  When will testing begin in earnest? Where will we be quarantined? While test results are pending, where will these patients be isolated ? How many ventilators are available? How many nurses are available?

HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF   

In 1971, Alabama’s prisons were facing the exact same issues that, like today, lead to class action lawsuits in federal court. As you all know, those federal lawsuits lead to a federal takeover of the Alabama prison system that lasted until 1985, when federal oversight ended. (Newman v. Alabama and Pugh v. Locke, 349 F. Supp. 278 (M.D. Ala. 1972); James v. Wallace, 406 F. Supp. 318 (M.D. Ala. 1974).

The “solutions” offered back in 1971, are the cause of the problems today. Alabama approved a plan to build new prisons – St. Clair CF, now the deadliest prison in the entire United States, being one of them – and for passage of the draconian and oppressive Habitual Felony Offender Act. This law is acutely responsible for the unconstitutional overcrowding that drove the prison system off the cliff today, and lead to excessively long sentences that have produced an aging population of men and women who have served 20, 30, 40 or even 50- plus years consecutively. These men and women are now elderly, in poor health from decades of incarceration, and the most vulnerable to the COVID 19 virus.

Building new prisons back then did not solve those problems, and building new prisons today will not solve these problems. Instead, the prison system has a problem with culture, leadership and with coming to grips with issues of race in the criminal justice system that have yet to be resolved. These cultural and structural issues transferred from the old prisons to the new ones, and that is exactly why the exact same problems exist today. There is a current opioid crisis, a methamphetamine crisis, a synthetic drug crisis, as well as biological diseases like TB and Hepatitis running wild in ADOC. As all of you know, these facts have been confirmed by the April 4, 2019, U. S. Department of Justice Report on Alabama prisons. COVID 19, with its potential to explode on our overcrowded prison population, threatens to bring an unimaginable and unfathomable death toll if we don’t act.     

A VIABLE SOLUTION IN THE ALABAMA PRISON LITIGATION REFORM ACT

One option available to us it litigation pursuant to the Alabama Prison Litigation Reform Act, Title 14-15-10, Code of Alabama 1975, which authorizes a judge to issue a release order to address prison conditions where “(1) Crowding is the primary cause of the violation of a right” and  “A court has previously entered an order for less intrusive relief that has failed to remedy. ” Failure to act by State leaders will only ensure public shame in the near future for the deliberate, malicious sentence of death imposed upon all the unfortunate who eventually succumb to Covid-19 while incarcerated in facilities that were deemed unconstitutional and uninhabitable long before there ever was a Covid-19 pandemic. (It should be noted here that only around 200 of the 24,000+ people the ADOC houses are under court ordered sentences of death). 

A recent poll conducted by the ACLU indicates that 63% percent of taxpayers support releasing people from jails/prisons and 72% support clemency for elderly incarcerated people in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic. Governor Ivey and Alabama Legislatures, a failure to act now to save as many lives as possible, after so many citizens have already expressed approval of release, will extract an additional financial cost on taxpayers in federal court for wrongful and preventable deaths, and will come at a huge political cost during the upcoming election cycle. We will not stand by and be silent and forgiving for such a callous disregard for our lives. The ADOC lacks sufficient ventilators and lacks the necessary space to quarantine off the virus, which convinces us that the plan in place is a plan for COVID 19 to slaughter. It is well-known what will be needed to stave off this virus, and we know that those types of resources don’t exist in these prisons.  

As people on the ground who are experiencing this crisis in real time, we offer the foregoing plan in effort to save our own lives and the lives of those who, as a result of their contact with us and ADOC, are affected by the pending COVID 19 crisis in the ADOC.

DETAILED ACTIONS NECESSARY TO SAVE LIVES IN ALABAMA PRISONS:

As an act of compassion and in order to prevent humanitarian catastrophe, Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature should take the following actions immediately:

1. Order medical leave for all employees working within the ADOC who are elderly, having a medical condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19, and/or who may be immuno-compromised; 

2.  Grant compassionate release of all chronic-care, cancer treatment, dialysis, and patients suffering from respiratory issues, who are elderly, disabled, and/or immuno-compromised;  

3. End parole revocations that are not based on the commission of new crimes, and release all current technical violators and those incarcerated because of drug addiction, or because of an inability to pay fines or child support obligations. 

4. Immediately abolish the Habitual Felony Offender Act, and

5. Immediately release all juvenile in Alabama’s juvenile detention facilities, and anyone serving a sentence after being convicted as a youthful offender, as such sentences only carry a maximum of three years.

6.  Release every person fitting the following criteria:

ii. Is under the age of 21 and serving a sentence of 20 years or less

iii. Has served 20 consecutive year or more in prison for a non-capital offense, not involving a child and not a violent sexual predator

iv. Has served 25 years or more for a capital offense

v. Is over the age of 55, has already served 10 years or more, and is especially vulnerable to COVID 19

vi. All individuals already deemed parole-eligible in 2020 and can provide a sufficient home plan, job plan and re-entry plans; 

vii. Is currently under deferral after being denied parole over the past 5 years, but was otherwise eligible for parole pending completion of further programming;

viii. Any person currently serving a split-sentence, where the split sentence is for five years or less. 

ix. Any person who qualifies for mandatory parole pursuant to Title 15-22-26.2, Code of Alabama 1975, but who hasn’t been released yet.

x. Any person who has already served over 50% of their current sentence.

The failure to act will further expose Alabama taxpayers to civil lawsuits due to the deliberate indifference to human life that would be displayed by a failure to act immediately on the part of Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature. 

FAITH-BASED ALTERNATIVES

In addition, Governor Kay Ivey should Order Commissioner Jefferson Dunn to allow all Faith-based Prison Ministries, Civic Organizations, and Volunteers who are already approved to enter into an Alabama prison back into the prison system to assist us by donating, or leading donor drives to receive  gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, soap and other protective material recommended by the Alabama Dept. of Public Health and the CDC, in effort to protect and preserve human life as much as possible. Currently, these organizations and people are deemed non-essential, thus their access is being denied. However, anyone following the news in Alabama knows that the Faith communities like Church of the Highlands are, in fact, taking  leading roles in combating COVID 19, and are, indeed, essential personnel. To date, those of us incarcerated inside of Alabama prisons and juvenile detention facilities do not have access to such protection, while the corrections and medical staff– who are the ones who will bring the virus into the prisons — have immediate access to these materials. 

CLOSING

We implore you, Governor Ivey and the Alabama Legislature, to act swiftly and immediately to all necessary action to reduce our State’s prison population down to no less than design capacity (Alabama’s prisons are currently packed  beyond 160% of their design capacity, as a whole, while some prisons exceed 200% or even 300% of design capacity), and to enact legislation abolishing the Habitual Felony Offender Act, which, as this COVID 19 crisis proves, has outlived its purpose and now poses a real and substantial threat to the lives and welfare of thousands of citizens of the State of Alabama.

To continue to employ or incarcerate the above people while the deadly virus spreads through the system would effectively be sentencing too many to death. Moreover, a release of the said people would instantly reduce the ADOC population, thereby meeting the constitutional standard; in effect allowing our humanity to supersede all politics. With the Institute for Health and Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington predicting that Alabama will have the highest COVID 19 death rate in the U.S., the outcome for those of us left behind in these steel barriers, fences and cages is a foregone conclusion if we don’t act Now ! 

Respectfully,

FREE ALABAMA  MOVEMENT

                 with

FAM Queen Team Standing In Solidarity

A non-violent and peaceful Civil and Human Rights organization founded inside of the Alabama prison system in 2013.

Contact info:

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
P.O. BOX 186
New Market, Ala 35761
(334) 245-0761

(We can be reached inside of the death camps also)

freealabamamovement@gmail.com

FAM Queen Team 
P.O. BOX 404
Decatur, AL 35602
(334) 245-0761

(We can be reached standing in solidarity with our family inside the death camps also)

fam@famqueenteam.com

F.A.M.’s COVID-19 Strategies: How Many Lives Will Be Saved?

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, the FAM’s Queen Team, and other activists and inside organizers are in the process of developing a comprehensive strategy and press statement to present to Governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama Parole Board, the Juvenile Division of the Courts, incarcerated citizens in Alabama, and family members, friends, and loved ones, in our efforts to combat the spreading and potentially deadly consequences of the COVID-19 virus in the Alabama prison system.

In the meantime, we are providing our immediate recommendations, as time is of essence.

Among other demands, F. A. M. will call upon Governor Kay Ivey to release all incarcerated persons serving split sentences. Under Alabama law, the maximum time required to be served on a split sentence is 5 years. All fairness dictates that no person serving such a sentence should be subjected to a potential death sentence courtesy of COVID-19 and the State of Alabama’s inhumane living conditions inside the prisons.

Additionally, F.A.M. will call for the release of all incarcerated persons who fit the eligibility requirements for mandatory parole release pursuant to Title 15-22-26.2, Code of Alabama 1975. Currently this law, which was enacted in 2016, is suffering the same fate as the “Kirby” law: there are no clear guidelines for enforcement and no formal process or forms in place to request release by eligible persons. For the most part, Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) employees at the institutional level lack any knowledge of the mandatory parole release laws and procedures. Thus, many potentially qualified individuals who should be at home right now have been bypassed for release, and currently languish somewhere within the Alabama State prison system under a potential death sentence courtesy of COVID-19 and the State of Alabama.

F.A.M. is further calling for the release of society’s most precious asset – our youth – along with the mentally ill from juvenile detention facilities and adult prisons around the State. Our youth, including those suffering from mental illnesses who are the most vulnerable, are left out of reports, surveys, etc….. related to the pandemic, but F.A.M. will never forget about these precious beings who are for the most part not even capable of understanding the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

F.A.M. will also be calling for the discontinuation of the sale of any and all tobacco products within all ADOC facilities. These products affect the respiratory system and lungs of users and those exposed to second hand smoke, thus exacerbating the potential for further complications in relation to COVID-19. Known carcinogens and products known to negatively affect the respiratory tract should not be sold in overcrowded jails and prisons where COVID-19 is sure to attack the body and its organs. It is critical that everyone be in their best possible health condition in order for them to combat this deadly virus and fight for our lives.

Finally, F.A.M. will also be calling upon religious, civic and community volunteers to assist with maintaining a healthier and safe environment for the incarcerated by donating gloves, masks and hand sanitizes, cleaning supplies and any other necessary supplies recommended by the CDC to the prisons throughout the State. Many of these type organizations and citizens already perform prison ministry work inside Alabama prisons and jails. But, in light of COVID-19, prison authorities have restricted access to all prison facilities to only ADOC employees and essential personnel.

What these times show is that prison ministry is extremely essential in the Alabama, and needed now more than ever before. We need bold and innovative leadership from the body of Christ, as well as the Islamic, Jewish, Catholic, Odinist, and other communities, because the Alabama Department of Corrections simply does not have the capacity or ability to take the necessary steps required to stop COVID-19 from “spreading like wildfire” within the overcrowded prisons.

Join F.A.M. and FAM Queen Team on the Frontline as we battle to save lives in Alabama prisons and jails.

Sincerely,

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
FAM’s Queen Team
NINE DIVINE

COVID 19 would be deadly and devastating in an environment like this
Don’t miss THE PEOPLE’S PLATFORM every Thursday night as we discuss these issues and more.

People Coming Together in the Fightvto Save Lives in Prisons

Dear Governors, Directors and Commissioners overseeing the DOC:

As the Covid-19 continues to spread, it is of utmost importance to focus on the jails and prison systems just as much as we’re focusing on the public communities. I have researched as well as spoken to an Infectious Disease nurse. I’ve compiled a list of suggestions that will help to keep our incarcerated people as well as the communities safer. The goal is to PREVENT the virus from entering facilities. Due to small spaces, it’s practically impossible for the incarcerated to practice social distancing. So, we as a whole need to brainstorm other solutions for added protection.

I’m happy to say that Virginia has been very receptive to these ideas, including but not limited to: Seeking addition medical personnel through a temp agency so that there will be extra health care workers present at facilities, ordering extra and FREE soap for all inmates, serving fruits, some facilities are requiring workers to wear gloves facilities and some facilities are requiring timely cleaning/sanitizing in pods, chow halls and bathrooms several times a day. That’s a great start. It is our great hopes that other states will follow suit by implementing some of the following suggestions.

  1. ANYONE who enters a jail or prison (including staff and vendors) be required to wear the supplied masks, gloves and shoe covers
  2. Routine Temperature checks of not only the employees but the ones incarcerated as well
  3. More fruits and juices in their diets as well as a Vit C regimine to boost their immune systems
  4. All states to order extra soap to make sure soap for proper hand washing is readily available for all incarcerated.
  5. Make any necessary repairs or replacements of sinks so there are ample amounts of functioning sinks for hand washing
  6. Allow showers daily
  7. Implement a plan that individual pods go to chow hall, outside, etc. separately
  8. Hand sanitizing stations in all common areas or hand sanitizing wipes if the concern of liquid sanitizer is an issue of contraband
  9. Lysol Disinfecting wipes be available for use to clean cells
  10. For people in open bay pods, I recommend sleeping head to toe to expand the breathable space between each person. In other words, one person sleeps head at top of bunk, the next person sleep with head at the bottom of the bunk
  11. Test kits readily available on site
  12. A separate area to be used for quarantining people who have symptoms
  13. All kiosks, tablets, pen-pads and phones to be sanitized after each use (Lysol wipes would be handy for this)
  14. For all facilities who have stopped commisary services due to fear of vendors bringing the virus in, there are several ways to address and work around this issue.
    A. Wear masks, gloves and shoe covers
    B. Designate a different, less populated area for check ins of vendors
    C. Check vendors in OUTSIDE the doors.
  15. Reinstate the commisary. The result of indefinitely disallowing the incarcerated to order commisary is the #1 reason for riots to erupt. By taking away that right to order, whether its a priviledge or not, is blatantly asking for disaster. For most of the people, commisary is the only thing they really have to look forward to.
  16. Extra mental health or group counseling to address the virus and the fears of many. It’s important for the incarcerated to know they will not be forgotten during this pandemic and that every precaution available is taken for their protection.
  17. Last but certainly not least, look into releasing anyone who has immune deficiencies, the geriatrics, the handicapped, anyone who is at a low risk to re-offend, anyone who is due for release soon and speed up the parole process so that parole eligible will be released if parole is granted. The goal is to reduce already over crowded facilities to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus.

I hope these suggestions are feasible for your individual state and that they will be implemented in as many facilities as possible.

We have to keep in mind, should the virus enter a facility, with the close contact/distancing, it will spread like wild fire. This is not only a huge concern for those incarcerated but also for the workers who enter these facilities everyday: then leaving to take the virus back out into the communities.

Thank you for your time and for implementing all means necessary to protect each and every citizen, incarcerated or not. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for further information as desired or needed.

Holman Prison Closing: What should be Expected?

With news of the closing of Holman prison after many years of civil and human rights violations caused by overflowing raw sewage, lack of clean running water, and many other structural issues, many of the men incarcerated there and their families are anxious about where their loved ones will be transferred to and how they will be impacted by these changes. These men will be adjusting to new locations and new environments, as will the men at the prisons where these 600 individuals will be arriving at.

Many are pondering how this influx of more bodies will affect the already distressed and overcrowded prison system. Also, there are unique challenges and psychological issues that will have to be factored into this process. One, for example, is the fact that Holman was an open-bay style prison, where there was no restraint of movement in the living quarters. Now, these men will be housed in prisons with cells that they will now have to share with another person, sometimes for days at a time. This will increase anxiety and tension, with results that we won’t know about for some time. Many of these men from Holman who have been locked up for a long time have never shared a cell with another human being. This will be a major adjustment for many.

Another concern that some have expressed is the question of violence. As in, what is the ADOC’s plan to address issues that arise when men come into contact with people they have not seen in a while but have unresolved beefs with? What type of indicators will the ADOC be looking for to get out in front of issues instead of being reactive to them? The ADOC already can’t address violence caused by overcrowding and limited resources. What are they going to do when an already crowded system becomes even more crowded? Finally, who is going to be held accountable if this plan doesn’t work?

For the people from the southern part of the State, many families will now have to travel to Donaldson or St. Clair or even Limestone to visit their loved ones. This will pose an additional strain and financial burden on families who can least afford it. Men who had become accustomed to regular visits, which helps with rehabilitation and staying connected to family, will now be dealing with this additional frustration. With visitation and communication with family being a proven means of effective rehabilitation, the impact of separation is not going to be easy to detect.

The Prison Study Group also released its recommendations right after the announcement of this closure. Many people feel as though this closure was done with very little foresight into the impact that this abrupt change will have on the issues currently affecting Alabama prisons.

Also, the fact that the Study Group’s report was not done in anticipation of these new developments appears to render the report as just another waste of taxpayer funds.

In addition, the Study Group report was anticlimactic to the people on the inside who were looking for change and real solutions. Again, though, the report made clear that the solutions will have to come from the Inside — the one segment that was excluded from the process.

In the short term, it’s too early to tell what the full impact will be. With reports of beds being erected in gymnasiums, which will reduce recreation time, the prospects for heightened tensions are a realistic expectation. The organizations and individuals who are leading the calls for change to the ADOC have to become more hands on and reiterate their demands for access to the people on the inside of these prisons. If overcrowding caused the infrastructure of Holman to wear down, then this move seems calculated to tear down more infrastructure in order to justify building news prisons.

We will be updating on this concern as it develops with the hope that the men are wise enough to turn this into a positive opportunity to be heard now that there is one less prison that has to be reached in order to organize for change.

 

 

 

Our Finances have to be Redirected from Cookies and Chips toward Freedom Initiatives

May 27, 2018

Part VIII: Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018

by Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, formerly known as Melvin Ray, Free Alabama Movement

Originally published in the SF Bayview, May 27, 2018.

On Jan. 21, 2018, our loved elder, revolutionary leader and teacher Hon. Richard “Mafundi” Lake joined the Ancestors. Baba Mafundi left us with knowledge, love and an example of how to live a life of truth, integrity, conviction to struggle, love for his beautiful, faithful and devoted wife, Mrs. Carolyn Weyni Njeri Lake and family, and with an understanding that sacrifice is necessary.

For the many of us who had the privilege of being in the classroom of life with Ancestor Mafundi, let his transition serve as yet another lesson to us of the immediacy of our situation behind these walls and serve as a reminder of why we can’t wait to commit our all to the struggle to end slavery in America. We are, without any doubt, still slaves and chattel here in America for no reason other than the color of our skin.

While others may suffer as collateral consequences due to the class struggle, racism serves as the primary driver behind capitalism’s parasitic greed and the genocidal tendencies being waged against Black people in the U.S. and worldwide.

America has never known any purpose for Black people except domination of our labor. In the document “David Walker’s Appeal,” we learned that American slave owners devised a plan to send all “free” Blacks to the colony Liberia so that they could not mingle with or educate and influence the enslaved Blacks who were to remain in America.

The slave was to remain isolated, totally uneducated, and forever surrounded and contained by a society and system that offered only one option for Black people: forced slavery, with no hint of humanity. The only knowledge we were to have was who we were owned by and what our job was.

Very little about this model has changed under the prison slave system that has been erected under the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As slaves, we are separated more and more from society every day.

Some states offer up to five free letters each month to indigent slaves. In Alabama, you receive two free legal letters each week – that’s it. If you can’t afford stamps to write your family and you lack legal representation, you are effectively cut off from communicating with society.

In the solitary confinement units, you get one phone call every 30 days, except in disciplinary seg, where NO phone calls are allowed. We receive one visit every 90 days in administrative segregation and one visit every six months in close or maximum custody.

Otherwise, we talk to these walls, toilets or to ourselves. The outside world is something that exists only in our heads. How can a prison system in Alabama or anywhere prepare a person to return to society by cutting us off totally from society?

The mind-altering effects of such oppressive conditions cannot be denied. In the groundbreaking book “Understanding the Assault on the Black Man, Black Manhood and Black Masculinity” by Wesley Muhammad, Ph.D., Dr. Muhammad cited from a report in the Chicago Tribune about how poverty, neglect or sensory deprivation of the kind we experience in solitary confinement can negatively affect and reset the brain’s chemistry.

Chemical manipulations of the mind and bodies plays a vital role in social control. Nowhere is that more evident than in the prison system.

The food, water and medicine that we are exposed to on a daily basis plays an important role in how we develop behind these walls. Our bodies are constantly polluted with toxic food, processed meats, genetically modified products, contaminated water, cheap or experimental medicines, etc. which adversely affects not only our physical health but also our mental health and disposition.

These chemical weapons disrupt important biological functions, including the biochemistry of the body and the endocrine system, which affects moods, stress, aggression, impulsive behavior, addiction, social interaction, violence etc.

Dr. Muhammad goes on to point out how drugs like K2, ice, marijuana and cocaine were designed and manipulated to produce a desired result. The drugs always seem to come along at the height of struggle and civil disobedience. Alas, in the midst of the current Prisoners’ Human Rights Movement, we see new drugs seeming to originate inside of the prison.

So, understanding and being involved in the movement also entails knowing the seen and unseen strategies and forces that are being employed against the struggle. Drug overdoses and suicides have gotten so bad that they are hardly news any more.

And as the death tolls continue to climb, the sedatives, downers, opioids and Flacka and Suboxone drugs are being endlessly introduced into the prisons to keep our eyelids closer to being closed. Stay woke, people. Please Stay Woke! Our survival is at hand.

As we move further along into 2018, we have to continue to plan, strategize, mobilize and bring all of our forces closer to being One. From the inside, we continue to need more artists, authors, activists and organizers to step forward.

Our sister Queen Tahiyrah and others just launched the #BarzThroughBarz magazine. This is yet another platform that we can use to reach the people. In addition, our brother Kwame Shakur has worked to create several social media platforms, including YouTube Channel Live and a blogtalk radio show to help spread the movement.

And, as I have stated previously, we still have room for even more innovations, because we still have work to do in forming a National Coordinating Committee to establish a national organization that will be all of our factions together, as well as our need to find an app developer so that we can create an app that will make all of our platforms just one click away.

Also, we need to monetize all of our content and create an e-business so that we can sell our products, leather and crafts, books, poetry, art, cards, calendars and whatever else we create from inside these prisons so that we can finance our own operations within our movement.

One Brother who recently reached out from Missouri, C.I. Ballard, expressed frustration with the “slave mindset” that he continues to encounter: “I ain’t getting involved with that. I’m just trying to go home” or “I’m just trying to do my time” etc.

Well, while we continue to try to reach this “mindset” head-on, we also need to be constantly creating alternative content, music, books etc. to reach these people. This is the work of the National Committee, to help devise plans and tactics that can be used to recruit and help change minds.

Actions like the Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018 help to identify candidates who are willing to sacrifice for freedom and are committed to ending slavery and to stop funding the system. These are the people who will help lead, guide and direct the national organization and volunteer to be part of the National Coordinating Committee being proposed by Brother Kwame Shakur of Prison Lives Matter.

Those who refuse to wear the chains will not financially support the very system of slavery that, paradoxically, relies on that same financial support to afford and buy the chains. We can accomplish this only by making those tough decisions that call for separation.

Separation from the system … By doing this, we won’t get caught up in the abyss of organizing just for the sake of creating another organization, while continuing to act in ways that are counterproductive to our livelihood. We have to organize around the problem, only, and create an organization that constitutes the solutions.

I will close this article with words of encouragement to all of the men, women and young adults who have made a sacrifice behind these walls for your/our freedom, including C.I. Ballard, Kwame Shakur, Manuel “Chase” M., Omar G. (freeourbrothers.com), Kwanetta H. (Texas), Mary Shields (Mississippi) and the many others who have contacted the Free Alabama Movement at our P.O. Box.

We are four months into a one-year bi-monthly (February – April – June – Black August – October – December) boycott campaign against collect phone calls, canteen/snack line/store draw, incentive packages or visitation vending machines. Our objective is to defund prison systems by disrupting departmental operating budgets by removing these funds from government budgets and redirecting these funds towards building a national organization whose agenda and purpose will be to end mass incarceration and prison slavery.

These redirected funds will help generate and disseminate educational material and books on mass incarceration, prison slavery and the 13th Amendment; help incarcerated freedom fighters publish books, articles, poems, arts and crafts, and other material needed to fund our movement; help to develop an e-business platform to centralize funding; and, among other things, help finance development of our own app so that we can consolidate and organize all of our movement information into one click of a button. We can never be an independence movement if we don’t establish an independent structure.

Bennu Hannibal Ra Sun, formerly known as Melvin Ray

Our family at Bay View has put out a call notifying us that it costs $7,000 in printing costs each month to produce our Holy Scripture. This is a cost that we should be covering from behind these walls with ease.

The fact that we are connecting through this newspaper only shows how important it is to us. The fact that we are not supporting Bay View financially in the same way that Bay View is supporting us, while at the same time we give unconditional support to the collect phone companies and canteen to the tune of billions each year, merely shows our shortcoming as a movement and, more important, why we need to step up to another level and organize nationally.

April has ended. May is here signaling that June is near, which means that, once again, it’s time to Redistribute the Pain 2018.

Bennu Hannibal Ra Sun

Free Alabama Movement

Book of the Month – June 2018: “Understanding the Assault on the Black Man, Black Manhood and Black Masculinity” (2017), by Dr. Wesley Muhammad, Ph.D.

Newspaper of the Month: Bay View newspaper

Magazine of the Month: #BarzBeyondBarz

Send our brother some love and light: Melvin Ray, 163343, Limestone CF D-70, 28779 Nick Davis Rd, Harvest AL 35749.

Boycott, Defund, Bankrupt – Say NO to Canteen, Incentive Packages, Collect phone calls and Visitation during February, April, June, Black August, October and December in 2018 (Pt VI)

December 30, 2017

Part VI: Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018
by Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, fka Melvin Ray, Free Alabama Movement

Published in the SF Bayview, Dec 30, 2017

Fire burns off the dross of the hidden gem to reveal the precious metal. In struggle, it is the call to action that burns off the negative habit, distorted values and laziness of those who answer that call to reveal the precious jewels of humanity. With 2018 just a few days away, the call to action that is the Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018 is set to kick off Feb. 1, 2018. Let the fire burn bright.

Queen Tahiyrah of the National Freedom and Justice Movement, F.O.M., and Sign o’ the Times blogtalk radio has created a flier for the campaign, in addition to our https://redistributethepain.wordpress.com blog, and our redistributethepain@gmail.com email. Queen T can be reached on Facebook in the SignOTheTimes group, by email to signothetimes19@gmail.com, or call 513-913-2691. You can also write to her at 1623 Dalton St. #14393, Cincinnati, OH 45250.

As 2018 draws near, over 2.5 million people remain behind bars, walls, steel and cages. The burden of changing our circumstances remains squarely on our shoulders. We have to change our thoughts about how freedom is possible to attain, then change our actions.

Many of us know about completing our sentence as a way to freedom, or an appeal, post-conviction petition or parole. We have to amend this paradigm to include the collective actions that we can take as a unified body to bring about freedom as well.

As 2018 draws near, over 2.5 million people remain behind bars, walls, steel and cages. The burden of changing our circumstances remains squarely on our shoulders.

There is no escaping the fact that we, as a body, constitute a significant sector of the economic pie chart that funds and fuels mass incarceration and prison slavery. For purposes of this call for a nationwide boycott campaign, we have identified four sectors of the Prison Industrialized Complex that serve as some of the main economic drivers for prison budgets, which generate billions of dollars annually to fund prison operations:

  • Collect phone calls
  • Canteen / store / snack line
  • Incentive package purchases
  • Visitation vending and electronic visitation

The collect phone call industry is, by far, the most exploitive monopoly of the four enterprises. I don’t want to speculate on the amount of money we spend nationwide on phone calls, other than to say that this figure has to be in the billions of dollars.

The prison companies contract with the phone companies to carry out this extortion scheme through legal kickback schemes. We are locked up in these closed environments. If we want to maintain contact with our families, we have to pay a ransom to the phone company.

The prison system charges the phone company a cut (kickback) for being able to set up shop inside of the prison. The prison system’s cut or kickback percentage becomes part of the overall operations budget used to pay salaries, buy equipment, pay for water, electricity etc.

So, not only our slave labor, but also our financial contributions are helping to keep this empire running. Therefore, we have to boycott these ventures to help defund prison operations budgets.

Just as easily as a habeas corpus or appeal can free you, so, too, can you gain your freedom if a DOC has to close down prisons due to insufficient funds in their budgets to fund operations.

The fact that these industries generate billions of dollars each year merely attests to the enormous power that our families have over U.S. prison operations. Every time that they reject a collect call, they empower themselves by sending a message to the phone company that they will no longer assist in funding prison operations costs.

Not only our slave labor, but also our financial contributions are helping to keep this empire running. Therefore, we have to boycott these ventures to help defund prison operations budgets.

For those of us on the inside, when we stop picking up those phones, we send the message that we are ready to talk to our families at home in the living room and on the porch. These conversations are free and priceless.

The distinctively unique feature about these prison monopolies, as I’ve stated before, is that as incarcerated and enslaved people, we are their only customers. This makes it clear, without any doubt, that as much as organizations and groups grapple and fight with the FCC and the phone companies over prices, the POWER to effect change, immediate change, lies exclusively in our hands alone.

And always keep in mind that while it may cost $5, $10 or $20 to make a call, it don’t cost a penny to boycott for a month.

Casting a wide net!
Many of the owners of these cottage industry companies are former corrections officials. They either own the companies outright or are major investors. Others are family members, business associates or political contributors.

So, boycotting incentive package company Union Supply, for example, has ripple effects on many balance sheets. In addition, the employees of these companies feel the heat from participating in this evil industry. There’s plenty of pain pent up and caged inside these prisons, and we need to #RedistributeThePain in 2018 so that others can feel its intensity.

Beginning Feb. 1, 2018
When the campaign kicks off, I recommend that we invest approximately 25 percent of whatever you/we save into a fund to purchase books, stamps, newspaper subscriptions and office supplies to help print material, all to support the campaign. IWOC has indicated that their main body has donated $4,000 for book purchases.

Free Alabama Movement is contributing $750 to T-shirts, plus $250 to help purchase ink. If you have a submission for a T-shirt design, please send it to: Free Alabama Movement, P.O. Box 186, New Market, AL 35761 or email redistributethepain@gmail.com. If we choose your design, you’ll win $50 for books or newspaper subscriptions, tuition payment or other educational need.

Book of the Month – February 2018: “Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration” by Tara Herevil and Paul Wright

Newspaper Subscription of the Month – February 2018: SF Bay View, one month $2, one year $24

Publication of the Month – February 2018: Prison Legal News, six months $18, one year $30

These are just a few of the recommended reading materials that you will find on our WordPress blog. I suggest that those who can make these purchases, and those who can’t reach out to FAM, IWOC, Queen T or Bay View, and collectively we will try to handle the request or send it to someone who can.

One other request that I would like to put out there personally is the need of assistance in developing an app that helps us to better analyze and break down each state’s prison system, each individual prison, and each prison’s industry and labor force, just to name a few. A person should be able to click on an app and at least get the following information at any time:

  • Population
  • Total jobs worked by incarcerated
  • Each job description
  • Paid jobs / amounts
  • Unpaid jobs
  • Total canteen sales
  • Total collect calls
  • Total incentive packages purchased
  • Total visitation vending
  • All products made by prison labor
  • All services provided by prison labor
  • (Other factors may be included)

Creating our own app in aid of our movement is not cost prohibitive. We already have the funds to pay for it, but we are spending it on potato chips, cookies, candy, collect phone calls and processed food instead. For the most part, all of this is public information that is available to us through Freedom of Information Act and Open Records Act requests. In addition, we can use survey questionnaires, civil litigation, and other methods to start culling information out of these prisons and start painting a picture of what the business of prisons is really all about.

Wherever there is unity, there is power. So, let’s utilize 2018 as the year to continue to strengthen our unity, so that we can make 2018 a very powerful year for our movement, while also making it a very painful year for prison profiteers, human traffickers and the institution of slavery.

Our circumstances absolutely will not change until our thoughts and actions change. We have been spending, funding and enriching the system long enough. Now it is time to Boycott, Defund and Bankrupt.

Stop financing our own oppression. It’s time to Redistribute the Pain in 2018.

Bennu Hannibal Ra Sun, Free Alabama Movement

Send our brother some love and light: Melvin Ray, 163343, Limestone CF D-70, 28779 Nick Davis Rd, Harvest AL 35749.

Make History in 2018, Not Excuses: Whose Side are You on? Campaign to Redistribute the Pain Part V

November 30, 2017
Part V: Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018
by Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, formerly known as Melvin Ray, Free Alabama Movement

Published in SF Bayview, Nov. 30, 2017

“Times Are Changing” – Art: Arkee Chaney, A71362, P.O. Box 1327, Galesburg IL 61401

Greetings of love, dedication and resiliency to all Freedom Fighters and fearless frontline generals, soldiers and warriors who dare to struggle and sacrifice for liberty, freedom and equality from behind these walls, fences and cages of genocide and oppression. As we continue to raise awareness and lift up our voices so that we may be heard on the issues of systemic racism and economic exploitation in the criminal justice system, as well as prison slavery and police killings and brutality, we continue to see an evil and determined enemy dig in its heels in the name of White Supremacy.

In October 2017, it was reported that the Trump administration is seeking more immigration jails and detention facilities to house more immigrants that they plan to arrest. Prior to this, in September 2017, President Trump gave a speech in Huntsville, Alabama, to deliver his latest “rally the troops” speech to a captivated and applauding audience with a clear message to White America that Black people in this country must be kept in our “place” or suffer the consequences.

It was not by coincidence that Trump chose Alabama, the Heart of Dixie, to deliver his racist and misogynistic statement. A footnote on Alabama history is in order here.

On May 21, 1901, at the Constitutional Convention of 1901 of the State of Alabama, we find the following statements in the official minutes of the proceedings from convention president-elect John B. Knox:

“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.”

Mr. Knox further states:

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

President Trump’s choice of Alabama to make his “son of a bitch” speech coincides with the comments made by our Sister Jemele Hill of ESPN, as we can all now see that birds of the same feather flock together. Trump’s statement expressed a clear ideology of white supremacy: When a Black mother gives birth to a Black child who she would raise up to be a man who speaks out against racism and oppression, then, in the eyes of white supremacist ideology, that mother is a bitch. And, according to this ideology, these sons of bitches should be fired or, worse, fired on.

Colin Kaepernick, a man of bi-racial origin, raised by a white family, and deeply rooted in Black and human consciousness, made a stand by taking a knee. President Trump took a fall by trying to stand in the same space as a man.

As vanguards of the current Prisoners’ Human Rights Movement, we, too, are charged with taking a stand. The Campaign to Redistribute the Pain in 2018 is a call to action for those serious about freedom, justice and economic equality. Just like Colin, we have chosen a non-violent action, in exercise of our First Amendment right to free speech, to expose neo-slavery and inhumane practices throughout the prisons and entire criminal justice system.

We already know what lies ahead; we see that Colin has been white-balled by the NFL. Many of us have experienced repression for our efforts thus far, also. We know what happened to Brother Hugo Pinell. We see the torment of men like Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, Jalil Muntaqim, Malik Washington, Mafundi Lake, Russell Maroon Shoatz/s, Mumia Abu Jamal and so many more.

As vanguards of the current Prisoners’ Human Rights Movement, we, too, are charged with taking a stand. The Campaign to Redistribute the Pain in 2018 is a call to action for those serious about freedom, justice and economic equality.

For those of us down here in the Deep South in the Free Alabama Movement, things have been no different. Over four years in, and not a single person from any other race, ethnicity or nationality, EXCEPT Black men, has spent a single day – not one – in a solitary confinement cell for exercising rights supposedly secured by the U.S. Constitution. White supremacy is established in the law, just like they said it would be.
But this only tells half of the story …

The ADOC has resorted to using the solitary confinement units at the four maximum security units to stifle the spread of the movement: St. Clair CF [Correctional Facility], W.E. Donaldson CF, Holman CF and Limestone CF. Of the 12 wardens at these four prisons – each facility has three – 11 are Black and only one is white. Also, Donaldson was selected as the “breaking” plantation, where, within the last approximately 24 months, over 80 men have been transferred to this prison and were subsequently beaten, sexually assaulted, and confined to solitary. Fewer than 12 officers carried out almost all of these attacks, and most of these officers were Black: Snelson, Edmonson, Gunn, Gadson, Binder, Phillips, Speak, Turnbull, and Cunningham.

Prior to being transferred to Limestone on Aug. 2, 2017, I had spent the preceding two years at Donaldson, most of it in solitary confinement. When I was let out briefly in 2016, I learned that one of the Black wardens (Angela Miree) and one of the Black captains (Baldwin) had solicited a “hit” on me in July 2016. After their hit was thwarted, the next month I was placed back into solitary confinement.

Immediately above the heads of these Black administrations are two Black regional coordinators, Cheryl Price and Gwendolyn Mosley, who, in turn, have a Black supervisor in Associate Commissioner Grantt Culliver. Incidentally, it is at this level where the decisions are made as to who gets sent to the new statewide SHU at Limestone or the “breaking” plantation at Donaldson CF.

Just to give you an idea of how these Black professionals are making decisions on who is subjected to the “nigger boxes” (as they were called on the slave plantations), here are some figures. In August 2017, the population at Donaldson CF was approximately 1,800, including 1,418 Black, 356 White and five Mexican prisoners; numbers are approximate.

Over 87 percent of all men in segregation at Donaldson are Black. The statewide lockup unit at Limestone is 90 percent Black. St. Clair and Holman seg units are over 83 percent Black. Extreme oppression has always been reserved for Black people in the South – and no less elsewhere.

Of the several beatings that took place at Donaldson prison, one stands about above the rest. When the transfer from Holman took place after the warden (Carter Davenport) was stabbed, five men were sent to Donaldson. One by one as they exited the van they were led into a room in handcuffs, belly chains and shackles, where they were all then beaten one by one. Three or four of them were sexually assaulted. Every one of them identified Officer Justin Gunn (Black) as the leader of the assault.

This incident was so savage that it drew Associate Commissioner Culliver and Regional Coordinator Price to the prison. Yet, nothing was done. Subsequent to this, Officer Gunn beat, sexually assaulted and hospitalized Quintavius Clark. He has since assaulted Brandon (“Bird”), and kicked a man in the mouth while handcuffed, in addition to getting knocked out in a fistfight. When I left the prison in August 2017, he was assigned to tower duty due to his latest assault.

These attacks are being carried out by Black correctional officers and then covered up by Black administrators. The very flag that symbolized oppression for Black people is the exact same flag that these officers salute and pledge allegiance to, which is the same flag that John B. Knox said gives them the power “to establish white supremacy in this state.”

One by one as they exited the van they were led into a room in handcuffs, belly chains and shackles, where they were all then beaten one by one. Three or four of them were sexually assaulted. Every one of them identified Officer Justin Gunn (Black) as the leader of the assault.

Imagine that, the same niggers that couldn’t get a job with the ADOC 50 years ago until Martin, Malcolm, Elijah, BPP and others stood up to Jim Crow are now leading the charge to suppress a non-violent movement against, as Michelle Alexander calls it, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration.”

We’ve seen it all before, though. Right?! Didn’t we see Black folks denounce MLK in Alabama? When Ferguson erupted, didn’t the state send for Al and Jesse? When that didn’t work, they called in “their” clergy and preachers.

In Alabama, they had ol’ Chaplain Browder bringing chicken and watermelon. Hell, Ferguson went so far as to install a coon police chief. With all the Black professionals in ADOC in Montgomery, can’t we anticipate what’s coming next in their efforts to stop our movement? Mississippi’s Black DOC commissioner just went to prison for human trafficking of Black bodies.

Our Elder Richard “Mafundi” Lake used to always express to us the importance of studying our history in our struggle. Baba Mafundi used to say, “Black people can find the answers to all of our problems by studying Black History.”

Then he would say, “See, you got to organize the people.” That precept, ORGANIZE, is one of the pillars of civilization that our Ancestors left to us. They organized! every facet of their life. Indeed, the process of life itself, and all things in the universe, is organized. And if we are to achieve our goal within this movement, then we, too, must organize – because the opposition, as I pointed out in Part IV of this series, is already organized.

We have 51 states before us. Each state has its own sovereign authority. But in order to create a United States, all 51 states agreed to give up some of their rights for the benefit of the whole body. This is how the federal government was created. The fed has limited authority over federal issues, and the states retained authority over all remaining issues specific to each state.

For example, each state has its own state tax rates, while every citizen has to pay the same federal tax rate based on income. But there are not 51 different currencies. Instead, there is only one U.S. dollar that all 51 states use. This is so because all 51 states agreed to allow the federal government to establish a single currency (see Article 1, Section 8, U.S. Constitution). This structure is pretty much how our National Prisoners’ Rights Movement will have to be organized.

Each of us in our individual states has certain issues that are specific to our individual state that we will need to pursue on a state-by-state basis. These issues will have to be decided by the people in those states. This is the sovereign characteristic of our structure.

At the same time, though, we will need to form and consolidate a national body to create national plans, coordinate nationwide events, and maximize our impact on a national scale concerning those issues that we all share in common.

To date, we have already conducted one nationwide direct action campaign – the Sept. 9, 2016, 45th Anniversary Attica Rebellion Non-Violent Demonstration. Our outside supporters also just conducted the August 2017 Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March. These efforts, though successful, illustrate why it is important for us to organize these energized bodies.

Anyone familiar with college basketball probably associates the term “one-and-done” with the Kentucky Wildcats. They have plenty of talent, all of the potential, but very little to show for it. We can’t forget a movement based on “one-and-done” either. This is where a national organizational structure comes in. As of right now, I am aware of two proposed constructs, although I have not seen any specific details as to how either would be constructed or operated. One appears to be the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights Coalition, and the other appears to be Prison Lives Matter.

“Dehumanization 1619 to 2017” – Art: Arkee Chaney, A71362, P.O. Box 1327, Galesburg IL 61401

From my perspective, the names that we choose are far less important than making sure that we implement the proper type of structure that creates BOTH inside organizations and outside organizations. As far as how that would look and need to be organized, picture a triangle: At the top is the national organizing body, and the other two points represent outside organizations, such as the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights Coalition –Michigan, and those inside, such as the Free Michigan Movement.

STEP 1. The first step in this process would be creating a steering committee to help draw up an outline for establishing a board of directors. These members would be tasked with soliciting candidates to fill a nine (or so) member board composed of six individuals who are incarcerated and three who are in society. Once the nominees are in, an election would be held to select a Board of Executives and Directors.

STEP 2. Establish charters for inside and outside organizations. For example, the incarcerated men and women in Michigan would establish their Free Michigan Movement charter, which would serve as an umbrella for all factions operating inside MDOC.

All of the outside organizations operating in Michigan who are committed to supporting the directives of the FMM would then organize under the outside support charter, Millions for Prisoners Human Rights Coalition – Michigan.

STEP 3. Next, of course, would be the drafting of the bylaws. Within these documents would be an outline of the specific functions, purposes and duties, etc., of everyone associated with the national organization. Only national policies will be coordinated on this level, such as:

  • Nationwide hunger strikes
  • Nationwide boycott campaigns and storefront protests of companies like McDonalds, Starbucks etc., that profit from prison labor. We would select only one company at a time and organize nationwide demonstrations.
  • Nationwide protests at prisons, DOC headquarters, state capitals etc.
  • Nationwide workstrike dates
  • Nationwide boycotts of collect phone calls, canteens, incentive packages, visitations etc. in the mold of the Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018.
  • Nationwide 13th Amendment awareness rallies, marches etc.
  • Nationwide social media events, including “Twitter-storms,” panel discussions etc.

Obviously, this is just a proposal. I am sure there are others out there with ideas on how we should proceed too. We need to bring these ideas together to form a plan of action.

Additionally, there are many organizations in society out there that are kicking up dust but don’t have a platform for connecting to our struggle behind these walls. In fact, many of them are fighting issues that they may not even realize are connected to the 13th Amendment and slavery. Those of us on the inside have to build those bridges through our outside support networks that will connect our people together.

To establish that point:

I recently read up on the events concerning the police killing of Anthony Lamar Smith in St. Louis, Missouri. What stood out the most was how the activists there have completely changed their strategy to now target the economic structure of the city as opposed to just marching and protests. They targeted the malls, entertainment centers, restaurants and even a concert venue. All of their target areas were forced to close. This impacted the pockets of city finances, supporters of murderous police etc., and helped to “Redistribute the Pain.”

As one activist said, “Last time in Ferguson, we were very emotional and just protestors, but we are now activists.” We have to be activists also behind these walls before our pain will be felt.

Ultimately, though, as powerful as their demonstration was, they left plenty of money on the table. Under the organizational structure that I am proposing, those of us on the inside could have been added to that force on the outside. Here’s how:

In Alabama, we just received the winter food package list from Access SecurePak. Where is the company headquartered? 10880 Linpage Place, St. Louis, MO 63132. Most likely, this same company has contracts throughout Missouri’s DOC and probably even city or county jails. A boycott of this business that supports and finances mass incarceration and prison slavery most definitely should have been included. Additionally, and at the same time, work strikes should have been organized at the jails and prisons.

Missouri is no different from Alabama, California, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, or any other state. Prison labor is active and a revenue generator on all layers of the economy in Missouri. In fact, the very streets, roads, and sidewalks that the activists were moving on are probably cleaned in some part by prison slave labor. Some of the stores may even have products made in a prison. Most definitely, the police cruisers that are dispatched to the scenes where our activists are congregated are maintained and repaired by people in jail or prison.

Millions of dollars in labor costs, lost production and lost sales can be effectively mounted onto the backs of cities in an instant, if only we can connect our movement together.

Under the organizational structure that I am proposing here, this unification would merge seamlessly, and the fit would be perfect because we are already aligned strategically on the use of direct action economic activity. For example, the outside organization, Millions for Prisoners Human Rights Coalition – Missouri would be the eyes and ears on the ground that would be informed when a trial like Mr. Smith’s was taking place.

They would join forces with other outside activists and groups, letting them know of our presence on the inside, say, Free Missouri Movement. Throughout the process of trial, planning and coordination would take place, starting at the local city and county jails then moving to the prisons. Then, when the unlawful verdict is reached, the plan of action would go into effect – boycotts and work strikes on the inside, with boycotts on the outside.

Millions of dollars in labor costs, lost production and lost sales can be effectively mounted onto the backs of cities in an instant, if only we can connect our movement together.

This, of course, would be an example of an individual state charter exercising autonomy in a local issue. These plans would also be relayed up to the national board, who would then send advisories out to all other branches nationwide in the event that other branches wanted to join in the same capacity.

It could be a hunger strike, a boycott in the mold of the Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018, a work strike or whatever. (Them brothers up in Michigan at Marquette, Kinross, Cotton and Chippewa appear to be ready at the drop of a dime.) The main thing is, we have to get organized, then get connected to the broader struggle in society.

Plain and simple, we have to get connected because police killings and social justice are each a part of prison slavery and mass incarceration. How? What if Mike Brown had lived? Where would he be today? In prison! When Sandra Bland asserted her rights as a human being, where did she end up dying? In jail!

If Anthony Lamar Smith had lived, what would have happened? I’ll tell you what: He would have been arrested, charged with drug possession and distribution, and taken to jail. Walter Scott was running from the slave catcher because he didn’t want to be returned where? Jail!

Mike Brown, of course, would have probably been charged with assault, attempted murder, jaywalking and who knows what else. Since the bail bond system was so thoroughly exposed after his death, we know that his bail would have been near $500,000. And, we already know that the grand jury would have believed Officer Wilson, so Mike Brown would have been indicted. According to Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” Mike Brown would have pled guilty, just like 95 percent of all defendants do.

Thus, Mike Brown would be in the county jail, waiting to go to MDOC, where he would become Brown, M, D819642, B/M. Life.

Plain and simple, we have to get connected because police killings and social justice are each a part of prison slavery and mass incarceration.

If Sandra Bland had lived, her situation would be even worse. In recent years, rapes, sodomy and sexual violence have been reported in women’s prisons from Alabama, Florida, California and Mississippi, just to name a few. In January 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice concluded an investigation by finding that the women at Julia Tutwiler Prison have been raped, sexually abused and more for a period of almost 20 consecutive years – up to 2014 when the investigative report was issued. And it continues …

A more glaring fact missing from these reports is that many of these women gave birth to children, while other women had abortions. Some of these women were forced to have abortions, while other women who refused abortions, by sometimes married officers, had their fetuses beaten from their bodies. I was once given an eyewitness account by a woman formerly incarcerated at Tutwiler, who recounted seeing a mentally ill young woman beaten until she miscarried by an officer who had been raping her.

There are many Sandra Blands who lived. Yet, where are their protests? Do their Black Lives Matter while they are still alive, or must they die first? What about the children who were born to these prison slave plantation rapes? First and foremost, the Department of Justice report did not even tell us how many children were born – but the ADOC knows how many deliveries were made.

Where are these children whose mothers have life sentences with no family members capable of receiving such child, and the father is a correctional officer, married with a family, and no incentive to tell his wife and family that he has a child at work on a slave plantation? Haven’t we experienced this narrative already? Don’t these Black Lives Matter, too?

When we, FAM’s blogtalk radio show The People’s Platform and Sign of the Times with Queen T, hosted the Scott Sisters from Mississippi upon their release from Mississippi’s slave yards, they told us of women who had given birth to as many as four to five children while incarcerated for over 20 years. In society, we see report after report of women being raped by police officers. Aren’t these issues combined? Then we aren’t the movements combined? If you are wondering why not, #MeToo.

There are over 219,000 Sandra Blands incarcerated today, with the number growing each day. Many of them will be raped, sexually assaulted, impregnated and give birth to a Mike Brown Jr. or Sandra Bland Jr. real soon.

We cannot only accept Black Lives Matter as a slogan. The burden lies with us behind these walls to organize our movement in a way that forces society to recognize our humanity and bear witness to our sacrifices. Our Black Lives Matter only when our Black Lives Matter to us, first.

“Imprisoning Mothers” – Art: Arkee Chaney, A71362, P.O. Box 1327, Galesburg IL 61401

The year 2018 is important for many reasons. In retrospect, the Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018 is a call to sacrifice. One can look at a canteen list and quickly see that the offering of snacks, candy, potato chips etc. are the menu for a child. We have to sacrifice cookies, “wraps” and “spreads” if we want to sit at a table and eat as men and women.

We can’t allow our mothers, wives, fathers, brothers, lovers and friends to continue to feed the pig and fall further into their own mode of institutionalization. Some of our loved ones feel guilt or partly responsible for our incarceration, and too many of us play on those feelings for a green dot, money on the books etc.

We are now at a time when we must advance beyond the one-and-done concept of struggle. Since we are enslaved and incarcerated every day, we must also struggle every day. Malcolm X said that if we aren’t willing to die for our freedom then we may as well remove the word from our vocabulary. At a bare minimum, the base of our sacrifice should be a bi-monthly boycott of chips and soups, phone calls and visits.

On Dec. 6, 1865, the USA decreed in the 13th Amendment that we are slaves and property of the government. On Dec. 6, 2017, we have to implement the next phase in our plan to dismantle the institution of slavery by starting the process of defunding it. Slavery is already morally bankrupt. Now we must financially bankrupt it.

In closing, I want to parlay off the words of our Warrior Queen Sister Dr. Ava Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, who has lectured on the financial industry of mass incarceration and prison slavery. In boycotting, we have to redirect our finances towards a plan that will give us financial independence. Through social media platforms, we now have the power to create our own revenue streams. Behind these walls, we have craftsmen, writers, poets, artists and many other talents.

With a national organization, we can create our own online storefront where we can sell our own products, which will allow us to finance our own movement. Then, during the bi-monthly boycotts of the Campaign to Redistribute the Pain 2018, we can send a portion of the funds that we withhold from the prison industry as donations to our national organization.

On Dec. 6, 1865, the USA decreed in the 13th Amendment that we are slaves and property of the government. On Dec. 6, 2017, we have to implement the next phase in our plan to dismantle the institution of slavery by starting the process of defunding it. Slavery is already morally bankrupt. Now we must financially bankrupt it.

Looking back on history as Elder Mafundi has told us to, Ancestor Marcus Garvey has already shown us what we can do when we pool our resources. We have to build our own independent power base because ain’t no one coming to save us. We must self save.

In February 2018, April 2018, June 2018, August 2018, October 2018 and December 2018, we must work towards building our national entity, while also refining local coalitions and networks. We can never defeat an opponent that we fund with all of our financial resources and labor, especially when we don’t have anything close to our own entity that we fund to help us wage our fight.

Without that organized body, we are just fussing and calling it fighting. Until we organize, we are nothing more than just disgruntled employees – the thousands of men that our great Ancestor Harriet Tubman said she could have freed if only we knew that we were slaves …

Bennu Hannibal Ra Sun

Free Alabama Movement

Note: I do not know Colin Kaepernick personally. The info that I wrote about his personal history was gleaned from info that I have read. Any inaccuracies should be attributed to me, not Bay View. My apologies in advance for any mistakes, for it is never my intent to ever mislead the people.

Send our brother some love and light: Melvin Ray, 163343, Limestone CF D-70, 28779 Nick Davis Rd., Harvest AL 35749.

The Power of Economics: One Message, One Mind, One Movement

The power of economics: One message, one mind, one movement
June 30, 2017
by Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun (formerly known as Melvin Ray)
Published in the SF Bayview, June 30, 2017

Photo of Melvin Ray and his daughter Raven Antonia on a visit, 2017

Melvin Ray gets a visit from his daughter, Raven Antonia, and his “grandbaby in the oven.”

Greetings to all of the freedom fighters, warriors and honorable supporters in this struggle to End Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery. Two thousand and seventeen has been a year of incubation for the Free Alabama Movement. Many of us have been subjected to intensified repression, cast deeper into the recesses of solitary confinement, causing us to merge into a new, stronger and more powerful incarnation of the original.

Sometime last year, the ADOC (Alabama Department of Corrections) erected what amounts to a SHU (Special Handling Unit) at Limestone Correctional Facility. Brother Dhati Khalid (“Freedom or Death”) was the first freedom fighter to be transferred there from here at Donaldson Correctional Facility in approximately May 2016. Brother Kinetik Justice, who has now served approximately 40 consecutive months, was sent there late last year. These remain the only two men who have been sent to SHU-Limestone for political reasons.

As for me, I am personally on my 10th month after returning to seg (segregation, or solitary confinement), which makes 36 of the last 41 months. At present, I am being held on “isolation” status – no contact, “Walk Alone,” no phone, visitation, books, magazines etc. supposedly under INVESTIGATION for unspecified reasons. Nevertheless, life moves on.

Many of us are excited about Aug. 19, 2017. There will be an event in Montgomery, Alabama, in addition to the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington, D.C. We MUST seize this moment in our movement.

Stokely Charmichael pointed out in his book “Ready for Revolution” the important distinction between mobilizing people versus organizing people. As organizers, it is extremely important that we seize upon the opportunity that #A19 will bring, to organize our supporters.

How do we do this?
First and foremost, we must stay on message. And what is that message? We are uniting to End Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery. In doing so, we have to keep at the forefront of our heart, mind and spirit that slavery – which predominates over mass incarceration – is an economic enterprise system that is mathematically put together and thus capable of being scientifically taken apart.

The basic premise of this deconstructive science is simple: “There can be no slavery without the slave.” As I state in my forthcoming book, even if 1 million people do attend our events on #A19, it won’t do much good if 1 million prison workers – slaves – get right back up and continue to answer that “work call” year in and year out.

People in society are not the ones working these prison slave labor jobs, so we can’t afford to allow them to EVER entertain the impression that they can free us simply by marching. We have to put a plan in place for them to support.

First and foremost, we must stay on message. And what is that message? We are uniting to End Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery.

The ultimate job of deconstructing slavery remains on us, the slaves. Simply stated, we have got to stop the slave labor, and our movement has to organize our supporters around our plan to launch our next round of massive strikes, whenever that date is set.

Social, political and ECONOMIC education must be ramped up

One thing I have noticed about our writings behind these walls is that, while we have written enough to fill up several universities with social and political content, we have very little material on economics. It is going to be next to impossible to build awareness around the true nature of our movement if we don’t start the process of educating on the economic factor of slavery.

Solitary confinement has its origin on the plantation as the “nigger box.” Our water has always been contaminated. As slaves, we never had health, dental or prenatal care on the plantation. Sabre Red and Cell Buster spray have merely replaced the whip.

These are but the residuals of slave plantation life. As long as there is the economic enterprise of slavery, these residuals will always exist. Furthermore, if we stopped any of them or all of them, so long as we continue to provide slave labor, slavery will remain intact.

It is going to be next to impossible to build awareness around the true nature of our movement if we don’t start the process of educating on the economic factor of slavery.

We have to make a much more concerted effort to put the focus on the economic factors at play. When people understand how $$$ is the driver, we have to then help these same people understand how “their” money or “their” labor is what is keeping this system of slavery alive. In economic terms.

Information needs to be organized so that our loved ones can see just how their money is fueling the system; then we have to help them organize boycotts and the withholding of funds at strategic moments. For example, when our families send us commissary money, they need to know 1) how much money they are sending collectively each month, and 2) how the prison system is using this money to keep the prison system intact.

In Alabama, commissary profits are used to purchase batons, mace, handcuffs etc. When our loved ones and supporters gain awareness of this, they can better see where their power lies and how they can use it effectively.

So long as we continue to provide slave labor, slavery will remain intact.

If a prison profits $20,000 each month, that’s $240,000 each year. If they were to organize, say, rolling boycotts of every other month, that’s six months – January, March, May, June, September, November – and $120,000 that they have removed from a prison’s operating budget. These types of deficits are very disruptive to a prison budget.

When we combine these types of maneuvers with phone boycotts and incentive package boycotts, these types of tactics add up fast. These are the types of methods that we need our family members and supporters organizing year-round, non-stop.

Of course, the Great White Whale remains the workstrikes. Why? Because this is easily a $100,000,000,000 industry that WE control. That is the one thing that has to penetrate through to our consciousness: We actually control a $100 billion industry through our labor. If you don’t think that slave labor has power, just think about all of the wealth that it has created.

These are just some of the companies that we produce products for and provide services for, or who make money off of us: Abbott Laboratories, ALRT, AutoZone, Bayer, Caterpillar, Costco, John Deer, Eddie Bauer, Exxon Mobil, Fruit of the Loom, Gelco, GlaxoSmithKline, Glaxo Wellcome, International Paper, Jan Sport, J-Pay, K-Mart, Koch Industries, Mary Kay, McDonalds, Nintendo, Pfizer, Proctor & Gamble, Quaker Oats, Sarah Lee, Sprint, Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, WalMart, Wendy’s.

Of course, the Great White Whale remains the workstrikes. Why? Because this is easily a $100,000,000,000 industry that WE control.

There are many thousands more, and even more institutional investors. But these are just the products and services. We also have to look at the labor costs. Not including work releases, in Alabama there are approximately 10,000 laborers. This is the math on just one eight-hour workday at minimum wage:

10,000 x $8 per hour = $80,000 per hour
$80,000 per hour x 8 hours = $640,000 per day
$640,000 per day x 20 days each month = $12,800,000

So, just by going to work each day, five days a week, even at a minimum wage rate of $8 per hour, we are giving the state $12,800,00 each month in free slave labor. This is barbers, runners, kitchen, yard, road squads, infirmary workers etc.

Multiply that by 12 months, and the state is getting approximately $163,600,000 in free labor. And remember, this is just the cost of labor. These figures don’t include what that labor is producing. In Alabama, we are producing agricultural goods, tags, furniture, chemicals, beef, fish, recyclings, sand mines, print shop and more.

And these figures are before we ever get money sent by J-Pay, which transacts about $1 billion a year, and before we draw canteen, make medical co-pays, make phone calls etc. These are billion dollar entities, and we are the capital.

We have … got … to … get … these … numbers … before … the … people so that everyone can see our power. No state’s prison budget can withstand the loss of our collective economic might, but we have to put this shit in its proper context. Slavery is ECONOMICS! So the solution must be also.

I will close with this. In 2015, I drafted a document called FAM’s Six-Step Plan of Action 2015. What I consider to be the most important step in that plan is the establishing of one central detention facility jail prison in each state to serve as a “headquarters” for organizing – by our outside, free world support. Just go, set up shop, and start organizing. Collect contact info, pass out newsletters and pamphlets, set up conference calls etc.

These are billion dollar entities, and we are the capital. We have … got … to … get … these … numbers … before … the … people so that everyone can see our power. Slavery is ECONOMICS! So the solution must be also.

Establish shifts around visitation days. It could start out as just one person, but don’t stop until that entire place has the message. Then, set a test date for a phone boycott. Set another for a canteen boycott, and another for a short workstrike. The plan is to organize that one institution, both inside and out. When that one is done, then reach out to the next one.

We can’t be grassroots with no boots on the ground. This is how outside support can help those on the inside organize under any circumstance. But these posts have to become permanent. More details of this plan will be forthcoming, but for now we have to get on to the discussion about economics. There truly is power in numbers, especially when it comes to economics.

Free Alabama Movement (FAM) Economic Challenge

What products are produced at your place of incarceration?

What service industry (e.g., call center) is located at your place of incarceration?

How many people provide labor at your place of incarceration?

How much money do loved ones send to prison accounts each month at your place of incarceration?

Approximately how much money is spent on canteen at your place of incarceration each month?

Approximately how much is spent on collect calls at your place of incarceration each month?

Would you be willing to participate in and/or help organize a bi-monthly phone and canteen boycott for the year 2018?

Send our brother some love and light: Melvin Ray, 163343, Donaldson CF 1-3, 100 Warrior Lane, Bessemer AL 35023. If you are responding to the FAM Economic Challenge at the end, send your response to Unheard Voices OTCJ, P.O. Box 10056, Longview, TX 75604.

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.

A Witness to Genocide: Soul-less in Alabama DOC, by S.J.

​”I have witnessed more than my share of young men that have been sucked into the modern-day plantation. Young men that have been abandoned, forgotten, and alienated. Young men that have been discarded like the trash in our every day households.

I’ve witnessed the transformation of these young men from someone’s son, brother, grandson, father, or husband/boyfriend; to an animal!! What was once hope in their eyes turned to hate, and despair.

I’ve watched and witnessed the lives of young men drain from their eyes, and their soul when they were forced to adapt to this cruel, and violent lifestyle of the concrete jungle. I’ve watched and witnessed the lives of these young men be taken from them because the concrete jungle engulfed them and claimed their blood.

I’ve watched and witnessed these young men laugh to keep from crying for way too long.

But one thing I’ve yet to witness is, the mass majority of society see what I have witnessed!

I WAS ONCE A YOUNG MAN!”
Received via a letter from Swift Justice.

The Next Step for Free Alabama Movement: Legal Clinic Network

THE NEXT STEP FOR FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT (F.A.M)

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
13th Amendment, US Constitution

There are several fronts that F.A.M. is currently working on to continue the fight against mass incarceration and prison slavery. With the growth and continued exposure of F.A.M. also comes the need to organize more soundly on a structural and foundational level. In this respect, we are working to structure our legal department and Legal Clinic Network:

STAFF ATTORNEY

1) We need to recruit a volunteer to serve in the capacity of a staff attorney and to develop a fundraising plan to provide compensation when available. This office will help to advise F.A.M. on legal issues and represent F.A.M. in legal matters.

LEGAL CLINIC NETWORK

2) We would like to structure a F.A.M. Legal Clinic Network.

We already have a commitment from several law students, one attorney, and we are exploring opportunities with a law professor and another attorney that we are already in contact with. We anticipate the Legal Clinic Network to start out working in the following capacity:

ASSISTANCE WITH CRIMINAL CASES

a) Handling at least one criminal conviction and/or civil suit per year. In addition, we would like to build a network of volunteers composed of law students, paralegals and researchers to assist with legal research, editing and typing, copying, and filing and collecting public records.

FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUES

b) Filing litigation concerning First Amendment rights as they relate to the right of people incarcerated to peacefully assembly in protest of ongoing civil and human rights violations, and to establish and declare free speech zones at Alabama prisons for Freeworld supporters without interference from state officials when conducting demonstrations or protesting on prison grounds.

(i) First Amendment peaceful assembly rights will also address state retaliation for non-violent and peaceful activity inside of prison, and establish precedent that will be backed by TRO’s to prevent arbitrary detention in solitary confinement and retaliation by prison officials for the exercise of constitutionally protected rights. In California, several recent decisions were issued stating that people in prison could not be punished for hunger strikes because this activity was not violent and did not pose a threat to security.

(ii) First Amendment free speech zones will declare the rights of the public to access public prison facilities and to communicate with visitors on visitation days at these prisons and pass out information concerning public safety, mass incarceration, and civil and human rights issues taking place in Alabama prisons.

https://t.co/65lbuXcM2K

WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS

3) The Legal Clinic Network will address the violations of women’s rights at Tutwiler as outlined in the U.S. Dept of Justice report in January 2014, and seek compensation and assistance for all children who were born as a result of these sex crimes.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-releases-findings-showing-alabama-department-corrections-fails-protect

LABOR RIGHTS

4) The Legal Clinic Network would also like to build a network of labor attorneys and experts to address labor issues within the prisons.

Contact:

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
P.O. BOX 186
New Market, AL 35761
Freealabamamovement@ Gmail.com

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

F.A.M. LEGAL CLINIC NETWORK 

​THE NEXT STEP FOR FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT(F.A.M)
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

13th Amendment, US Constitution 
There are several fronts that F.A.M. is currently working on to continue the fight against mass incarceration and prison slavery. With the growth and continued exposure of F.A.M. also comes the need to organize more soundly on a structural and foundational level. In this respect, we are working to structure our legal department and Legal Clinic Network: 
STAFF ATTORNEY
1) We need to recruit a volunteer to serve in the capacity of a staff attorney and to develop a fundraising plan to provide compensation when available. This office will help to advise F.A.M. on legal issues and represent F.A.M. in legal matters. 
LEGAL CLINIC NETWORK 
2) We would like to structure a F.A.M. Legal Clinic Network.
We already have a commitment from several law students, one attorney, and we are exploring opportunities with a law professor and another attorney that we are already in contact with. We anticipate the Legal Clinic Network to start out working in the following capacity:
ASSISTANCE WITH CRIMINAL CASES 
a) Handling at least one criminal conviction and/or civil suit per year. In addition, we would like to build a network of volunteers composed of law students, paralegals and researchers to assist with legal research, editing and typing, copying, and filing and collecting public records.
FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUES
b) Filing litigation concerning First Amendment rights as they relate to the right of people incarcerated to peacefully assembly in protest of ongoing civil and human rights violations, and to establish and declare free speech zones at Alabama prisons for Freeworld supporters without interference from state officials when conducting demonstrations or protesting on prison grounds.
  (i)  First Amendment peaceful assembly rights will also address state retaliation for non-violent and peaceful activity inside of prison, and establish precedent that will be backed by TRO’s to prevent arbitrary detention in solitary confinement and retaliation by prison officials for the exercise of constitutionally protected rights. In California, several recent decisions were issued stating that people in prison could not be punished for hunger strikes because this activity was not violent and did not pose a threat to security.
 (ii) First Amendment free speech zones will declare the rights of the public to access public prison facilities and to communicate with visitors on visitation days at these prisons and pass out information concerning public safety, mass incarceration, and civil and human rights issues taking place in Alabama prisons. 
https://t.co/65lbuXcM2K
WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
3) The Legal Clinic Network will address the violations of women’s rights at Tutwiler as outlined in the U.S. Dept of Justice report in January 2014, and seek compensation and assistance for all children who were born as a result of these sex crimes. 
https://t.co/wlRDsciwmL
LABOR RIGHTS
 4) The Legal Clinic Network would also like to build a network of labor attorneys and experts to address labor issues within the prisons.

If you would like to assist in this project, please contact us at:
Freealabamamovement@Gmail.com

San Francisco Bay View » Free Alabama Movement Peace Summit turns chaos into community

San Francisco Bay View » Free Alabama Movement Peace Summit turns chaos into community http://sfbayview.com/2016/10/free-alabama-movement-peace-summit-turns-chaos-into-community/ — shared by UC Mini

A Little HOLMAN C. F. History 

The William C. Holman Correctional Facility was constructed in 1968 and 1969. The facility was officially open in December, 1969, at a cost of five million dollars. 
The first prisoner was received on December 15, 1969. The Holman Correctional Facility houses Death Row inmates and is the only facility in the state that carries out executions. 
The present population of Holman C. F. consists of minimum through closed custody inmates, including life without parole and Death Row inmates. 
The living quarters have a total capacity of 998 available beds. There are 630 population beds with Housing Units A-D having a capacity of 114 each and Housing Unit E with a capacity of 174

There are 7 infirmary beds. There are 200 segregation unit beds and Death Row has a capacity of 194 for a total of 1031 beds.

Holman is located ten miles north of Atmore, Alabama, just east of Highway 21 on Ross Road. The perimeter of the security compound is surrounded by two fences. The inner fence is taut wire fence with the outer fence being chain link. The compound has six towers and two perimeter vehicles, which operate twenty four hours a day. 

(WHATTTTTT?)

During the hours of darkness, the perimeter is fully lighted. Thecountryside in the vicinity of Holman prison is farm and timberland. The main crops are cotton and peanuts. 
Located directly behind the facility within the security compound is an industrial area consisting of a Tag Plant where all of the State’s motor vehicle tags are manufactured and a Sewing Factory which makes sheets and pillow cases that are distributed to other state prisons. 

In 1991 a new Administrative building was built onto the front of the main prison within the security compound to provide needed Administrative Offices. 
In the latterpart of 1995, the entire kitchen and dining area was remodeled and updated. In 2000 a newly constructed, 200 bed single cell segregation unit was put online. *In 2007 the housing units in general population were remodeled with single beds and an updated bath room area.

—–

*The 2007 renovation was the result of a 4 day Work and Hunger Strike,  which included all men in HOLMAN prison. (Kinetik Justice was the Spokesperson for the Prisoners during the negotiations and was ultimately “declared a threat to security “and  when,  then Warden Grant Culliver  attempted to place Kinetik in Solitary Confinement Indefinitely,  Attorney Tiffany Johnson Cole intervened and Kinetik was transferred to St.  Clair C. F. )

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)

 

PRESS STATEMENT: Sept 9 NATIONWIDE PROTEST, WORKSTRIKE, BOYCOTT, AND DEMONSTRATIONS 

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

National Freedom Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Information:

For Media Requests:

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

Exec. Board Members Ms. Antonia Brooks, Ms. Dara Folden, Ms. LaTosha Scott

Phone: 256.203.4371

Freealabamamovement@gmail.com

For Movement updates and all other inquiries:

September 9, 1971 ATTICA Rebellion 45th Anniversary

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT kicks off Sept. 9, 2016 National Non-Violent and Peaceful Prison Shutdown for Civil and Human Rights at Holman prison in Atmore, AL.

After launching its Movement in 2014 with the first coordinated work stoppages and shutdowns in Alabama prison history, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, building on its success with subsequent strikes, issued a call in 2015 with its document titled F.A.M.’s 6-Step Plan of Action 2015 (see our WordPress blog) for the first coordinated Nationwide Prison Work Strike in US History. This plan, along with its publication, “Let The Crops Rot In The Field” were then circulated throughout F.A.M.’s nascent network of supporters for its National Freedom Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery.

With assistance from other organizations and people, including Bro. Lorenzo “Kim’Boa” and Sis. JoNina Irvin of the Ida B. Wells Coalition against Police Brutality, Brianna Peril and David Boehnke of IWW/IWOC, Annabelle Parker, Mary Ratcliff of San Francisco Bay View, FREE MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT and FREE MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT UNITED, Queen T of SignofTheTimes/ FREE OHIO MOVEMENT, Anthony Robinson/The New Underground Railroad, Mississippi Southern Belles, Anarchist Black Cross and many others, F.A.M. began organizing, leading and directing this National call.

Today, September 9, 2016, at appx 12:01 am, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT has kicked off the Sept. 9, Nationwide Prison Workstrikes, Boycotts and International Protests from Holman prison in Atmore, Alabama, in solidarity with confirmed strikes underway in Florida, South Carolina, and Texas.

F.A.M. has reiterated its call, first made January 1, 2014 with its first coordinated Workstrikes, for Non-Violence and Peaceful demonstrations both inside and outside of prisons as the solution to the exploitation and other forms of abuse that take place in Americas prisons, including forced prison slavery.

F.A.M. has often stated that the solution to mass incarceration and prison slavery must be lead by the men, women and children who are incarcerated and who are contributing to prison slavery and our own oppression by continuing to produce goods and provide services and purchase products that generate billions of dollars in revenue each year to support prison slavery. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution continues to permit slavery to exist in this country “as Punishment of crime, whereof the person has been duly convicted,” and the institution and enterprise of slavery was legally transferred to the State government’s prison systems.

These Non-Violent and Peaceful protests are designed to expose the nefarious economic motives of individuals, State and Federal government, and corporations like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Starbucks, John Deer, the ALEC corporation, Victoria Secret, US military, Whole Foods, Wal Mart, Keefe, AT&T and Verizon call centers, and many others behind laws like mandatory minimums, three strikes laws, juvenile prosecution as adults, etc. that are used to incarcerate people under oppressive, inhumane conditions for extended periods of time, solely for the use of free prison labor for profit — yet in the name of crime and punishment.

F.A.M. has issued a “FREEDOM BILL“, which contains the demands that they are imposing upon the Alabama legislature to correct the problem of mass incarceration and prison slavery in Alabama.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
To assist FAM and their National Freedom Movement and to support the people on the inside who are making these sacrifices, please donate to famfamalabama@Gmail.com today.

FREEDOM TOUR 2016 Donaldson CF

Support Free Alabama Movement and the Freedom Tour 2016 as we engage in more protests against #blackgenocide and #endprisonslavery2016.

We will be in Dothan on September 7 and Donaldson on September 10th. Confirm your attendance on FB.

 https://www.facebook.com/events/1187755704599243/?ti=cl

MAKE YOUR DONATION IN SUPPORT OF FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT 


Dear Supporters,

Greetings from Free Alabama Movement (FAM). We are reaching out to you, our supporters, to help us further our objective of ending mass incarceration in Alabama. As you know, F.A.M.    was established in 2013, from inside the Alabama Department of Corrections by people who are incarcerated. We are determined to get involved and have our voices heard from the inside in the fight for change to Alabama’s prison woes and bring an end to mass incarceration and prison slavery.   

We are currently planning activities for our FREEDOM TOUR 2016, where we plan to stage protests at EVERY prison in the State of Alabama to promote our Three-Point Plan of Action for the remainder of 2016, to address the follows factors that are contributing to mass incarceration in Alabama:

1) Excessive overcrowding and the need for an immediate mass release.  Alabama’s prison population must be reduced down to design capacity

2) Revisions and fundamental changes to Alabama’s habitual felony offender act

3) Establishing “automatic” or mandatory parole criteria that will remove discretion from the parole board  in decisions for qualified individuals

Our goal is to raise Donations to fund our FREEDOM TOUR 2016 and resources to assist while on the journey.   If you are interested in giving a financial contribution, there is an PayPal link on the Free Alabama Movement website, our WordPress blog, and our Facebook page. You can mail in a check payable to Mothers and Families, P.O. Box 186, New Market, AL 35761, via GoFundMe or you can donate via PayPal.  If you would like to contribute a non-monetary contribution, please call MAF at 256-203-4371.

We know that you value human rights as we do, we know that you will support our fight for the rights of our incarcerated love ones; who are human as well, but who are being deprived of basic civil and human rights. In times that demand action to bring about change, it is all about continuing and even increasing your support for FAM, a movement that continues to demonstrate non-violent and peaceful protest for civil and human rights behind incarcerated walls.  Additionally, you can help by joining the Freedom Tour helping to organize and conduct protests at a designated prison. FAM has formed coalitions with outside groups, including Mothers and Families, Inc., which now serves as our main support group and works on the outside organizing families and coordinating demonstrations for F.A.M. at prisons, ADOC offices, and at companies that use prison labor for profit. 

If you have any questions regarding FAM, MAF, or the Freedom Tour 2016, please feel free to email us at mothersandfamily3@gmail.com or freealabamamovement@Gmail.com. You can also reach us via telephone at 256-203-4371.  

We sincerely thank you in advance for your much needed support.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

“The Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery must be lead from the inside.”

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


Join Mothers and F.A.M.ilies Today

Mothers and Families
P.O Box 186
New Market, AL 35761
(256)203-4371
mothersandfamily3@gmail.com

Look for MAF on Facebook @ Maf Fam

Greeting from Mothers and F.A.M.lilies:

May this letter find you in the best of spirit and health in spite of your circumstance of being incarcerated in Alabama. We hope to lift your spirit by letting you know that we are in this fight with you for freedom, justice and civil and human rights until the end. Over the past 3 years, we have been fighting relentlessly alongside FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT and all others for justice in Alabama. Among our many activities have been:

1) Conducting protests at numerous prisons and in Montgomery to help bring awareness to the problems with ADOC, including the need for a mass release;

2) Promoting the Alabama FREEDOM BILL and demanding its passage by the Alabama Legislature;

3) Hosting rallies and workshops under the banner of INCARCERATED LIVES MATTER at Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham, Alabama;

4) Meeting with local, state and federal official to address police brutality and other forms of corruption in ADOC;

5) Fighting for real wages for labor in ADOC so that working men and women can send money home to their families and children instead of enriching politicians in Montgomery;

6) Demanding changes to the Alabama parole board to provide for more paroles and more clearly defined criteria for mandatory parole;

7) Transparency and media access inside of ADOC; and more.

For the remainder of 2016, M.A.F. will be coordinating and conducting a Freedom Tour 2016 to canvas all of the prisons in the State of Alabama to garner support from more mothers and family members for our Movement to end Mass Incarceration in Alabama and throughout the Nation. If you are interested in becoming a part of this Movement or if you have any information that may be of use to us, please contact us.

Lastly, we want to remind everyone that the fight against Governor Bentley’s Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative Act and the construction of new prisons spending millions of dollars in Alabama is not over.   The bill will now head to the Senate floor for debate and a vote in the next regular session of the Alabama Legislature.   Be sure to contact your State Representatives to let them know that we oppose this plan. We want Education, Rehabilitation and Re- Entry Programs, not more economic exploitation and abuse.

Thank You,
Mothers and F.A.M.ilies

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.

MISUNDERSTOOD (inmates)

For too long the eyes of the people have been blinded by our Alabama government. They have allowed  themselves to be tricked and fooled by our government into believing that the whole of the Alabama prison system is not culpable, is untrustworthy,  or just not deserving of having a given opportunity at freedom. They call us animals and often times depict us as being monsters, to serve the social public eye; to make them believe that we should not be released back into society, neither soon or at all.

And for years, it has been allowed for the people to see it that way but that can no longer be allowed. The eyes of the people must be enlightened to see that they are being played for pawns in a chess game that they have no idea that they are involved in. They are being used as financial and systematic puppets by a government whose only concern is keeping them blind from the truth, and keeping them issuing funds that they say are allocated for all these corrections programs for our betterment and rehabilitation. But the truth is these programs that do exist, the state has no part in creating, as they come from the fee people in society [or prison] who are not blind, and who see that although we are incarcerated, we should have the opportunity to be exposed to something that can help us become better people who can once again fit into society.

Alabama truthfully does not care about our corrections, and that is an inappropriate and quite void expression that has been given to define our government prison system, and the people of society have been paying tax dollars not in the name of corrections, but big business.

Alabama has no desire to rehabilitate us because now we are the new business investment. Marking the politicians as crooks who make investment out of criminal activity. They discovered a way of making it legally acceptable, and we are no longer a responsibility, but a profit margin.

But we ask you a question, Society? Why is there a need for such market trading and share buying into private prisons? And prisons in general? This is not supposed to be a way of creating income for our government; it’s suppose to be a place where we are placed into to go through a strong and structural level of rehabilitation until we are deemed fit for social re-emergencr. But, the truth is, our government has no corrections going on for us, and the only programs that we do have that assistance is in corrections, our government has nothing to do with them.

We are not humans to them, but property. So why would I want to give my cow away, that I raised to eventually bring me a profit at the cost of its life, any kind of intelligence? Because then it will learn how to get away from me and I will lose money? So I have to do what? Keep them stupid and uncoordinated so I can control them. But the thing about it is this: even cows get mad!

So, what do you do when you have nothing conducive to your growth that helps you desire to be better and different? That gives you hope of seeing freedom and family again? You fill that void with drugs and violence. Which is what has happened. We get high and kill each other. Which is a fate for us that the ADOC is well satisfied with; that keeps them from having to worry about ever releasing us. That is their answer to our mass release, which is keeping us under oppressive circumstances, which only creates a recipe for internal inmate homicide.

They are so quick to show you all of the negative things about us on TV, but what about the good things,  like guys who graduate or participate in the social, not government, but socially instituted programs on classes that really make an effort to rehabilitate ourselves?  Why do you, the people of society,  continue to support a system that does not work because its intentionally designed not to? Do you think we are overcrowded for nothing? Its not by chance, but carefully crafted. This is why you have laws like the habitual offender act that is designed to keep the so-called scary criminal off the streets forever.  But what about the criminals that has reformed themselves? Do they not deserve an opportunity? Should there not be a measuring stick for them? You are being controlled by the media and manipulated into contributing your hard earned money and votes to support a system built on human, racial, and social hatred. Not to mention greed. Is this how you, the People of society, view yourselves?

I’m sure you don’t, however, every time you allow them to hold on to these inhumane laws, this is the portrait you paint and present of yourselves.  It’s funny they made and hold dear to this habitual offender law for us, yet they habitually offend us every day when they beat on its because they feel they can; and get away with it. They feed us food not fit for human consumption that literally says this on the package box, and every time they convict us with these illegal sentences, trying to use a law that is supposed to go against double jeopardy. Yet, I end up doing more time for a crime that I’ve already done time for !!

Are we not human beings too? Does our rights stop because we face so-called lawful punishment? ! They are killing our bodies, soul and spirit in here, and taking us away from our lives, liberties, and pursuit of happiness; not to rehabilitate us toward change and self betterment, but profit. There is no longer the law anymore. Its just a loosely. . . allocated. . . word.

People can truly change even if they are in prison. You can’t blame all of the apples and call them rotten because you found a few or one that was. You must give them all a tested chance because any other method is unjust in the eyes of God and human rationality.

If we seem animalistic, you should thank your government for that; for not making your family members better potential citizens, but mentally dysfunctional sales items, and our AIS No. is merely our bar codes.

And to end my article, I will give you a deeper thought to ponder on:  If they are not instituting your tax money to create a true system of corrections, then what effect does that have on the level of crime rising around you in the street? After all, you cannot fill a prison without criminals, correct? And what happens when the crime isn’t being committed fast enough or at a desired capacity? Well, I guess in those moments you might have to instigate a little in order to get things moving, huh?

All this talk of changing laws to make things better, but all they did was tweak a few things and remodeled the same laws they already had that needed to go, just so they can keep the same system they’ve always had and, meanwhile, no doors of change or chance has truly come. And we still sit here crowded on each other like sardines.

Wake up, Society!! Prisoners are People too, and God is not asleep. Alabama will never truly be free until its people in society open their eyes and free their minds and begin to see.

Support a true cause for a free and rehabilitated Alabama.

Article by aspiring writer Mr. Mark Giles, aka the Gifted #1
For opinions and comment, contact Mr. Giles at:

Mark Giles
AIS No 230243
Donaldson CF
L-54
100 Warrior Lane
Bessemer, Alabama 35203

#INCARCERATED LIVES MATTER event June 25, 2016

  Greeting from FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

  Join us on June 25. 2016 , beginning at 2 pm for our “INCARCERATED LIVES MATTER ” event at Kelly Ingram Park, in Birmingham , Alabama.
 
We will be discussing issues that affect

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the lives of those incarcerated in the Alabama Department of Corrections and devising solutions to the problems that we are experiencing with mass incarceration.  Topics of discussion will include:

1) Developing plans for a mass release and improved conditions of confinement that will be coordinated through class-civil litigation, calls for intervention by the US Dept of Justice, the United Nation, and other affiliate organizations, including the National Movement Against Mass Incarceration and PrisonSlavery, The Ordinary Peoples Society, Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, and others;

2) Overhauling Alabama’s Parole Board to include demands for an “automatic”  parole eligibilty criteria;

3) Revising Alabama’s Habitual Felony Offender Act and abolishing sentences of LWOP and the death penalty; solitary confinement; mental health treatments and release of the mentally ill; protecting the rights of women; expansion of rights to children who have a patent incarcerated ;

4) Changing laws that allow for children to be prosecuted as adults and substantially amending Alabama’s First Offender and Youthful Offender laws;

5)  Promoting Free Alabama Movement’s “FREEDOM BILL”  for Education, Rehabilitation, and Re-Entry Preparadness;

6) Ending free labor and other economic exploitations in Alabama prisons;

and more.

  Please contact:

freealabamamovement@Gmail.com, mothersandfamilies3@Gmail.com, or call 256-203-4371.

Free food and refreshments, and limited free transportation will be available.

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.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT calls for federal investigation into allegations of Human Rights violations at Holman Prison

After receiving numerous phone calls from family members and photographs from conditions inside Holman prison, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT and other representatives are calling for federal authorities and Human Rights attorneys to investigate allegations of Human Rights violations taking place at Holman to punish peaceful protests.

Reports indicate that officers are leaving dorms in filth, not taking out trash, leaving showers and soiled laundry unclean, in efforts to punish peaceful demonstrations.

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  The men in Holman prison also allege that officers are violating their Human Rights by serving inadequate meals and attempting to use starvation tactics in violation of Federal and International law and treatise against Torture through food.

Basic nutritional calories and food portions are not being met.

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The men confined at Holman prison are asking supporters to contact the Human Rights Watch, all media, and Human Rights attorneys and request that they come to the prison and begin taking complaints. Living conditions include leaky ceiling with Black mole and other harmful conditions in the showers that are causing infections.

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Showers filled with mole and bacteria.

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Tarps being used to contain leaks in roof.

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Freealabamamovement@gmail.com

  Contact info:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Toll Free Call Center: 1-877-696-6775

Center For Disease Control and Prevention
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636),TTY: 888-232-6348

Alabama Department of Public Health  |  Montgomery, AL  |  1-800-252-1818  |

Mass Warehousing

Today, May 3, 2016, there sits over 2.5 million people in the prisons, jails, and immigration detention facilities throughout u.s.a.

In one form of another, most of us are “subjects” to a government program called mass incarceration. The people who have been the targets and victims of this program are mostly poor, black and brown, but also include every nationality and race in u.s.a.

Some are collateral consequences, while others are mentally ill. The thing that all have in common is that we are being oppressed by our own government for the service of a for-profit business model that has taken over America’s prisons.

For addicts, there is no rehabilitation. For the mentally ill, there are no services. For those who committed “crimes”, there is no educational or job training. There is only a profit motive for ALL. There is no doubt that there are also many innocent, overcharged, self-rehabilitated, and simply underserving people still trapped with no way out.

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MAY DAY MAY DAY. ..

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WE, the Prisoners of Alabama Department of Corrections, as a collective reach out to Rev. Kenneth Glasgow, Founder of The Ordinary People Society, Prodigal Child Project and Formerly Incarcerated Convicted People Families Movement asking that Rev. Glasgow mediate and speak on our behalf, in making the following statement to the Legislators of the state of Alabama.

At 12:01 May 1, 2016 We, Alabama Prisoners will begin a Peaceful and Nonviolent Protest for Our Human Rights in the form of a Work Stoppage. This is in fact a means to Peacefully Petition the Alabama Government for Redress of Grievances as We have suffered under Cruel and Inhumane Conditions over the past two decades.

Let us be clear,  this is not just about the Deplorable Conditions of Confinement,  but more so about the 13th Amendment,  the Alabama Constitution of 1901 and the Statutory Laws discriminatoryly enacted from both. The laws that created and maintains the denial of our Human Rights and perpetuation of our Economical Exploitation.

From Wrongful Convictions,  Exceedingly Excessive and Mandatory LWOP sentences, Alabama’s prisons are literally Warehouses of Men stacked on top of one another, and due to an Arbitrary and Biased Parole Board System, thousands of Men eligible to be released are stopped up in a broken and dangerous system.

*It has been stated and acknowledged that there are over 3, 000 people that are eligible to be released.  However,  due to budgetary concerns (parole and probation officers, supervision,  etc) they remain trapped in an excessively overcrowded system;  exposed to unnecessary threat to their  safety and well being. To address this issue would contribute greatly to relieving the pressure of prison overcrowding.

A lot of the pressure could be released by  Revising and Modifying the Laws and Policies that Created and Perpetuates these Cruel and Inhumane Conditions; not by building bigger more expensive prisons.

*Over 8000 people are serving enhanced mandatory sentences under Alabama’s Habitual Offenders Statute. More than 2000 are serving Mandatory LWOP sentence, some for petty theft cases.
To Repeal the Habitual Offenders Statute would create the opportunity for over 8000 people to be eligible to return to their families and communities after decades due to the application of the Habitual Offenders Statute while reducing the inhumane and dangerous overcrowding which contributes to the spread of diseases and increases the level of violence.  Overall it would contribute to a more sanitary and humane living environment.

*From exposure through exonerations it is clear that the Prosecutors of the State of Alabama are more concerned with convictions than truth and innocence.  Most of the attention has been focused on the Wrongful Convictions of those sentenced to Death. As a result a demand for oversight was  expressed in Senate Bill 237. However, through political maneuvering this Bill was tailored to only apply to those sentenced to death.

We assert that The Alabama Innocence Inquiry Commission created by Senate Bill 237 shall apply to all Wrongfully Convicted prisoners not just Death Penalty cases. To be Wrongfully Convicted is to be Wrongfully Convicted no matter the sentence. No innocent person should suffer the loss of his freedom unjustly and remain confined due to procedural limitations or judicial misconduct. Therefore, this Bill shall apply to all prisoners with credible claims of innocence, as this is what justice requires.

*Earlier this year,  the U.S. Supreme rightly declared that mandatory Life without Parole sentences for juveniles was unconstitutional.  It is time that Alabama go a step further and abolish mandatory Life without Parole sentences for First Time Offenders,  many who were barely beyond the juvenile age limit.
This would make hundreds of prisoners eligible to earn their freedom after being provided Education,  Rehabilitation and ReEntry Preparedness.  Thus also relieving some of the pressure and strain created by the excessive overcrowding.

*We further state that the A.D.O.C’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 and ease the financial burden on their  families. Therefore, A.D.O.C’s Economical policy of Free Labor is counterproductive to rehabilitation and is exploitative and demeaning. Therefore, a more equitable Economic Policy shall be established between Alabama Prisoners and the ADOC.

*The Alabama Parole Board is arbitrary and biased therefore it must be overhauled to establish a criteria for those eligible for Parole.
The members of the Alabama parole board are receiving these appointments with an agenda that says that rewards them with long-term employment and other incentives to deny parole. These members refuse to set criteria for parole eligibility because this would make parole mandatory, instead of discretionary, for those who qualify.

In theory, the 13th Amendment put an end to and forever abolished slavery, at least that is what we’ve been taught in schools. However, in actual practice, the 13th Amendment merely changed the name, method and rationale for keeping African Americans in a state of perpetual servitude. As the 13th Amendment explicitly permits ” Involuntary Servitude”– an euphemism for Slavery– as punishment for “duly convicted criminals.”

In direct response to this Constitutional mandate, the Alabama Judicial System was structured to keep white land owners in a position of power and Africans in their place– Servitude. In fact, the State of Alabama used the 13th Amendment as their foundation in drafting the *ALABAMA CONSTITUTION OF 1901. As the Alabama Legislature used their authority to set up court systems, appointed only white people as Judges and District Attorneys, pre arranged elections for those positions that had to be voted on, then expanded the criminal code as its effective means of carrying out their objective. By their own admission, the State of Alabama’s sole purpose in drafting the Constitution of 1901 was to establish “White Supremacy”- by law. As the delegates to the all-white Constitutional Convention, were not secretive about their purpose and aims. In the opening address, President of the Convention, John B. Knox stated:
“And what is it that we want to do? Why is it 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…”

In keeping with the sentiments of John B. Knox, the State of Alabama has used the Constitution of 1901 to construct a solid foundation, in which to discriminate from.
Even to this day, Alabama openly applies its laws discriminately, first –based upon race, then upon financial status.

Alabama’s “good old boy”-style of justice is maintained and perpetuated by police officers “overreaching”, district attorney’s ” overcharging” and judges “over sentencing.” All of this is made possible by the Alabama Constitution of 1901 and the Alabama Legislature, as it is the Alabama Legislature that enact these laws that specifically target young African-American males, particularly and African-Americans in general.

*One glaring example, is the racially motivated amending of the Capital Murder statute to include Section 16, 17 and 18- or commonly called the “drive-by shooting laws”. According to the Alabama Legislature, in the early 1990’s there was a massive public outcry against”gangs”, so in 1992 the Legislature passed Act 92-601; which made a murder committed by the use of a deadly weapon fired from or into a vehicle, a Capital Offense–punishable by death or life without parole. Act 92-601 became codified in Title 13A-5-40(a)(16),(17) and (18). From a plain reading of the statute, in order to be charged and found guilty of the Capital Offense, all that’s required is that the shooter or victim be in a vehicle or house at the time of the murder. Prior to this amendment, all Capital Offenses required an aggravating circumstance in order to elevate the murder to a death penalty offense. However, the “drive-by shooting laws” are simply based upon location of the shooter or victim.

In March of 2006, Representatives Marcel Black and John Robinson authored a Bill and presented it to the House of Representatives, which addressed the application of subdivisions 16, 17 and 18 of Title 13A-5-40, I.e., the Capital Murder statute. In session it was stated:
“Whereas, the legislature is aware of the case of State of Alabama v. Fondren (Calhoun County CC 02-600) in which Fondren was convicted of Capital Murder for violating Section 14A-5-40(a)(18)…”

HJR 575
On March 28, 2006, this Bill was adopted by the House of Representatives. On April 17, 2006, this Bill Was adopted and signed by the Senate. Upon both Houses adopting this Bill, it became House Joint Resolution 575. In accordance with the procedure for passing a Bill into Law, the House Joint Resolution was delivered to the Governor. On April 27, 2006 at 1:09 p.m. Governor Bob Riley signed the Bill.
It became Act No. 2006-642, which stated in pertinent part: ” … in passing Act 92-601, it was the intent of the legislature in adding sub division (18) to address”drive-by shooting”, that is murder committed through the use of a deadly weapon …used within or from a vehicle which murders were gang related or intended to incite public terror or alarm.”
In HJR 575 (Act No. 2006-642) the legislature recognized that Section 13A-5-40(a)(17),(18) has been misinterpreted by prosecutors and courts to apply to any murder committed by or through the use of a deadly weapon, fired or otherwise used within or from a vehicle, even if it was not gang related.
Being that this interpretation was contrary to the legislature’s intent, the Legislature urged the Attorney General and District Attorneys to charge only those individuals who commit murder by or through the use of a deadly weapon fired or otherwise within or from a vehicle, when the vehicle was involved in the shooting or that the shooting was gang related. This clarification by the legislature should have changed the sentences for countless individuals serving Life Without Parole behind the prosecutors and judges misapplication of the law.
Therefore,  the Legislature shall amend the “drive-by shooting” statutes, so that the plain language of the statute will effectuate the legislature’s intent as expressed in House Joint Resolution 575(Act No. 2006-642). And to make such Amendment Retroactive.
*The A.D.O.C’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.
More specifically,  we want the EDUCATION,  REHABILITATION AND REENTRY PREPAREDNESS BILL IMPLEMENTED THROUGHOUT THE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
(hyperlink freealabamamovement for copy of FREEDOM BILL)

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ANOTHER DAY OF VIOLENCE AT HOLMAN

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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.

“INCARCERATED LIVES MATTER” PRISON SLAVERY MUST END

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PEACE AND POWER!

In 7 days- Saturday night @ 12:01 May 1st- We will begin the process using our Economic Power to Peacefully bring about a true and transparent reform to the Alabama Judicial and Penal System. MAY DAY MAY DAY is not just about the Conditions of Confinement. This is more so about the cause of those Conditions – THE13th AMENDMENT, THE ALABAMA CONSTITUTION OF 1901 and the STATUTORY LAWS that have been created from both – Laws that drive and maintains this Mass Warehousing of men and women for extended periods of time in the name of profits.

All that is required of each of us is to STAND AND SPEAK AS ONE- With the Economic Voice of “WE WILL NO LONGER VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATE IN THIS SLAVE SYSTEM WHERE ECONOMICS ARE PLACED OVER OUR HUMANITY. All is required is for INDUSTRY WORKERS, KITCHEN WORKERS, & HALL RUNNERS TO SIT DOWN. SIT DOWN and instead of saving and making the ADOC money, force them to pay to operate their Prisons. This will greatly diminish their incentives to Warehouse thousands of us for decades with no true efforts at Rehabilitation. There is no need for us to say a word, as everything is in writing- and there are people in place to communicate on our behalf to the people who have the power to make the changes.

For Ourselves, For Our Brothers/Sisters and For Our Families – WE MUST COME TOGETHER AS A COLLECTIVE AND SHUT DOWN THIS ECONOMIC SYSTEM. MAY 1ST @ 12:01 CHANGE BEGINS.

INCARCERATED LIVES MATTER

MAY DAY. MAY DAY !!! TIME TO SHUTDOWN

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“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

SLAVERY AND SLAVE-LIKE PRACTICES

Slavery and slave like practices must end in Alabama. When people who work for free are still charged a medical co-pay, charged to use the phone, charged court costs and filing fees to challenge their convictions, and continue to accruechild support arrears, all while working 12-14 hours for free, then something isn’t right. Especially when their labor is generating billions of dollars in goods and services, all of which is flowing to Montgomery, Alabama, and unaccounted for. These industries must STOP $$$Its time to FREE ALABAMA.

Word Of The Devils Plans

I was talking to my investigator last week. He said they had just left a seminar were they were pitching ideas about the building of the New prisons to the State. He said the one thing that they all were in agreement on was this: The LWOP and Death row will have their own part of the prison. They will not have any jobs other than waiting to die bro. He said they will have levels 2,3,4,  there so they will be the only ones with all the job in and outside the prison. Not even a kitchen job for LWOP, hall runners job, or Nothing. All these old niggas that have this industry job bro can’t even work at this New shit there trying to build. He said LWOP an Death row will dam near be the same other then we get more time out just where they have us housed. He said other then our outside time, we lock down. He said in other words they are  building a Nice clean prison for u to die in. He said there building y’all a Billion Dollar Casket. He words not mines. Smfh. b
Str8 Game Changer ‍‌‌‌‌‌‍‍‌‍‌gu‌n‌

RECOMMENDED READING LIST

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, by Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun (sn Melvin Ray) (download for free from our website www.freealabamamovement.com)

Dark Alliance, by Gary Webb

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

Slavery By Another Name, by Douglas Blackmon

Worse Than Slavery, by David M. Oshinsky

How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America, by Manning Marable

An Updated History of The New African Prison Struggle, by Sundiata Acoli

Liberation or Gangsterism, by Russell “Maroon” Shoats

Prison Profiteers, by Prison Legal News and Paul Wright

Wages Of Rebellion, (and articles) by Chris Hedges

Black Labor, White Wealth, by Claude Anderson

We Will Shoot Back, by Akinyele Omowale Umoja

Last Man Standing, by Geronimo ji jiga Pratt

Ready For Revolution, by Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael)

Black Revolution,  by Lorenzo Kom’boa Irvin

The Institutionalization of Society, by Ivan Kilgore

Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People’s Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time, by James Kilgore, Research Scholar Center for African Studies University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign

Newspapers:

San Francisco Bay View

The Five Percenter newspaper, by Nation of Gods and Earths

Prison Legal News

Burning Spear

The Birmingham News

Final Call

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.

WARDEN CARTER DAVENPORT MUST GO !!

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No !!! We are not going anywhere!  No, we are not backing down ! No, we will not retreat !  On May 7. 2016, Mothers and Families, Inc., will be returning to Holman prison again in Atmore, Al to DEMAND THE RESIGNATION OR FIRING OF WARDEN CARTER DAVENPORT! !!

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From the sexual violence and rapes at Tutwilet prison, to the violence and deaths at St. Clair, now to riots and suicides at Holman, as public citizens we no longer consent to his authority to govern. Therefore, we will be returning to Holman prison and we will continue to return all FREEDOM SUMMER long, until Warden Carter Davenport is gone.

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WE DECLARE WAR

WE DECLARE WAR !!!

When the trans-Atlantic slave trade began, Europe and her partners in crime declared war on Africa. When the Southern Confederacy ceded from the North, they declared a civil war to maintain the institution of slavery. After the Civil War, the 13th Amendment was ratified to maintain the institution of slavery under the control of the government.  In other works, the institution of slavery was never abolished, instead, it was Nationalized and turned into an institution that would be controlled by the State,  Federal and local governments.

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Under the 13th Amendment, the criminal justice system and the courtroom would become the auction block. “Neither slavery or involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime  whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. . . ” Since that time, it has been the jails and prison systems that have served the functions of running the enterprise and institution of slavery in America. And, the complexity of the slave has not change: Black, Brown, and poor. The practice has not changed: free labor that exploits the oppressed and enriches the rulers of the system.

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In 1878, just 13 years after ratification of the 13th Amendment,  over 73% of the entire Alabama state budget was generated from prison labor and convict leasing. Now, in 2016, over 1.5 billion dollars per year is generated from Alabama prison labor in ACID industries,  work release deductions ( up to 60% of wages can be taken), medical co-pays, filing fees, usury prices and kickback contracts from canteen, phone calls and more.

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As fate would have it, the same Southern states that declared war on the North to preserve the institution of slavery in 1861, are now the same States that lead the Nation and world in incarceration rates. They have done this by declaring war on crime, war on poverty, war of this and war on that. Their last war is the “war on drugs.”

Well, it is time that the victims and intended targets of this war (the name of the war changes but the game hasn’t)  — it is time that we declare war on mass incarceration, we declare war on prison slavery, and we declare war on the 13th Amendment.

Governor Bentley has recently proposed the construction of a new 1.5 billion (not 800 million) slave plantation. We must not sit by and accept this new above ground work-till-death camp and cemetary that will be used to continue to fund a government for the elite and rich, who choose to continue the institution and enterprise of Slavery in Alabama.

WE DECLARE WAR. !!!

Why Should Alabama Tax Payers spend 800 million dollars for more of this?

‎WHY ALABAMA’S HABITUAL OFFENDERS LAW SHOULD BE REPEALED

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Willie Simmons

In the spring of 1982, 22 year old Willie Simmons hadn’t been out of prison long and still hadn’t found a job. Bills had to be paid and Willie needed money. In this state of mind Willie saw a man standing in his yard as he walked down Daleville Avenue. Desperate, Willie accosted the man and after a brief conversation, Willie wrestled the man to the ground then took his wallet escaping with $9.

Willie was ultimately arrested and charged with Robbery 1st degree. Once Willie was convicted for taking the wallet, due to having 3 prior Theft convictions, Willie was sentenced to a Mandatory Life without Parole Sentence under Alabama’s newly enacted Habitual Offenders Statute. Thirty four (34 !!!!) years later, Willie Simmons is still languishing away in Alabama’s Department of Corrections.

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

Harriet Tubman on Freedom: An Offer You Couldn’t Refuse

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“If he was weak enough to give out, he’d be weak enough to betray us all, and all who had helped us; and do you think I’d let so many die just for one coward man.” – Harriet Tubman

Ausur Heru‎:

The Youth Summi

Take heed Freedom Fighters

Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun:

She uses the masculine pronoun twice: “he’d” and “man.”

Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun:

Three times…

Ausur Heru:

She didn’t stutter

Ausur Heru:

We must stay mindful that the majority of the cruelty, the training, the stripping of humanity, emasculating and the psychological terror was directed at the Black Man. He was and is severely damaged. The denial of this reality and the false bravado many use to cover it up, are 2 of the core reasons we can’t heal then re build ourselves.

Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun:

That needs to be a segment on the show

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

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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.”

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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

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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.

cc:

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

U.A.C.

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African Reality System, By Jarred P

The youth must speak and ill be the voice. This is what ima do my best to put together when I can, A.R.S. African Reality system. The goal is to get across the advice that’s needed to succeed! Which teaches other young men and myself how important our roles are im the black family. And how we need to get out of prison, learn what it takes to stabilise ourselves when we get out of prison, learn the law and the constitution, learn how to think critically, and learn how to engage other young people in positive thinking and actions.

We will strive to educate the mindset of the youth to inspire proper communication so we can cut down on the beefs and stabbings to assure that we come home.

As well as learn about history, without the facts of history how can you be properly educated on the time we presently live in and that which is to come. Past\history is what created us, so its a must that we be educated on history, it’s vital to the protection of our future existence.

We must further our establishments in business and economics by learning thoroughly about both. With time comes a change,and with change brings a revolution,if the change doesnt benefit the whole. If its not beneficial its artificial. Each one teach one, am I my brother keeper? If prison doesnt rehabilitate then we must do it by ourselves! Free da team!

Deep Down South, By JaJa Teule

Deep Down South in Alabama

I been down the dirt roads deep down south in Alabama I tended the cotton fields prayed in the shack and folded clothes til the sunsets deep down south in Alabama but when the night falls me and the brothers and sisters meet remembering our land before we were took from the belly of our mother singing songs of redemption and suddenly life is put into these tired hands and feet the drum is beat the fires lit and we fade into the ecstasy of oneness the connection the struggle the joy the bliss and being happy that I nor they are from this terrible land deep down south in Alabama.

Peace

WARRIOR CALL: Freedom or Death, Ain’t Nothing Else

By Dhati Khalid
freealabamamovement@gmail.com
http://www.freealabamamovement.com
256-384-4FAM

In order for this MA$$ [Econonic] eXXXploitation of FREE and/or CHEAP prison labor to stp those of us who are about FREEDOM, JUSTICE and EQUALITY have to shut these $lave indu$trie$ dwn utilizing THE BEST/MOST EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS to eradicated the problem.

I have come to understand that not everyone, maybe not even most will stand up for FREEDOM, JUSTICE and EQUALITY for many *illigitimate reasons, but, after being in many battles for most of my life and after studying some of the world’s greatest generals, EYE AM not of the counterfeit concept that greater numbers mean victory. The victorious group has been the minority.! They were the most Dedicated, Determined and Disciplined, Organized and Unified of the two sides.

Bottom-line, we – The Minority – have to be unyielding, unwaivering, steadfast and out right relentless for what “we proclaim” we want more than anything and right nw EYE dnt see that frm us yet. Whn you meet your enemy for war, you never bkdwn, unless it iz in a stratagem.! War is deception.

May 30th: National/International Protest Day to “S-To-P” the “school-to-prison” pipeline

11225786_10152915830247198_1260784382_nMay 30th NATIONAL McDonald’s PROTESTS
McDonald’s / St. Vincent Hospital

Where: 2733 8th Avenue, South
Birmingham, Alabama 35203

Time: 12 noon

National Freedom Movement’s “S-To-P” Campaign Against McDonald’s to “S-To-P” the “school-to-prison” pipeline.

11126929_1561498580768511_8768531314490261835_n

FREE ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT UNITED . . . we got our Youth covered.

F.A.M.’s Step 3 McDonald’s INITIATIVE: “S-To-P” the “school-to-prison” pipeline.

1) S-To-P doing business with companies that invest in, and profit from laws and school policies that target children for the “school-to-prison”.

FOTA7C32) S-To-P doing business with companies that build factories in prisons but not in our communities.

3) S-To-P doing business with companies that pay slave wages to people in prison, but won’t employee people in high-unemployment communities.

11287432_10206815466568514_893364780_o4) S-To-P doing business with companies that profit off of mass incarceration FOR prison slavery.

https://freealabamamovement.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/f-a-m-s-step-3-mcdonalds-initiative-s-to-p-the-school-to-prison-pipeline/

THE BLUEPRINT TO STEP 4 ORGANIZING AT THE PRISONS

“THE BLUEPRINT TO STEP 4 ORGANIZING AT THE PRISONS”

We are getting close F.A.M.ily. Thanks to Bob Witanek and his friends in NJ with Decarcerate The Garden State, we have so insight into developing a blueprint for our Step 4 INITIATIVE.

http://decarceratenj.blogspot.in/2015/03/in-response-to-south-woods-authorities.html

http://decarceratenj.blogspot.in/2015/03/decarcerate-garden-state-to-challenge.html

http://decarceratenj.blogspot.in/2015/03/south-woods-prison-outreach-to-visitors.html

“The Solution”: FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT’s 6-STEP Plan of ACTION 2015 Spokesperson Rayfreealabamamovement@gmail.comwww.freealabamamovement.com “Alot of people and orgs. are talking about the PROBLEM(S) of mass incarceration, but ONLY F.A.M. is putting forth “THE SOLUTION”

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT. . . A MOVEMENT FORMED FROM THE INSIDE OF ALABAMA PRISONS THAT WILL NOT STOP !!!!

Organize today using, “THE SOLUTION”: F.A.M.’s 6-Step Plan of ACTION 2015, and join the National Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery.

Learn more about our Plan of ACTION 2015, by reading, “LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELDS”, and start a chapter in your State today.

Step 1. Draft out a FREEDOM BILL for your State, identifying the laws and changes that need to be made to address mass incarceration and prison slavery in your State.

Step 2. Find a prison in your State and make it the Headquaters for your FREE -(YOUR STATE’S NAME) MOVEMENT.

Step 3. Identify a list of McDonald’s storefronts in your city/county/state that you will organize awareness rallies/protests at.

Step 4. Start organizing at the prisons with other family members on visitation days.

Step 5. Announce a National Shutdown Day for ALL incarcerated laborers !!!

Step 6. SHUTDOWN !!!!

“THE SOLUTION”

Job Opening F.A.M. Step 3. Director, “S-To-P” the “school-to-prison” pipeline

Are you qualified for the job?

WANTED: Director – Step 3 McDonald’s INITIATIVE: “S-To-P” the “school-to-prison” pipeline (Alabama)

Phone: 256-384-4FAM
(Correction made)

freealabamamovement@ gmail.com

“We have to confront the school to prison pipeline by confronting the economic incentive for the pipeline. Our children are being targeted for the modern slave trade know as mass incarceration FOR prison slavery. We have to organize at the companies like McDonald’s — one company at at time — who are investing in these practices.”

https://freealabamamovement.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/f-a-m-s-step-3-mcdonalds-initiative-s-to-p-the-school-to-prison-pipeline/

F.A.M.’s STEP-3: McDonald’s INITIATIVE: S-To-P The “school-to-prison” pipeline

11287432_10206815466568514_893364780_o“In order to stop the school-to-prison pipeline, we have to bring our Youth into the Movement and attack the economic facilitators who finance the pipeline.”

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

freealabamamovement@gmail.com
Freealabamamovement.wordpress.com
Tel.: 256 384 4FAM

In the 1600’s and 1700’s when slavery took off in America, the British Crown and other foreignIllustration: We have to break this chain companies financed the slave transport systems that helped to ship millions of men, women and children of African descent around the world for forced slave labor. Also victimized by these slave traders were the Native inhabitants of North and South America.

In 2015, slavery continues on around the World and particularly in America in the front of mass incarceration FOR prison slavery. The companies that now invest in the transport of men, women and children predominately of African descent (and Native inhabitants and Mexicans) are familiar names like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Dell Computers, CCA, GEO Group, U.S military, Victoria’s Secret, AT&T, WalMart and so many more.

But instead of shipping human cargo from the continent of Africa, the U.S. slave market now ships directly from predominately black inner-cities communities and other poor communities inhabited by Africa/Black/Mexican/Native/Poor people.

Today the lifeline of this mature capitalist market has come to be known as the “school-to-prison” pipeline, where children in poor black communities are under attack for prison by market forces that create poverty, unemployment, political assault from so-called criminal laws, under-investment in schools, AND multi-generational absences of millions of black men, women and children who are incarcerated in US prisons.

In response to this, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT has developed a 6-Step Plan of ACTION 2015, and Step 3 of this plan involves strategizing around the economics factors of the pipeline and targeting companies one at a time, starting with McDonald’s, who are involved in this modern slave trade.

FOLLOW THE MONEY, AND WATCH THE CLOWN

We're not loving it (FAM, FCM, FMM): Modern Day Slave Labor: McDonaldsJust like all other issues in American society, in other to overstand the Problem and to understand the Solution, all you have to do is follow the money.

As we said, McDonald’s is just ONE of the many thousands of companies that profit off of prison slavery. In our McDonald’s research group, “FAM-FMM UNITED Against McDonald’s”, we show where McDonald’s uses prison slave labor to produce products like their uniforms, spoons, frozen foods, process beef for patties, and also to process bread, milk and chicken products.

McDonald’s and other companies benefit from prison labor because they reduce labor cost by employing people in prison for either free or penny slave wages. No minimum wages, no overtime, no earned vacation or sick time, no 401k contribution or maternity leave. No healthcare insurance, NOTHING!!! And, anyone refusing to work is met with paperwork that can affect release, result in loss of visits with families and children, threats, and even violence by correctional guards.

Ronald McDonald and his friends in corporate America invest in and profit from the S-To-P pipeline as follows:

1) Companies like McDonald’s invest in or build prison factories to produce their goods like uniforms, patties, spoons, frozen food, etc. They build factories in prison to produce these products, but they won’t build these same factories in our communities to provide jobs.

2) Then, these companies build most of their storefronts outside of our communities and deny jobs to people from our communities, including those of us with felony convictions who need a job to stay out of prison. This is how they manufacture unemployment, which inevitably leads to crime.

3) Finally, after denying us a job in society, Ronald McDonald and his corporate friends who also invest in prison slave labor, wait for the men and women to get caught up in mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline. Once they have us in prison, they force us to work for them in their prison factories for free.

A SOLUTION TO ENDING THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE: Ending Mass Incarceration FOR Prison Slavery

School-to-Prison-Pipeline 'Stopp'We can SOLVE the school-to-prison pipeline by dismantling the economic incentive for the pipeline. None of these problems would exist if they weren’t making money off of them. So in order to uproot the problem, we have to attack it at the economic core. We have to organize at the companies like McDonald’s — one company at a time — who are investing in these practices to expose these slave traders for what they really are and force them to stop investing in prison slavery.

Our strategic and tactical approach to this Step 3 INITIATIVE: S-To-P the school-to-prison pipeline is laid out in our article titled, “LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELD,” for anyone who wants to participate with a clear economic approach in mind to dismantling the pipeline:

“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.”

In the end, McDonald’s and their corporate partners have a choice to make:

1) S-To-P investing in the “school-to-prison” pipeline by building factories in prison to fuel mass incarceration The School-to-Prison-Pipeline 'Stopp'FOR prison slavery, and start building those same factories in the neighborhoods where unemployment is high where their prison slaves comes from, or

2) Feel the wrath of the People until we close these storefronts down that are exploiting us by taking the money that we spend with your company to build prison factories, while at the same denying us employment.

THE MEN (AND WOMEN) ON THE INSIDE HAVE TO STAND UP AGAINST THESE PRACTICES AND STAND UP TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN

On the inside, we have to organize work strikes to stop producing products for these companies like McDonald’s who have economically conspired against us to fuel mass incarceration FOR prison slavery. We have to strike to shutdown these prison factories that were built for us in prison, but not in our communities. Work strikes remove this revenue from the prison budgets and puts additional economic pressure on their budgets to release us.

If McDonald’s and other companies want to hire us for jobs, then hire us in our communities where unemployment is high, not in your prison slave factors, where incarceration is at an all-time high of 2.5 million Americans.

A CALL FOR YOUTH ORGANIZERS, ACTIVISTS AND OTHERS WHO ARE BEING TARGETED TO HELP “S-To-P” THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE

Behind bars pencilsIn our Step 3 McDonald’s INITIATIVE, we also want to bring our Youth into the Movement, educate them about the economics behind mass incarceration, and give them a Voice and direct action against the corporations that target them or have kidnapped their family member or loved one.

We have an army of Children being targeted in their schools for the school-to-prison pipeline AND we have an army of Children who continue to be impacted by mass incarceration FOR prison slavery with a parent or other family member or loved one in prison.

We must work collectively to unmask this clown and expose him to our children as an investor who is betting on our children having a future serving them on the school-to-prison pipeline.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENTAlabama 3

FREE MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT

MISSISSIPPI SOUTHERN BELLES

MOTHERS AND F.A.M.ilies

FREE CALIFORNIA MOVEMENT

Read our PLAN OF ACTION 2015, as outlined in our article, “LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELD,” and start organizing a Charter today using our 6-Step Plan of ACTION 2015

Step 1. Draft out a FREEDOM BILL for your State, identifying the laws and changes that need to be made to address mass incarceration and prison slavery in your State.

Step 2. Find a prison in your State and make it the Headquarters for your FREE – (YOUR STATE’S NAME) MOVEMENT.

Step 3. Identify a list of McDonald’s storefronts in your city/county/state that you will organize awareness rallies/protests at.

Step 4. Start organizing at the prisons with other family members on visitation days.

Step 5. Announce a National Shutdown Day for ALL incarcerated laborers!!!

Step 6. SHUTDOWN!!!!

 

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.

You Only Get Out of a Movement What You Put Into It – Free Alabama Movement

ATTN:

Are there any family members, friend, loved ones, supporters, etc. who are interested in helping to organize a workshop and other activities to promote our “FREEDOM BILL” and the 6-Step Plan of ACTION 2015?

We are looking for people to get involved and to participate in the process to help get deserving people free from prison or to ensure that the appropriate programs and resources are available to help those in need of education, rehabilitation and re-entry preparedness while they are serving time.

More people have to get involved if we are going to see ANY change !!

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

Quit Fighting Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery ASS_BACKWARDS

By Spokesperson Ray
freealabamamovement@gmail.com
www.freealabamamovement.com

It will take protests from the INSIDE directly attached to the prison jobs where the labor is being performed to effectively fight mass incarceration AND prison slavery. The PURPOSE of mass incarceration is FOR prison slavery. There are hundreds of Billions of dollars being made off of prison labor. If you aren’t affecting these corporations, then you aren’t going to be able to EMPOWER the People to be able to make change.

Otherwise, who is going to listen or care??

Politicians are listening to the businessmen and women that they are working for. The corporations are donating to the pols, who then cut them in on the prison contracts, which gives them access to the prison labor, where they make ther money. When the money stops, the investment starts losing money. Only then will anyone pick up the phone . . .

Join the 6-Step Plan of ACTION for 2015, which was devised from the INSIDE with the economics (not the politics) of prisons in mind

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT. . . A MOVEMENT THAT WILL. NOT. STOP !!!!

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.

RACE-BASED JUSTICE: Alabama’s Enduring Legacy to Keep African-Americans in Servitude

By KINETIK JUSTICE

In theory, the 13th Amendment put an end to and forever abolished slavery, at least that is what we’ve been taught in schools. However, in actual practice, the 13th Amendment merely changed the name, method and rationale for keeping African Americans in a state of perpetual servitude. As the 13th Amendment explicitly permits ” Involuntary Servitude”– an euphemism for Slavery– as punishment for “duly convicted criminals.”

WHO DEFINES CRIME & WHO IS THE CRIMINAL?
In direct response to this Constitutional mandate, every southern state created an array of “stay in your place” laws. Which, by design, methodically criminalized every aspect if African American life. History has well documented that Alabama took this mandate to heart. As from its inception, the Alabama Judicial System was structured to keep white land owners in a position of power and Africans in their place– Servitude.

In fact, the State of Alabama used the 13the Amendment as their foundation in drafting the ALABAMA CONSTITUTION OF 1901. As the Alabama Legislature used their authority to set up court systems, appointed only white people as Judges and District Attorneys, pre arranged elections for those positions that had to be voted on, then expanded the criminal code as its effective means of carrying out their objective. By their own admission, the State of Alabama’s sole purpose in drafting the Constitution of 1901 was to establish “White Supremacy”- by law. As the delegates to the all-white Constitutional Convention, were not secretive about their purpose and aims. In the opening address, President of the Convention, John B. Knox stated:

“And what is it that we want to do? Why is it 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…”

In keeping with the sentiments of John B. Knox, the State of Alabama has used the Constitution of 1901 to construct a solid foundation, in which to discriminate from.

The history books are replete with examples of Alabama’s blatant racially motivated enactment of laws targeting young Africans males. Even to this day, Alabama openly applies its laws discrimately, first –based upon race, then upon financial status. Alabama’s “good old boy”-style of justice is maintained and perpetuated by police officers “overreaching”, district attorneys” overcharging” and judges “over sentencing.”

All of this is made possible by the Alabama Constitution of 1901 and the Alabama Legislature, as it is the Alabama Legislature that enact these laws that specifically target young African-American males, particularly and African-Americans in general. One glaring example, is the racially motivated amending of the Capital Murder statute to include Section 16, 17 and 18- or commonly called the “drive-by shooting laws”. Though not discriminatory on their face nor in literal wording, but let’s examine the Legislatures motive and the District Attorneys statewide application—

According to the Alabama Legislature, in the early 1990’s there was a massive public outcry against “gangs”, so in 1992 the Legislature passed Act 92-601; which made a murder committed by the use of a deadly weapon fired from or into a vehicle, a Capital Offense–punishable by death or life without parole.
Act 92-601 became codified in Title 13A-5-40(a)(16),(17) and (18). From a plain reading of the statute, in order to be charged and found guilty of the Capital Offense, all that’s required is that the shooter or victim be in a vehicle or house at the time of the murder. Prior to this amendment, all Capital Offenses required an aggravating circumstance in order to elevate the murder to a death penalty offense. However, the “drive-by shooting laws” are simply based upon location of the shooter or victim.

As stated earlier, the statute doesn’t appear to be discriminatory from a literal reading. – “They have long learned how to change the language of oppression without changing the conditions. It’s the Art of Rhetoric.”

LETS LOOK AT ITS APPLICATION
In February of 1994, Oeatha Archie III was alleged to have been sitting in a vehicle, when he fatally shot someone that was outside the vehicle. Oeatha was charged with Capital Murder, then sentenced to Life Without Parole.

In September of 1994, Tony Knight was alleged to have been standing outside a vehicle, when he fatally shot someone that fell into a vehicle. Tony was charged with Capital Murder, then sentenced to Life Without Parole.

In October of 1994, Brian Smith was alleged to have been sitting in his vehicle, when he fatally shot someone that was outside the vehicle. Brian was charged with Capital Murder, then sentenced to Life Without Parole.

In October of 1996, Dennis McGriff was alleged to have been sitting inside a vehicle, when he fatally shot someone outside the vehicle. Dennis was charged with Capital Murder, then sentenced to Death by Electrocution.

All 4 were young black males when they were arrested. And there are several other young black males, languishing away with Life Without Parole, in the Alabama prison system, with identical situations.

In November of 1999, Shirley Henson was alleged to have been sitting in a vehicle, when she fatally shot someone outside the vehicle. From the very beginning, the District Attorney and the Media labeled this a case of “Road Rage”. Capital Murder was never mentioned nor considered, as Henson was charged and convicted of a much lesser charge of “heat of passion” manslaughter, then sentenced to 13 years. Shirley Henson just happened to be a middle class white lady.

So the question becomes, WHAT MADE SHIRLEY HENSON DIFFERENT FROM OEATHA ARCHIE, TONY KNIGHT, BRIAN SMITH AND DENNIS McGRIFF???
It’s obvious that race matters when Prosecutors decide who to charge with Capital Murder. However, the Prosecutors in Calhoun County didn’t get the memo for how the statute was to be applied.

As in March of 2003, Phillip Fondren, a white male, was charged with Capital Murder, for shooting from a vehicle when the victim was outside the vehicle. Fondren was even sentenced to Life Without Parole.

HOLD UP, WAIT A MINUTE!!!
Due to Phillip Fondren’s case, the Alabama Legislature stepped in and sought to clarify the intent of the “drive-by shooting laws.”

In March if 2006, Representatives Marcel Black and John Robinson authored a Bill and presented it to the House of Representatives, which addressed the application of subdivisions 16, 17 and 18 of Title 13A-5-40, I.e., the Capital Murder statute. In session it was stated:

“Whereas, the legislature is aware of the case of State of Alabama v. Fondren (Calhoun County CC 02-600) in which Fondren was convicted of Capital Murder for violating Section 14A-5-40(a)(18)…”

HJR 575

On March 28, 2006, this Bill was adopted by the House of Representatives. On April 17, 2006, this Bill was adopted and signed by the Senate. Upon both Houses adopting this Bill, it became House Joint Resolution 575. In accordance with the procedure for passing a Bill into a Law, the House Joint Resolution was delivered to the Governor. On April 27, 2006 at 1:09 p.m. Governor Bob Riley signed the Bill. It became Act No. 2006-642, which stated in pertinent part:
” …in passing Act 92-601, it was the intent of the legislature in adding sub division (18) to address “drive-by shooting”, that is murder committed through the use of a deadly weapon …used within or from a vehicle which murders were gang related or intended to incite public terror or alarm.”

In HJR 575 (Act No. 2006-642) the legislature recognized that Section 13A-5-40(a)(17),(18) has been misinterpreted by prosecutors and courts to apply to any murder committed by or through the use of a deadly weapon, fired or otherwise used within or from a vehicle, even if it was not gang related. Being that this interpretation was contrary to the legislatures intent, the Legislature urged the Attorney General and District Attorneys to charge only those individuals who commit murder by or through the use of a deadly weapon fired or otherwise within or from a vehicle, when the vehicle was involved in the shooting or that the shooting was gang related.

This clarification by the legislature should have changed the sentences for countless individuals serving Life Without Parole behind the prosecutors and judges misapplication of the law. But it didn’t, in fact the Attorney General has refused to respect the legislatures resolution. In a Declaratory Judgment filed by Brian Smith – asking the Court to declare the application of the ” drive-by shooting” statute as unconstitutional, the Attorney General argued that 13A-5-40(18) did not itself state that it applied only to gang related murder and the resolution was just the legislatures opinion. However, all judges are not so disrespectful to the intentions and clarification of the law makers of this State. As former Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb has urged the legislature to go one step further, and amend the “drive-by shooting” statutes, so that the plain language of the statute will effectuate the legislatures intent ad expressed in House Joint Resolution 575(Act No. 2006-642).

There are also a few Circuit Court Judges that have given effect to the legislatures Resolution. In Huntsville, Alabama, Madison County Circuit Judge Loyd H. Little reduced Walter Lamont Perry’s Capital Murder charge to regular murder. Assistant D.A. Bill Starnes stated the reason for the charge being reduced as: “The law on shooting into an occupied vehicle has changed because the Alabama Legislature recently indicated that the intent of the law was to address “drive-by shootings” and because the vehicle was stationary when the fatal shooting occurred, the death penalty charge no longer applied.” Based upon the foregoing and the House Joint Resolution as well as the urging of former Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT is campaigning to make the Legislature amend the Capital Murder statute to reflect their true intentions, as stated in the House Joint Resolution 575.

THE MOVEMENT IS MOVING: Are You Standing Still Or In Kinetik Motion? By Kinetik Justice Amun

By Kinetik Justice Amun

When you proclaim to be or you’re striving to be RIGHTEOUS and you see something thats not RIGHT & EXACT you have 2 options- You either do something about it or You support those that are doing something about it. If you see something wrong and choose neither one of those options- you’re plastic and when the FLAME gets turned up, you’ll melt and puddle like snow. FREE THE FAM 3! UHURU AU KIFO

By Kinetik Justice Amun

The willful denial and intentional deprivation of the Human & Civil Rights of one person is WRONG. The systematic denial and institualized deprivation of over 52,OOO peoples Human & Civil Rights is PURE EVIL. To Stand Up to and Challenge such a System is to commit yourself to a Righteous Cause. FREE ALABAMA FREE MISSISSIPPI UNITED – THE MOVEMENT IS A RIGHTEOUS CAUSE. So link up and join us as we fight for the FREEDOM JUSTICE & HUMANE TREATMENT OF OVER 52,OOO HUMAN BEINGS.

F.A.M. 3 “Dare to stand” inside of Alabama’s prisons. By Kinetik Amun

For daring to stand up as men and leading a Movement that declares all 30,000 plus of Alabama’s prisoners-male & female- deserve to be treated with Human dignity and respect; James Pleasant (El Anim), Melvin Ray (Ray-Sun) and Robert Earl Council (Kinetik Justice) have been targeted and placed in Solitary Confinement with indeterminate sentences.

In their 10th month of isolation these brothas remain adamant in their stand against Alabama’s criminal injustice system. Learn more about the struggle of these brothas and the FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT by visiting our website Freealabamamovement.com.