In August, The Rage Monthly received a letter from a gay prisoner at Pleasant Valley State Prison in California. The letter can be described best as a plea for help following alleged inhumane treatment by corrections officers. The prisoner claimed that corrections officers were using the public address system and bullhorns to encourage inmates to beat and brutalize gay and transgender prisoners in Building 1 of D Yard. He named a particular senior corrections officer as the main instigator of the alleged assaults. The prisoner also charged that gay and transgender prisoners were being denied food and basic hygiene, including access to showers, and he further claimed that corrections officers had destroyed the mail of gay and transgender prisoners. Even more disturbingly, the letter went on to allege that gay and transgender inmates were assigned more work details and were being thrown in the Security Housing Unit (SHU), also known as “the hole,” simply for their sexual orientation or gender identity. The prisoner stated that if the guards knew that he’d written this letter, they would retaliate, a claim that is being taken very seriously by my editors, elected officials and me.
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