As I said in my previous correspondence, Mr. Ryan: you are the reason your prisoners have rioted, not me. I don't think I even have contacts on Santa Rita. You appear to have plenty of discretion as to what you will and won't allow inside your institutions...I wish your SSU officers were as vigilant about keeping the heroin out as they are about stopping the flow of my free speech.
In any case, to the rest of you: here is the newsletter in question, in case you missed it. I mailed a list of the ethnic studies books banned from Arizona's public schools to a bunch of prisoners this summer, encouraging them to request and read them in solidarity with students - and in defiance of racism, which is necessary to uphold the current power structure inside.
I really didn't think those books would be off limits to adult prisoners too, but that sure is what it sounds like - this is the AZ DOC's General Counsel they sent to intimidate me, by the way. She really is scarier than Chuck - she used to be a capital crimes prosecutor at the AG's office. This newsletter isn't what I was so concerned about being confiscated, though - they still haven't responded to me on that count.
Here is the beginning of DO 914.08, by the way:
"UNAUTHORIZED PUBLICATIONS AND MATERIAL - Prohibited publications include those that by their nature or content threaten or are detrimental to the security, safety and orderly operation, or discipline of the facility, or inmate rehabilitation, or, are found to facilitate, encourage, incite, promote or instruct in criminal activity or unauthorized prison activity."
Shame on me for urging anyone - especially criminals - to resist racism and violence...
Carlo Krakoff, age 29,
died in an AZ state prison of a heroin overdose.
Substance abuse treatment
programs are nearly impossible to get into in the AZ Department of
Corrections, even for those who want it desperately - only 4% of all
state prisoners were able to participate in one last year, including
those we sent to private prisons specifically for DUI offenses. That's despite AZ DOC records stating that oapproximately 75% of prisoners are there for substance abuse-related crimes. Too many prisoners going in are actually clean but come out
addicted to herion, as the drug is so plentiful and alternative activities for the
mind, body and soul are so few.
||Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 4:24 PM
Arizona Prisonwatch <email@example.com>
"RYAN, CHARLES" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "PATTON, ROBERT" <email@example.com>
On behalf of Director Ryan, I am responding to your
30, 2012 email, inquiring about the reason your Prisonwatch Newsletter
has not been disseminated to inmates at ADC complexes. In your Summer,
2012 Newsletter, titled: “Prisoners’
Justice Day 2012: Justice For Dana” you advocated that prisoners “push
back” and show resistance from injustice by requesting a subversive book
or by “support[ing] another prisoner’s resistance.” Although your
intent may have been to provoke non-violence,
inmates may construe your suggestion that they “fight the injustice from
within” as an invitation for unrest and non-compliance.
many of your assertions, the safety and security of the inmates and
staff is of paramount concern to ADC. In accordance
with DO 914.02, staff at each complex is authorized to withhold
publications that may have a detrimental impact on the safe and orderly
operation of the institution. Encouraging inmates to request books that
you know are prohibited or to conduct themselves
in a manner to show “resistance” violates that policy.
accordance with DO 914.02 and 914.08, your Newsletter, as with all
other incoming publications, is subject to screening and review. Your
Newsletter will be disseminated
to intended recipients after review provided it complies with Department
Arizona Department of Corrections
||Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 5:40 PM
"NORTHUP, DAWN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Daniel Pochoda <email@example.com>
Thank you for getting back to me on the July
Newsletter. My greater concern, though, is that my more recent
correspondence - not all of it containing calls to "resist" in a way
that could seriously threaten institutional order - has apparently been
disrupted to nearly all the prisoners I previously corresponded with.
This includes prisoners trying to access both health care and safety
because they are in harms way; I hate to answer people in such desperate
straits with silence.
Since I haven't gotten any feedback from you folks about what may be
getting confiscated or contrabanded until now, I have no idea if your
office has legitimate things you want me to tone down, or if Chuck Ryan
just doesn't want me arming his prisoners with information about
appropriately asserting their civil rights. Those are two very different
things. In any case, I'd like to know what procedures I need to follow
to protect my own rights - the "free speech" ones. How do I grieve an
ADC action that adversely affects me as a civilian? That correspondence
represents a tremendous investment of time, money, and other resources.
Much of my correspondence with prisoners is time-sensitive, as I'm
sure you are aware, so I'd really prefer confrontation over avoidance on
such matters. Please let me know what's happening with the rest of my
mail - both to and from prisoners.
[Quoted text hidden]
Margaret J. Plews, Editor
Arizona Prison Watch
Survivors of Prison Violence - AZ
Arizona Prison Watch
P.O. Box 20494
Phoenix, AZ 85036
strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it.
To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our
music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our
sheer relentlessness, and our ability to tell our own stories..."
- Arundhati Roy