There was a meeting today with the Correctional Program Manager(CPM), in which the administration agreed to return the small/unit yard back to normal, so that the exercises are not dictated as to what prisoners can do. This is a major feat, which not only shows the power of a united group, but the strength in remaining strong during a just cause.
We still have some very important issues to address, the next of which I am currently working on is the “Forbidden Three”.
The Forbidden Three is a policy which allows the administration to sanction inmates for the acts of others.
If there is 1. A Staff Assault 2. Assault involving a weapon 3. Multi-person fight with 3 or more people, then the known “Close Associates” of the perpetrator(s) are identified and sanctioned in any number of ways, including loss of visits, loss of phone, loss of recreation, loss of personal t.v. or radio, etc., for 30 days.
This is done simply based on questionable identification of associations,and without infraction, hearing, or appeal process. Which is a violation of our Constitutional Right to Due Process.
I have filed a grievance on this policy and I am submitting a request for a Temporary Restraining Order in the courts and a Personal Restraint Petition which I hope I can turn into a class action suit against DOC on behalf of all effected prisoners. (Any one with Legal Knowledge your advice, is truly welcomed. Any assistance that anyone can offer, be it help with research, filings, financial(postage, filing fees), or if you are aware of lawyers or law offices who can assist us, would be a blessing).
I am merely beginning this legal adventure, but I am confident that I will learn what I need to, in order to be successful in arguing this on our behalf until someone more competent can either assist me or take over the argument for us.
Needless to say, while this issue is the most pressing, there are still many more, and we are just beginning on this journey. For so long DOC has taken so much from us as prisoners. It really began in 1996, when House Bill 2010 went into effect. This allowed the State to take 20% of our monies for Cost of Incarceration, 10% for Savings, and 5% for Crime Victims Compensation. This is not taken from the money that we earn, but rather the money sent to us by our families and loved ones.
Then DOC went on to take all tobacco products, pornography, and personal clothing. We realize that these are not coming back. They are not the issue any longer. We have new more relevant issues, such as the forbidden three, the level system, the cost of phone calls and kick backs from companies doind business with DOC. Companies like C/I.
CORRECTIONAL INDUSTRIES. Who has taken over the food service program completely. Not just our meals, but also the commissary which we order from. So the food they serve us, portions and quality have declined, and then we purchase subtitutes from who? C/I.
If this isn’t a monoply and financial well of unheard of wealth.
So you see the direction that this is going. I am going to pursue the issues that affect myself and others here in the system as a prisoner advocate. The work is just beginning, but will not end until we are satisfied that our Rights are being met, and we are not being used as tools to fund private corporations, and persons at our expense.