Revolutionary Greetings Between the Bars and all other Network Gathering Participants. Here are my suggestions and proposed Media-based solutions to the problems of prison abuse, criminal injustice and Mass Incarceration.
I. Most Pressing Issues:
The most pressing issues that the Network Gatherings should focus on include the following:
1. Bias and Ineffective Prison Grievances procedures;
2. Inactive and disorganized nature of largest voting bloc in the country (i.e. the family members and friends of 2.4 million persons incarcerated in the United Snakes);
3. Voting rights for prisoners in all national and statewide elections;
4. Prisoner health, safety, and rehabilitation;
5. Elimination of prison slave labor;
6. Excessive punishment for crimes and unfair parole systems;
7. Destructive impact of prisons on family
II. Doing Better
The network gathering participants working ot end mass incarceration can do better by doing the following things:
1. Using the Internet and printed work as chief communication, education, organizing and campaigning tools, and also facilitating prisoner access and effective use of the tools to advance the prison freedom struggle and end criminal injustice and mass incarceration;
2. Set up a prison watch website to expose to the public cruel and abusive prison conditions throughout the Unites Snakes;
3. Use prisoners as field correspondents and reporters to write and report about cruel, abusive and criminal conditions inside prisons in the United Snakes;
4. Forming political action committees and super PACs to conduct effective prisoner rights advocacy or social justice campaigns in the political and legislative arena at the state and national level;
5. Establishing and maintaining ongoing and reliable communication and conducting joint operations with progressive prisoners and prisoner-led organizations to promote successful political and socio-economic self-empowerment of prisoners, and the mobilization of our family members and friends outside into a highly active, organized and powerful online community;
6. Create Youtube videos and clips wherein family members or friends of prisoners share their and other stories and report particular instances of prison abuse and crimes;
7. Create a "national online prison abuse registry" to record, track and publicize crimes, abuses and injustices committed by oppressive prison guards, officers and institutions nationwide, and that includes a profile of them, description of their crimes, abuses and/or injustices they've committed and serves as a permanent public record and registry similar to the national sexual offender registry;
8. Set up a business and investment partnership or joint venture cooperatively owned and managed by progressive prisoners and network gathering participating organizations to: a) enable prisoners to develop and pool their limited economic potential, skill and resources; b) Access the Internet and operate online stores, malls, shipping centers, or other e-commerce enterprises that sell products and services made by prisoners and other producers; and c) permit prisoners to use the Internet to invest their profit in penny stocks, mutual funds, real estate or other investment products available on the Internet;
9. Use Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Myspace and other websites, social networks and search engines to link prisoners with their family members and friends outside, and provide them a major platform for working together and building a powerful online community devoted to advancing prisoner rights and ending criminal injustice and mass incarceration;
10 Use the Internet and e-mail to target parole attorneys, defense lawyers, prison pen pal services, book stores, discount magazine companies and popular magazines and other businesses that have large numbers of prison consumers, and solicit and recruit their financial or material support and sponsorship of particular network gathering campaigns, projects or events;
11. Get prisoners to contact and recruit their family members and friends outside to visit and participate in network gathering sponsored or conducted campaigns, projects or events, and with the recognition that prisoners must play a central and leading role in the identification, recruitment and mobilization of their family members outside and the building of a powerful and organized online community composed of the both of them;
12. Assist progressive prisoners and prisoner-led organizations desiring to do so to create and manage a website or webpage, ensure that it is effectively promoted and marketed, and keep the prisoner whose website or webpage it is informed and updated on its operation, progress and effectiveness, and the changes which are or need to be made to increase its effectiveness, make sure the website or webpage's mission and practices are consistent with standards adopted by the network gathering and the law;
13. Call for all national and local civil rights, human rights and prisoner rights organizations to use the "Private Attorney General" legal option, recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in Cort v. Ash, 95 S.Ct 2080, 2088-90 (1975); Sierra Club v. Morton, 92 S.Ct. 1361, 1366-69 (1972); In Re Woods, 833 F. 2d. 113 (8th Cir. 1987); In Re New Haven, 604 F. Supp. 453, 460-61 (D Conn. 1985), to criminally prosecute and bring to justice prison officials and other law enforcement officials who commit federal civil rights crimes, and who the U.S. Justice Department refused to criminally prosecute in bad faith.
III. Support that I need
The specific support which I need that I am not getting is:
1. "Freeworld volunteer support" to help me organize and conduct the Texas prisoners' Freedom Agenda Campaign (TPFA campaign). This includes help a) on our Joint Administrative Coordinating Committee and with setting up free-world headquarters; b) developing and maintaining our TPFA Myspace page (www.myspace.com/txprisonersfreedomagenda); c) with e-mail accounts, regular mail, and Campaign organizing literature; d) with the coordination of various other TPFA Campaign Committees, Task Forces and/or projects (e.g., Online Grievance Petition Drive, Texas Freedom Ezaminer and Report Newsletter, TPFA Trust Fund, and Guarantee Health Care Freedom Committee, etc.);
2. "Freeworld Volunteer Support" to help me organize and build my Network 519 blog site (www.betweenthebars.org/blogs/372). This includes help: a) promoting and marketing Network 519 online and offline to attract and increase traffic and maintain active engagement and participation by visitors; b) establishing Network 519 into a powerful and well-organized social forum and network of likeminded progressive people throughout the world; c) monitoring and managing the Network 519 blog site, and providing regular updates on its operation, progress and effectiveness, and recommendations of needed changes; and d) developing structure, plans, programs and features for Network 519 to make it attractive, uplifting and effective, and finding people, resources and financing required for successful operation and growth.
IV. Change the Law
The changes in the law that the network Gathering participants should advocate for include the following:
1. Establishment of Citizen's Independent Inmate Grievance Review Board for each state prison with subpoena and enforcement power;
2. Prisoner right to vote in national and statewide elections recognized as fundamental right of citizenship which cannot be forfeited as penalty for crime and as mandate by evolving standards of decency that marks the progress of maturing society;
3. Prisoners counted by U.S. Census at location of home resident prior to incarceration;
4. Prisoners be pair fair wage for their labor equal to that of freeworld workers for labor of the same kind.
5. Prisoners be incarcerated at prison facility closest to their home resident or family unless government has great and compelling interest for not doing so and the facility chosen is the least restrictive alternative;
6. Prison phone price and rates be capped at a level low enough to be easily afforded by the average economically disadvantaged or low-income family at 110% of AMFI (Area Median Family Income), or at 125% of the federal poverty level;
7. Mandating that prison and jail medical and mental health care decisions and programs be: a) based on "evidence-based medicine practices" and principles; b) employ "Comparative-effectiveness research"; c) Adopt "medical-Home" concept; and d) compensate/reward doctors, nurses and other clinicians based on "quality of care" and "health care outcome," rather than cost or volume of service provided;
8. Requiring "Zero-Tolerance" of selective and discriminatory non-enforcement of federal criminal law by U.S. Department of Justice against prison officials and other law enforcement officials who commit federal civil rights crimes against prisoners, detainees or criminal suspects. Requiring the U.S. Attorney General to receive and investigate all complaints or reports in writing and keep a public record of the same and of the number and type of federal civil rights crimes reported and successfully prosecuted, and also a reasonable explanation for those not investigated, prosecuted or resulting in conviction
9. Mandating that all state prison and jail facilities receiving federal financial assistance have their final decisions subject to judicial review under that state's Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in accordance with same practices and procedures generally applied under the APA to other agencies of that state, except when a different and separate procedure is required to avoid a manifest injustice or necessitated by a compelling state justification or interest;
10. Banning the box that asks about felony convictions or criminal history on job applications, requiring such questions to be asked during job interviews, and forbidding employment discrimination against felons or criminals except when the crimes make them specifically and clearly unqualified or unfit for the specific job applied for, and are not more than 15 years old, and requiring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce this prohibition against discrimination.
V. Ways to use media
The network gathering participant can use the media to advance the foregoing causes and issues in several ways as follow:
1. To inform and educate people, organizations and government leaders about them;
2. To recruit people and conduct petitions, campaigns, fundraising, and other campaigns and projects online and offline
3. To link prisoners to their family members, friends and allies outside, and enable them to work together for their mutual benefit; and
4. To shine a spotlight and expose the cruel, criminal and abusive prison conditions, policies and practices in the United Snakes, and the adverse effect they have on prisoners, their family members and friends outside and society as a whole.
No Justice, No Peace!
In the spirit of General Malcolm X,
Bro. Danny Bonds 6/18/12
Bro. Danny Bonds, #542646
2664 D. M. 2054
Tenn.Colony, TX 75886 [?]
2012 aug 29
2012 aug 8
2012 jun 29
2011 jul 11
2011 jun 11
2011 jun 2
I work with a national newsletter called Prison Health News, and we are looking for more writers who are currently incarcerated. Your ideas are excellent, and I'm wondering if you would be willing to write for us about health issues at some point. We are looking for 3 types of articles:
1) basic health info about particular conditions like hep c, HIV, asthma, etc, what are the treatments, how to prevent it, etc.
2) how to successfully advocate for yourself and others to get the medical care and mental health care that you need
3) political campaigns that fight for change that will affect a lot of people in prison and their access to good health care or the improvement of their health more broadly.
Please write to me at
Prison Health News
c/o Philadelphia FIGHT
1233 Locust Street, 5th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
If you address your letter to me by name, I'll be sure to get it, otherwise someone who is staff there will respond to you.
Keep up the fight, and take care.