BEYOND BARS: Who is the Worst Fool?

William A. Larson Licking, MO I have been under the loving care of the Missouri Penal System (MDOC) since 1981 and had been previously incarcerated in 1963-64. I am 77-years-young and it is pragmatically improbable that I will live long enough to walk the streets free again. The MDOC is the exemplar of the eternal […]

BEYOND BARS: Pattern of Discrimination Against Disabled Individuals

Hunter Lee Weeks, Paralegal Sterling, CO In an attempt by several incarcerated individuals to regain rights they have lost, a pattern of discrimination has emerged, perpetrated by the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) at Sterling Correctional Facility (SCF). Several inmates have filed a Title II complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging various instances […]

BEYOND BARS: There is Hope

By Robert L. Brown San Luis, AZ There exists so much frustration, as to a loss of light, with a sense of darkness trying to engulf one’s light, being an individual in prison means living daily on a treacherous, at times torturous terrain between doubt and faith, despair and hope. Merely, this is a mild […]

BEYOND BARS: Inmate Advisory Counsel: A Cruel Hoax

By Rodney B. Barno Corcoran, CA I was the Inmate Advisory Counsel (IAC) Chairman at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (CSATF) in Corcoran, California. My responsibility was to advocate for the population of my facility and for the IAC to be a vehicle of communication between the administration and population. When issues arise and […]

BEYOND BARS: Prisoner Paralegals: Our Struggle to Find Justice

By Hunter Lee Weeks Sterling, CO In prison, there are those of us who spend time, effort, and funds to acquire a formal education in law. Most of us have no education, while a few of us have Certificates of Paralegal Studies, and even fewer have degrees with legal emphasis. Our designated term of “Jailhouse […]

BEYOND BARS: Mississippi DOC Revives “Group Punishment”

By Charles D. Owens, II Lakesville, MS The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), under the leadership of the new Commissioner Marshall Fisher, has revived the practice of group punishment. Under this revived practice, entire prisons re punished for an individual’s misconduct. Recent examples include an incident where a single inmate fought with a single guard […]

BEYOND BARS: Mass Incarceration—Transforming an Unconstitutional System

By Bro. Brad Broussard, Beeville, TX Under the Thirteenth Amendment, “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” (emphasis added). The word ‘except’ here indicates that slavery and involuntary servitude […]

BEYOND BARS: Challenging Imperialism

By Mwalimus S. Shakur, Corcoran, CA Within the confines of these concrete tombs, we prison activists have responded to fascist oppression by becoming jailhouse lawyers. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has buried us alive in the “SHU” (Security Housing Unit), where maintaining one’s sanity is the ultimate challenge. Locked in a tiny cell […]

BEYOND BARS: Concrete Empire

By Carl H. Harrison | Susanville, CA In the 1980s, California began a prison- and jail-building boom. Concrete jails and prisons popped up all over the state, while laws were quickly changed to make it easier to lock people up. These facilities quickly filled up and people had to join gangs within the facilities in […]