The Free Speech Society presents: The Conflict Resolution Committee

Kijana Tashiri Askari, Abdul Olugbala Shakur, and J. Heshima Denham

Issue 49

From Prison Focus Issue 49
The Free Speech Society presents:
(April 17, 2016)

In the aftermath of two small-scale race-based 'isolated' incidents that occurred on B-facility in January of 2016 at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP), the Free Speech Society was able to successfully initiate a Conflict Resolution Committee (C.R.C.) as a part of the Inmate Advisory Council (I.A.C.) that has been established at this prison.

MISSION STATEMENT
The C.R.C. ensures the de-escalation of potential conflicts between various groups/formations on B-facility. The committee constitutes a body of like-minded individuals that is both representative of the totality of the various groups/formations on B-facility. It is capable of resolving potential or actual conflicts in a responsible, positive, and expeditious fashion. In the past, KVSP administrators, which include the California Department of Corrections & rehabilitation (CDCr) headquarters in Sacramento, CA, have made errors in one form or another, by failing to ensure the engagement of the primary stakeholders that are representative of those groups/formations actually engaged in a conflict. Nor has there been a body of 'like-minded' individuals specifically tasked with resolving potential conflicts before they mature into actual hostile based conflicts, whereby unnecessary disturbances become manifest, which jeopardize the safety and security of both prisoners and staff.

Per Departmental Operations Manual (D.O.M.), section 53120.5.3* (viz. “Special Concern sub-committee” at p. 427), the KVSP B-facility men's Advisory Council will enact the C.R.C.. This Committee is convened for the sole purpose of resolving potential and actual conflicts on B-facility whenever and wherever they occur, and effectively [articulating] resolutions to the entire prisoner population, with special attention given to the groups/formations in conjunction with the Agreement to End Hostilities (A.E.H.).

Because appropriate representation is essential to the resolution of conflicts in an effective and responsible manner, the composition of the C.R.C. will reflect prisoner representation from each specific group/formation, which will in turn be responsible for engaging and positively resolving any subdivisions in these groups. A basic outline of the C.R.C. Representative Body will consist of a representative from each of the following groups/formations:
– BGF
– Sureños
– Whites
– Others
– Crips
– Bloods
– Mexican Nationals
– 415 (Kumi)
– Bay Area Blacks
– Hoovers
– Muslims

Because of the sensitive nature of this special concern sub-committee, the C.R.C. must have access to the units on B-facility, per approval of the facility captain. The daily activities of the C.R.C. are designed to increase dialogue across cultural lines of ever formation/group to promote a stronger foundation upon which issues can be put forward and resolved in a constructive manner.

Communication and timing are essential components to preventing conflicts before they mature into hostility-based conflicts. Therefore, C.R.C. members must be able to talk to who they need to, when they need to. Our objective is to be proactive in resolving potential and/or actual conflicts within the general population. All prisoners are encouraged to relay any and all potential conflicts to the C.R.C. so the can be resolved in an expeditious manner.

The function and activities of the committee shall be to ensure equal and effective representation of the entire general population in the resolution of potential and actual conflicts on B-facility. The entire C.R.C. body will abide by the by-laws of the Inmate Advisory Council.

Our struggle continues!

For more information about the Free Speech Society, you can visit the website at: Freespeechsociety.wordpress.com, or contact:

Kijana Tashiri Askari s/n Marcus Harrison H54077, KVSP B2-101L, P.O. Box 5102, Delano, CA 93216

Abdul Olugbala Shakur s/n James Earl Harvey C48884, KVSP B2-117, P.O. Box 5102, Delano, CA 93216

J. Heshima Denham J38283, KVSP B2-117, P.O. Box 5102, Delano, CA 93216

* http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Regulations/Adult_Operations/docs/DOM/DOM%202016/2016_DOM.PDF

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