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  • Government Name: Demetrius Hill
  • Register Number: 68133-053
  • Age:35
  • Time Served:10+ years
  • Home Town:New York, New York
  • Sentence:20 years
  • Current Charge:Felon in poss. of firearm; Interference w/ Commerce via robbery of narcotics traffickers; conspiracy to robbery of said narcotics traffickers
  • Alias:O.G, Panther
  • Release Date:Release Date
  • Prison Affiliation:Blood (95KShine)
  • Circle of Influence:Tewhan Butler
  • Institution:Special Management Unit at USP Lewisburg
  • When will u break free and take away this pain

The Real State of the Union: The Prison Industrial Complex

Amerikan Racism: Where it grows, where it is promoted, where it is condoned, and where it is allowed to flourish!

You may wonder of where I speak? A place where 98% of the Corrections Officers are white and 95% of the prison population is Black and Latino males. Where all the COs carry sticks and lieutenants, the COs direct supervisors, carry  rubber bullet guns, sticks and pepper spray. A place where in Receiving and Discharge (R&D) prominently on display is a large toy figurine of a gorilla complete with orange pants, handcuffs and shackles; behind which stands a toy figurine of a white man dressed as Superman with a whip in hand!! R & D is where prisoners first arrive when they enter the institution. No this place is not Guantanamo Bay or Abu Gharib— this is the United States Penitentiary Lewisburg in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, right outside the city of Philadelphia!

In this Bureau of Prisons facility the Special Management Unit (SMU) is operated. This program requires that double-celled prisoners be locked within their cells 23 hours a day for months, and sometimes years, without any form of annual or periodical due process or judicial redress. In over fifty instances prisoners have been handcuffed with a metal waist chain and shackles for days in an empty cell, naked except a pair of boxer shorts in a practice known as “ambulatory restraints” (See 28 CFR 552.21), or chained to a steel bed frame with arms above the head and legs spread, a practice known as four point restraints. Though the SMU is alleged to be a non punitive program, punishment and behavior modification are the norm. For example, prisoners are forced to participate in “psychological indoctrination” courses designed to make them docile, compliant and complacent. One of the courses involves the “Children’s Story,” “The 3 Little Pigs– the wolf side of the story.” Several prisoners have committed suicide while in SMU. Misbehavior or non participation in such psychological indoctrination courses can result in 1) “bag lunch” where the prisoner is forced to eat bologna and cheese three times a day, seven days a week; 2)  the prisoner being shackled and handcuffed for hours and days; 3) the prisoner being placed in exceptionally small cells, originally designed for one person, with a steel plate over the only cell window so the prisoner can never see out of his cell; and 4) indefinite confinement in SMU until the prisoner complies.

Black and Latino prisoners are constantly targeted with racial slurs and discriminatory treatment, including being made to start the SMU program over on Phase 1. There are four phases, one being the first phase.

Black and Latino prisoners make up a disproportionate amount of the prisoners in SMU and those who are returned to SMU for a second go round for minor institutional incident reports. Though incident reports are punished by time spent in the SHU (Special Housing Unit), up to 18 months, the prisoner can then be sent to the pseudo non-punitive SMU Program for another 18 to 24 months, or indefinitely, if you refuse to comply with the psychological indoctrination courses.

And as you can imagine prisoners under these conditions begin to attack one another on a daily basis as the COs place bets on who will win or loose! To view some of the assaults, abuses, racist conduct, and extreme violence including cell rapes go to www.findlaw.com or Lexis Nexis and search USP Lewisburg SMU and read the countless lawsuits dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the middle district of Pennsylvania, an all white federal courthouse that has turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed in their district.

Prison is where racism is condoned, promoted and flourishes in the United States; where human rights are non existent and international law is disregarded. The United Nations Convention Against Torture states in part:

Article 1

1. For purposes of this convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as…intimidating or coercing him… for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consult or acquiescence of a public official…

Article 14

1. Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible…

The Declaration of Human Rights states :

Article 5

No one shall be subject to torture or to cruel inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the Constitution or by law.

The USA is a signatory of both these international declarations of the United Nations Assembly. And the U.S. Constitution  bans “cruel and unusual punishment” via the Bill of Rights’ 8th Amendment and allows all citizens to seek redress through the federal courts via the 1st Amendment.

Yet, this pseudo right has become virtually obsolete for 99% of prisoners whose lawsuits are repeatedly dismissed by virtue of the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). This one law has allowed the U.S. prison system in general, and USP Lewisburg in particular, to become a breeding ground for discrimination and racist acts of brutality! In some instances prisoners are not permitted to file suit at all, if some judge far away in his comfortable, tax-payer-funded chamber decides a prisoner’s prior lawsuit lacked constitutional merit, were frivolous or malicious, or the ass-whipping the prisoner endured was de minimus e.g. not bad enough!! Yet “simple assault” is punishable by not less than a year in jail. However, if the racist CO kicks your ass for no other reason than you being black, handcuffed and in prison, it has to be sufficiently severe in order for you to file a lawsuit or obtain redress. You don’t believe me? I know. Well, read Hill v. C.O. Crum (4th Cir 2013) and countless other cases then holla at me.

So the Real State of the Union is that racism is on the rise, allowed to flourish inside the Amerikan prison industrial complex, unchecked by oversight or judicial redress. Pig-pen like confinement and torture. USP Lewisburg is where racists are permitted and even incited to abuse prisoners, discriminate against them and keep them under oppressive conditions of confinement. Many prisoners begin to suffer from what is referred to as “SHU syndrome”– a term and condition coined by courageous forensic psychologist Stuart Grassian who noted:

Solitary Confinement- that is the confinement of a prisoner alone in a cell for all, or nearly all, of the day with minimal environmental stimulation and minimal opportunity for social interaction can cause severe psychiatric harm…

It is both tragic and highly disturbing that the lessons of the Nineteenth Century experience with solitary confinement are today being so completely ignored by those responsible for addressing the housing and mental health needs in the prison setting

See “Psychiatric Effects of Solitary Confinement” by Stuart Grassian.

And for the naysayers about double-celling of prisoners not being solitary confinement, Mr. Grassian noted in the same article that small group isolation triggers depression, irritability and easily provoked anger which may escalate into dramatic and florid acting out.

Draconian conditions, torture, abuse, and assaults are pervasive in the U.S. prison system, and resemble, perhaps replicate, plantation-type brutality during they days of overt slavery.

This is the Real State of the Union. The prison industrial complex warehouses 2.4 million prisoners, 200,000 who are on federal plantations exposed to the most rural, racist, right-wing, fringe elements of Amerikan society.

So as I return to USP Lewisburg and SMU Program, when they are not playing in the mail, I’ll keep you updated and informed. For as the hood and prisons were forgotten again in President Obama’s State of the Union address and the other “elite” responses by the GOP and Libertarians… this is the Real State of the Union within the PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

In struggle,

Komrade O.G. Panther

(At the time of submission D. Hill was at USP Beaumont and has since been transferred to the SMU at USP Lewisburg)

  

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