Why Solitary Confinement? What Did Jamie Do?

Solitary confinement Cell

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

(Sonni’s note: In my last post I was concerned because I found out Jamie was back in solitary confinement. After I posted it I found a letter from him in my mailbox. He explained what happened, but didn’t mention any cardiology appointments, so maybe it’s not time for it. He said it was “next month”, but the month has just started. He should not be going months without the necessary medications for his heart problems.)

10-28-15

HELLO MOM,

Sorry for the wait. I received the letters you sent. Please tell your mother I said hello. Tell her I’m sorry I haven’t written to her. I just didn’t know what to say. I don’t want to say nothing wrong. Well, not say nothing wrong, it’s just that I’m nervous, just like the first time you and I met. But please let her know I am very thankful for the encouragement that she sends to me, as well as the love.

So how are you doing? Well yes that really was a crazy question. It’s always good to know you’re doing better. I know you can’t stand being in bed all day. I’m glad the side effects from the Hep C drugs has lessened. Don’t worry about coming to see me this month. Your health always comes first.

I’m sure you want to know what’s happening with me. Remember the situation that happened with the dude who worked in the cafeteria who was putting his hands all over people’s food and didn’t wear gloves? https://mynameisjamie.net/2015/10/18/there-are-no-judges-here-and-some-things-you-cant-let-fly/

Well, it never ended until now. On October 15th, the officer this dude worked for retaliated against me. He walked up to me and started pushing and shoving me trying to provoke me. However I just smiled at him because there was another officer there. He was telling this officer to stop and trying to hold him back. Shit, that didn’t last long. because the officer tried to grab me by my shirt and slam me into the wall. However, I jerked away from him.

If he had managed to slam me into the wall it would have been face first. After that he reached out and put his arm around my throat. He told the other officer to take me down. He didn’t want to do it at first. I hadn’t done anything. But he ended up doing it. He grabbed my legs and I went down. The Officer  who started this had me around the neck. While I was on the floor he was choking me. Long story short I got an assault case and 15 days in solitary. I have 8 days left as of now.

The officers came up with a story and blamed everything on me. Even the officer who watched the other officer do all this blamed me – to cover his own ass. It’s against the rules, they say, for officers to side with inmates on anything. But he ended up getting into trouble anyway because he had me handcuffed in the front instead of the back. I was being moved to a different block at the time this all happened.

I told the Major warden that the officer did this because I beat up a  worker of his who jumped me when I reported his violations in the kitchen. I also told him that this officer had threatened to get me which he did. They are supposed to be doing an investigation but we both know how that will turn out. The Major even told me if everyone sticks to their story there is nothing he can do about it – even if he knows the truth he can’t prove it.

But get this – another officer – an African – told me he saw what was done to me. I write his name down and told the Major. I told him to question this officer because I didn’t trust the Sgt or the Capt-Lt. They don’t like me because I speak my mind and I speak up for others when their officers are in the wrong. Anyway, the Major goes and tells the Lt. Then the next thing I know they can’t get ahold of this officer to get his statement.

When he comes back to work the statement he gave me and the one he is saying now are completely different of course. He told them I pushed the officer. The next time I saw him I was hot. I aked him why he lied. He said, “Because”. I said, What the hell is, “Because?” But I know they probably threatened to give him probation or take away his job. The African officers here will kiss ass to keep their jobs. They come over here and take a lot out on blacks. Really. They are just about everywhere in the system. If only would work in the system to see how their families are being treated

(Sonni’s note: Jamie said something here I want to find out. He mentions Africans and blacks separately, like two different people. Are Africans being brought into the country to work as guards?)

Oh believe it or not two inmates died of heart attacks in the last two months. Medical is not here around the clock. They go home at 5:30 pm and don’t come back until 2:30 -3:00 am. There are too many sick people here to not have medical care available. If something bad happens the inmate has to be sent to another unit or the hospital depending on how bad the situation is. If I was having chest pains after 5:30 they would take me to a medical room with a computer and I would talk to a nurse in another unit at least 30 minutes away. She would tell me to drink water or some shit like, “You don’t looklike you’re in pain”, like she can tell by looking at me on a computer. (Sonni’s note: That is their answer for everything. Drink water. Does that work for you when you feel sick enough to need medical care?)Then she’ll send me back to my cell. They do that all the time.

http://www.fairwarning.org/2015/07/jail-medical-care/

(Sonni’s now: I still often hear people sarcastically talk about inmates getting free medical. They don’t understand what inmates have to go through to get treated and how often they don’t get it at all, or they aren’t given their meds. Often, medical conditions are left untreated until it’s too late. They die of “natural causes” when they often don’t need to die at all. Who cares except the families who often don’t have the money to pursue filing against the prison and proving negligence. Very very few times has an inmate won a medical suit against a prison. It also costs money to treat inmates and that cuts into their profit)

I need to get this in the mail . Love you
Love always, Son {{smile}}

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You Can’t Have Both – Reduced Prison Population AND Build New Prisonsl

My my it seems as though both sides of the political fence is scrambling to see who can proclaim the loudest that prison populations need to be reduced. The public seems to finally be noticing there is something wrong with the percentage of black men locked up in prisons compared to white men and are realizing they’ve been sold a bill of goods making them believe black men are born with a stronger criminal streak than white men. Black men invoke such fear in the white man for his safety. Where did that fear come from? After the white men could no longer use them as slaves they had to come up with another way and that was through our prisons. Hundreds and hundreds of newly built prisons.

wynne unit,Huntsville Prison,solitary confinement,mass incarceration
Prison unit Jamie is in
photo source; brokenchains.us

The ego streak in many white people who still feel they are better than black people goes back a long way. There is a lot of guilt for what we did to another nation of people. How could we possible accept them as equals after what we did to them? Continuing to enslave them and telling the people they have higher criminal tendencies, over and over until people believed them. They made their family’s lives as difficult as possible and rounded up every black man they could find and doled out the longest sentences they could – to protect everyone else, of course. And now they have a change of heart? Really?
Is this a bunch of hoopla in the year before an election where politicians promise everything they think the people want, but when the returns are in they just go about their usual business of catering to the corporations and the issues that make them money? Each political side blames the other. But why is it that this is the first election where both sides are trying to look like they give a rats ass about the inmates inside the prisons who are brutalized, underfed and are given insufficient healthcare because the prisons don’t want to pay for it? The families of the inmates have screamed for a long time about the mistreatment yet no one cared enough to ever make it an issue. So why now?
Everyone is now saying to we need to reduce the prison population but I don’t hear anything about what they will do with these released prisoners. They are under-educated. They won’t be given jobs because they are felons. They won’t be able to make money. Their families on the outside are usually poor because they have tried to raise their families without the men in their lives. If they live in subsidized housing, the fathers won’t be able to live with them or they will all be kicked out. They won’t be able to get government services like food stamps so they can eat. So how will they be able to survive without resorting to some kind of crime? Then, when they are arrested again, the media will scream that a mistake was made letting them go. They were given a second chance but they blew it. Yes, they were given a second chance but with their arms and legs still shackled. So what are these politicians, who are jumping on the band wagon now, and saying inmates should be released going to do to help them be successful? They couldn’t even get a job at a fast food joint. We know how difficult it is to take care of yourself or a family with that kind of pay.
They will be setting them up to fail.
What do they do with the prison corporations who have 20 year contracts with the government and have promises that the prisons will be kept 80-100% full – or the government will have to pay them for empty beds? It will cost millions of dollars of taxpayer revenue to let these inmates go. In addition to that, these corporations have paid these politicians a shit load in campaign contributions so they can continue to rake in the money they do on the backs of these inmates. Do you think they are going to easily let their fountain of income disappear without a major fight? In addition to the prison corporations that make this money, there is a very long list of American companies who use inmate slave labor to make the products they sell to us. This list of companies would drop your jaw. They have contracts with the prisons. Do you think they are going to just back off and start paying decent wages to Americans who need jobs when they can get it for pennies inside the prison?
There is something wrong with this picture and I am not hearing solutions to any of it. All I hear are politicians who want to get elected, joining in with everyone else who is saying they are going to be the one who is going to take care of this problem, and I say it is a bunch of bull. Do you think the building of new prisons for more inmates has stopped? Really?

 

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Why Loved Ones Are Lost In The Prison System – Letter To Maesha

(Sonni’s note: A couple weeks ago I asked for people to write messages of encouragement to Jamie and send them to his email address at mynameisjamie2@gmail.com. He had just had a really hard time with the officers at the prison. They poked and prodded and lied to him until he finally lost his temper, which gave them the excuse to bring him out of his cell. Five guards kicked the crap out of him and rammed his head into a wall and split it open.

The abuse continued for days –  because he fought back. You can’t fight back. He couldn’t win that one. They set him up and he fell right into it. I could tell by his letter he had hit bottom.

How often can you go through that and still stay encouraged you’ll live to get out of there,  and not be so affected by it that you can’t have a normal life? It’s like coming home from a war.  yes, inmates get PTSD. When you have lost all your freedoms and it lasts for years, knowing that you can walk out the door into the sunshine whenever you want to is hard.  That is why caged animals have a hard time leaving their cage.  Fear of the unknown. Some people were kind enough to send really great emails. I’m sending them one at a time and stretching it out. Hearing from people on the outside mean more than you can imagine.

When someone has been locked up for a long time, family and friends usually have less and less to do with you. Inmates lose their identity.  I write to him often and talk about what is going on in my day. We discuss things that are happening. This is often the only communication he gets from the outside for long stretches of time. So every single letter is a big deal. If you want – you can still send an email at any time to the above email address and I’ll make sure he gets it, even if it only a line or two. Thanks.

(First the message Maesha sent to him  and then his reply.)

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elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Dear Jamie,

My Name is Maesha. I’m a Canadian and I live in Toronto, Ontario. I’ve just recently ‘met’  your ‘mom’ Sonni online through blogging. I have to tell you that immediately I felt her deep and loving kindred spirit. It’s easy to see that she loves you a great deal. The effort she is making to bring your story to others is inspiring and noble. I wish you could see it. What she is doing would give you so much hope!
I can’t say I’m enjoying reading about the experience you are having in life, where you are at this very moment. My world was so vastly different than yours, so much so that I have a difficult time understanding sometimes. It does make me sad. It’s difficult to learn what I’m learning about the system. And when Sonni writes a post, I feel your pain.
There’s a part of me that hopes that by taking on some of that sorrow less of it will find its way to you. Sonni is doing that for you. You may not see her directly, but she is your very own tiny piece of heaven.
Jamie, you are still a young man. And when you get out, you will still be young enough with a lot of time to bring to the world all the beautiful human worth you possess. There are sources of strength deep within you. You are a survivor. I suppose we are all survivors in some capacity. We must continuously search for strength and the courage to go on, to become stronger and stronger.
Sending strength and hope, with a side dish of love.
Mae
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Dear Maesha,

I will try to keep this as short as I can. First I would like to thank you for your words of encouragement. Mom sent me your post from the blog. I must say when i first saw your your name I thought you were my cousin. Lol her name is Maesha as well. However, as I read I noticed you said you were from Canada. First person that came to my mind was Drake. One of the best rappers. He’s real gifted. Sorry for getting sidetracked.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my story. I tell it, not just to try to get the world to understand how the system treats us, but to try to get the families to understand why their their loved one’s are lost in the system. I’m in Texas and we who are incarcerated there, there is a good chance, 50/50 that we won’t make parole. Why? Money, as well as slavery. We are worked without pay. If we don’t work it stops us from going home. But even if we work we still don’t have a chance of making parole. We are kept incarcerated and away from our families to support these people’s greed. That’s just half of it Maesha. We are treated badly and provoked by the officers. These people speak of changing our life but the way they act and treat us is crazy.

The system is really made to destroy us, and turn us into someone we are not. They are successful with that with a lot of people, and a few they are not. As long as these people get as much money out of us they can, whether it’s from working us, commissary products we buy, and overcharging  the phone system, and even bringing in drugs and cell phones to sell. They don’t care. These want us to stay criminals, even while they call for us to change. However, they are the ones who bring in the drugs and cellphones. Crazy, huh?

cxonfiscated cell phones in prison
Confiscated cell phones in prison. People visiting can’t bring them in. They are patted down and searched. They can bring nothing in quarters for the vending machine.It has to be the guards.

Well, I’m going to go for now. I hope you get this. Thanks again for reading my story.
Always, your friend, Jamie

Short Video – Racial Disparity in the Justice System

This is the problem. In under 2 minutes he explains why it is unsustainable to keep locking up black people in the percentages they currently do. As it is there are many more black children being raised by one person because the other parent is locked up. It is a cycle that produces the same results. It is such a blatant attempt at promoting white privilege. Some people still insist it isn’t happening but it is, and once they are locked up the prejudice continues inside by the way they are treated. Why is it in 9 years that Jamie has never been able to study for even his GED? Because they keep locking him up. When he gets paroled how is he supposed to earn a living to help in the care of his son? No one will want to give him a job or even rent an apartment to him. He can’t apply for disability because of his epilepsy for a year.

Ex-felons can not apply for any kind of social service or public housing. So what are they to do if there isn’t family to support him. He doesn’t want family to support him. He wants to work. He wants to get an education. He’s been locked up since he was 16 except for an very short period when he was 21, when he met my daughter and they had a baby. Please fill in the contact for to be on the mailing list for the book being written about him. “Inside the Forbidden Outside”. It is his one chance at survival.

Watch – “Broken Windows” – Police Brutality

This Youtube video made a very strong impression on me. It says what I have been saying all along. The reason why the police do what they do. They need to keep supplying the kids to the juvy system.

The money made from continuing the steady supply of people being processed into jail and then being railroaded into taking a plea by public defenders who work for the DA who works for the politcal system bought and paid for by the Prison Industrial system is too good to pass up.

This video shows how that process begins. It’s disgusting and it’s shameful. Many people thought the buying of people for profit ended with abolishing slavery. It didn’t. The white man just found a different way to enslave them.

It’s shameful that all the info out there for the American people to read and yet I still hear the words from some people saying “If you do the crime you got to do the time.”

Being guilty or innocent doesn’t matter any more. The police are not on your side. This scares me to death when I see the possibilities for when my two grandsons, who both have black fathers, and are going to grow up to be teenagers and it won’t matter if they are good kids or bad kids. The only thing important is the color of their skin.

By now, with everything that is managing to get into the media, it’s not possible for anyone to think it’s a fluke or to think there are more black criminals than white ones, and there is something inherently bad about people of color that gives them an extra reason to be criminals over white people. There isn’t. White people don’t get sought out, charged and sentenced with the same crimes. They don’t get pulled over more or slammed up a wall just because they are white and their only problem is walking down the street being looked at with suspician, also, just because they are white. White people wouldn’t put up with that indignity, especially if they did nothing wrong.

So let me bring this video to your attention and you share it with everyone on your own social media sites. let them know this is very real and it needs to stop.

Whites, Blacks and Hispanics

white black hispanic
I really don’t like speaking about race because I don’t know the real reason why blacks are still treated the way we are. I have some information that came out of the 2014 almanac you got me. In 2011, whites, age (18-19) were locked up 166 times. Blacks 1,544. Ages (20-24) white 712 and blacks 4,702. Ages (25-29) white 1,074 and black 6,883. Ages (30-34) white 1,115 and black 7,573. Look at the difference between blacks and whites and that was just three years ago.

( Sonni’s note: I know that these numbers, because they are this low, are not anywhere near the total people incarcerated. It was probably a certain percentage of the population. It does show that black people are incarcerated at a rate of 6 times the amount of whites. It shows that there is a very big racial unfairness. I was listening to the radio show NPR this morning. They were talking about how much the older ( mostly) white male population don’t like minorities having the same privileges they do. It is why they have fought so hard against women having even the same rate of pay. White men on average think they should have more and in greater percentages than anyone else. It’s not my opinion. It is in black and white ( no pun intended) Blacks, as it is in other minorities. They are punished more often and with longer and harder sentences.)

Crazy huh? It’s slavery. The government can do what they want with us. They always have. Looking at just the numbers it looks like whites are better than us on average, More intelligent, more deserving, but they aren’t. They just want to lock us up and make money off us. Or maybe to get us away from them. They enslave us. Whites, blacks and Hispanics. All races.

In other states the inmates get paid for working, but that’s a cover up. In Texas they say we get good time and it goes towards our parole. Bullshit!! Do you know how many people have come up for parole with years of good time and these people still don’t give them parole? Slavery!! But get this. It’s crazy. You might even laugh.

We – the inmates – we’re the ones who keep the prisons up and running. Crazy, huh? The people who are locked up do everything. Wash clothes, cut grass, cook, fix the toilets. Everything. The officers just sit and watch. They make money babysitting grown men.

One thing, though, that makes this unit so bad is the Africans who work here. These men are crazy. They talk lots of shit. Most of them are from Nigeria. They hate blacks, even though they are black, too. Before you ask why, your guess is as good as mine. What they fail to understand is if they get in any trouble they will be treated just like all the rest of the blacks.

I Hate Being Back in Ad Seg

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(Sonni’s note: This is a compilation of things he write about in several letters that were written in 2012.  So you understand, Ad Seg is about as low as you can go.  It’s also called G5, administrative segregation and solitary confinement.  It’s the hole.  It’s a place where you have no privileges. You never touch another human being.  You will be treated as though you are worthless.  People will want to hurt you if you give them the opportunity. You are alone. Really alone with yourself. If you don’t have anyone who cares, or if you don’t like yourself very much, you’re going to have a hard time making it. Jamie knew, when they threw him back in there, all because of the lie from a guard who wanted to prove he could mess with him, that it was going to take at least another couple years before they’d let him out.

The only good thing about solitary is that he was safe from other people. In addition to the guards, you have to be careful, there are people who have nothing to lose who are going to try to mess with your life. How do you deal with that when someone comes up and puts themselves in your face and challenges? They claim that your space belongs to them and they will try to take it from you. If they get away with it and you don’t try to stop them you are going to be in a whole different world of hurt from other inmates.)

No matter what I do, they always find a way to send me back. It took a couple years to get up to G4 the last time when I could to go to rec and watch TV and go to chow. But being allowed out of here means there’s gonna to be people, even guards who want to mess with me. But being allowed out of my cell is a kind of freedom. I can’t get out of here if I don’t get into a program.

It is so hard sitting in my cell day after day, trying to find ways to make the hours go by. I write letters but mostly I throw them away. It’s how I get my feelings out. But hardly anyone writes back but you. Once in awhile I get a letter from my sister or my cousin but not my mom. When I make it to G2 I can have contact visit. I can hug my son. At G2 I can make a phone call and I’ve never been able to make one. I would be able to take classes and learn things. I can be with people. I don’t think they want me to be able to do that. I will never be able to make parole unless I can show I’ve taken classes. But they won’t let me do that now. They don’t like to give black people parole. The longer they keep me here the more they make off me. They don’t care one bit if I am ever “rehabilitated”. Use ’em up, throw ’em out and pick ’em up again. You’re never free.

The last time I only made it to G4 for a short time. It took years to get that far. I was jumped and the officer even saw it, but I still caught a case for it. She even wrote that she saw the other dude hit me first, but there is a rule that if you swing at all, even if it is defending yourself, you get a case. I tried to avoid him twice but he was right on me and I was next to the fence and had nowhere to go. He was coming from breakfast really early one day and I had a chance to get him back, but I let it go. I wrote an appeal to try and get the case turned over and get my G4 rating back again, but I never heard anything back. So I’m playing the waiting game again. I wanted to cry. I have been going through this for so long it just hurts. Maybe in six months to a year I can get it back. ( Sonni’s note: It took until August 2014 to get out of solitary confinement, Ad Seg, G5)

But it doesn’t matter how hard I try. There is always something waiting to drag me back down again. I know that’s gonna happen. I have to see it and not react. I have to try harder not to let anyone make me do something I know will get me in trouble. I have a temper. Push me enough and I lose control. But I don’t have anything to prove to these people. I don’t have to prove I’m tough. If I don’t fight back next time it doesn’t mean that I’m a pussy. It means I have more to lose than they do. I have to do what is good for me. I have to remember that the next time someone gets in my face.