Life at Sussex 2 State Prison – Revisited

May 29th, 2018

NOTE: JPay, the app/program that is basically prisoner email that you have to pay for, indeed, pay more for then it costs to mail a letter, and the Virginia DOC censored the following.  But here it is in its entirety.

 

Well, it finally happened!  The harsh and overly oppressive conditions we are subjected to at Sussex 2 State Prison (S2SP), which I described in a similar-titled post back in December of 2016, made the front page of a mainstream newspaper.  But it didn’t get there without sacrifice.  Dale Lee Pughsley; also known as Askeri Danso, upon arriving at this maximum security prison in march of this year, was appalled by the level of passivity among the prisoner-class in the face of inhumane prison conditions.  And so he did what any politically active prisoner would do when confronted with similar circumstances: he organized others to peacefully challenge those conditions by filing complaints with the prison’s grievance department.  As expected, retaliation was swift.  On April 24th, while on his way back to his cell from the prison’s law library, he was accosted and shackled by guards and immediately shipped across the street to Sussex 1 State Prison – a level 5 security prison – and placed in solitary confinement.  Because he is supported by several activist and human rights groups such as – the Coalition for Justice, the Defenders of Freedom, Justice and Equality – his ordeal made headlines in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on May 7th.  The front-page article, titled “Politically Active Va. Prisoner Moved Three Times Since ’16,” allowed Askari to expose conditions like poor water quality, substandard medical care, and overcrowding.  He was quoted as saying that S2SP “is the worst prison in the state.”  I agree!

Continue reading “Life at Sussex 2 State Prison – Revisited”

Advertisements

Politically active Va. inmate, now in solitary, transferred three times after complaints about prisons

Published in the Richmond Times Dispatch, May 6, 2018, by Patrick Wilson

A politically active Virginia prisoner who organized inmates to file grievances about medical care, staffing and water quality was recently transferred to a high-security prison and placed in solitary confinement. Supporters and his wife fear he is being unjustly punished for activism.

Askari Danso, whose legal name is Dale Lee Pughsley, promotes black history and Rastafarian groups in prisons and recently organized a petition asking for better medical care and staffing at Sussex II State Prison, where he formed a human rights committee for prisoners.

After he left the Sussex II law library on April 24, he said he and his cellmate were handcuffed and moved to Sussex I, where they were each put in solitary confinement.

 

Continue reading “Politically active Va. inmate, now in solitary, transferred three times after complaints about prisons”

Wardens at Sussex I & II are out – what does it mean?

Staff report from The Virginia Defender – May 30, 2018
As posted to the Virginia Prison Justice Network website.

In the midst of a prisoner-led campaign to win better conditions at the Sussex II state prison in Waverly, Va., the wardens at both that prison and its sister facility, Sussex I, have been replaced.

Tracy Ray, the warden at Sussex II, has been removed from his position and replaced by Beth Cabell, previously the warden at St. Brides Correctional Center in Chesapeake.

The new warden at Sussex I is Israel Hamilton, previously the warden at Haynesville Correctional Center in Richmond County. Both changes seem to have occurred within the last week.

Continue reading “Wardens at Sussex I & II are out – what does it mean?”

Subjected to 14 days in hell because of my political activity

By Uhuru B. Rowe
May 24, 2018
E-mail: JPay app

Below is a brief outline of the events which preceded, and resulted in, my placement on Administrative Segregation in the Restrictive Housing Unit (RHU) here at Sussex 2 State Prison (S2SP).

On May 4, I drafted a position paper titled, “A Call To Action,” which described, in detail, the harsh and inhumane conditions incarcerated citizens are subjected to here at S2SP. The position paper called for our loved ones, various activist groups, state legislators, and even the media to hold rally in front of the headquarters of the Virginia Dept. of Corrections (VADOC) to draw attention to these conditions and to demand that they be remedied. LET ME BE CLEAR: This position paper was signed by no other prisoner besides me and was intended solely for the purpose of having our families and other concerned taxpaying citizens to peaceably assemble at the headquarters of the VADOC and demand that steps be taken to remedy the conditions described therein.

Continue reading “Subjected to 14 days in hell because of my political activity”

Live From Behind Enemy Lines: An Interview with Jadon Artis

The Free Virginia Movement Presents:

Live From Behind Enemy Lines:
An Interview with Jadon Artis
By Uhuru B. Rowe
April 18, 2018
E-mail: JPay.com

This is interview is with Jadon Artis, also known as Kokomo, a young brother I met one day while walking to a program here at Sussex 2 State Prison. After a brief conversation about the struggle, we instantly cliqued. He describes himself as a black man in Amerika fighting for freedom, justice, and equality and is striving to educate himself so that he can be self-sufficient in a society that’s designed to fail him. When he told me about his traumatic childhood experiences and how he overcame them, it blew my mind. And I am sure it will blow yours, too.

Continue reading “Live From Behind Enemy Lines: An Interview with Jadon Artis”

Live From Behind Enemy Lines: An Interview with Khali Pyatt, Part 3

The Free Virginia Movement Presents:

Live From Behind Enemy Lines:
An Interview with Khali Pyatt, Part 3
By Uhuru B. Rowe
March 26, 2018

This is the last part of a three-part interview I conducted with Khali, my cellmate. After telling us more about some of his experiences in prison, he’s about to give some powerful words of wisdom to the youth who may be on the road to prison.

Part 3

Uhuru: Khali, in the second part of this interview you were talking about how prison authorities mistreat our loved-ones. I can definitely attest to the fact that these people do, in fact, mistreat our loved-ones when they come here for visitation. Just this past Sunday when my disabled mother came to visit me, she was forced to sit in the waiting room for almost three hours before they allowed her in to see me. What they have to go through in order to visit us — the long waiting periods, the aggressive searches, having to pass through an X-ray machine — it’s all very dehumanizing. And it begs the question: If a strong and positive relationship with our loved-ones is essential to our rehabilitation in prison and our successful reentry back into society after prison, why are prison authorities working so hard to discourage these relationships?

Continue reading “Live From Behind Enemy Lines: An Interview with Khali Pyatt, Part 3”

Live From Behind Enemy Lines: An Interview With Khali Pyatt, Part 2

The Free Virginia Movement Presents:

Live From Behind Enemy Lines:
An Interview With Khali Pyatt, Part 2
By Uhuru B. Rowe
March 23, 2018

This is part 2 of a three-part interview I started on March 19th with my cellmate, Khali Pyatt. Please read carefully as he’s about to explain how his life was forever changed by a system that was designed to target and dispose of young Black and Brown bodies into its penitentiaries.

Continue reading “Live From Behind Enemy Lines: An Interview With Khali Pyatt, Part 2”

Live From Behind Enemy Lines: An Interview with Khali Pyatt, Part 1

The Free Virginia Movement Presents:

Live From Behind Enemy Lines:
An Interview with Khali Pyatt, Part 1
By Uhuru B. Rowe
March 19, 2018

It was Sun Tzu who said that many calculations are made inside of a general’s lair. This cell that I am house in is a lair. So as a leader and forward-thinking individual, I decided to create this platform — Live From Behind Enemy Lines — as a calculated attempt to neutralize the misinformation put out to the public by media and law enforcement that people in prison are irredeemable; a bunch of animals, divorced from our humanity, who deserve to be locked up for the rest of our lives and forgotten about. That were incapable of transforming ourselves and, as a result, have nothing positive and meaningful to offer the world. The interviews that’ll appear on this platform will show the opposite — that we’re fathers, grandfathers, brothers, sons, and nephews who are loved by our families and communities. They will reflect our successes and failures, our strengths and weaknesses, but most importantly our resiliency — that is, our ability to survive, thrive, and prevail within a system that’s designed to hinder our efforts to redeem ourselves and strip us of our humanity at every turn.

This will be a three-part interview I started on March 19th with my cellmate, Khali Pyatt. Please listen to what this brother has to say and then decide for yourself if he deserves to die in prison.

Continue reading “Live From Behind Enemy Lines: An Interview with Khali Pyatt, Part 1”

March For Our Lives: A Message to Young Students of America from Behind Enemy Lines

By Uhuru B. Rowe
March 11, 2018
Blog: https://consciousprisoner.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/supportuhuru
E-mail: JPay.com

Weird. Angry. Cruel. Depressed. Troubled. Off. These are just some of the adjectives used by schoolmates to describe19-year-old Nikolas Cruz after he allegedly shot and killed 14 students and 3 employees on February 14 at his former Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida. My fellow schoolmates may very well have described me using those same words during my freshman year in high school in 1991.

I was bullied daily by a classmate who was a towering and aggressive figure. His verbal taunts were demeaning and dehumanizing and the physical abuse he inflicted on me reduced me to a state of rage and despair. I felt broken and alone and contemplated revenge.

Continue reading “March For Our Lives: A Message to Young Students of America from Behind Enemy Lines”

#WeToo

#WeToo
By Uhuru B. Rowe
February 6, 2018

Many people are under the mistaken impression that the hashtag #MeToo Movement was started by popular and privileged white women. But, in truth, it was started ten years ago by a working class Black woman named Tarana Burke — herself a sexual assault survivor. The #MeToo hashtag only recently went viral when well-known privileged white women started using it to share their experiences of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape at the hands of disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and other sexist and misogynist men in political, media, and entertainment industry.

Continue reading “#WeToo”