How Many More Days ? Justice 4 Davontae Sanford 2015 Time For Change Bring Me Home Enough Is Enough !


Originally posted on Social Action:


Team pushes new trial for Detroiter convicted as teen

Detroit — The lengthy battle to free a man who was convicted of a quadruple homicide at age 14 continued Wednesday with a team of attorneys filing a motion in Wayne Circuit Court seeking a new trial.
 

Detroit hit man takes responsibility for killings in new push to free young man in 4 murders

Vincent Smothers confesses to murders; Davontae Sanford imprisoned for crimes

Lawyers, family say Sanford innocent

http://www.freep.com/videos/news/local/michigan/detroit/2015/04/15/25840561/

Davontae Sanford -684070 Ionia Maxmium Correctionac. 1576 W. Bluewater highway Ionia,mi 48846  Lets spread the love on this hoilday and send a christmas card to Davontae Sanford U ARE GOING TO BE WITH YOUR FAMILY,THEY CANT”


Who is Davontae Sanford?

Who is Davontae Sanford? He is Detroit’s Forgotten Child. Innocence raped in the grips of overzealous cops and a prosecutor who doesn’t give a damn about justice or innocence. She wants Detroit to forget Davontae!! To ignore her great evil misdeeds and sweep the case under the carpet. And your silence has made it all possible Detroit. Until it happens to your child –…

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The appalling story of a California prison guard who committed suicide: ‘The job made me do it’


CDCr…California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation ( there is no real rehabilitation, hence the small “r”).

Staffed by CCPOA union members (California Correctional Peace Officers Association) one of, if not the biggest unions in the state of CA,

CCPOA represents the more than 30,000 correctional peace officers working inside California’s prisons and youth facilities, and the state’s parole agents who supervise inmates after their release.

Since its founding in 1957, CCPOA’s mission has been to promote and enhance the correctional profession, protect the safety of those engaged in corrections and advocate for the laws, funding and policies needed to improve prison operations and protect public safety.

Yeah right..read on. 

If this is what they do to their own…just think about what they do to the inmates…

CHRISTINA STERBENZ

After years of alleged harassment and abuse at his job at a California prison, Scott Jones committed suicide in 2011. A note inside his truck, parked near his body, read: “The job made me do it.”

On Friday, a federal judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit that Jones’ widow, Janelle, brought against California’s department of prisons, as well as a warden and two other high-ranking officials.

That lawsuit alleges wrongful death and a violation of Jones’ First Amendment right to be free from harassment and retaliation.

In 2006, Jones’ employer High Desert State Prison sent him to work in the “Z-unit,” which houses the most dangerous inmates, according to the suit. There, he allegedly witnessed an array of horrific behaviours by officers — including
strip-searching inmates in the snow, provoking fighting among the inmates, preventing them from showering, and failing to stop contraband trading, according to his widow’s suit.

Jones’ widow alleges he was relentlessly harassed for reporting these behaviours as well as other violations of federal and state law and that he was pressured to violate the rules himself. At one point, a superior officer allegedly coerced him to file a false workers compensation claim after Jones hurt his knee while “horsing around on duty.”

To ensure his quietness about the incident, Jones speculated, the same officer allegedly pepper sprayed him at close range in 2007.

“Does that mean you’re going to rat me out now?” the officer said afterward, according to the suit.

The prison “summarily dismissed,” all of Jones’ complaints. Even worse, the suit claims that supervisors falsely accused Jones and other guards working with him of various violations, including tampering with inmates’ mail and using excessive force. Unnecessary investigations followed, the suits claims.

At one point, one officer called Jones and another officer working with him at home and told them to quit, according to the suit. Another officer allegedly told Jones he’d “thought about running [him] over and making [him] a hood ornament.”

As a result of his treatment at the hands of his colleagues, the suit claims Jones started taking anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants. In July 2011, Jones reached his breaking point and allegedly informed the prison of his intention to quit. Various supervisors told him to “take a short leave to consider his decision to quit” and to take his complaints to High Desert’s management.

A day later, Jones hugged and kissed his wife and told her he was going to the prison to meet with two supervisors. When she called later that afternoon, however, neither had seen or spoken to him. Jones was soon found dead on a dirt road outside Susanville, according to the suit.

Several notes were reportedly found inside his car, parked near his body. One read: “The job made me do it.”

In the last three years, the suit says, “no less than five correctional officers” from High Desert have committed suicide.

In his ruling Friday, Judge Troy Nunley found that Jones’ widow can continue pursuing First Amendment claims against the prison, though he dismissed several other claims.

Via Business Insider AU

Sixteen states have more people in prison cells than college dorms

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Originally posted on theGrio:

College or prison: which is more important? In 16 states in the land of the free, the answer is prison.

As was reported in MetricMaps, there are 16 states where there are more bodies filling up the prisons than there are students living in college dormitories.  What is truly fascinating, maybe even disturbing, is that nearly all of these 16 states are located in the South, the bottom portion of the country. You must view the map in order to appreciate the gravity of the situation.

Let than sink in for a minute.  More people behind bars than in the dorms. What could it be about the South that would explain this?  Could it be a tradition of slavery, racial violence and Jim Crow segregation, a legacy of criminalizing and dehumanizing people and of just not treating folks very well?

(MetricsMap) (MetricsMap)

Keep in mind that the United States has…

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We must not ignore the Ohio prisoners on hunger strike

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Originally posted on Fusion:

There’s a reason prisoners go on hunger strike to protest. It is as simple as it is grim: what else can they do? When most every form of life is controlled, confined, and denied, all that is left is bare life. It is a dreadful thing indeed, when the available sites of political resistance are reduced to a human’s own digestive tract. As such, every concerted hunger strike and every circumstance that prompts a hunger strike deserve our attention. Right now, that means we should focus on the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.

Inmates at the prison, the state’s highest security facility, have entered their second week of a hunger strike. Nine inmates have refused meals since March 19 in protest of restrictions placed on recreation and prison programs, including bans on religious gatherings for certain prisoners. According to prison spokespeople, the “range restriction” practice now in place…

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MISSOURI EXECUTES SEVERELY BRAIN-DAMAGED 74-YEAR-OLD MAN WITHOUT COMPETENCY HEARING


Via Equal Justice Initiative:

 

The State of Missouri executed Cecil Clayton last night without a hearing to determine his competency despite evidence that he suffered from severe mental illness, dementia, and intellectual disability related to his advanced age (he was 74) and the severe brain injury he sustained in a sawmill accident. The execution raises serious questions about the fairness and legitimacy of the death penalty and its imposition on mentally ill and disabled people.

Cecil Clayton was happily married, raising a family and working hard at his logging business when, in 1972, a large splinter of wood ricocheted off his saw blade and pierced his skull, destroying about 8 percent of his brain. Doctors had to remove a fifth of his frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and problem solving. The image above is a brain scan showing in the lower right section that, as his attorney put it, he “had – literally – a hole in his head.”

After the accident, Mr. Clayton’s marriage fell apart, he began drinking, was unable to work, his reading and writing skills dropped to third- and fourth-grade levels, and he started suffering from violent outbursts, hallucinations, paranoia, and other symptoms of mental illness. Two years after the accident, he checked himself into a mental hospital for more than a year because he was afraid he couldn’t control his temper.

Mr. Clayton was sentenced to death for the killing of police officer Christopher Casetter in 1996. Medical experts who examined Mr. Clayton in prison found that at age 74, he couldn’t care for himself, tried but couldn’t follow simple instructions, and was intellectually disabled with an IQ of 71. In January, a forensic psychiatrist reported that Mr. Clayton could not explain “the current status of his case, what has been done on his behalf and what fate awaits him.”

The Eighth Amendment bars the death penalty for people who are intellectually disabled, and forbids the execution of someone whose mental illness or disability prevents him from understanding why he is being put to death. Inmates facing execution are entitled to a competency hearing where evidence of mental incapacity can be heard and assessed by a court.

But on Saturday, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to deny Mr. Clayton a mental competency hearing before his execution. The majority found the evidence of Mr. Clayton’s brain damage and testimony from three psychiatrists who examined him wasn’t enough to hold a hearing on his competency to be executed.

After considering his appeal last night for more than three hours past the scheduled execution time, the United States Supreme Court denied a stay, although four justices would have granted a stay.

Four votes are required for the Court to hear a case; five are required to stay an execution. Traditionally, when four justices want to hear a death penalty case, a justice will provide the fifth vote necessary to stay the execution so that the review can proceed. But this is at least the second time this year that the Court has abandoned its “rule of five” and allowed an execution to go forward despite four votes to hear the case.

Originally scheduled for 6 p.m., the execution began at 9:13 p.m. and Mr. Clayton was pronounced dead at 9:21 p.m. He is the second person to be put to death this year by the State of Missouri, which executed a record-setting ten people in 2014.

Support The Strike At St. Clair Correctional Facility In Alabama!


Via the Free Alabama Movement:

Today, 48 hours before a peaceful work stoppage starts on Sunday, March 1, at St Clair Correctional Facility (SCCF) in Springville, Ala.,Riot police have been sent to the prison to beat, torture, and intimidate the men incarcerated at SCCF, whose demands include an end to severe overcrowding and filthy living conditions. Here’s how you can support the strike and help stop the brutality against the prisoners

1. Call SCCF’s warden, Carter Davenport, at (205)467-6111. Tell him to stop the retaliation against the prisoners, who have a right to peacefully protest against their inhumane treatment.

2. Send an email to the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). Go to the ADOC’s website: http://www.doc.state.al.us/ Click “contact us” and then click constituent services. Type your message, addressing it to Warden Carter Davenport. Before sending your message, please sign it. (You don’t have to give your address.)

3. Spread the word to others. We must flood the prison with phone calls and the ADOC with email! 

'Support The Strike At St. Clair Correctional FacilityIn Alabama!Today, 48 hours before a peaceful work stoppage starts on Sunday, March 1, at St Clair Correctional Facility (SCCF) in Springville, Ala.,Riot police have been sent to the prison to beat, torture, and intimidate the men incarcerated at SCCF, whose demands include an end to severe overcrowding and filthy living conditions. Here's how you can support the strike and help stop the brutality against the prisoners1. Call SCCF's warden, Carter Davenport, at(205)467-6111. Tell him to stop the retaliation against the prisoners, who have a right to peacefully protest against their inhumane treatment.2. Send an email to the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). Go to the ADOC's website,http://www.doc.state.al.us.Clickcontact us and then click constituent services. Type your message, addressing it to Warden Carter Davenport. Before sending your message, please sign it. (You don't have to give your address.)3. Spread the word to others. We must flood the prison with phone calls and the ADOC with email! Alabama Department of Corrections doc.state.al.us'
FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT CONFIRMED THAT WARDEN DAVENPORT HAS CALLED IN THE RIOT TEAM TO ST. CLAIR PRISON, EVEN THOUGH NO ONE IS RIOTING. THE STATE HAS CALLED IN THIS ABUSIVE FORCE TO CONTINUE THEIR SYSTEM OF FORCED LABOR UPON THE POPULATION OF OVER 30,000 MEN AND WOMEN FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE RULING ELITE IN MONTGOMERY.WE URGE ALL F.A.M. MEMBERS TO PLEASE CONTACT THE COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE, ALL LOCAL MEDIA, THE EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE AND THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER TO INQUIRE ABOUT THE SAFETY OF THE MEN AT ST. CLAIR. THIS TRAINED FORCED HAS BEEN KNOWN TO RENDER EXCESSIVE FORCE AND ABUSE, AND ESPECIALLY UPON THE MIDDLE AGED MEN WHO WORK IN THE INDUSTRIES AT ST. CLAIR TO FORCE THEM TO PERFORM FREE LABOR”

Losing lives while gaining profit: 4 deaths in 2 months is business as usual for CCA prison


Via San Francisco Bay View

by Anthony Robinson Jr.

 

“It should never be easy for them to destroy us.” – Comrade G

In the last two months – from Dec. 27 to Feb. 10, 2015 – four prisoners have died here at Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility, a private prison California uses to relieve its prison overcrowding; it is owned and operated by the Corrections Corporation of America, CCA. These lives were lost due to indifference, unprofessionalism and lack of adequate training.

“Fight Mass Containment” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, HDSP Z-168, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127.

The families of all four of these California prisoners had to pay to have the bodies of their loved ones shipped back from the prison in Mississippi to California. Neither CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) nor CCA would foot the bill.

Steve Lee was an Asian American man around 56 years of age who had spent over 15 years in prison and was due to be released in April 2015. He lost his life because a correctional counselor by the name of Strong gave him a directive to prop some chairs on top of a flimsy table to take down some Christmas decorations.

In the process of taking down the decorations – unsupported by a ladder or another human being holding the chair – Steve Lee fell as a result of the chair slipping back and cracked his head. He had to be placed on life support until it was decided to pull the plug.

Tyrone Madden, F-92969, was an African American man intending to play a pick-up game of basketball and collapsed due to a seizure. The medical staff’s response was so inadequate due to indifference and lack of training that after fumbling with their oxygen tanks and other equipment and finally arriving on the scene, they were not even equipped with the knowledge that during a seizure Tyrone had to be placed on his side so that he wouldn’t swallow his tongue. It was a lieutenant who finally placed Tyrone on his side after the prisoners were yelling for medical staff to do so. How is it that a lieutenant who isn’t properly trained in medical responses is even involved with medical emergencies?

These lives should not be written off like some tax ledger expense or covered up through corporate PR and misinformation. As Ho Chi Minh stated: “Even the prisoner can get out and help build up the society. Adversity is just a measure of one’s fidelity.” These men were fathers, sons, brothers, uncles: important pieces to the structure of someone’s life. They had the potential to get out of prison and be pillars for their communities.

These lives were lost due to indifference, unprofessionalism and lack of adequate training.

For too long, the measure of human lives from poor demographics or environments such as prison has been cut off from the metrics of humanity – and we have all suffered for it. When you have developed such a cavalier lack of concern for the life of another human being, then you begin to suffocate your own humanity. Mumia said, “I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about freedom.”

As evidence and an admission on their part of the wrongful death of Steve Lee, CCA tried to bribe the Asian Americans and others from N Building A Section with a chicken and pizza feast, which I am proud to say that they denied with a rebel yell that spoke volumes to the fact that incarcerated lives matter. Can you imagine being offered chicken as recompense for the wrongful death of a fallen brother?

This was a blatant attempt to pay off witnesses and buy silence by a corporation that has been exposed for its intent to put profits over humanity (see “Two slaves for the price of one” articles, Parts 1, 2 and 3). We must understand that the structured forms of protesting that we have been practicing have not yielded the humane results that we seek but have only reinforced the plurality of conditions suffered by not making the proper rebuttals to the systemic causes of our oppression.

This was a blatant attempt to pay off witnesses and buy silence by a corporation that has been exposed for its intent to put profits over humanity.

To the people of true humanity and civil merit and to those individ­uals, organizations and firms who profess to work towards the civil rights of humanity: We need your work, assistance and efforts now! Will you be on the wrong side of history?

We need a mobilized, con­crete effort to accompany your protest signs and hands up movements. If the only expense you are willing to afford to this civil rights struggle is the cost of paint and markers used to decorate your signs, then your movement has failed before the paint smeared on your hands dries.

At Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility, CCA is in violation of numerous human rights and prisoners’ rights and regularly commits fraud and contractual negligence violations. We need lawyers and paralegals willing to take on CCA and CDCR for their federal 1983 civil suits and tort claims violations.

One of the reasons CCA and CDCR have been so emboldened in allowing such gross negligence and these violations to parade throughout their institutions is that the cost effective tactic to make a profit is measured against what they deem as the expense of true rehabilitation. This has become embedded more staunchly as civil rights and pro bono lawyers have shied away from prisoners’ lawsuits. The powers that be see that as permission to oppress and do away with an already out of sight, out of mind “underclass.”

I pray that you not allow another human life to pass here at TCCF while supporting through inaction CCA’s cavalier “business as usual” attitude in regards to human suffering and death!

These profiteers make the proper “adjustments” only when their eco­nomic bottom line is adversely affected. We must make the consequences of violating prisoners’ rights more expensive than the money they make or save by cutting corners and siphoning off rehabilitation efforts.

If your measure of humanity is more than mere lip service and your faith more than a mere apology, then contact me so that we can prove to the corporate profiteers that Incarcerated Lives Matter!

Anthony Robinson Jr.

There are enough prisoners willing to stand up for their human rights once they know that the public is willing to stand up and recognize them as human. There are enough good people working here at TCCF willing to testify to the policies and illegalities of CCA regarding the inhumane treatment they are trained to perpetuate against us prisoners once they know that organizations and lawyers are willing to stand up and recognize that Incarcerated Lives Matter!

We must make the consequences of violating prisoners’ rights more expensive than the money they make or save by cutting corners and siphoning off rehabilitation efforts.

A man can be measured by the possibilities he seeks in himself and others. All power to the people who are not afraid to fight for their freedom for fear of losing their chains!

I pray that you not allow another human life to pass here at TCCF while supporting through inaction CCA’s cavalier “business as usual” attitude in regards to human suffering and death!

Send our brother some love and light: Anthony Robinson Jr., P-67144, TCCF MC 67, 415 US Hwy 49 N., Tutwiler MS 38963.

Special Report: Lebanon County Correctional Facility, Lebanon, PA


I received the following via email. I decided to post here with permission. This needs to go viral and if not viral at least be seen by as many people as possible. People need medical treatment, to be treated in safe and humane surroundings; Its Winter, give them extra blankets… And the facility needs to be cleaned up- with correctional budgets at all time highs, there is no excuse. 

 

Just spent a week in Lebanon County Correctional Facility for violating curfew on probation. Inmates are literally freezing and being denied jackets and extra blankets. Additionally, the place has a dangerous mold problem throughout the facility including, but not limited to the wall of the gymnasium that leads to the kitchen and the air vents in cell blocks. The moisture from the showers and the spraying of the kitchen is the likely culprit but the situation isn’t addressed and I can’t imagine the place passing a random inspection. I would imagine they get advanced warnings of inspections and perhaps the situation is either overlooked or inspectors are paid off. This moisture also accumulates on the walls and windows in conjunction with the condensation and inmates are stepping through shallow puddles that spread to the foot of their bunks.

This is causing a serious health problem…the majority of the population is sick with various ailments and their “quarantine” for new inmates is a joke…new prisoners are not separated prior to seeing medical and receiving their TB tests – they are merely put into an open room on the same block as the other inmates on outmate (work release – where almost none of the inmates are actually working) who have been tested and cleared by medical, sharing use of the same facilities and day room objects/items. There is absolutely no attempt to separate these inmates from the others. The facility was also over maximum capacity by triple digits as of a week ago today and likely still is. While waiting to see medical I overheard medical staff tell correctional officers that they could no longer accept “sick call” slips from inmates as they had already received more of a work load than they could handle, meaning inmates aren’t given the medical attention that they have the right to and are requesting. This is absolutely heartbreaking. Nothing is done about this.

Oh and I witnessed an inmate scraping a substantial amount of ice off of the INSIDE of the window in room 8 of Outmate Upper just this morning.

Anyone or anywhere you could point me towards that might care or be able to take any kind of action. I’m sending this information to the editor of the local paper but coming from an inmate I doubt that I will be taken seriously.

Via Daniel Uffner

Mailing Address: 730 E. Walnut St.
Lebanon, PA  17042
Phone Number: 717-274-5451
Fax Number: 717-274-1338
Department Head: Robert J. Karnes, Warden

Seven Ways to Support People in Prison


By Victoria Law, Waging Nonviolence

I recently received a letter from a person asking how to get involved with supporting women in prison. The return address was from a small town that takes up 2.4 square miles and has approximately 14,000 residents. As far as the letter writer knew, there were no organizations — or even individual advocates — working around these issues nearby. The letter reminded me that not everyone is blessed (or cursed, depending on your point of view) enough to live in a city with opportunities to get involved in advocacy or direct support.

So what are some ways to support people behind bars if you’re not near any existing organizations or grassroots groups? Here are seven places to start:

1. Become a pen pal. Yes, I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. Reach out to a person in prison and start a correspondence. For many, you may be their life line to surviving the isolation and dehumanization that prisons foster. Not sure where to find a pen pal? Check out Black and Pink, which connects LGBTQ people behind bars with people outside across the nation.

2. Amplify the voices and experiences of people behind bars. Prison walls don’t just keep people inside; they also mask abuses and injustices that we (hopefully) wouldn’t stand for in the outside world. Help get these experiences out into the wider world. If you have a blog, Tumblr, Facebook or any other form of media, ask your new pen pal(s) to write something for it. Ask if you can include some of their words in your own posts. Or set up a blog specifically to highlight their voices and experiences.

3. Send books. For many people behind bars, particularly those in solitary confinement, books are a sanity-saver. Books allow people to occupy their minds and temporarily escape their prison cells. You can either donate books to one of the many volunteer groups that send books to people in prison or, if you have a pen pal, ask how you can send books directly. (Note: Most jails and prisons do not allow individuals to send books directly from their homes, but many allow books from bookstores, publishers and vendors like Amazon. You can usually find the regulations on the website for the prison or jail.)

4. Send in news from the outside world. Prisons isolate people, not just from other people but also from feeling as if they’re part of the outside world. For instance, a woman in Florida told me that no one in the solitary confinement unit learned about 9/11 for three weeks. Talk about feeling disconnected from the rest of the country! Send in printouts from online news sources or splurge to give the person a gift subscription to a magazine (be sure the person can receive subscriptions first).

5. Participate in a call-in campaign. Prison abuses are allowed to flourish because there’s a sense that no one is paying attention. When people call in about a particular abuse or condition, the prison has to pay attention and make changes. When CeCe McDonald was first sent to prison, prison staff refused to give her the amount of hormones she was prescribed. Outside supporters organized a call-in campaign and, within a week, prison staff felt so “inconvenienced” that they began administering the proper dosage. Without that outside support, prison staff would have continued to believe that they could treat McDonald, a young black trans woman, any way they pleased. Call-in campaigns have also changed egregious conditions. For example, in November 2013, after family members reported that their loved ones in Chicago’s Cook County Jail lacked heat despite the temperatures dipping to eight degrees, a call-in campaign succeeded in having the heat turned on.

All of the above are ways to support people currently behind bars. But what about making sure that more people aren’t swept into the net of the criminal punishment system? Even if you live in a town without existing advocacy organizations, you can still make a difference.

6. Keep track of proposed policies and laws in your area. Attend community events or politicians’ forums and speak out against practices that would increase criminalization. A friend told me that he recently attended a local political event. There, residents expressed annoyance at a group of dancers who played music and practiced in a nearby park in the evenings. At first, residents were told to call the police. But someone stood up and argued against calling the police. He suggested that residents talk to the dancers, let them know that the music was disturbing residents and see if they could practice at an earlier hour, turn down the music, or somehow accommodate people’s concerns. His suggestion changed the tenor of the meeting and the residents, instead of pushing for police intervention, began to consider ways that they could address these concerns without relying on criminalization.

7. Raise awareness about the issues! This includes talking to people in person, posting on your social media pages, and putting a sign in your window or lawn. Organize a film screening or book group that brings people together to learn about the vast reach of mass incarceration. (A partial list of prison documentaries is herebut don’t forget about War on Terror entrapment, women’s self-defense, and solitary confinement. And here’s a list of books to get a conversation going.)

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