Tag Archive: support

Seven Ways to Support People in Prison

For many people behind bars books are a sanity-saver.

For many people behind bars books are a sanity-saver.

From Waging Non Violence/ By Victoria Law

I recently received a letter from a person asking how to get involved with supporting women in prison. The return address was from a small town that takes up 2.4 square miles and has approximately 14,000 residents. As far as the letter writer knew, there were no organizations — or even individual advocates — working around these issues nearby. The letter reminded me that not everyone is blessed (or cursed, depending on your point of view) enough to live in a city with opportunities to get involved in advocacy or direct support.

So what are some ways to support people behind bars if you’re not near any existing organizations or grassroots groups? Here are seven places to start: (more…)

Friends of AK Press Prisoner Support Membership

akpressFrom AK Press

For many years, AK Press has offered incarcerated people large discounts on our published and distributed books. The response has always been great: We get dozens of catalog and book requests every month.

By purchasing a Friends of AK membership for a prisoner, you are helping bring radical literature to some of society’s most oppressed individuals. They appreciate it and so do we.

We offer a discounted subscription ($15/month) for people in prison. That means we automatically charge your card for $15 once a month…and the recipient will get every book we published that month, until you tell us to stop.

If you have a particular prisoner to whom you would like us to send books, please list their name and address as the shipping address when you place your order. Important: You must be sure to get their permission first and make sure that the place they are incarcerated will accept books. If you don’t have a particular person in mind, we will assign your subscription to the next person on our waiting list. (more…)

Carnival Dance Party at The Pinhook

carnivalJoin us on July 26th @ 10pm for an epic carnival themed dance party, like none you’ve seen before.

Your ticket price of a 7-20 dollar donation will get you one free raffle ticket and the opportunity to get more than just sweaty, We’ve got great prizes including a 200$ professional tattoo, a professional massage and a pet portrait by Billie Faye. There will also be a silent auction of various fine arts and wood crafts,one off tee shirts and bandannas. Many more surprise in store upon arrival that may or may not (wink,wink nudge,nudge) include creaming your friends, winning free shots or even a 50$ bar tab.

All earnings will go to cover the legal expenses associated with the adoption of three awesome kids who recently lost their parents and are being taken in by two Durham residents in an attempt to keep these siblings together and redefine the boundaries of what it means to be a family.

(more…)

Update on Polk CI Hunger Strike: Admin Concedes Many Demands

ad-segOn Monday, May 19th, 7 prisoners at Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, NC began a hunger strike in protest of a range of indignities and grievances. According to prisoners in the facility, additional men started joining the strike after the first day. The strike was initiated in part by prisoners who were transferred out of Central Prison, following a class action lawsuit against the facility for abuse by guards in various “blind spots” around Unit One. That lawsuit has already forced the administration’s hand in videotaping any cell extractions by guards.

A demands and grievances list was sent by the prisoners to comrades on the outside. It included complaints around filthy food and ventilation units, no way to clean the cells, a law library, functional emergency call buttons, the use of “nutra-loaf” as punishment, inadequate mental health care for mentally ill prisoners, the censorship of political and religious texts, and keeping prisoners with no new infractions on solitary for years on end. (more…)

Time does not always heal: state violence and psychic damage

Above all, I want to stress that the way in which the state uses time is a method of punishing, even before it seeks to actually penalize you, what I have elsewhere called ‘the weaponisation of time’.

This stretching out of time is a central feature of what punishment is, from the slowness of bringing someone to trial, to the trial process itself, to prison, the purest manifestation of time used as a weapon, against the very nature of what it means to be human.

My partner Alfie Meadows was nearly killed when a police officer hit his head with a truncheon at a demo. After Alfie was charged with 'violent disorder', I was so viscerally angry I stopped being able to feel temperature.

My partner Alfie Meadows was nearly killed when a police officer hit his head with a truncheon at a demo. After Alfie was charged with ‘violent disorder’, I was so viscerally angry I stopped being able to feel temperature.

By Nina Power/ From Open Democracy

The individual is only a symptom of the broader social whole. For decades now, (anti-)psychiatrists, activists and political thinkers have said that mental health cannot be dissociated from the pathologies of the culture in which individuals are deemed to be unwell.

Any supposed polarisation between ‘the mental’ and ‘the social’ is torn apart in situations where political activity puts you in direct confrontation with the state.

When the state’s actions are directly responsible for injury, stress and mental illness, it is imperative that we do not dissociate one from the other. We cannot continue to blame individuals for profound structural wrongs.

I want to talk about the personal impact of a serious, prolonged encounter with the criminal justice system, and the collective impact this continues to have on friends and family. Above all, I want to stress that the way in which the state uses time is a method of punishing, even before it seeks to actually penalize you, what I have elsewhere called ‘the weaponisation of time’.

This stretching out of time is a central feature of what punishment is, from the slowness of bringing someone to trial, to the trial process itself, to prison, the purest manifestation of time used as a weapon, against the very nature of what it means to be human. (more…)