Try us out! You can make a big difference in a lonely inmates life by writing a comment here or sending a note by mail . Use our return address, signing "a friend" if you want( see side note).
prisoners are them outcasts in our society- help them heal- let them no someone cares.
The blogger Between the Bars asked two political Prisoners in WSPF to Write essays on Solitary confinement.
The international community has deemed what US does here is cruel and inhuman. FFUP works with many prisons and any one in the "free world to end the abuse and overuse of segregation.
2-18-2013 Beyond Solitary Confinement: Evolving the Standards of Decency
By : Mustafa- EL K.A. Agala
Punishment for crime is the
loss of liberty, not humanity. Deprivation of the latter is not only cruel and
unusual, but it is the denial of a human right; one the evolving standards of
decency in today’s society should no longer permit. Then, why am I a witness to
it daily? I am imprisoned in Wisconsin Supermax, solitary confinement, where
I’ve spent over a decade total on what I call “Psychological Death Row” for all
around me is psychological death; prisoners who have literally been destroyed,
annilated mentally. The assault on one’s sanity here is constant, and requires
constant guard, sometimes to the expense of physical health. However, this is
not an address to the panel to simply decry the conditions of this form of
confinement, but rather for professional and legal aid, and ACTION – to strike while the iron is hot and
end these inhuman conditions. We have the international community declaring
long term solitary confinement as torture, a human rights violation, the U.S.
congress taking up the issue, and an expose’ on Nightline , NO WAY OUT [inside
solitary confinement – 9-20-2012] , reporting on the physical [including brain
damage] and pschological damages of such treatment. Below is what I attest to
before you, and will do so under oath, and
what I’ve been fighting as prisoner –to- prisoner legal aid, what I’m
now fighting, and where your help is needed. Now is the time.
II. Psychological Deathrow
As early as 2001, over a
decade, in a case that I and another prisoner initiated, Jones-el[Agala] v.
Berge., 164 7 supp2d 1096[w,d,wis 2001),
the federal court determined(based on expert testimony] that Wisconsin Supermax
conditions bordered on the barbarous in its treatment of the mentally ill, and
enjoined them from being confined here. That injunction expired in 2008 and was never fully honored. Both
then and now you had [and have] prisoners
who have been diagnosed as
psychotic, who repeatedly attempt suicide, who have multiple personalities, who
argue with and fight themselves, smear their own feces, and crank out
persistently[bang on metal sinks, toilets, or shout incessantly] to the point
of causing mental illnesses [anxiety disorder, psychosis, dysomnia, etc.] in other prisoners who had
not been mentally ill. Medication is dispensed almost like candy, and many
admit to taking psychotropic drugs just to sleep.
It is psychological deathrow
because it kills the sanity, and not by any mistake. The prisoners the
administration think are strong mentally, particularly litigators, culturally
conscious, politically astute, that challenge their status quo, they keep here
indefintely – until forced to release due to release from prison or until
they’ve destroyed them so bad mentally that they are attempting death, or even
the clinical/psychological staff has said ‘enough”! [which is rare.]. Consider
the following 2 cases from here: GILLIS V LITSCHER,468 f.3d 658 (7th
cir. 2006)7TH circuit described this place as a soviet style
gulag. Gillis, not mentally ill, was driven mentally ill, began to engage in
self mutilation [case settled for over $400,000], BARRETT VS. WALLACE, et.
al.,12-CV-24-bbc (w.d. wis) [now pending]. Sane prisoner driven insane,
repeated suicide attempts, c.o. who dispensed medication gave him PCP[medical reports on him – public
record, exhibited in the case on court docket.) I’m currently his only
assistance. He’s pro se, had the case
filed without my knowledge, now counsel and an expert witness in psychology is
III. Physical Harm
Prisoners here for the long
term [2-3 years and beyond, some much less] almost invariably suffer vision
loss; nearsightted, which oneoptometrist stated
comes from only being permitted to see objects the short distances that
an 8x12 cell sllows for years on end. I
am one of those whose perfect vision has been destroyed. Another visual ailment gotten here is a
condition in which we sometimes see a
white mass float across the
vision, similar to the “seeing stars “ phenomenon- just a white mass instead.
The walls here are all white[no objects
permitted to be hung on them]; very diminished visual, as well as overall
perceptual stimulation. High blood pressure development among previous fit ,
young men, who had ideal pressure[self included] prior to going here is also
rampant, as is high blood pressure related heart problems, aggravated asthmatic
condition and vitamin D deficiency due to the lack of meaningful exposure to
sunlight [2 1/2 hours or
less, often less or none a week] – which affects sleep, blood pressure, vision
and other functions.
Moreover, excessive force is
rampant. Two cases I helped litigate[draft and civil complaint, motions,
briefs, etc. for pro se prisoners up to trial or counsel appointment] are
indicative of this: Jackson v.Gerl, 2008 US District. Lexis 37672, para
10-14, published at 662 7 Supp2d 738 (w.d.wis. 2009) [lethal stinger grenade
detonated in the cell on a prisoner 5’8’’, 135lbs. for covering up his window
and disrespecting staff, left personal damage, settled for $50,000-attached
exhibit #1 -#3, public records show the aftermath. It was unprecedented in prison
history]; Bracey V. Grondin 1#10-c-287-BBC(w.d.wis)( nearly 60
year old prisoner who was shackled, handcuffed behind his back, in waist
restraints, tethered to the cell door, on his knees, was punched in the face,
rammed into the steel door, rammed into the concrete wall. , brutally attacked
by several c.o’s, left with lacerations
and a lump on his head the size of an egg. He refused the state’s settlement
offer, and is now in the 7th cir. Appeals court over the issue of
spoilation-- defendants destroyed the video] Now as I write this , the
prevalent method is to charge the prisoner with asslaut/battery and disorderly
conduct- outside criminal charges, when the staff uses force against them. The
D.A. returns to press charges against the staff, but charges victimized
prisoners regularly and usually offers a low plea deal, which most take and bar
themselves out of civil court. A U.S. Justice Dept. investigation is underway.
IV Racial Discrimation
WSPF [Wisconsin Secure
Program Facility} , this Supermax, has approximately 100 prisoners on
administrative Confinement[A.C.], overwhelmingly Alkabulani[Black/African American], and that
has been the case since its Nov. 1999 opening. We [prisoners] did a count Jan.
2010 and found out of 100 cells there
were 72 Alkabulani, 12 Caucasian, 11 Latin and 3 Native prisoners on
A.C. [2 cells were empty], These eliminate
“chance” , and far exceed the standard deviation measured in Santiago
v. Miles, 774 f supp.775(w.d.n.y. 1991) , where a similar practice was
enjoined. I am Muslim and Alkabulani, and they are targeting our racial class
for this inhumane treatment and other deprivations – so many( like parole,
which I’ve been eligible for since Jan. 2009] that the A.C. placement affects.
Racial slurs are spewed at times, including the following to me: “kill yourself
nigger”, a message left in my clothes roll (prepared by staff, in ink we can’t have), and for which my complaint
was alterred. Civil action has been initiated on the race issue.
V Help Needed
Now pending, as 072-9-2013
[mailing], is Mustafa-El K.A. Agala. Etal V Rick Raemisch, et all.
#13-CV-BBC (w.d.wis) , a class action on
2 issues:  Racial discriminationin A.C. segregation/solitary confinement
overall, in disciplinary write-ups, maximum security and supermax placement,
and  that A.C. and other long term solitary confinement is per se, in todays
evolved standard of decency, unconstitutional, cruel and unusual, and a human
rights violation. In order for class certification to be granted we need
counsel , and we will need expert testimony on the psychological effects, and
physiological affects of this confinement. The court has already held these conditions,
at this very prison, are
unconstitutional for the “mentally ill”, who are still housed here, so the
illegality is clear; but, now is the time to show that it is the conditions
themselves that also drive prisoners mentally ill and are , therefore, per se
Do review the civil somplaint from the court docket – the “filing” date
should be 2-12-2013, or we can arrange for a copy to be sent. Please do contact
me, or ms. Peggy Swan [local advocate, Forum for Understanding Prisons], as follows:
Musafa-el K.A. Agala,#223971
[a.k.a. Dennis R Jones-el] P.O. Box 9900
- WSPF , Boscobel, Wi.
53805-9900. [608 375-5656]- prison’s no. for arranging atty. Calls]
Forum for Understanding
Prisons [FFUP] c/o Peg Swan,29631 Wild Rose Dr. Blue River, Wi. 53518’  5363993 (we are not working with others, and seeking to
Mustafa –el K. A. Agala
essay Two: U.S. Prisoners Not Human?
RE: International Human Rights (HR) Day. (12/10/20
TO: Between The Bars P.O. Box 425103
DATE: November 20th, 2012
1)1 put forth the proposition to
all you Bloggsters out in the Blog theater, if American governments, both state
and federal, can exemptAmericanprisoners from the same
standards of human rights (HR) as it advocates and agrees and demands from all
“so-called” civilized and industrialzed, and, most importantly, technologically
superb advanced countries, does that not mean, at least in name and letter of
the American law, and from the point of view of lawmakers, prisoners are not
2) Because only “nonhumans”
would be exempt, correct?
3) In American prisons everyday,
in one prison or another, is an “AbuGhraib” prison experience.
And the courts, from high to low, (See: CACIPremierTech,
- Rhodes, 536, F 3d 280), have
not only permitted such civil and human rights abuse, they have developed
specialized jurisprudence to dehumanize this misanthropism body of law and
practice. (See: Hamelin- vs. - Michigan, 501, U.S. 957, at 962-65
(1991)). Also, Celia Rumann, TorturedHistory: FindingOurWayBacktotheLost OriginsoftheEightAmendment, 31 Pepp. 2, Rev. 661, at 684-93 (2004).
(Describing the courts interpretations of the word “punishment” in the Eighth
4) Then, see: Mikel-Meredith
Weidman’s The Culture ofJudicialDeference and The Problemof Sut,ennax Prisons 51 UCLA L. Rev. 1505, 1517-21(2004).
(Describing the high threshold that prisoners must meet to succeed in
5) Which exempt
American prisoners from the universal standards of HR that the U.S. demands
6) Here is a concrete pointer of
HR abuse this writer has witnessed and experienced personally:
(1) Harmful and torturous long term solitary
confinement. Personally, 12 years straight And going, of supermax torture for
ones political, cultural,
spiritual rights, advocating HR for prisoners.
(2) Electronic intrusions for no reason other than
intimidation and attrit. 24 hour voyeuristic perversion when guards can watch
you shower and use the bathroom.
(3) Exploitation of social and medical phoebias
which are recognized as disabilities, but not by the prisons, such as
prophesies and paruesis, collectively known as shy bladder, which they turn
into their tools
torture by using the
perv-cam in (2).
(4) They feed you so punitively that you are always
famished but yet enough to meet the minimum standards of health. Yet, if you
are a grown person, and not a child, exercise, and try to stay active,you need
more than just eh minimum. You need more.
(5) Due to lack of
food, you stop exercising and, not only do you start to suffer physically, but
also intellectually and psychologically. Exercise, when entombed for 24 hours
for decades, is not only necessary, it is medical.
allow prison officials to censor and suppress any and all dissent from
prisoners on the HR for prison reform under the pretext of security and
ethnocentric stylized re-education, clothed as rehab, yet when pouring out
their retributionisms, they say rehabilitation and torture is one and the same.
(7) In Elizabeth
vasilides, scholarly and compassionately, law review titled: “Solitary
Con~nementandInternationalHumanRights: WhytheU.S. PrisonSystemFailsGlobal Standards”, in American
University International Law Review, Article #5, She highlights
this inhumaness, that is silently overlooked and kept secret, or people just
don’t care to know.
(8) She explains
the abusive history of the subject matter throughout U.S. history, (P. 73). She
breaks down, with case law evidence too disturbing for those without horror
movie stomachs, how confinement like this is creating psyche-incinerator that
are burning and destroying the minds in them.
(9) Suicide in
SHU and Supermax(s) are the highest in the world. In the U.S., Wisconsin is
highest in the nation. Yet, U.S. Court Appeals for the Cit., claims the
prison can censor prisoners for pointing out this fact and abuse. In fact, this
article here is
contraband under their philosophy and can be censored under their case law. As anyone familiar with HR’s abuse know,
censorship is the tool used to conceal and control it and perfect the same. (See:
WI.DOC.com, Wisconsin Prison Suicide Twice the National Average. 28 from 2001 - 2005).
(10)1 have been
a sitting U.S. Federal District
HR do not apply to me, to U.S. prisoners. I am currently appealing said ruling
to U.S. 7th Court of Appeals. But
Stockholm delusions they will side with prisoners. But the law of the U.N. and
other treaties say we are entitled. (See: U.N. Charter, Art. 55 (c), (p. 80).
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), states: “No one shall be subjected
to torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” (G.A.
Res. 217A, at fl,
GAOR, 3d Seas., 1~ plen. Mtg., U.N. Doc A/81o (1948).
deceptions will spin you when they spiel you by claiming prisoners HR’s are
protected and perfected by the U.S. gth Amendment (8th Amd). That the 8th Amendment has
the same language. But
that is a creative lie, because, remember that specialized developed
jurisprudence I spoke of. Yeah, well, that body of law has been emasculatedandcastrated, and devitalized, impoverished and
undermined that it affords a prisoner no more protection than a slave. (Modern
slaves). That’s right, the sacred 8th Amendment has
specialized standards that are weakened stylized for application to prisoners.
(13) U.S. as a
member of the OAS’ has agreed to specific prisoner rights in a more regional
context. This agency put forth Article ~ and ~, that says, “every prisoner has the right
to be free from cruel, infamous, or unusual punishment”, (p. 82).Organization of American States.3
(14) OAS also
created the “American Convention on HR”, which Article ~ states that “every
person has the right to have his phisical,mental, and moral
integrity respected2. It also prohibits torture or cruel inhuman or
degrading punishment.” Id.
(International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), created in 1966, offers the
same protection language previously discussed.
(16) In 1992,
the U.S. ratified the ICCPR, yet they invoked exclusion clauses with said
reservations providing the U.S. to put conditional enforcements on
on cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment3.
( editors note_ numbers 17 and 18 are missing article numbers- clarifications coming)
(17) These conditional enforcements say
that Art. -must
afford prisoners (U.S. prisoners the rights that are defined by the U.S. ~, ~,and i4~ Amendment
rights~ Now this is where the creative lies come in. These U.S. Amendments, as
explained before, have been diluted specifically in definition and directly
when in relations to prisoner, to be modified so badly that the standards are
not the same as the ICCPR. So that Articles ~ ~ and ~3j. of the ICCPR has two standards.
One that is universal and the other the diluted American/selective version,
which is the Catch 22. That Catch 22 is that, ICCPR does not apply to all American
prisoners. (18) Also,
Congress incorporated escape clauses (Article ~.Q (2), which permit’s a state
to declare that it
is not bound
by Article ~Q (1); (convention against torture, p. 85).
(19) There is a
colossal difference between the U.N. Charter ICCPR and convention against
torture kinds of protection and that of the 8th Amendment. The 8th, for one, does
not “protect the treatment of prisoners”. And this is based upon the case law and
the rulings in which prisoner’s rights and abuses inflicted have been
(20) You would
think that in modern America this kind of abuse would not happen. Especially
when the guiding principle and standard theory of the courts is that the 8th draws it’s
meaning from “the evolving standards of decency”. Yet this does not fluidly
apply to prisoners, only to people not in prison or perhaps people with money
(21) The U.S.
Supreme Court in Rhodes - vs. - Chai,man, 452 U.S. 337,
at 349 (1981); reasoning that ... prisoners level of discomfort is a matter that
politicians (get tough on crime people). The always bankable, and cheap/safe
campaign election ploy that people swallow and pe~son officials (the rejected
wannabe cops, wife abusers, unexposed sadists, and angry unemployed or rural
neglected who hate their jobs but love the money) to decide. So, it is not surprising why
this evolving standard of decency has been static and severely diluted.
(22) The only
relief comes if you are mentally ill and, so, you have to not only sit in the
SHU or Supermax for decades, but endure the maltreatment, dehumanization, and
torture, until they break you and you either die or go crazy. And I’m not
either of those.
summation, I did not even go into the death penalty and it’s suspect use. But
since it is “Thanksgiving” tomorrow, and Xmas the discipljnary month, it is
worth noting that with over a thousand people on death row in America, it is an
interesting perspective to see Obama play out a Thanksgiving ritual of
pardoning a turkey while no real Christian forgiveness is extended within the
next week of month by these so-called Christians who selectively apply their
versions of Jesus (Isa peace upon) teachings.
(24) But in the
end, I blame the 2.10 million or so prisoners in America who pretty much do not
a thing to stand up for the treatment they say they deserve and want. Yet they
do nothing. This is the coldest slavery to ever exist. Because, continue to
walk into the game and play a laced and loaded game, knowing they are being
“hunted”. As Thurgood Marshal reportedly once said, before joining the enemy’s
table, “If you cannot articulate what your rights are, then you don’t have
any.” (Paraphrased). Because those in power are not going to treat you fair and
equal when that equal and fairness rides against their own greedy interest;
weakens ~f takes power out of their hands.
(25) Taking that
further, if you don’t believe and stand up, talk up, write and act like you
have and deserve to be treated like a humanbeing, then who can
be blamed when others don’t treat you the same?
(26) This is not
Pollyanna struggle. This is real political and legal war. They are not playing,
so nor shall we. The painand suffering are real. And the
dehumanization is mind blowing - literally.
cruelest thing I’ve seen so far is watching and starting to feel like the beast
and monster they falsely and hyperbolized you to be, for your traumatic mind
ration, at least, the abuse already being iaflicted, will be a consequence of
you actually doing something as opposed to them abusing you for free right.
Nietzsche said, “You stare into the abyss too long, and the abyss will manifest
back in you. Stare in the eyes and face of the monster and you become one.”
Well, you treat a man like an animal and strip him of his humanity, eventually
a beast will emerge. For no man or woman or child, nor even an animal, will
endure constant abuse too long before backdrafting. Not even a slave is that
(29) If I may make
a call to action for all you bloggsters out there, in the ether, I say let the
President and Wisconsin DOC, and other officials, hear your voice by sending a tsunami
ofemails until action is taken. The ACLU in D.C., and others, have
made comprehensive recommendations that have been ignored. Send the tsunami’s
2Nov., 1969, Art. 74f2), O.A.S.
T.S., NO ~.
See: John Hemy Stone’s “The International Convenant on Civil
Political Rights and U.S. Reservation”- 7 U.C. Davis J. hit. LL & Pol’y
1, 9 -
(Positing that these reservations allow the U.S. govt. to
make laws in contravention of ICCPR standards).
4David Heffeman’s “America, The
Cruel and Unusual?” An analysis of the Eighth Amendment under
international law, 45 Cath. U.L. Rev. 481, 540 (1996) (quoting Manfred
Nowak, U.N. Convenant CCPR commentary.