Tag Archive: families

The 5 Best Items to Send to Your Loved One in Prison

certain_days_political_prisonerFrom Huffington Post

As most prisoners’ families already know, there aren’t many comforts from home that you can send to an incarcerated loved one. This is largely due to onerous correspondence restrictions that are in place in virtually every jail and prison in the country. Gone are the days of care packages, clothes packages, Christmas packages from home and even some publications due to them featuring nudity or other adult or violent content.

While many items are prohibited in American jails and prisons, some are still allowed. And it is these items that can make a stay in the slammer that much more bearable and less toxic.

This article presents the five top items that you can send your loved one in prison which will immediately improve their quality of life.

1. Personal Correspondence
One of the great pains of prison is that of being cut off from friends and family alike. The uniformity and impersonality of prison life seems to strip inmates of their very sense of self. In order to combat this, prisoners’ families and friends can send letters, notes, cards and photos to help their incarcerated loved ones keep in touch with not only the world outside of prison, but who they are, too. This connection to loved ones in the world outside of prison can be the difference between the prisoner remaining grounded and attached to the outside world or lost to the convict culture. (more…)

Female inmates’ move to Alabama prison delayed


Concerns raised over contact with children

From Montgomery Advertiser

WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Prisons has delayed moving inmates from Connecticut to the new women’s prison in west Alabama after several U.S. senators from the Northeast objected.

The delay means the Aliceville facility is well below capacity and is part of an emerging political debate over how far from their families female inmates should be forced to live.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has questioned the wisdom of moving 1,100 female inmates from a prison in Danbury to rural Pickens County.

“This transfer would nearly eliminate federal prison beds for women in the northeastern United States and dramatically disrupt the lives of these female inmates and the young children they often leave behind,” Murphy said in a recent statement announcing the delay. (more…)

The Secret Weapon in the Prison Phone Rate Fight? Families

Clyburn-thumb-640xauto-8845From Colorlines  /by Jamilah King 

Radio producer Nick Szuberla had an agenda when he moved from Toledo, Ohio, to Whitesburg, Ky. in the late 1990s. He wanted to bring attention to the country’s rapid prison expansion, a tide that was snatching up mostly poor people of color and dropping them into the middle of largely white rural communities. So he put himself in the heart of Appalachia, right between two federal penitentiaries, and he used the tool that he knew best: radio airwaves.

The radio show he created, called “Holler to the Hood,” became controversial in the working class white town. “We played hip-hop in a sea of country and bluegrass,” Szuberla remembers. But the target demographic—the thousands of incarcerated people of color from places as far away as the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, New Mexico and California and their families—were listening.

Soon, letters started to come in from inmates describing what Szuberla calls human rights abuses—prisoners wrote that they were being subdued with tasers and strapped down to tables for 72 hours for breaking rules. In the fall of 2001, to call attention to the abuses, Szuberla and his close group of activist allies organized a one-day action in which inmates’ families could call into the show to send holiday greetings to their incarcerated loved ones. (more…)

The Final Straw: Sustaining a Multi-Generational Movement

DontLeaveYourFriendsBehindFrom The Final Straw

China Martens has published Future Generation, a zine about radical parenting since 1990 (published as a book by Atomic Books in 2007). Vikki Law has worked to get the voices of women in and out of prison around by producing Tenacious: Art and Writing by Women in Prison and the recently republished Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women. China and Vikki are authors, editors, anarchists, activists and also, mothers.

This week we speak to Vikki Law and China Martens about the newly published book, Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities (PM Press, 2012) , which they edited and contributed to. We talk about multi-generationality in struggle as well as intersections of age, class, gender and race.

Vikki Law: http://resistancebehindbars.org/
China Martens: http://kidzcitybaltimore.blogspot.com/

This show will be streaming from 12/17-12/23/2012 at Ashevillefm.org and available for podcast and download at Radio4all.net

Family of California Prisoner Who Died on Hunger Strike Speaks Out

By Sal Rodriguez, Solitary Watch

The family of Christian Gomez, the 27-year-old prisoner who died while on hunger strike at California’s Corcoran State Prison, is speaking out about the loss of their family member in the hope that similar incidents in the future are avoided.

In a phone call with Solitary Watch, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson Terry Thornton confirmed that Gomez had been placed in solitary confinement in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) pending investigation of assault on another inmate with a weapon on January 14, 2012. Thornton would not confirm the status of this investigation. Gomez was serving a life sentence for first degree murder and attempted murder.

Christian Gomez had not told his family members of his intentions to participate in the January 27-February 13 hunger strike held by ASU inmates in protest of their conditions. According to an interview with Gomez’s sister, Y.L., she “found out when the coroner Tom [Edmonds] implied that there was a possibility of a chemical imbalance due to a hunger strike he was participating in. That’s the first I heard of this. Back in [September or October] when he first was transferred there he did tell me that they were having a hunger strike to fight for their rights but he was in general population.” (more…)