CDCr’s Unlawful Tactics To Deny Parole To Qualified Prisoners
By, Joka Heshima Jinsai
The CDCr is engaged in a practice, in concert with the Board of Parole hearings, designed to deny parole to life term prisoners who not only pose no threat to society or themselves, but in the instance of Imprisoned activists such as Abdul Olugbala Shakur or myself, actually have a decades long record of serving our Communities and seeking to improve society for all of us. That practice is the use of state paid psychologists to prepare psych evaluations for parole consideration hearings.
The document above comes from the guiding regulations for Youth Offender Parole Consideration hearings.
In the document the law clearly states, not only is great weight to be given to a youth’s diminished capacity, but psychologists preparing these evaluations MUST consider any growth or subsequent maturation of the individual under consideration. THEY DO NOT.
In Abdul’s case, as most of you may know, he has been active in the struggle for progressive social change and the eradication of the Black criminal mentality for well over 30 years with multiple books, numerous articles and the development of MULTIPLE social activism and community development organizations such as The George Jackson University. He was the originator of the New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalist Collective Think Tank, the Assata Alert Network (tasked with preventing the abduction, abuse and murder of Black children, women and elders who are at disproportionate risk of such when compared with other demographics), the Free Speech Society, and I could go on and on. When he sought to share this, as well as the BUSINESS interests he's developed such as Organic Paradise and Wealthy Imports, instead of just doing the most rudimentary research to confirm the validity of these assertions the psychologist AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMED THE BROTHER WAS LYING and characterized his claims as "a grandiose sense of his own self worth", "lack of empathy for others"(!??! This Brotha has spent the last 30 years of his life doing nothing else but thinking if ways to help others.) , "Irresponsibility", and other negative platitudes which have no basis in reality. When you read the report one constantly finds one's self asking, "Where is he getting this absurd ass shit?!"
Among prisoners who are 50 years or older or who have served 25 years or more, there is a .017% recidivism rate, virtually non-existent. Yet when making a risk assessment for VIOLENT recidivism on the Brother, he cited among our age demographic his risk of reoffending was HIGH, and among all male prisoners it was average. Why is all this so significant? It's significant because a grant or denial of parole hangs primarily on a single factor: THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION.
As the psychologist says, so does your life. These evaluations last for 45 minutes, maximum an hour, where they ask you some 200 pre-arranged questions. From this 45 minutes to an hour these state paid psychologists seek to quantify and qualify some 30 years of your life, all while intentionally failing to follow the guidelines of the law. In just a year or so I will be subjected to the same process, with no doubt like results as I have a similar, at times overlapping, history of service to our Communities and body of work.
Every similarly situated prisoner with a Life term will be subjected to this patently corrupt process.
An independent fund should be set aside to pay for IMPARTIAL and competent psychologists to prepare these reports objectively and according to the guidelines set forth in the law. The Prisoner class that men such as Abdul and myself belong to is fairly small, dedicated to changing this world for the better which includes abolishing the Prison Industrial Slave Complex (of which the BOPH is a part) as we know it. We, if released, pose a threat only to those institutions which have traditionally and intentionally oppressed the poor, disenfranchised and underdeveloped, a threat which is socio-political, not military, and THAT is the reason this and other character assassins, are employed by the state to ensure men like us do not get out.
The only way to address this contradiction is by seeking to abolish this particular practice and replace it with one more fair and legal.
I ask you all to join me in confirming this practice and actively speaking out, organizing and mobilizing to change it. Some of the greatest political, social, cultural and principled minds of our time are languishing away in prisons across this Nation. The state KNOWS we pose no threat to public safety, but we DO pose a threat to the continued maintenance of the exploitative and repressive relationships at the root of the contradictions in all of our Communities.
I hope we can count on your collective insight and activism.
Until we win or don't lose.
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Aug 25, 2019
Give people (Gov. Newsom) enough time they will show you who they truly are:
We must develop a community oversite of the Parole Board. We, the people, must have a say in how people are moving toward parole, how they are being paroled out and what should await them, once free. Governor Newsom has failed miserably in his most recent appointees- all but one are appointees to the parole board, and all of those are cops and guards!
We are losing more than lives people, we are losing our humanity.
Greetings fellow activists, advocates, and allies,
Big love to all who helped to make this month’s Liberate The Caged Voices an amazing experience. And I want to send a special shout out to our featured speakers- both returned community members, who shared intimate parts of themselves, highlighting the reason why we come together- creating a platform for voices usually unheard, to be elevated in a space that builds awareness, advocacy, and a shift in narrative about who’s being incarcerated/enslaved and what is actually happening inside California’s prisons.
Earlier in the day, I watched and listened to the first Congressional hearings on reparations in over a decade. To my utter amazement, the fact that slavery was never abolished, due to the exception clause to the 13th Amendment, did not come up as a case for reparations. Are we so completely entrenched in the narrative that “Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves” and “slavery was abolished” that we cannot see what is right in front of us? What does except mean...?
This is the week of Juneteenth. Celebrations commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation will be happening all over the country. Sadly, the exception clause to the 13TH Amendment killed the promise of ending legal slavery in this country:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Slavery is still legal and taking place within our nation’s prisons. It’s imperative we listen to the people most impacted by this experience, so we may learn from, and ultimately support them, in their fight for their human rights, dignity and finally, their liberation. Join us as we work to disrupt, displace, and ultimately abolish slavery and the prison industrial complex which serves to uphold and justify it. This is the human rights crisis of our time!
Save the date: July 31, 2019 Liberate The Caged Voices, 7-9pm Freedom and Movement Building 4408 Market St. Oakland
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May 18, 2019
Imagine coming out of prison with $80 in your pocket and trying to navigate the housing market in the Bay Area.
This week on our radio show we got to hear from Terah Lawyer of Impact/Justice about their innovative Homecoming Project that pairs recently released people with community members who can provide a place to live for up to 6 months in a real home. The Project subsidizes the rent and provides ongoing support and training for a successful reentry into the community. It provides an intelligent, honorable way for people to move on with their lives.
With so many obstacles to secure housing stacked against folks returning to the community and the risk of becoming homeless 10 times higher for incarcerated community members, a program like this is of utmost necessity. It also pulls funding and resources right into our community, that has been so impacted by mass incarceration, while connecting humans to one another. This is what healing looks like!
Click here to visit Impact/Justice and learn more about this project, as well as find both the participant and host application forms.
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Feb 26, 2019
Hello advocate and reader,
It is now 2019 and slavery is not yet abolished…
The 13th Amendment to the United Snakes constitution states:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT AS A PUNISHMENT FOR CRIME whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
The vestiges of slavery are playing themselves out within our prisons; in every aspect of social control and capitalism, policies and laws are designed to maintain an economic system based on the exploitation of slave and cheap labor- now black, brown and poor bodies. Our unfortunate historical narrative is one of genocide, land theft, slavery, and rape- of the environment and her people.
Billions of dollars are spent locking people up, while our teachers strike on the streets...
But, don’t take my word for it,
I invite you to listen to the voices of those experiencing this modern day horror we call ‘mass incarceration’, expose yourself to what is truly happening inside our nation’s prisons and allow yourself to be educated, transformed and moved to action to abolish prison slavery and dismantle the Prison Industrial Slave Complex. In 2011 and 2013, prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison organized and executed the largest and most effective Hunger Strikes in our nation’s history. Their willingness to put their lives on the line to affect change, should be an inspiration to us all and a clarion call for unity.
Liberate The Caged Voices is one way we come together to listen to and be the voice for those who the system tries to silence. These caged community members have powerful insight, wisdom and solutions to ending the human rights crisis of modern day legal slavery. In fact, they must fight daily for their human rights and dignity, and call on us for our support to do so.
As with the under recorded slave rebellions, prison slavery rebellions in the form of hunger strikes, work strikes, etc. are also under reported, if reported at all. We must take seriously this dangerous- yet highly strategic and organized action, and do what we can to support these actions from the outside by listening to and learning from those directly affected, and make space for the voices of the family members, indirectly- but just as negatively affected. Increase your awareness and help us support them in shifting the narrative from criminal to human being.