WHY VIOLENCE IS DOWN IN CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Shawn L. Perrot

Issue 61

WHY VIOLENCE IS DOWN IN CALIFORNIA PRISONS

Prison officials have noticed a dramatic decrease in the number of violent incidents throughout the system, and as one might expect, they've pointed to the lockdowns and cohort programming (only allowing one building out at a time to participate in recreation, eat, etc.), as the cause of these changes, so what do you think they've secretly been discussing? They're trying to figure out how to make these emergency lockdowns, and everything that goes along with it, a part of the permanent program, particularly at some of the facilities that have an extensive history of Rocking and Rolling. Some of us, however, know that the reason for the reduction in violence has less to do with lockdowns and cohort programming and more to do with the fact that there are fewer people on the yard at any one time. Granted, the reason for fewer people on the yard is because of the lockdowns and cohort doing is focusing on the fact that it's the reduced numbers that have resulted in safer prison conditions, and trying to figure out how to make the decreased prison population a thing of the future.

COVID-19 has resulted in people focusing on  the  prison system in unprecedented ways,  and  with  any  luck, COVID-19 will eventually be brought under some semblance of control. When that happens, the focus will again turn elsewhere, which means that, for the system as a whole, it will return to "business as usual." We cannot, under any circumstance, allow that to happen. It's time for us, all of us, inside and out, to put aside our differences and come together as one. It matters not what gang you're with, what neighborhood you grew up  in,  what  color  you are or what political affiliation claim. What matters   is that we all want the same thing. We want a world in which, if prisons are needed, they're used only to separate the worst of  society,  and  even  then,  they're  humane  and used for the shortest duration of time needed to accomplish the purpose. Clearly, what we've been doing, criminalizing everything and throwing away the key, has only guaranteed that our loved ones get out in worse shape then they were when they went in, and it's just as clear  that the main reason for this, at least to those of us serving time, is because the massively overcrowded conditions has resulted in bringing out the worst humanity has to offer. For years, we've discussed what a prison system might look like if the numbers were reduced, but no one wanted to risk the political fallout from taking such an extreme step, but COVID has forced us to do so anyway, and now we're beginning to understand that it is indeed possible    to reduce the prison  population  while  coming  together as a society to ensure that our loved ones actually stand     a chance of making it upon release. COVID has created opportunities for everyone. Motels suddenly have a steady supply of people filling their rooms as parolees live there while struggling to get on their feet and many community members have come forward to welcome them home with open arms, offering food, shelter, clothing, employment, even mentorship, all of which has resulted in some of us who were no doubt destined to return suddenly having a chance of actually making it! We've lost a lot of lives as a result of COVID-19, more than 240,000 in America alone at the time of this writing, and counting, but if there's a silver lining to be found in this cloud, let it be that we finally see that fewer people in prison can actually be a good thing, and let's figure out how to turn that dream into a reality, as opposed to the guards' ideas, which is to make the lockdowns and cohort programming the wave of the future.

So, what's next? For those that know me, you already know that I'm a firm believer in either being part of the problem, or part of the solution. With that said, you can sit on the sidelines and do nothing, or you can get mobilized. Contact your local representatives and let them know that you're willing to stand behind them if they support reducing prison populations. Just as important, contact your loved ones in prison and let them know that it's time for them   to make a change and get involved. It's time for the gangs to come together as one and fight for the humanity we all deserve, as opposed to doing the guards' dirty work and fighting each other. "United we stand, divided we fall," and that's never been truer than it is inside, so, for those inside, put down your hate and pick up your fellow man. Quit being a bystander and use the power of your voice to get involved. Instead of using that contraband cell phone  to smuggle in drugs, sext or look at porn, use it to get the word out about what's really going on in prison. Use it to reach out to your elected officials, to speak with the media, to contact advocacy groups and to otherwise spread the word. There are thousands of people out there in the world who want to hear from us about what's going on, but if you don't speak, they won't listen.

Shawn L. Perrot 826 4th St. Eureka, CA 95501

 

AGREEMENT TO END HOSTILITIES

August 12, 2012

To whom it may concern and all California Prisoners: Greetings from the entire PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Hunger Strike Representatives. We are hereby presenting this mutual agreement on behalf of all racial groups here in the PBSP-SHU Corridor. Wherein, we have arrived at a mutual agreement concerning the following points:

  1. If we really want to bring about substantive meaningful changes to the CDCR system in a manner beneficial to all solid individuals, who have never been broken by CDCR’s torture tactics intended to coerce one to become a state informant via debriefing, that now is the time to for us to collectively seize this moment in time, and put an end to more than 20-30 years of hostilities between our racial groups.
  2. Therefore, beginning on October 10, 2012, all hostilities between our racial groups… in SHU, Ad-Seg, General Population, and County Jails, will officially cease. This means that from this date on, all racial group hostilities need to be at an end… and if personal issues arise between individuals, people need to do all they can to exhaust all diplomatic means to settle such disputes; do not allow personal, individual issues to escalate into racial group issues!!
  3. We also want to warn those in the General Population that IGI will continue to plant undercover Sensitive Needs Yard (SNY) debriefer “inmates” amongst the solid GP prisoners with orders from IGI to be informers, snitches, rats, and obstructionists, in order to attempt to disrupt and undermine our collective groups’ mutual understanding on issues intended for our mutual causes [i.e., forcing CDCR to open up all GP main lines, and return to a rehabilitative-type system of meaningful programs/privileges, including lifer conjugal visits, etc. via peaceful protest activity/noncooperation e.g., hunger strike, no labor, etc. etc.]. People need to be aware and vigilant to such tactics, and refuse to allow such IGI inmate snitches to create chaos and reignite hostilities amongst our racial groups. We can no longer play into IGI, ISU, OCS, and SSU’s old manipulative divide and conquer tactics!

In conclusion, we must all hold strong to our mutual agreement from this point on and focus our time, attention, and energy on mutual causes beneficial to all of us [i.e., prisoners], and our best interests. We can no longer allow CDCR to use us against each other for their benefit!! Because the reality is that collectively, we are an empowered, mighty force, that can positively change this entire corrupt system into a system that actually benefits prisoners, and thereby, the public as a whole… and we simply cannot allow CDCR/CCPOA – Prison Guard’s Union, IGI, ISU, OCS, and SSU, to continue to get away with their constant form of progressive oppression and warehousing of tens of thousands of prisoners, including the 14,000 (+) plus prisoners held in solitary confinement torture chambers [i.e. SHU/Ad-Seg Units], for decades!!! We send our love and respects to all those of like mind and heart… onward in struggle and solidarity…

Presented by the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective: Todd Ashker, C58191, D4 121, Arturo Castellanos, C17275, D1-121, Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (Dewberry), C35671, D1-117, Antonio Guillen, P81948, D2-106, And the Representatives Body:, Danny Troxell, B76578, D1-120, George Franco, D46556, D4-217, Ronnie Yandell, V27927, D4-215, Paul Redd, B72683, D2-117, James Baridi Williamson, D-34288. D4-107, Alfred Sandoval, D61000, D4-214, Louis Powell, B59864, D2 - 117, Alex Yrigollen, H32421, D2-204, Gabriel Huerta, C80766, D3-222, Frank Clement, D07919, D3-116, Raymond Chavo Perez, K12922, D1-219, James Mario Perez, B48186, D3-124

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