This is not the first time that the ADOC administration has sought to stop positive programs from being implemented. At St. Clair, a program called Convicts Against Violence was founded by Mr. Earl “Tyrese” Taylor in efforts to stop violence at this prison. At the time, this was the only program that offered any type of educational and mentoring classes in the dorms that house the majority of young black men.
The success of this program in stopping violence and educating these men cannot be disputed because ADOC’s own record prove that violence was down to all-time low levels, and class enrollment was over 98%.
But crime pays and racism persists in Alabama, and when Black people start creating solutions to problems like illiteracy, violence, drug addictions, mentoring and leadership classes for misdirected gang members, conflict resolution and mediation, then these programs come under attack. At first, a “noose” was hung in L-2/ C.A.V. dorm by racist staff along with a message to “kill” all “niggers”.
The unjustified and ongoing solitary confinement of the F.A.M. 3, James Pleasant, Robert. E. Council, and Melvin Ray for the assumed (but unstated) purpose of organizing Non-Violent and Peaceful Protests for the continuing civil and human rights violations in Alabama prisons continues.
In the face of their detention, it has become even more evident that the ADOC tolerates and accepts (and even promotes) violence over non-violence. Since the inception of F.A.M., there have been over 6 murders to occur at Holman and St. Clair prison, one riot, over 60 stabbings and many assaults on officers, by officers, and amongst the men incarcerated, and not one measure has been taken to stop this violence — except FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT.
During the historic peaceful demonstration by F.A.M. to start the year, not a single act of violence occurred, and the overriding message from F.A.M. leaders was that the violence must end, and education, rehabilitation and re-entry preparation must begin.