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”

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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?”

Different prison, same old abuse (Part 2)

Part #2

Behavior modification- made famous by psychologists like B.F. Skinner and John B. Watson- is defined as a form of psychotherapy that is concerned with the treatment of observable behaviors rather than underlying psychological processes, and that applies principles or learning to substitute desirable responses for undesirable ones. (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition.) In other words, behavior modification broadly refers to the systematic manipulation of ones environment for the purpose of creating change in an individual’s behavior.

There are three basic types of behavior modification techniques that have been used in prisons–operant conditioning, classical conditioning, and aversion therapy. Aversion therapy was/is the most widely accepted method used on unsuspecting prisoners in order to suppress or associate an undesirable habit or behavior (as rebelliousness) by associating it with an unpleasant or punishing stimulus (as longterm solitary confinement and other forms of abuse and torture). The goal is to create a connection between the undesirable habit/behavior and the unpleasant stimulus so that a complete cessation or decrease in the undesirable habit/behavior will occur. (See Aversion Therapy and Behavior Disorders, S. Rachman and J. Teasdale)

One reason prisoners are subjected to group punishment/ behavior modification programs is so the government can document their effectiveness and then use those findings to formulate a much broader strategy to be used against people in society who are resisting oppression and fighting for liberation. These group punishment/behavior modification tactics were used during chattel slavery when rebellious slaves were lynched and hung from trees for other slaves to see in an effort to snuff out any revolutionary tendencies among the slaves fighting for liberation. It was also used during the radical 1960s and 1970s via J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI Counter-intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), and most recently during the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter and other anti-police brutality movements where protesters were/are aggressively opposed by and confronted with militarized Gestapo police and were/are unlawfully detained and subjected to police brutality in order to force compliance, obedience and acceptance of the status quo and to erase any idea and motivation for resistance among the broader populace.

“When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions…He will find his proper place and stand in it.”–Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Thought control is the sole purpose of group punishment/behavior modification–removing the ability of a person or group of persons subjected to it to think, reason, and act on their own. In other words, destroy the mind, keep the body which is then exploited by the capitalist-class for its endless source of cheap labor.

We must liberate our minds through a process of decolonization and reeducation. It takes a group commitment, group conviction, group solidarity, and most importantly, group struggle rooted in class-consciousness with the knowledge that we are a people of all races, colors, creeds, and sexuality suffering from a shared-oppression from a common enemy in order to seize power from the bourgeoisie.

To exist, collectively, we must resist!!
All Power to the People!!

Monday, Nov 30th: EMERGENCY PROTEST Against 30 Minute Checks

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

SLEEP dep bannerWe are mobilizing an EMERGENCY PROTEST at the CA Department of Corrections in Sacramento on Monday, Nov 30th. This is serious.

People in solitary confinement have been loudly awakened by guards every 30 minutes 24/7 since the night of August 2nd, almost 4 months!  Please participate in an emergency protest in Sacramento to stop these every 30 minute so-called “security/welfare checks” being done in the Pelican Bay SHU and other solitary units in CA prisons. Sleep deprivation is torture, and that is what these loud, intrusive checks are causing. For people in solitary cells 23-24 hours a day, the noise and disruption every 30 minutes is unavoidable, endless torture. They are experiencing severe stress, weight loss, dizziness, nausea, headaches, eye problems, stomach and bowel problems, faintness, depression, and sped-up heart rates. They cannot concentrate, exercise, read, do legal work- the things that help them survive- and they can’t sleep!

An emergency demo is warranted. 119 days and nights of torment!

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