Strange Tides in the Mailroom at CCWF


California Correctional Peace Officers Association
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Written under duress by Johnny Street

The process of inmates being rehabilitated is a many splendored one. No system has ever been imposed or thought of that can change a detriment of humanity into an asset, and to think that it would is beyond ridiculous. We are no stranger to an event happening and then days later find out what is really behind something, and usually it is a situation more disgusting than the initial one itself. Such is the case at Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, California– the largest women’s prison in the world. Internal Affairs (the cops who watch the cops) busted two officers for smuggling drugs, tobacco, contraband, and even a few cell phones into the prison were busted in January, 2012. This information came from a source close to such things, and this person is also an inmate.

No press was ever informed of this, and for good reason. California is broke. Beyond broke. It seems every attempt at solving our debt to banks is aimed at anything that is a tax paying blood bleeding citizen- except if you’re rich. There wasn’t even an attempt at a cover-up because the world by and large could give a shit less about what goes in prisons. They are menacing warehouses for the ones to dangerous to be seen with the likes of us, so as long as they are on the other side of the fence, this is safety enough for most. But that is neither here nor there in its relevancy of this article. A plan to decrease spending among the largest government funded industry in California has meant some lay-offs, decrease in pay and allowed hours of overtime, and cutting of rehabilitative programs for inmates. Since the canning of the two officers, there have been no attempts at hiring other guards to screen the mail. CCWF gets an average of 20,000 pieces of inmate mail a week, and with only two guards available to screen such a huge load, it is only natural that mail will be delivered far beyond its intended read date. During the Christmas season, mail is at its crux in volume, and this is understandable. Now, being that we are in March, mail is far worse than anything the holiday influx could make. The last piece of mail that was delivered to the inmate I wrote to was post marked January 10, 2012 and it arrived three days ago. Today is March 5.

Mail, is at times the only positive thing that happens for inmates subjugated in a system that neither corrects, nor rehabilitates. It allows the recipient of such things a chance to read of the world they are missing out on, if only for 5 minutes. Of course such aspects of humanity only cost money in the immediate way of handling things. Warden D.K. Johnson is the typical model of an old hack and could care less. She like, the last 8 Wardens at the prison have only worked there less than a year and do so with the aim of retiring on a Warden’s pension. Inmate rehabilitation means as much to her and all the other hacks as tossing a wrapper in the trash. I know this because she hung up on me when I asked what is being done about the mail, and why haven’t you made an effort to alleviate this? While programs and staff get cut there, it is the inmates who suffer the most. But this is not just a case of being short staffed and work not getting done in a timely way. No, the underlying tones are more sinister than the event itself.

Inmates have been filing official documented complaints en masse about this issue. But the CCPOA wants this to be solved for one reason- money. They are using this insult to the badge as a means to allocate more funds, and the means of this is for inmates to sue the CDCR, and create a stir of it in court. The inmates bring the issue to trial, a judge will rule on it, and most likely deem this delay in mail absurd, and then allocate money for the CCPOA to get more staff and allot more overtime. I am unclear if the two officers who were cited for introduction of contraband into a prison were ever arrested or face criminal charges. I would hope they are, but it would not be surprising if they were just let go- with some sort of severance to boot. Honestly, I don’t care how the forward thinkers in Sacramento waste our money at this point. They’ve had so many blunders that I am immune to the stupidity of them now. Every decision that’s been made since the majority of America voted a Bush into the White House has been a way to save money, spend less, and also how to give the elite (the job creators) the means to employ/enslave a desperate public teetering on the brink depravity. I should care, but I don’t anymore. I can’t think of one thing that the tax I pay on gas, cigarettes, food, income or anything else go to something that our society needs, so for that matter, the pigs won- Sellah, you assholes. Sure we can write the Warden or our congressman but they won’t give a damn either. California is now a Corporatocracy, every joker who wears an expensive suit and is expert at answering questions with half truths and diverting blame can be a sock-puppet for the thousands of entities who have the same rights as living breathing people, and be put into positions to make important decisions. And all the while we wonder why all those 99%ers do what they do. Why would the sock puppets give a damn about people who neither contribute to that system, much less oppose it? The oppressed do, and of course the only ones who do hold the keys to this vehicle don’t find such things important. All the while they try to solve a debt and keep them and their contributors rich, it is the incarcerated who feel this as well. People continue to remain jobless, joblessness leads to desperation. Desperation many times leads to committing a crime against the state- which will make you part of the business that is the CDCR. Somehow there is always money to lock you away, yet never enough to run a prison efficiently.

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4 thoughts on “Strange Tides in the Mailroom at CCWF

  1. My girlfriend was at Valley State Prison for Women across the street from CCWF. Her mail around Christmas was delayed as much as a month. Even in the couple of weeks before her release a few weeks ago the mail was still 2 weeks behind. This was against the CDCR’s regulation of first class mail being delivered no later than 7 days after receipt.

    Additionally, when large envelopes are sent to the prison, they are treated as junk mail even though they have 1st class postage. These are delayed as much as a month during normal (i.e. non-holiday) periods.

    VSPW has also eliminated self-help programs conducted by the inmates at their or outside organizations expense! See http://blog.damiross.net/2012/03/self-help-programs-eliminated-at-valley.html

    Like

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