A Prisoner Voice

Conditions for Women in California

March, 2004
Location of Prisoner: 

Dear PARC,

My name is ___, and I am currently incarcerated at the ___ located in California. I am but one of the many women here who are concerned about and frankly tired of the poor living accomondations and the utter disregard for our health and safety by those running this facility. I am writing to you on this date (3-21/04) in hopes of attaining guidance, direction, and /or assistance in resolving the dilemma at hand in an appropriate and timely manner. As of this date many of the female inmates have approached various Sergents, Lieutenants, the Captain, and Correctional Counselors(I,II, and  III) to little or no avail.

I will attempt to be as brief as possible in giving  you examples of a few of our problems. Keep in mind, this has escalated over time, our daily lives are full of such circumstances, and I believe whole heartedly that these problems will continue to be ignored, swept under a rug, and progress if not addressed with force.

Sanitation and Living Conditions
I realize overcrowding is a common factor of institutions, however cramming excessive amounts of people into 4 man rooms is unacceptable. I have no understanding of why people continue to be endorsed to a facility that is beyond capacity and falling apart, literally. There is a constant issue of availability of basic necessities such as sanitary napkins, tampons, and toilet tissue. Canteen now sells feminine hygiene products due to shortage. That in itself is an outrage. ___ is an institution of very old buildings which require a great deal of maintainance cleaning. We are provided with very little cleaning supplies if any, and at times, have been forced to clean bathrooms with our own state issued bar soap and water. 
Understandable for maybe a third world country, but not here in the United States.

It is an ongoing battle and hassle to receive medical attention. Response to a sick call slip can take up to a month and often requires several slips before an inmate is acknowledged. On the chance that a medical attention is an immediate need, the severity of the inmates health is determined by custody staff (correctional officer) before medical will even take notice of a situation. Custody staff are not trained medical personal and I strongly disagree that health of an inmate should be determined by someone with no medical credentials. On one account an older woman with blood pressure problems and diabetes was denied medical attention because her housing staff didn't think she looked sick. She passed out due to a very low blood sugar level, then and only then did she receive medical attention. Another inmate has been bleeding rectally for more than two weeks  and told to pu in a co-pay and wait to be helped. She too passed out due her condition. It is insane that such extreme situations must take place before medical complications will be noticed and determined as valid health issues! Not to mention the numerous cases of infections that are not treated and forgotten.Even chronic care patients are being charged for follow-ups. 

The bacterial infections are acquired from the drinking water and food prepared in the water. _____ is a facility which at one time was a Naval Hospital and barracks. These buildings are at least 50 years old, possibly alot older, and in poor shape to say the least. The condition of the pipes could very well be one of the causes for the the polluted water. ___ provides their inmate population with bottled water because their water is unsuitable. Here at ___ we are offered bottled water in canteen. Same as the tampons, and sanitary napkins, this does no good to inmates who receive no outside financial help. Those running the facility cannot even provide an accurate date in which the filters for our drinking fountains were changed. A large number of us here use a sock to cover our shower heads when we shower because the sock serves as a filter. It's shocking and appalling that a small gym sock is entirely the color of rust after a 5-10 minute shower.

Very old to say the least. Our dorms in Women's Unit house approximately 100 women per dorm. Each unit has 5 showers, sinks, and toilets to accommodate everyone in that unit. At any given time we can expect AT LEAST one of each to be broken, flooded, and leaking. In my dorm we have had 2 broken toilets, a plugged sink, and two broken showers. My first two days on this unit ,we were walking through  a river of water, urine, and feces. This is  still a problem , staff is aware, and in the meantime we tend to the flooding and maintainance of these filthy conditions ourselves.

I could continue but my goal was mainly to paint a picture and grab attention. Staff of all levels are aware of these conditions and are making no visible effort to resolve these issues in an acceptable timely manner. Appeals have been submitted, however the process is very slow and there is no guarantee that the appeals won't be denied. When inspected by ___ we are neither seen, nor heard. Similar to the way abusive foster parents lock away their ward while they portray a loving and healthy environment.

It is vital that you understand that the majority of the women here feel just as strongly as I do, however they are inclined to "keep their mouths shut"  due to intimidation and retaliation from institution staff. A lot of us here at  ___ are "short termer,"  meaning  two years or less, and would endure this mess rather than risk "lost" paperwork or losing our scheduled date. It is highly common for paperwork to be lost especially on people who use their voice. I refuse to remain scared on the sidelines. We are suffering injustice here at the ____. I'm using my voice  to ask for help and speak up for  myself and my peers who are still too timid to make a stand.I will not be intimidated or back down from what I believe in.

In closing, I respectfully request any form of assistance, guidance, and direction from your organization. 

Face of Stone Poem

February, 2009

"Face of Stone"

I want to reach out to you,

but will I find you there?

I need someone to comfort me,

and let me know they care.

So many times I've looked around

to find myself alone.

So I've learned to keep it all inside

and wear a face of stone.

But if you look behind my walls,

I'm sure that you will find

A man with a heart of gold,

that's loving, sweet, and kind.

I'm still afraid to reach out, 

for fear I'd find myself still alone.

So for now I'll keep it all inside,

and wear a face of stone.


August, 2006

It's been over 11 years now that (4) four expert witnesses, including the U.S. government's own witness, all testified that cocaine and cocaine base (so-called crack) all synonymous terms describing the same substance. This testimony was taken on May 1st through June 1st, 1994 in the case of United States vs. Ricky Davis and Jerry Jones. (please see 864 F. Supp. 1303 (N.D. Ga. 1994).

Testimony was taken from the following:

1. Dr. Warren J. Woodford, Ph.D. in chemistry, post-doctoral in medical chemistry, author of numerous scientific articles, various types of cocaine, forensic chemistry testimony in more than 200 cases. Dr. Woodford was called as a defense witness. 

2. Dr. Clinton D. Kitlta, Ph. D., in pharmacology. Former head of clinical psychopharmacology lab at Duke University. Dr. Kiltz is now associated professor Dept. of psychiatry, Emory University, emphasis of the pharmacological effects of various forms of cocaine. Dr. Kiltz was called as the court's expert witness.

3. Dr. John Holbrook, Ph. D. in pharmacology, a teacher for 20 years of various courses on pharmacology. Substance abuse, on the behaviorial effects of cocaine. Dr. Holbrook was called as the courts experts witness also. 

4. Mr. Joey Douglas Clarke, a master's degree in chemistry and works for the DEA (chemist) Mr. Clarke has no research or publication on cocaine. Mr. Clarke was called as the government's witness.

If there is 251 pages of testimony with regards to cocaine and cocaine base (so-called crack) and that all forms of cocaine are synonymous terms describing the same substance, then why are so many African Americans being subjected to this vile and irrational criminal statute?

In 1986, when Congress passed the harsh penalties for so-called crack cocaine, they were hearing all the deaths associated with so-called crack cocaine.
The New York Times first mentioned crack in a story on November 17th, 1985, less than a year before the 1986 Act passed. Media coverage intensified, and became like nothing ever seen before.
In the months leading up to the 1986 elections, more than 1000 stories appeared on crack cocaine in the national press, including five cover stories in the Times and Newsweek. NBC ran 300 separate reports on crack cocaine (15 hours of air time). Times called it the "Issue of the Year." September 22, 1986. Newsweek called crack the biggest news story since Vietnam and Watergate. (June 16, 1986).
The cocaine base (crack) laws were hastily drafted and approved in an unusually frenzied Congressional environment.
Media coverage peaked when basketball star Len Bias died, supposedly from smoking crack, shortly after being drafted by the Boston Celtics as the number two overall. This initiated prompt Congressional action under then Speaker of the House Tip O'Neal of Massachusetts. It wasn't until later it was verified that Bias died not from smoking crack, but rather from snorting powder cocaine.
It should also be noted that then house speaker O'Neal's district just happened to be Boston. Mr. Len Bias was to be to Boston what Michael Jordan was to the Chicago Bulls, Boston's savior. He was to bring Boston back to the championship years of Russell. O'Neal was raging mad that the savior had died from smoking crack, so the news media had reported. He knew that Boston would never see another title. Almost 20 years have come and gone, and Boston still has no title. And the crack cocaine laws are still on the books. 5 grams of crack will get you 5 years in federal prison, but 500 grams of powder cocaine will get you the same 5 years. Is something wrong with this number?

Now back to our expert witness:
Dr. Woodford testified at the Davis hearing in pertinent part...
"Crack cocaine came into being in the '80s... it lasted a while and went away. It occurred because of a change in the processing labs. The United States started bombing Bolivia and knocking out the finishing labs. It is very clear to see what happen without the finishing labs. What came to the United States was something with about 14 different alkaloids, one of which was Tropacocaine, which is very toxic to the heart. The other different alkaloids had a very dangerous and very traumatic effect on the human body. This crack was a very strong substance that you couldn't cut with nothing, most of all baking soda. The real crack was a crystallized substance, almost like plate glass. It was dark brown in color. You literally had to take a hammer and crack the plate like glass material into hundreds of little pieces. This gave birth to the (street) name crack. If this real crack cocaine could not be cut or adulterated then the strength could not be diminished."

Let's stop and remind ourselves if the United States Government knows all this very public information then why is this long gone real crack cocaine still in our law books? Why are young African Americans receiving as much as a life sentence for a substance that doesn't even exist in the scientific community, nor the streets of the United States?

One of the lawyers in the Davis case questions :
Q: Let me give you a copy of 28-841 beginning section 2 here. Now, looking at the statute, is there any difference in the substance describe in section II 1, 2, and 3 and the substance as cocaine base?
A: No.
Q: Why is that?
A: Cocaine--well, cocaine base is cocaine. Cocaine base comes from coca leaves. It is a chemical formula of C17 H21 NO4. It comes from coca leaves.

Now, Dr. Klitz's examination by the court:
Q: Does the scientific community today have a consensus about what is meant by crack?
A: It would say probably not.
Q: Did it in the early--I mean in the middle '80s have a consensus about what crack is?
A: Yes, I believe we're talking about fairly impure mixture of a number of alkaloids of which cocaine was one of them.

Dr. Holbrook, cross-examination by the defense:
Q: Are the terms cocaine and cocaine base synonymous?
A: Yes.
Q: Are the terms cocaine base and cocaine freebase synonymous?
A: As far as I know, yes.

Joey Clark, government witness (DEA chemist) cross examination:
Q: ..."you agree, sir, that the term cocaine and cocaine base are used interchangeably?"
A: They can be.
Q: And as a word of art in chemistry are they used interchangeably?
A: Yes.
Q: So that when you use one term, you can use either term and mean exactly the same thing?
A: Correct.

Scientifically, all forms of cocaine are cocaine, be it rock, so-called crack, cocaine base, free base. They are all terms for the same substance.
Our U.S. Congress walked into hastily slinging together a statute without looking in both directions before crossing the street.
The scientific community was not allowed to offer or give testimony regarding the crack issues they held in 1986. 
If you make a mistake, say so, then you correct your mistake. 92 percent of the federal so-called crack defendants are African Americans, only 3 percent are white.

The states along with the United States government has conspired to prosecute federally all African Americans who are arrested for so-called crack cocaine. In 17 states and a number of other cities--including Boston, Denver, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, and Los Angeles--not one white has been federally prosecuted for so-called crack since the law became law in 1986. Evidence has shown that whites sell and use more of this drug than African Americans. For Congress to allow the U.S. government agents to step inside a sovereign state and exericse its absolute power over an individual and charge the individual with a federal crime after the state has filed its own charge first, is a pattern of prosecution bordering on another form of genocide. 

Selective prosecution. Ask a U.S. Assistant Attorney why are only African Americans being prosecuted federally. Ask a county prosecutor why he turns over most of his so-called crack cocaine defendants to federal authorities if they are African-Americans. Ask them both, why they don't charge whites federally? It's racism; it's as racist as slavery was. This is nation problem, this pick and choose the federal cases for prosecution. 

Stanley Huff
FPC Atwater 
P.O. Box 019001
Atwater, CA 95301

You can order Stan's book "Obstacles" about a young African-American teenager sent to the Napa Boys' Home athttp://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?catalogid=13351

Medical Abuse

December, 2004
Location of Prisoner: 

Dear PARC,

I hope my letter, find your spirit and health well; and your holidays rewarding with happiness.

How am I? I am mentally, emotionally, and physically in torment, and deterioration, and suffer unimaginable, and punishing retribution of pains. 

My current condition is :

1. I sit and sleep in my wheelchair 24 hours  and I have been like this for 3 years and 8 months.
2. My last bath was April , 2004, and I have visible dirt discolored skin, and foul odor.
3. My cell is in the most unsanitary inhumane filthy condition condition with feces, urine, trash, maggots and flies.
4. I stay sick because of the filth, and cannot clean because the inmate has to clean their cell on their own.
5. For 3 years, and 8 months, I have been denied all outdoors and indoors recreational exercise.

I need help to get my story out and told.


Denial of Religious Service

April, 2004
Location of Prisoner: 
New York


To whom it may concern,

   My name is _____ and I'm currently an inmate in _____, New York. I am a Muslim and it is imperative that I attend Jumah (Friday) services. It is a sin to miss services. The Imam has tried unsuccessfully to get the administrators to allow me to attend Jumah services. In my 18 months of incarceration, I have only been allowed to attend 3 special services. 

    I am not a sentenced inmate, however I have been awaiting trial for over 18 months. I am in the process of filing a civil suit against ___County for violating my constitutional rights. For the past 18 months the facility has denied my right to worship within a congregational setting. This is in direct violation of New York state's minimum standards for country inmates. They are in violation of parts  7024, policy numbers 7024.1A, 7024.1B, 7024.2, 7024.2B, 7024.5 and 7024.9
    It could be argued that because of the severity of my charge, or teh fact that I'm in administrative segregation that I would be, or could be at risk to the facility, however, my co-defendant, who has the exact same charges as I do, has been given and utilizes all of the "freedoms" that the jail has to offer. 

    A second argument could be one of a discipline issue or reasons of punitive sanctions, however,  I have never had one single violation of the jails code if conduct where as my co-defendant has had several incidences of violence including fights and inciting a small riot. He is still given full access to the facility's program including religious services, where as I am not, even though my conduct has posed the security threat that his has. For these reasons I have filed a notice of claim to the county attorney in preparation for a law suit. 

Three Poems

February, 2009
Location of Prisoner: 

“It wasn't Malcolm”

Who taught me to love Thomas Jefferson, who lived the same life of
abominable luxury and privilege, wrote an essay entitled "The Innate
Inferiority of the Negro", and attributed the pigmentation of black people
to a virulent form of leprosy?
It wasn't Malcolm
Who taught me to ignominously quote Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or
give me death!" while not telling me death is what he gave the black

It wasn't Malcolm
Who taught me to love Abraham Lincoln as my liberator, when in actuality
the Emancipation Proclamation applied only to the Confederate States, over
which he had no authority, and who also stated in no uncertain terms his
belief in the inferiority of black people, and advocated their exile from
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who taught me to mindlessly honor your “Independence Day” and your days
honoring the genocidal enslavers of my progenitors?
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who taught me to fear the very sight of a white person with a heart seized
with terror?
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who taught me that your pious mouthings of justice meant the nearest tree?
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who taught me the shame of emasculation as you vilely used the black woman?
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who taught me to make cowards of my children in the hope that such would
ensure their survival as half-women and men?
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who taught me to cover the very poison responsible for the pillage of
Afrika and her enslavement?
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who taught me to view the blackness of my skin with shame and
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who taught me that the “American Dream” is an alcoholic or drug stupor for
so many?
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who taught me to disdain Afrika as a continent of savages worthy only of
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who taught me that all beauty was white?
It wasn’t Malcolm
Who woke me up with a hail of bullets on February 21, 1965?
It wasn’t Malcolm…
When Malcolm is realized
When Malcolm is realized
No more black children will be shot by the police
With D.A.s saying justifiable homicide
When Malcolm is realized
The Hitlers of America
Thomas Jefferson and George Washington
Who held people in subhuman bondage
Will no longer be recognized as anything
But the criminals they were
When Malcolm is realized
The black minds forever bent
By the oppressive horrors of racism
Shall become a memorial to that
Which shall never again be
When Malcolm is realized
The drug and alcohol-stupefied
Shall disdain everything
But the reality of freedom
When Malcolm is realized
The pain of self-hatred
Shall give way to the
Exaltation of self-respect
When Malcolm is realized
The Black woman shall no longer bear
The divers yokes of white America
When Malcolm is realized
The soul weary with stripes of subjugation
Shall know the healing waters of dignity respected
When Malcolm is realized
Black people shall no longer fear their rage
When Malcolm is realized
The minister shall scorn everything
But the truly liberating message of freedom.
When Malcolm is realized
The affective pain of a loved one
Afflicted by racism shall be no more
When Malcolm is realized
Responsibility and not reliance
Shall be the hope of black people
When Malcolm is realized…

“Soweto 16 June 1976”
It stuns the senses

Like a sudden blow to the head

Over four thousand wounded

And seven hundred dead

School children protesting

Learning the language of their oppressor

Mowed down

Like they were the immoral aggressor

Where was the world’s conscience

Where was its rage?

Did the United Nations say this we cannot countenance

For war let’s set the stage?

Or could it be

The simple truth

Is that for black like me

Sham reproof is the substitute

When the issue is white supremacy?

Malcolm contemplation

Sleep deprivation

Food adulteration

Blood and mucus defecation

Kill orchestration

Mail desecration

J. Edgar Hoover propagation

Subject-a-nigger conversation

Mental assassination

George Rockwell denigration

Surrender to this revelation

My soul is fat on Malcolm contemplation.


They say you are corrupt

Morally bankrupt

They say you should bow down

Because you are no longer worthy of the crown

They say you are a disgrace

And should forever hide your face

They say you’ve become weak

And your own agenda seek

They say you are mad

The killer of a fourteen year-old lad

They say you are a liability

And should be cast aside like an enemy

They say we are too blind to see

The tears you cried to set your country free.

Native American spiritual practices violated

March, 2005
Location of Prisoner: 

Dear PARC,

I am not a lawyer or a para-legal or even an inmate prison lawyer, but I know when my religious rights are being violated. 

Here is a quick summary:

1. I had in May, 04 filed an inmate appeal to receive my Spiritual package from Kinnikinnick, Twist (tobacco products, non-cigarette/pipe) for American Indian religious purposes. Appeal was granted in June 04 and I did receive it.

2. May 11th, five days after the above appeal, CMF officials wrote a Memorandum stipulating one had to be a member of the Native American Spiritual Circle and have an approved card to be able to possess these religious items.

3. July 04, I filed an inmate appeal because CMF officials would not allow me to practice my daily prayers, offerings, and otehr ceremonies on the institutions yard. 

4. Aug. 4, I filed an inmate appeal to those stipulations made in that memo. The appeals coordinator has stamped this appeal as a duplicate and has rejected to lgo and process this appeal four times to this current date.

The products in the package are not used exclusively for just Sweat Lodge Ceremony smoking purposes but also in prayers, offerings, and other cerenmonies. 

The Americana Indians have not had a Spiritual Leader here in the 8 years that I've been here. All the other Faiths, have either a full time, a part time, or at least a volunteer for their spiritual leaders. I can you any and all the help you can give for me to fight this violation.


Poem Call Celebration

October, 2009

Yes, It is True

Love, happiness and power
Live inside of you

It is a fact
Nothing in this world can
Hold you Back

It's Celebration Time
Wise, Genuine
You are Divine

You can make it to the top
Just like the wind
you can't be stopped

You have overcame all your past mistakes
that is evident that you are great

Is a powerful healing medication

Humble and Positive
Family and Friends
Celebrate the way they live

It's all about Celebration
Thanking you in advance

Frustration over facilities

January, 2009
Location of Prisoner: 

Dear PARC,

I'm writing get some things straight.

Who's the comedian who sent the "standard minimum rules for treatment of Prisoners" ? Had to be a comedian because thats a joke. 


Seen 3 in a 6 by 9?

2. Medical? 

You're fucked.  Chronic Hep C patients get dogged. 
They can only give you 2 blister packs of Ibuprofin 800 twice a year for "acute" injuries. 
My partner had a compound fracture, was sent back because he wasn't dressed properly. 

3. Discipline?

Lets not go there. 
In short, I was tortured for 90 days, put in cells in winter, in a freezing cell, naked with nothing but a blanket. I was dehydrated,  given one bologna sandwich a day. My room was never cleaned. There was my own feces, blood and urine there for days.I was beaten badly, lost 33 lbs, denied medical help, and made to defecate in a foot basin 46 times in two days under a camera.

I just wanted you to know that I didn't even scratch the surface on the way things happen here.


January, 2011
Location of Prisoner: 


I am currently imprisoned in a Fla DOC facility.  I find myself in an everyday struggle.  I send my appreciation to PARC and all my brothers and sisters fighting through this struggle too.  Please continue the struggle and support the struggle.  All my life has been a struggle and now I'm within necropolis/prison.

I'm alive walking deadman, pay attention to the walking dead.  Rose from the graveyard, these dungeons crowded lives walking dead.  Non-existing only death, for I'm not the first or last to arise out the grave.  Arise walking deads perceive terminology and come ablaze.  Out of sight, out of mind, excluded from society and vanished to the pen.  Executing classified thugs, outlaws, ex-cons with paid crimes they re-run over again.  Career criminals, habitual offenders, habitual violent offenders, 3-strikes, 10-20-life.  Denotes these animals aren't tamed lets rid us of this threat and create laws that punish them for life.

Prison, cages, jails, dungeons, lock-ups, pens, confinement, detentions.  Exist for the wicked yet I'm relating to the rational that try to co-exist civilization.  Cast you to a cell, feed 3-meals per slave, hatred sparks like fire that ignites.  I pledge a legion to the walking dead in necropolis throughout America.  My brothers keeper's become bone of my flesh within the struggle of this circle.  Numbers become identities, calendars mark the years, days pass by multiplying in numbers.

Surrender is a tragedy, remember all your peers under every lies a man that's buried under.

The Realist