The Dallas Morning News reporters Jennifer Emily and Diane Jennings take a look at what its like to grow up in the Texas prison system and the uncertainty that awaits prisoners who come of age on the outside.

There is a series of  6 great articles at the following link:

Anisha Walker


Hugo Yogi Bear Pinell-Dead at 71; CDCr officers scoff at the death of prisoner

Hugo Pinell

Yogi had been in solitary confinement for at least 42 years, first in San Quentin, Folsom and Corcoran and the last 22 in the Pelican Bay SHU. He was 19 when incarcerated in 1964;  he’s been in solitary confinement at least 42, despite 32 years of clean time – no write-ups.

Yogi earned the enmity of the prison officials back in the 1960s when he was part of the “Black Movement” behind California prison walls led by George L. Jackson, W.L. Nolen and many other conscious, standup brothers who made it safe for Blacks to walk the yards of California’s extremely racist gulags.

On Aug. 21, 1971, in what has been deemed a setup, Soledad Brother George Jackson was murdered on the yard of San Quentin by prison guards. During this orchestrated attempted escape, however, three guards were also killed, along with two inmate “trustees.”

This set the prison officials on fire, and they’ve been exacting revenge ever since on Hugo Pinell, the only defendant in the San Quentin Six case still in prison. The only defendant convicted of murder in the case, Johnny Spain, was released in 1988.

Hugo Pinell, infamous for his role in the 1970s “San Quentin Six” prison break attempt, was killed Wednesday during a riot at a maximum-security prison outside Folsom, state corrections officials said.

Pinell was among more than half a dozen people injured when an estimated 70 inmates began to fight in a prison yard shortly before 1 p.m., according to agency spokeswoman Terry Thornton. Corrections officers responded with pepper spray and warning shots from rifles, a written report from the agency stated. After the riot, five inmates were taken to area hospitals with stab wounds and others were being treated at the prison.

Pinell received a third life sentence for attacking two officers, and had spent the majority of his time since then in solitary confinement and had participated in a 2013 statewide hunger strike protesting those conditions. Thornton said he was transferred from the isolation unit at Pelican Bay State Prison in January 2014 to California State Prison-Sacramento, where the riot took place.

CSP-Sacramento is located adjacent to the historic Folsom State Prison and is built to house inmates in high security, including solitary confinement. It houses about 2,300 prisoners.

 Now to name and shame the CDCr “guards” that find levity in these situations.  The following was copy/pasted from the Facebook page “Taking Back CCPOA”. This is the mentality that we continue to fight. There is no wondering WHY the prisoners RIOT when the overpaid staff publicly post comments such as this- doesnt it make you wonder what they do inside the walls? You cannot tell us they are not corrupt- their behavior and their words are very telling. Until we change this mentality-no amount of reform will help the criminal justice system. Not professional behavior at all-and this is just a sampling…yeah, so  FUCK YOU CDCr. These “guards” should be severely reprimanded if not fired…especially the one calling for more prisoner deaths! 


California State Prison-Sacramento Inmate Homicide Victim Identified as Hugo Pinell
Pinell was part of infamous “San Quentin Six” involved in deadly 1971 attack

FOLSOM – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has identified the inmate killed in this afternoon’s riot on a California State Prison, Sacramento maximum-security yard as Hugo Pinell.

Pinell, 71, was initially committed to CDCR on February 17, 1965 from San Francisco County to serve a life-with-parole sentence for rape with force.

Pinell killed Correctional Officer R.J. McCarthey on March 3, 1971 at Correctional Training Facility in Soledad. He was sentenced to serve life-with-parole on May 22, 1972.

He was involved in the August 21, 1971, escape attempt at San Quentin State Prison that left six people dead, including two correctional officers, three inmates and George Jackson, founder of the Black Guerrilla Family prison gang.

Pinell was convicted of violently assaulting two correctional officers during the escape attempt and sentenced to life-with-parole on September 1, 1976.

SAC is a maximum-security prison housing approximately 2,300 general population inmates.


AUGUST 12, 2015
(916) 445-4950
CDCR_Star at 5:24 PM

This is Tori…

This is Tori…..


She died due to the medical neglect of the Lebanon County Correctional Facility….. The recent news paper articles where the Pennsylvania State Police and Robert J Phillips have stated that they did nothing wrong and Tori’s death was determined to be from “natural causes”…… She went into the prison on Friday March 31st…. she was suffering from withdrawal symptoms of heroin…. Tori was normally a VERY healthy, Smart and beautiful young lady. Yes, she made the mistake ( don’t we all make mistakes) of allowing two monsters into her life, the first monster was her boyfriend…. he introduced her to the second monster, drugs.The report said she died of Chronic Drug Use and Anorexia…. resulting in “natural causes”……. there are MANY additional things stated in the report that I can’t talk about…. yet but, I assure you…. this “cloud” Robert Phillips and Lebanon County is worried about is NOT gone….. as a matter of fact…. this is just the beginning…. It’s going to STORM!

How does a young 18 year old girl going through detox die from malnutrition and dehydration while being held in a County Prison, where ALL INMATES are supposed to supervised at all times?? Could they not see she was dying? Truth is, Tori’s heart didn’t stop beating until she was at Lehigh Hospital…. BUT, she WAS BRAIN DEAD IN THE LEBANON COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY…. My belief as well as MANY others believe that this precious young lady was already gone before they tried to drown her with ensure… that’s why it was coming out of her mouth and nose when they tossed her back on the floor of her cell…… Cloud lifted…… I don’t think so….

Timeline: Friday March 27 th placed in Lccfthe suffering begins….

Tuesday March 31st ….. Tori collapses ( Brain dead) in LCCF..

taken to Lebanon Good Samaritan Hospital…. transported to Lehigh Hospital

Wednesday April 1st…..Sunday April 5th….. Tori’s parent’s sadly say, “good-bye”

Bob Phillips: “First I want to express my sympathy, of course, to the family for their loss,” he said. “But at the same time I want to praise our prison staff for assisting in getting her to the hospital and responding as well and as professionally as they did. They’ve been living under somewhat of a cloud awaiting the response from the state police. Hopefully this will give them some vindication for their efforts.

“Hey Bob Phillips..YES LETS PRAISE THE PRISON SYSTEM for getting her to the hospital shall we?! Bottoms UP! Investigation done. Thanks for your sympathy! So glad THEY are not living under a cloud anymore!With all due respect to the family, I hope I got the facts in my post accurate… please correct any mistakes…. also, I hope you don’t mind that I posted this picture of Tori…. but, people need to know the truth about what happened to her…. and so many others in the past…. and prevent it from happening again…

I object only to the boyfriend being referred to as a monster. It’s a very large and significant objection because at one point I was that “monster”. Every drug user is introduced to their drug of choice by another individual. This post asks for us to allow for Tori herself to have made mistakes while condemning the mistakes of another individual. I don’t care who he is or what he’s done I am 100% confident that he didn’t want this for her and he will carry this burden for the rest of his life.

May the Gods grant him peace in this life or the next.

We are all human.

Justice for Victoria “Tori” Herr facebook group:

Related post:

CALL TO ACTION on behalf of Jesse Cherry


UPDATE today August 1st: **just got off the phone with Jesse’s aunt Brenda- yesterday at 4pm the board granted his RELEASE!!! he will be home TUESDAY!!!!
thank you to everyone who sent emails & called!! **

I just got off the phone with Jesse Cherry’s aunt, Brenda Atkins…The doctors have signed and submitted all paperwork as per CDOC requirements/regulations. Jesse is not qualified for Compassionate Release- he is qualified for Medical Release. Brenda has spoken with State Rep Robin Porter. Jesse’s case goes on the docket and will be heard by the board THIS FRIDAY…7/31. Please, Please send letters of support asking for Jesse’s medical release to:

Family fights to get early release for ill inmate

Jesse Cherry, who has pancreatic cancer and is incarcerated in Connecticut Contributed photo

NEW HAVEN >> The family of a 31-year-old city man who is terminally ill with cancer while serving a 7-year prison sentence for selling narcotics, is fighting to get him an early release from Department of Correction custody so he can be home with family in his final weeks or months.

But even with a doctor’s promised recommendation for the release, Jesse Cherry’s family is worried bureaucratic red tape they say they know so well could hold it up until it’s too late. They also claim the DOC has botched Cherry’s treatment and pain management from the start.

A DOC spokeswoman said she cannot comment on specific cases because of privacy laws.

Late last week, after the Register inquired about the case, Cherry was moved from Osborn Correctional Facility in Somers to University of Connecticut Health Center, where family members say he arrived dehydrated; a doctor from the center told the family Monday that Cherry could have anywhere from two weeks to a year to live.

Cherry has stage four pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to his liver and elsewhere. He also has a strong family network and a determined fiancée, who allege Cherry was ignored often by corrections officers when writhing in pain in his cell, was not given chemo medication according to the treatment schedule and essentially was kept from the direct support of his family by rules such as no hospital visitors unless the stay is more than 30 days, his loved ones say.

“They should take better care of the inmates regardless of what they’ve done,” said Cherry’s aunt,Pastor Brenda Adkins of New Haven, noting there was no violence connected with her nephew’s charges. “Whatever you are, you’re still human and you don’t deserve to be treated that way.”

Extremely ill inmates have two options for early release through the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles: a compassionate release or a medical release, and each carries with it requirements, including those which have to do with the type of crime — violent or nonviolent — and time already served, said bureau Executive Director Richard Sparaco.

Although the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles had not yet received an application for Jesse Cherry as of Monday afternoon, Sparaco said based on time served and other specifics of Jesse Cherry’s case, with a medical recommendation, he could eligible for a medical release, but not a compassionate release because his parole eligibility won’t come until May 2017. For a medical release, a doctor must provide information that the inmate has six months or less to live, he said.

He said the board must meet to approve such a release, but that can be done quickly, as it has been known to call a special meeting in dire cases.

Adkins said she finally was told Monday by a caring doctor at UConn who has been treating her nephew that the doctor will support release so he can be with family.

Cherry, who according to the DOC website is a repeat offender, began serving the sentence on a sale of narcotics conviction in December 2013 and became ill months into his sentence, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after months of complaining about pain. Cherry’s fiancee, Tanya Howlett of West Haven, claims they ignored his symptoms until he passed out.

His mother, Ruth Cherry, is heartbroken that her only son has had to go through such an ordeal by himself at his age.

Ruth Cherry said she’s tried for months to get updates, information and more from DOC officials, but there has been no response — just bureaucratic roadblocks.

“He’s dealing with all this on his own. … I pray that he’ll be moved closer to family,” Ruth Cherry said. “I know he has to pay for his crime, but he didn’t kill anybody and he’s not a bad kid — he just got mixed up with the wrong people.”

Karen Martucci, acting director of the External Affairs Division of the Department of Correction, said there are no early releases under the control of the DOC.

She said it is difficult to address individual inmate medical cases publicly because of privacy laws, but that Jesse Cherry’s medical needs “are being met,” and that Osborn Correctional Institution has “the ability to provide a high level of health care within their infirmary setting.” She said it is not uncommon for an offender to receive treatment at an outside hospital if the facility cannot meet their needs.

In response to the family’s claims that they weren’t receiving adequate information on Jesse Cherry’s condition, Martucci said in an email late last week that she asked the medical staff to reach out to the family, assuming all the proper releases were signed. The family received information on Jesse Cherry’s condition after that time.

Upon request, Martucci provided statistics for the number of deaths that occur in DOC custody, noting, “factors that impact these stats are our aging population and the medical challenges associated with the large amount of the population struggling with addiction.”

Martucci said the incarcerated population on any given day exceeds 16,000.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Deaths in Custody Reporting Program, she said in Connecticut there were 21 deaths in 2010, 19 in 2011, 24 in 2012, 20 in 2013 and 24 in 2014.

Jesse Cherry’s sister, Ruthella Cherry, 35 — who also said she understands “you do the crime, you do the time” — believes more could have been done to help her brother before the situation got this bad.

“He’s going through a lot and he has no support system,” because he’s so far from family, she said. Now he is hospitalized and receiving pain care, but Ruthella Cherry said when she spoke with him from prison he’d gone days without chemo treatment medication and pain management, saying, “I’m very fearful for him.”

Howlett said Cherry has been a model prisoner.

Early last week she wrote a letter appealing to the warden, governor, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and others to get Cherry an early release, but still no response.

That was before Howlett got the news Monday of the prognosis.

Howlett, who is in the nursing field herself, pleads in her letter for early release so he can be treated at Smilow Cancer Hospital, but Adkins said UConn doctors already assured her they consulted Smilow and at this point, nothing can be done.

Howlett said on some days in the last year her fiance had hope, while on others, none. She and family members say he doesn’t call when he’s suffering the worst because he’s unable to make the call or when he was back at the prison, unable to even stand up to make the call.

Ruthella Cherry said her younger brother is a good person overall who has made “a few bad decisions.”

Adkins said she was told her nephew was told by correction officers to “man up” while he was writhing in pain in his cell, pleading for pain medication.

“How is someone supposed to man up when they’re 31 and in the fight of their life?” she asked.

She said for months he’s been in and out of UConn, as well as the prison infirmary, but was first given wrong information about his condition and no one from the prison would answer the family’s question.

Adkins said workers in the prison infirmary hung up on family members when they called to check his condition and they couldn’t get information on his condition or treatment in order to act as his advocate on the outside.

“To me it’s a sad story,” Adkins said. “It’s been really tough on the family.”

She said Cherry’s lost at least 22 pounds since July 1.

Howlett described Jesse Cherry as a generally happy man with a dimpled smile who loves life. She said he’s friendly and goes out of his way to help other people. He also has three children to care for — two teenagers and a 4-year-old, she said. He had high hopes for making a career for himself by age 35, she said. Howlett said that while imprisoned, Jesse Cherry has renewed the religious faith with which he was raised.

“It’s hard for me because I can hear it (the pain) in his voice,” she said. “There were days (before recent hospitalization, when in jail) he was balled up in a fetal position and couldn’t get medication or get to the hospital.”

Howlett said she’s been keeping careful notes of his experiences and treatment by DOC staff.

The fight, Howlett said, “Isn’t just for him, but for other inmates who have no family.

“Prison is not supposed to be a fun thing, but they shouldn’t be treated in ways unbecoming a man,” she said.

Relatives say the only way they know he’s really bad off is if he doesn’t call. She has to encourage him not to give up — remind him that he has a fighting chance and three children to fight for.

“The worst part for me is I’m on the support team, I’m there for him, but I’m not there physically,” she said. “It’s sad he has to go through it alone — some days he can’t eat.”

Via New Haven Register

Women’s deaths add to concerns about Georgia prison doctor

For nearly a decade, a succession of inmates at one of the largest women’s prisons in Georgia has suffered agonizing deaths, some going days, weeks and even months before receiving treatment that might have saved or prolonged their lives, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found.

Evelyn Spear’s complaints that she couldn’t swallow were treated as indigestion for three months before it was determined that she had cancer. By then, it had spread from her lungs to her lymph nodes.

Peggy Bean, suffering from a loss of blood to her intestines, was vomiting feces before it was realized she needed emergency surgery. She didn’t survive the operation.

Paula Cooper, who had breast cancer, was returned to the prison population after a mastectomy even though the incision was bleeding. It was still bleeding when she died five months later.

Those deaths and others paint a bleak picture of the medical treatment for inmates at Pulaski State Prison in Hawkinsville. All were under the care of Dr. Yvon Nazaire, raising fresh questions about the state’s decision to hire him as the prison’s medical director despite a well-documented history of negligence and patient deaths in New York.

Continue Reading @

FL man tortured by privatized “service”

Originally posted on Wobbly Warrior's Blog:

Man Alleges Horrific Abuse On Private Prison Van | ThinkProgress

Darren Richardson of Florida says he was urinated on and denied food during a 10-day trip in a private prison transport company’s van, after he was pulled over for rolling through a stop sign …

… “Mr. Richardson’s legs were purple from the knee down and his feet were black when he arrived at the Pike County Correctional Facility,” the complaint reads. But the nurse who tended to his injuries at the prison allegedly told him they “had seen much worse come off that bus.”

via Man Alleges Horrific Abuse On Private Prison Van | ThinkProgress.


No offense, let alone rolling through a stop sign and an unpaid probation fee, should potentially cost you the use of your legs while in custody.

But others have fared worse on privatized prison transport vehicles. Burned alive. Raped. Robbed. Threatened with…

View original 153 more words

Sullivan County Jail- Blountville,Tennessee: Abuse, Hanging & Flash Bang devices

In the spotlight currently is Sullivan County Jail located in Blountville, Tennesse. This department was recently featured on National Geographic’s “Southern Justice”. Of course, the truth was not shown or exposed, so we decided to put it here so you can review and draw your own conclusions.

We received the following as a message on July 11th;

As the director for Prison Reform Movement (a national grassroots group dedicated to Criminal Justice reform), I was absolutely sickened to receive the following message. Identifying information was redacted due of the reality of retaliation:

“I wanted to call to your attention an incident that occurred at Sullivan Co., TN, jail Monday, July 6, 2015. Inmates were awakened around 9:15 am with a ‘flash bang’; this was followed by pepper balls being fired into the housing unit at the sleeping inmates. 10-15 officers dressed in riot gear and face masks then entered the pod, while others stayed at the bars and continued to fire on inmates. After being fired on, inmates were told to get down on the ground. They were made to crawl from the back of the housing unit to the front; those who could not crawl fast enough were dragged. One of the ones who was dragged was an inmate that has a colostomy; after being dragged, he was stomped in the back as were other inmates. A black inmate was told by a white officer that he would be taken out of view of the camera and have his teeth knocked down his throat. The inmates were strip searched and the housing unit shook down; inmate belongings were scattered. My husband, who is mentally ill, called me to tell me what was happening. Because he was on the phone with me reporting the attack, more pepper balls were fired in his direction; I could hear a female officer in the background yelling out orders…she was telling him to shut up. Since the attack on these inmates, several are experiencing symptoms of PTSD including anxiety, sleeplessness, panicked feelings when officers come near the pod, etc. When I spoke with the black inmate, he told me he felt afraid. Fearing retaliation against my husband, I cannot go to the press with this. I have contacted an attorney – Most attorneys are afraid to take such cases because it can be professional suicide. I would like another attorney option. Any advice you could have would be most appreciated. I am concerned that the trauma of this attack will trigger a psychotic episode with my husband; the effects of trauma are not always immediate.
thank you…”
and then there is this:

Inmate found hanging at Sullivan County Detention Center

There’s an investigation underway after an inmate was found hanging in his cell at the Sullivan County Detention Center.

The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office reported officers checked the area and found Joey Edward Cunningham just before 9pm Monday. He was hanging by a sheet tied to an air vent.

Cunningham faced charges of initiation of process intended to manufacture methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a school, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He’d been incarcerated since June 11.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will investigate his death. Via WCYB Channel 5

Yes, Southern Justice at its finest, right? Shame on National Geographic…glossing over the real issues and celebrating the abusive criminal justice system.

Season 2 of Southern Justice premieres Wednesday, July 15th at 10:00PM on the National Geographic Channel.

Grand jury report rips Florida prison over deadly beatdown

Matthew Walker

Matthew Walker-Florida Department of Corrections