Letters from our incarcerated family
Dear Workers World,
I’m writing to you in hopes to start to receive this paper. I would like to understand more of what’s happening in other parts of the world, with protests, struggle, hopes — and good news in general would be great. I would like to thank you for your concern and kindness to a prisoner like me.
Tennessee Colony, Texas
What’s with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections f*****g with our mail again? What’s up with that? Me and my nephew did not get papers — none! — between August and October! (Grievances attached.)
Get us outta here!
Mr. Yul B.H.
SCI Dallas, Pennsylvania
Dear Mr. Yul and all our comrades at SCI Dallas:
Thank you for alerting us to the repeated censorship of Workers World by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. We understand the limitations of the grievance system but greatly appreciate and respect you using it to protest this censorship. We are fighting this censorship on the outside and will be following up directly with the DOC. We’ll send copies of our back issues in the meantime.
Peace, comrades. I’m a prisoner in Forest State concentration camp. I’m housed in the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU). Staff in this administration are all corrupt. And it’s evident.
I was transferred to Forest in October 2021. I’m unvaccinated. Medical is supposed to issue a quarantine protocol and nurses are to do temperature checks and wellness checks. Strangely, I wasn’t quarantined upon my reception. I wasn’t screened by medical staff. I was given a vaccinated cellie, Tariq. He wasn’t quarantined or COVID-tested upon his reception in the RHU.
The RHU is J-Block. It has four pods with 24 cells on each pod. Personal laundry is never collected. Cell cleaning is said to be offered twice a week, but it’s only allowed once. Strangely only 47% of staff are vaccinated, with 53% of unvaccinated staff working unrestricted throughout the prison. The variant is contaminating the fully vaccinated. And the officials who run the RHU allow guards to house the COVID-infected prisoners amongst the unvaccinated and vaccinated alike. It’s a serious health risk yet, strangely, the central office approves this due to the RHU being deemed a special unit.
The pandemic is still in effect and the prison is still locked down. The prisoners in the hole are abused. Guards use pepper spray to intentionally harm a prisoner and all prisoners are affected due to the poor ventilation.
Racism is evidence. Ninety-eight percent of the prisoners in the RHU are African or Latino. The administration associates both these races as gang members to warrant the abuse. Suicide attempts are alarming. These men are tortured until they are broken. And the grievance system is a joke — all grievances are denied.
I’m a victim of guard brutality. I was physically assaulted while at Frackville, by two guards while handcuffed. I’m still spitting up blood. I’ve lost over 30 pounds. Guards stole $285 of my commissary, my wedding band, and my legal work.
I’m strong due to situational circumstances. I came from the struggle. Hopefully you all will do what you can. I cannot combat injustice alone from behind enemy lines.
I learned while existing in this capitalist country that pain isn’t an enemy. Just mere proof that one exists.
Comrade Nasir Ali
SCI Forest, Pennsylvania
I’m writing to my Workers World family because I’m confined to a cold cell of mental torment. My soul cries for help. As guilt flooded my heart, knowing that if I don’t bend, these four walls of cement will destroy my beautiful spirit. Because all forms of incarceration are inhumane.
I would like to receive the Workers World newspaper, please.
This criminal justice system is against any and all African Americans.
Mr. Jeffrey T.
Fort Worth, Texas