The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Scott Watch: Jamie back in Hospital.

I'm not sure how the prison can withhold her hospital location from Mrs. Rasco, or what action the campaign would like us to take on it. If anyone out there has a connection with the kidney foundation, an organ donation group, a politically active women's health clinic or rights organization, a disability rights group - anything like that in Mississippi (we need the locals) - we need some community organizations with an appropriate stake in these issues to begin making concerned inquiries of their state legislators, requesting some immediate relief for Jamie that includes her family in the treatment planning process and allows Gladys to donate a kidney, if that's necessary. I think right now we may still just be the usual suspects.

The men's medical care is bad too, but if we focus most closely on women's health care in the Mississippi prisons - including getting documentation about rights' violations and grievances from other prisoners - we may be able to help get more voices lobbying for Jamie's health care from different places in the Mississippi community  by expanding our characterization of her identity. 

That is, while Jamie is a wrongfully-convicted victim of the state at risk of dying in prison before her innocence can be proven, she is also a mother (we could use help from groups that advocate for moms in prison, even though her son is an adult now),  a black woman (whose health care is notoriously substandard), a poor woman needing medical care (is it her poverty, her sentence, her specific illness, or standard MDOC policy that is preventing her from getting the proper treatment?), as a critically ill adult child (parents' groups of disabled children may be helpful), as a woman with a major mood disorder (Alliance for the Mentally Ill may help advocate), as a woman with a disability (disabled rights activists in Mississippi would be able to see quickly that the value of Jamie's life to society has been diminished not just by her criminalization, but also by virtue of her disabilities - they don't like it when disabled people are cut out of the health care rations, and get left to die when life-saving measures are still available). 

That Jamie appears to have advanced kidney disease is significant - the Kidney Foundation should be interested to hear that she can't get her special diet, and that her sister offered her a kidney and that the prison won't allow the many people suffer and die waiting for transplants, I don't see how the prison could make that a blanket policy. It should at least be seriously explored. Would they prohibit Gladys from making a donation to a non-prisoner? Would they permit the transplant if costs could be mitigated in some way? 

Someone who knows more about these details needs to contact the kidney foundation and organ transplant groups in Mississippi and ask them to make a formal inquiry into prison policies and what treatment options kidney patients and people needing transplants in prison do and don't have available to them. They can probably make a legal and moral case which may be more compelling than what we can come up with. help the DOC figure out other resources for treating these patients.

Nancy Lockhart (January 30 at 5:18pm)
Mrs. Evelyn Rasco has confirmed through a sergeant and nurse at the prison that Jamie was rushed to the hospital due to a decline in her condition earlier today. The prison will not confirm anything further, whatsoever, not even whether Jamie is still alive or where specifically she has been taken (the hospitals will not confirm whether Jamie is a patient at any of them either).

We had received a report a few days ago that Jamie should have been  returned to the Medical Bldg. at the prison due to severe weakness and difficulty carrying out her activities of daily living, however this did NOT happen.

Jamie Scott should have remained hospitalized long ago due to her kidney failure and other health issues that are impacted by such a serious development!! The prison has played games with Jamie's life long enough and should have never moved her back from the hospital to begin with!

We need to know Jamie Scott's condition and what is happening to her. She must not, once again, be returned to the prison to continue to deteriorate, her medical care must be taken out of the prison's hands!

Updates will follow as soon as they are available! Please keep checking in as much as you are able!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Farewell Comrade Zinn: A Voice No Government Can Suppress.

Howard Zinn is the only history teacher I ever had who made sense, and it wasn't school where I found him. It was in the bookshelf of the man I fell in love with many years ago. Tim was something of a radical, and prided himself on his literacy about radical political thought. Much of my library was started by him, with folks like Zinn and Chomsky. 

Zinn was a soldier-turned-war resister, and an elder of our civil rights movement. Bearing eloquent witness to the struggles of radicals and revolutionaries for decades, he used his voice as a channel by which to amplify those voices engaged in resistance everywhere. In so doing, he fought tirelessly for human liberation - including the freedom of our political prisoners. As he unpacks the history of the great social movements of western civilization - and against western civilization - he resurrected extraordinary leaders and agitators, like suffragist Alice Paul, abolitionist Daniel Walker, and the journalist who kept the Red Record on lynchings in the Jim Crow South, Ida B. Wells. 

His trademark, though, is the tribute he pays to the ordinary citizen - the ordinary human being - as being the force for social change, and his insistence that we exercise our power collectively to reshape our political and socioeconomic landscapes. He has a knack for finding obscure stories about uprisings and rebellions - and heroic acts of everyday resistance to capitalist exploitation and American hegemony - and for retelling our history, as seen through the eyes of the oppressed, not the oppressors.

Zinn was such a visionary, and despite his astute analysis of the multitude of ways in which our world is troubled, he always seemed to manage to maintain hope that if we keep at it, then someday the good guys will win.  I think that's because he has always been on the front lines, not just publishing or lecturing about social movements, but remaining fully engaged in our collective social and spiritual evolution. We are blessed for the work he did, and the many tools he left behind for the rest of us to use.  Here, by the way, is one of them - a site made from his work for parents and school teachers: The Zinn Education Project.

Tune into Democracy Now to catch Zinn's comrades Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Naomi Klein, and Anthony Arnove reflecting on his life and work. Here is typical Zinn, from the intro to the "Voices of a People's History of the United States..."

This is a voice I will miss... 

"I can UNDERSTAND pessimism, but I don’t BELIEVE in it. It’s not simply a matter of faith, but of historical EVIDENCE. Not overwhelming evidence, just enough to give HOPE, because for hope we don’t need certainty, only POSSIBILITY."

- Historian, Human Rights Activist Howard Zinn (1922-2010)


By Howard Zinn 

When I decided, in the late 1970s, to write A People's History of the United States, I had been teaching history for twenty years. Half of that time I was involved in the civil rights movement in the South, when I was teaching at Spelman College, a black women's college in Atlanta, Georgia. And then there were ten years of activity against the war in Vietnam. Those experiences were not a recipe for neutrality in the teaching and writing of history.

But my partisanship was undoubtedly shaped even earlier by my upbringing in a family of working-class immigrants in New York, by my three years as a shipyard worker, starting at the age of eighteen, and then by my experience as an Air Force bombardier in World War II, flying out of England and bombing targets in various parts of Europe, including the Atlantic coast of France.

After the war I went to college under the GI Bill of Rights. That was a piece of wartime legislation that enabled millions of veterans to go to college without paying any tuition, and so allowed the sons of working-class families who ordinarily would never be able to afford it to get a college education. I received my doctorate in history at Columbia University, but my own experience made me aware that the history I learned in the university omitted crucial elements in the history of the country.

From the start of my teaching and writing, I had no illusions about "objectivity," if that meant avoiding a point of view. I knew that a historian (or a journalist, or anyone telling a story) was forced to choose, from an infinite number of facts, what to present, what to omit. And that decision inevitably would reflect, whether consciously or not, the interests of the historian.

There is an insistence, among certain educators and politicians in the United States, that students must learn facts. I am reminded of the character in Charles Dickens's book Hard Times, Gradgrind, who admonishes a younger teacher: "Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life."

But there is no such thing as a pure fact, innocent of interpretation. Behind every fact presented to the world -- by a teacher, a writer, anyone -- is a judgment. The judgment that has been made is that this fact is important, and that other facts are not important and so they are omitted from the presentation.

There were themes of profound importance to me that I found missing in the orthodox histories that dominated American culture. The consequence of these omissions has been not simply to give a distorted view of the past but, more importantly, to mislead us all about the present.

For instance, there is the issue of class. The dominant culture in the United States -- in education, among politicians, in the media -- pretends that we live in a classless society with one common interest. The Preamble to the United States Constitution, which declares that "we the people" wrote this document, is a great deception. The Constitution was written in 1787 by fifty-five rich white men -- slave owners, bondholders, merchants -- who established a strong central government that would serve their class interests.

That use of government for class purposes, to serve the needs of the wealthy and powerful, has continued throughout American history, down to the present day. It is disguised by language that suggests all of us, rich and poor and middle class, have a common interest.

Thus, the state of the nation is described in universal terms. When the president declares happily that "our economy is sound," he will not acknowledge that it is not sound for forty or fifty million people who are struggling to survive, although it may be moderately sound for many in the middle class, and extremely sound for the richest 1% of the nation who own 40% of the nation's wealth.

Class interest has always been obscured behind an all-encompassing veil called "the national interest."

My own war experience, and the history of all those military interventions in which the United States was engaged, made me skeptical when I heard people in high political office invoke "the national interest" or "national security" to justify their policies. It was with such justifications that Harry Truman initiated a "police action" in Korea that killed several million people, that Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon carried out a war in Southeast Asia in which perhaps three million people died, that Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada, that the elder Bush attacked Panama and then Iraq, and that Bill Clinton bombed Iraq again and again.

The claim made in spring of 2003 by the new Bush that invading and bombing Iraq was in the national interest was particularly absurd, and could only be accepted by people in the United States because of a blanket of lies spread across the country by the government and the major organs of public information -- lies about "weapons of mass destruction," lies about Iraq's connections with Al Qaeda.

When I decided to write A People's History of the United States, I decided I wanted to tell the story of the nation's wars not through the eyes of the generals and the political leaders but from the viewpoints of the working-class youngsters who became GIs, or the parents or wives who received the black-bordered telegrams.

I wanted to tell the story of the nation's wars from the viewpoint of the enemy: the viewpoint of the Mexicans who were invaded in the Mexican War, the Cubans whose country was taken over by the United States in 1898, the Filipinos who suffered a devastating aggressive war at the beginning of the twentieth century, with perhaps 600,000 people dead as a result of the determination of the U.S. government to conquer the Philippines.

What struck me as I began to study history, and what I wanted to convey in my own writing of history, was how nationalist fervor -- inculcated from childhood by pledges of allegiance, national anthems, waving flags, and militaristic rhetoric -- permeated the educational systems of all countries, including our own.
I wondered how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of children everywhere as our own. Then we could never drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, or napalm on Vietnam, or cluster bombs on Afghanistan or Iraq, because wars, especially in our time, are always wars against children.

The Spoken Word as a Political Act

When I began to write "people's history," I was influenced by my own experience, living in a black community in the South with my family, teaching at a black women's college, and becoming involved in the movement against racial segregation. I became aware of how badly twisted was the teaching and writing of history by its submersion of nonwhite people. Yes, Native Americans were there in the history, but quickly gone. Black people were visible as slaves, then supposedly free, but invisible. It was a white man's history.

From elementary school to graduate school, I was given no suggestion that the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World initiated a genocide in which the indigenous population of Hispaniola was annihilated. Or that this was the first stage of what was presented as a benign expansion of the new nation, but which involved the violent expulsion of Native Americans, accompanied by unspeakable atrocities, from every square mile of the continent, until there was nothing to do but herd them into reservations.

Every American schoolchild learns about the Boston Massacre, which preceded the Revolutionary War against England. Five colonists were killed by British troops in 1770. But how many schoolchildren learned about the massacre of six hundred men, women, and children of the Pequot tribe in New England in 1637?

Or the massacre, in the midst of the Civil War, of hundreds of Native American families at Sand Creek, Colorado, by U.S. soldiers?

Nowhere in my history education did I learn about the massacres of black people that took place again and again, amid the silence of a national government pledged by the Constitution to protect equal rights for all. For instance, in 1917 there occurred in East St. Louis one of the many "race riots" that took place in what our white-oriented history books called the "Progressive Era." White workers, angered by an influx of black workers, killed perhaps two hundred people, provoking an angry article by the African-American writer W. E. B. Du Bois, "The Massacre of East St. Louis," and causing the performing artist Josephine Baker to say: "The very idea of America makes me shake and tremble and gives me nightmares."

I wanted, in writing people's history, to awaken a great consciousness of class conflict, racial injustice, sexual inequality, and national arrogance.

But I also wanted to bring into the light the hidden resistance of the people against the power of the establishment: the refusal of Native Americans to simply die and disappear; the rebellion of black people in the anti-slavery movement and in the more recent movement against racial segregation; the strikes carried out by working people to improve their lives.

When I began work, five years ago, on what would become a companion volume to my People's History, Voices of a People's History of the United States, I wanted the voices of struggle, mostly absent in our history books, to be given the place they deserve. I wanted labor history, which has been the battleground, decade after decade, century after century, of an ongoing fight for human dignity, to come to the fore. And I wanted my readers to experience how at key moments in our history some of the bravest and most effective political acts were the sounds of the human voice itself.

When John Brown proclaimed at his trial that his insurrection was "not wrong, but right," when Fannie Lou Hamer testified in 1964 about the dangers to blacks who tried to register to vote, when during the first Gulf War, in 1991, Alex Molnar defied the president on behalf of his son and of all of us, their words influenced and inspired so many people. They were not just words but actions.

To omit or to minimize these voices of resistance is to create the idea that power only rests with those who have the guns, who possess the wealth, who own the newspapers and the television stations. I want to point out that people who seem to have no power, whether working people, people of color, or women -- once they organize and protest and create movements -- have a voice no government can suppress.

America's Missing Voices

Readers of my book A People's History of the United States almost always point to the wealth of quoted material in it -- the words of fugitive slaves, Native Americans, farmers and factory workers, dissenters and dissidents of all kinds. These readers are struck, I must reluctantly admit, more by the words of the people I quote than by my own running commentary on the history of the nation.

I can't say I blame them. Any historian would have difficulty matching the eloquence of the Native American leader Powhatan, pleading with the white settler in the year 1607: "Why will you take by force what you may have quietly by love?"

Or the black scientist Benjamin Banneker, writing to Thomas Jefferson: "I apprehend you will readily embrace every opportunity, to eradicate that train of absurd and false ideas and opinions which so generally prevails with respect to us, and that your Sentiments are concurrent with mine, which are that one universal Father hath given being to us all, and that he hath not only made us all of one flesh, but that he hath also without partiality afforded us all the Same Sensations and [endowed] us all with the same faculties."

Or Sarah Grimké, a white Southern woman and abolitionist, writing: "I ask no favors for my sex. . . . All I ask of our brethren, is that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright on that ground which God designed us to occupy."

Or Henry David Thoreau, protesting the Mexican War, writing on civil disobedience: "A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart."

Or Jermain Wesley Loguen, escaped slave, speaking in Syracuse on the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850: "I received my freedom from Heaven and with it came the command to defend my title to it. . . . I don't respect this law -- I don't fear it -- I won't obey it! It outlaws me, and I outlaw it."

Or the populist orator Mary Elizabeth Lease of Kansas: "Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street."

Or Emma Goldman, speaking to the jury at her trial for opposing World War I: "Verily poor as we are in democracy, how can we give of it to the world? . . . [A] democracy conceived in the military servitude of the masses, in their economic enslavement, and nurtured in their tears and blood, is not democracy at all."

Or Mississippi sharecropper Fannie Lou Hamer, testifying in 1964 about the dangers to blacks who tried to register to vote: "[T]he plantation owner came, and said, 'Fannie Lou. . . . If you don't go down and withdraw your registration, you will have to leave . . . because we are not ready for that in Mississippi.' And I addressed him and told him and said, 'I didn't try to register for you. I tried to register for myself.'"

Or the young black people in McComb, Mississippi, who, learning of a classmate killed in Vietnam, distributed a leaflet: "No Mississippi Negroes should be fighting in Vietnam for the White Man's freedom, until all the Negro People are free in Mississippi."

Or the poet Adrienne Rich, writing in the 1970s: "I know of no woman -- virgin, mother, lesbian, married, celibate -- whether she earns her keep as a housewife, a cocktail waitress, or a scanner of brain waves -- for whom the body is not a fundamental problem: its clouded meanings, its fertility, its desire, its so-called frigidity, its bloody speech, its silences, its changes and mutilations, its rapes and ripenings."

Or Alex Molnar, whose twenty-one-year-old son was a Marine in the Persian Gulf, writing an angry letter to the first President Bush: "Where were you, Mr. President, when Iraq was killing its own people with poison gas? . . . I intend to support my son and his fellow soldiers by doing everything I can to oppose any offensive American military action in the Persian Gulf."

Or Orlando and Phyllis Rodriguez, opposing the idea of retaliation after their son was killed in the Twin Towers: "Our son Greg is among the many missing from the World Trade Center attack. Since we first heard the news, we have shared moments of grief, comfort, hope, despair, fond memories with his wife, the two families, our friends and neighbors, his loving colleagues at Cantor Fitzgerald/ESpeed, and all the grieving families that daily meet at the Pierre Hotel. We see our hurt and anger reflected among everybody we meet. We cannot pay attention to the daily flow of news about this disaster. But we read enough of the news to sense that our government is heading in the direction of violent revenge, with the prospect of sons, daughters, parents, friends in distant lands dying, suffering, and nursing further grievances against us. It is not the way to go. It will not avenge our son's death. Not in our son's name."

What is common to all these voices is that they have mostly been shut out of the orthodox histories, the major media, the standard textbooks, the controlled culture. The result of having our history dominated by presidents and generals and other "important" people is to create a passive citizenry, not knowing its own powers, always waiting for some savior on high -- God or the next president -- to bring peace and justice.
History, looked at under the surface, in the streets and on the farms, in GI barracks and trailer camps, in factories and offices, tells a different story. Whenever injustices have been remedied, wars halted, women and blacks and Native Americans given their due, it has been because "unimportant" people spoke up, organized, protested, and brought democracy alive.

Howard Zinn is the author with Anthony Arnove of the just published Voices of a People's History of the United States (Seven Stories Press) and of the international best-selling A People's History of the United States. This piece is adapted from the introduction to the new Voices volume.

Copyright C2004 Howard Zinn
By permission of Seven Stories Press
This piece first appeared at

Jamie Scott, Governor Barbour, Compassion and Grace.

Here is the latest from the Scott Sisters campaign. So Jamie's life now also rests in the hands of this man. I hope he has met her family. I hope he is a man who has some compassion and grace. 

If you snail mail anything to the Governor's office about clemency/commutation, remember to let the little ones participate. They come up with the best stuff, sometimes. They really make it simple.


From Sis Marpessa

Jamie Scott's situation remains unchanged. Our legal experts are working on a variety of different angles to make things happen for her.  Atty Jaribu Hill wants to thank all of the supporters and asks that anyone contact her with information that may help the case at The atty. advises that we continue to focus on the governor's office with calls, faxes and e-mails as this will complement the work that is happening.

In 2009 this governor pardoned a man that killed his wife after the woman was continually complaining about him to the police and so there is no reason that he not release Jamie and Gladys Scott who are guilty of no crime and not even charged with any violence!

Mrs. Rasco did an excellent interview on WJZD Mississippi radio yesterday to call out for help from those listeners.  Please help us to push for more national media coverage to get this case the attention it needs!

There is a major problem with some callers cursing and yelling when calling the prison.(Even I know that's not good.) Please control yourself when speaking to these people as these outbursts are not helping but instead are actually harming our efforts.  Thanks for keeping it together and being polite.

Please use the below in your mailings and postings where a general overview is needed.  Thanks so much to all of you who have answered the call to fight for Jamie's life and freedom for the Scott Sisters!

JAMIE SCOTT, #19197.


Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205
1-877-405-0733 or 601-359-3150
Fax: 601-359-3741
(If you reach VM leave msgs, faxes, and please send letters)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jamie Scott, Prisoner Abuse, Self-defense.

Things are not looking any better for Jamie since the last report folks. I've been working all morning on this and still have more links to embed for you, but here's a start. Please read and think and act today.

Mississippi's prison health care services are privatized. Here's a little info about the company that contracts with Mississippi to provide their prisoner health care, Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (that’s the link to their rap sheet with the guys at Private Corrections Working Group; there are more news links at the bottom about New Mexico's investigation. Just Google Wexford if you want their propaganda).

That's who's doing the day to day care. Looks like they've been doing it since 2006.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections is no doubt in on it, of course - they monitor the contract, and I'm sure they set the limits for what they'll pay them for - which bring this back to the Governor's office and the legislature, really. Dealing with the people at the level of the prison administration now – even the medical administrator - seems to be a waste of time. They're just stonewalling us until Jamie either recovers in the infirmary or dies.

Now, I'm no lawyer – I’ve been going to school for nearly 2 decades and still haven’t been able to finish my BS in Justice Studies, so keep that in mind. But I've been reading up on some of this stuff that's been coming to my attention lately, and I think I should at least pass what I do know – or think I know – along. We’re not going to get better care for anyone unless the state knows we're well-armed and that Jamie's complaints can't get tossed out right off the bat for her failing to "exhaust administrative remedies" (thank Bob Dole and Bill Clinton for championing the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which is routinely used to deny relief or protection to victims of institutional abuse in correctional settings on technicalities. Signed in 1996, it gutted federal protection of prisoner rights and legal recourse. We need to tear that thing up and start over.)

The Mississippi Department of Corrections, of course, knows full well that Jamie needs to be grieving every single thing in writing, if she isn't already - or there will never be recourse if they continue to harm her. They probably won't be advising her to take that route; here’s their administrative remedy policy. She then needs to get copies of that documentation out of the prison on a regular basis, because prisons are notorious for searching litigants' cells and destroying whatever possible evidence they may have against them (I'm sure Mississippi is already covering themselves on this one). As far as I know, no prison employees have ever been prosecuted for destroying evidence (which usually includes prisoner as well as state property) that might be used against their institution - though you know what would happen to any of us if we tried to destroy evidence the state had against us in a civil or criminal case...

I wonder how much of this has to do with the “duly convicted” being constitutionally designated as slaves of the state? The 13th Amendment really did leave us with some problems.

Don't ask how someone as sick as she is should be expected to know all the hoops she has to get through to get help, and then leap through each one. I don’t think the law takes that into account. Or the fact that some states – like Arizona – go to extremes to make it hard for prisoners to access the resources necessary to represent themselves or even just assert their civil rights. You have to know the law and grievance procedures from the start, because the steps involved have time frames for filing and responding to grievances (I guess that’s to protect the right of the state and their employees to a timely settlement of such issues – though we never seem to get timely settlements). Judges seem to love to tell prisoners that ignorance is no excuse.

As far as I can tell there's no assurance that you'll be protected from retaliation if you do pursue grievances - there will likely be retaliation of some kind. But this is how prisoners - women prisoners, in particular - have managed to change the conditions of their incarceration - they grieve everything and take it to court.

It should not just be Jamie grieving her care - all the other women who have suffered harm as a result of the same shoddy standards need to grieve too. En masse – but make sure it’s the best of the best cases you put forward if you’re showing a pattern of civil rights violations (that’s necessary to prove a Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act violation. Personally, I think the potential claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act need to be explored more. By an attorney, not me.)

If/when it gets to court, the first thing that the judges will look at is whether or not the prisoner (not the prison) followed proper procedures to seek relief before getting there. It just isn't fair to the poor prison administrators if prisoners they've harmed don't have to overcome extraordinary hurdles to even get their case heard in the courts. For some women that’s meant filing a grievance about sexual harassment by guards while the officers their complaint is about continue to have access and exert influence over their lives through the course of the “investigation.” It’s very easy to hurt a prisoner and get away with it. Women are set up to be assaulted by other inmates just as readily as men are.

In many cases the prisoner is also threatened with being prosecuted for filing frivolous complaints or false charges if their perpetrator ends up being cleared of everything. I don’t know how often most DAs take that approach with women who aren’t imprisoned who report that they’ve been victimized, or if that tactic is just reserved for prisoners who accuse the people with the authority of state violence and the keys to their chains of being the criminals.

In any case, there’s a tremendous disincentive for prisoners to report rape, assault, or other abuse or neglect. They will not necessarily be protected from their assailants once they make their accusation, and there are so few people in the system whose primary interest or responsibility is prisoner welfare – everyone works for the state, to serve the interests of the state. It is in the best interests of the state to cover up the more atrocious examples of corruption and abuse, as well as to minimize public shock over the dehumanizing nature of standard operating procedures for prisons. But it is in the best interests of the people (that’s us) to know what’s going on in those places – throughout the criminal justice system, really – and to be empowered to change it.

There are some good links in this article about Wexford's adventures in New Mexico prisons, where they eventually lost the contract to do business and got sued. Similar stories seem to follow them around the country. Scott family and friends might want to see what more you can find out about this company's history in Mississippi. Are there any lawsuits by prisoners pending there? You’ll need to dig deeper than Google – dig into the state’s court websites. How long have they been around? Check out what folks in the Mississippi Prison Talk community have to say about the health services. Are there patterns of neglect surfacing there? What about grievances that have been filed at the prison or throughout the system?

I’ll put more thoughts on strategy for the Scott Sisters’ family and friends into a separate private message. In general, though, the more supporting documentation you have that is accessible and organized now, the more likely it will be we can get an investigative journalist in and help you get legal assistance as this unfolds. First the fight to save her life, and the lives of other Mississippi prisoners – this is injustice regardless of what Jamie’s convictions or sentence may be, though it’s clearly all about how little a lifer is worth to the rest of us. The justification for this kind of rationing is the same slippery slope that made it okay to conduct medical experiments on African Americans, on prisoners, insane asylum patients, soldiers, and the mentally impaired for so long: their lives just aren’t worth the lives of the members of the “public” (still considered to be white upper-middle-class America -many of whom, of course, are repeat offenders of some crime that have just never been caught).

Well, as a member of the American public (albeit the poorer class), I have to say that I don’t care much for Nazi science and “medicine” being practiced in America in my name, against my people, over my strenuous objections. Nor do I think will many other people, if this is brought up in the context of a conversation about the history of southern prisons, prisoners and the crimes of the medical profession in America.

Especially when it comes to black women. Scholars who have studied women’s resistance to slavery should also be shining some light on women resisting their criminalization and the conditions of incarceration or the terms of their punishment – women resisting violence.

That’s what Oprah should really be most interested in herself, if anyone can get her ear: her PR people are probably just thinking in terms of human interest stories and ratings, but Oprah herself would pick up on the broader ramifications of the Scott family’s fight - the ways in which racism today is so cloaked and insidious, and the depth of the injustice still done to so many as a result. The racism is systemic and multi-facetedgender, class, sexual identity/orientation, etc.) – we need to elevate it to the proper level right away, because most of the prison administrators (and probably most guards in the department) are people of color themselves who have been well-indoctrinated to support the state line and positioned to act as examples of how non-racist the state is. (intersecting with

Jamie's life has been determined by the state to not be worth certain medical and environmental interventions that would be standard if we were basing prisoner health care on community standards (for the poor, of course). But we don't use community standards for them anymore - we base prisoner health care on what is “constitutionally mandated” - which is about as bare bones as you can get. Prison doctors basically have to commit at the very least negligent homicide or intentionally mutilate you in the course of what constitutes more than just gross malpractice to prove that you didn't get a constitutionally-mandated level of medical care. And the damage done to you as a result of the neglect or abuse has to be permanent (or lasting, as of the time of the case).

That's what's so wrong with prison health care across the country - the laws have been changed at some point to lower standards because too many prisoners were winning lawsuits, prisons were having to clean up their acts and cut back on the rape and violence, and the states were facing hefty federal fines. Prisoners weren’t being “frivolous” with lawsuits any more so than non-prisoners – they were defending themselves against state violence and dehumanization, and finally getting justice done.

And most of us out here since the 80’s with a voice and a vote who should have known better let most of it get undone again because we weren’t paying attention.

We need to pay attention, now. And we'll have to get these laws changed again – which means hitting candidates now with questions specifically about the Prison Litigation Reform Act (good ACLU fact sheet for prisoners), the Prison Abuse Remedies Act, and – in Arizona – what we need to put into Marcia’s Law to protect our people from abuse and rip out the prison systems revolving door and meat-grinding machinery. That means a lot of folks here need to study-up. We need to be more literate than the Department of Corrections on our stuff – and have the empirical evidence in hand.

Can you imagine if it was that hard to prove negligence or malpractice in the community? If people could just so casually be left to die – all the while begging for help – because our medical providers have to determine whether or not our lives should be saved based on some formula applied to our crimes of our youth or addictions and the nature of our punishments, there would be a health care consumer revolt. Help me pin this down folks - do some research out there. This is what's happening in every state I'm coming across: dealing with just about any health care issue for prisoners the standard of care to research is "constitutionally-mandated".

I'll have more on this issue, because the same minimum standards of care for prisoners and mandate that one exhausts all administrative measures before seeking relief in the courts is a huge problem for prisoners in Arizona, of course. In the meantime, here's who we could end up with providing our prisoner health car too (the people who do Mississippi and once did New Mexico....), if they bid on our ADC medical care contract, too (everyone knows that our prison health care services are supposed to be privatized this year, too, right?).

By the way, in doing all this research I came across an interesting article on the last Medical Director for the Mississippi Department of Corrections. At some point along the way this woman would have made decisions to ration prisoner health care – maybe even signed off on cutting Jamie’s life short by excluding certain treatments from the prisoner “benefits” plan. I wonder if the fact she embezzled nearly $100,000 from the department has anything to do with the fact that they can’t “afford” to give Jamie – a woman accused of stealing $11 over 15 years ago - her medically-recommended diet even as her kidneys are failing. That woman is likely to get house arrest for her crimes. She’s arguing that prison would be cruel and unusual for her because she was in a position of authority over inmates.

It’s not a good thing for an abolitionist to say – I’m far from perfect, folks – but it sounds to me like a prison term for the former medical director of that place might actually, for once, bring a measure of justice to the institutions’ victims. I have to admit, I do want some of these people to pay more than restitution – I want a chunk ripped out of their lives, too. I want them to know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of their abuse…which is precisely the kind of mentality that landed us where we are today, with mass incarceration, and increasing numbers of young people being thrown away for life. I guess if the violent retaliation Americans call criminal justice isn’t changed by us, who will it be changed by? Do we really want to leave this multi-headed hydra as our generation’s legacy?

I don’t think so. At some point here, in the course of protecting our people and dismembering this beast, we need to figure out what we’ll do with the perpetrators of state violence if we ever get our hands on them. We need to make them examples of restorative justice, not more retribution. When we seek justice, we need to avoid dehumanizing and brutalizing others as they do, and instead use every opportunity to help people and communities heal and be kinder in the future. As for the ones with no conscience – the sociopaths and CEOs who would rape the world for their own greed or grisly pleasure – I’m still not sure what to do with them, but they don’t get an embrace and another chance to offend from me. We need to protect people from them – beginning with protecting our prisoners.

Here’s the latest bad news on Jamie and the State of Mississippi. Please do stop and drop Gladys a note, too, and let her know what you’re doing to help. It will mean a lot.


Nancy Lockhart sent a message to the members of Free The Scott Sisters.

Subject: Urgent Update - Jamie Scott ~ By Sis Marpessa ~ ACTION IS NEEDED!

Jamie Scott is presently locked down in a cell in the infirmary on a hospital bed on the men's side of the prison.  She has had some of the toxins removed from her body through a temporary catheter, but she is still seriously ill and should be hospitalized! The prison has known that Jamie was sick for some time, yet her condition was allowed to manifest and deteriorate to this level and we do not trust them to provide her with sufficient medical care at all, their track record with Jamie is horrendous!

Jamie Scott was a healthy young woman in 1993 when she was snatched away from her family for no good reason and locked down in tortuous conditions for 15 yrs, now her condition is life-
threatening, must this horrific injustice now become a death sentence?!

Gladys Scott is extremely upset by all of this, as you can well imagine.  As reported earlier, she has offered one of her own kidneys for Jamie and was told that as a state prisoner she doesn't qualify.  With each passing day she is becoming more and more alarmed and could really use some cards/ letters from supporters:

Gladys Scott #19142
P.O. Box 88550
Pearl, MS 39288-8550

Please continue to contact the governor's office, we cannot rest or believe that our efforts are in vain.  Call into talk radio, enter info on as many blogs, Ning groups, etc., as possible, we need to really make a very loud NOISE in order to be heard! We need all of your ideas and talents, thank you all!



(same numbers/contacts as in previous posts)


The Wexford Files

from the Santa Fe Reporter

By: 01/16/2008
Our ongoing investigation into prison health care in New Mexico.

Outtakes, March 21: "Let There Be Light"
Outtakes, Feb. 7: "Audit ABCs"
Outtakes, Jan. 10: "Under Correction"
Top 10 Stories of 2006, Dec. 20: "Prison Break"
Outtakes, Dec. 13: "Wexford Under Fire"
Outtakes, Nov. 29: "Backlash"
Outtakes, Nov. 22: "Unhealthy Diagnosis"
Outtakes, Nov. 8: "Prison Audit Ahead"
Outtakes, Oct. 25: "Medical Test"
Outtakes, Oct. 18: "Corrections Concerns"
Outtakes, Oct. 4: "Medical Waste"
Outtakes, Sept. 13: "Checkup"
Outtakes, Aug. 30: "Inmate Care Critics"
Outtakes, Aug. 23: "Unhealthy Proposal"
Cover story, Aug. 9: "Hard Cell?"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Manning BOP update: Confidential.

Here's the response I received just now from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Don't even know if it was a real person who wrote it - no one signed it, but this is the only admin email address they give us. My guess is that we kick this up another level, but I'll post the next move from Jericho when I get it.


CUM/Exec Assistant~ CUM/Exec Assistant~ Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 11:22 AM
To: Margaret Plews
Ms. Plews:
Good afternoon.  Please be advised inmate Manning, Thomas # 10373-016, medical concerns are being closely monitored and evaluated.  Mr. Manning has been made aware of his current condition, and has been informed of the treatment plan to be implemented by our Health Services Staff at FCI Cumberland.  Due to privacy rules, we are precluded from sharing any specific information regarding Mr. Manning's medical condition or any treatment plans in place.  If you require any additional information you may file a Freedom of Information Act request at the below address.  Thanks.
Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Section
Office of General Counsel, Room 841
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20534

Nevada Prison Mail: Interview with Ikemba

For quite some time now, my friends involved in Nevada prisons have been corresponding with Marritte (pronounced "Merit"), whose SF BayView article we posted not long ago, and have helped set up a campaign to challenge his decades-old conviction, which he's never been able to afford adequate counsel on. He's otherwise in prison for life. The address to their campaign site is below, with the link to the first half of the interview with him. Since going into prison as a young man, Marritte has matured into an activist and organizer, and has been instrumental in getting attention focused on the poor quality of prisoner health care in Nevada - for which he has been retaliated against repeatedly.

Despite the risks, he remains committed to improving conditions for prisoners and continues to try to speak openly about Nevada state prisons. Once in awhile we don't hear from him as expected or something gets "lost" in the mail, and we naturally grow a little concerned. This is one of those times. Please visit his site and show some support.

---------------from the  Free Marritte Funches Campaign-----------------

Where is the mail? Tampering with mail

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Committee is awaiting the second part of the Interview with Marritte Funches, but after more than two weeks of waiting for this important piece of mail to arrive, we must conclude that it was never sent by the Ely State Prison mailroom. It was never returned to Marritte, so we have to conclude that it is being kept by those who keep Marritte in prison on false grounds.

Marritte´s mail has been tampered with before, and this is unfortunately again such a time. This proves that the prisoncrats do not like justice being sought, and truth to be exposed.

We will keep you updated on this.

The first part of the interview was published here:

Mississippi & Illinois Prison Watches Born.

Necessity has given birth to a new Illinois Prison Watch and Mississippi Prison Watch, thanks to our comrades at the Prison Reform Community Center. Anyone interested in administering and authoring for either site - or a prison watch in any other state - please join PRCC through their links and contact Rebecca or Annabelle about how you can help. There is all sorts of room for creative license. In the meantime, we'll just keep building them and adding new articles as they arise.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mississippi: Medical Neglect is a Violent Crime.

For anyone who's just dropped in: Whoever you are, wherever you're from, please stop for a moment. We're asking you for maybe five minutes of your time a few days a week for the next little while to help change a family's life. We aren't even asking for money - maybe a few stamps or long distance phone calls. Just be a fellow human being who cares about what happens to them, and about justice. There's evidence that these women were wrongly convicted, but regardless, I don't see how anyone can read anything other than racism into a double-life sentence for an $11 robbery in which no one was hurt. That's the penalty for claiming your innocence in America. The guys who really pulled it off got the deal. 

As for the State of Mississippi: you should consider yourselves on notice that medical neglect has already been found to constitute cruel and unusual punishment in the case of prisoners in America. The suffering and neglect that Jamie Scott is experiencing now should really be litigated not only as a civil rights matter, but as a criminal assault on her as well. I frankly think her family has standing to sue the state for their prolonged agony, too. How do you compensate a child for taking their mother away from them for so many years? Or a mother for taking her daughters? How will you compensate them if you let her die, and then she's exonerated? 

Who, exactly, is Mississippi contending that it needs to protect from these women, anyway? You're essentially threatening to execute a young woman who has a fairly convincing innocence claim out in the American public now. Her life is in your hands, and you say she's not even worth enough to feed a medically-recommended diet to. That sounds to me like a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. You don't want those people mad at you, too. They don't like being discounted and left to die invisibly in any kind of institutions.

We say Jamie's life is worth the special diet and more: her humanity is not what’s in question here: yours is. Medical neglect of this magnitude should constitute violent crime of the torture variety, and we doubt that Jamie is the only victim in your prisons. You are positioned kind of like an EMT standing over a woman whose life could be saved by the medicine you have in your hand, but you won't administer it because it's not on the formulary for the poor. One twisted rationale holds that it's cheaper to let them die in medical crisis than to treat them properly for chronic, expensive conditions.  Besides, what value is a life that's going to be spent in prison, anyway?

The relationships people have with each other in prison should never be underestimated; they will likely either help facilitate healing or cause more damage. There's been much documentation about the harm done people in prison when they have little human contact. There's also a whole lot on how prisoners have helped eachother. We are in no position to denigrate the relevance of one woman's existence, even if she is buried for life - double life - under a mountain of State secrets and hidden behind concrete walls. 

Prisoners often have only each other to turn to to help them survive what is an extraordinarily traumatic ordeal. Even if one isn't among the many who end up being physically or sexually assaulted in the care of the state, there is the constant dehumanization, humiliation, stress, and threat of state and interpersonal violence in prison. It is like surviving a war zone; people there are the casualties and collateral damage of our economy, and we put many who have already been victimized in with serious predators. We put them into prison instead of hospitals or safe housing, where many might otherwise be.  

Anyway, the contributions of lifers to others passing though their world can be of great value - I can think of a few people serving long sentences who have probably helped more than a handful of other prisoners leave prison more intact than they would be otherwise - which is a service to all of society.  Charisse Schumate is an example of just one woman who died in  prison saving the lives of fellow prisoners.

Of course, it would be much cheaper all the way around to send the Scott sisters home and let Jamie get community-based health care. Anyone who argues that they pose some kind of threat to society that justifies tens of thousands more dollars a year being spent on imprisoning them needs to take another look at who really endangers the American public: the real criminals all got bailouts last year, while the rest of us got laid off, driven into bankruptcy, and foreclosed on. 

We all know that Jamie would not be seeking what should be lifesaving treatment in a prison trailer clinic if her family was wealthy. Socioeconomic class is not supposed to be the measure of the value of a person's life, however - not by most religious or ethical standards; certainly not by Christian standards. Yet the State of Mississippi is able to imprison, bury and execute her (in that order) only because she is poor, and despite the lack of due process observed – due only upon receipt of payment, apparently - you consider her case to be closed and the sisters to be long since disposed of. 

This kind of punishment and execution was not part of Jamie's sentence, though. Those of you who are prison bureaucrats and medical professionals involved in the process of denying prisoners health care: be prepared to defend your actions against the people you've hurt, or stand with us and help us change the way your system routinely chews up poor people of every color (and no color at all) and calls it justice. 

Arizona does that too, of course. They all do. That's why we're rising everywhere in resistance when we see this kind of thing happening anywhere. We may not have a lot of say in states where we aren’t residents, but we’re citizens of the US, and each of us has a core group of activists and two US senators (as well as a handful of congress members) we can lobby, and Mississippi may well become an example of what’s wrong with “corrections” in America today, not what’s being done right. 

If that’s not a fair characterization, we encourage you to correct us with a reply. Perhaps we'll end up lobbying for federal funds to help your state implement reforms you've been dying to make - as long as they're the kind of reforms which lead us away from this madness instead of reinforcing the very foundations of the prison industrial complex. We will not be collaborators with you, but we will invite you to collaborate with us.

But first you must do something about the Scott Sisters. Have you ever even faced their family? Have the Scott sisters left anyone's family grieving for them like Mississippi has?

You can expect a furious new Prison Watch to emerge from the heart of Mississippi out of this, where even more volunteers will amplify the Scott family's voice, and those of other men and women who have been forgotten, neglected and abused in your prisons. They will work to protect and liberate prisoners of the state, and organize around not only the conditions they are subject to, but also around these larger issues of racism, classism, and misogyny as they are expressed in your own piece of our massive prison industrial complex. Lawmakers and law enforcement in Mississippi cannot claim ignorance or suggest that this kind of abuse of women prisoners when it comes to their health care is an aberration - or exaggeration - any further.  

The truth will pour out of there in story after story like this as prisoners and their families, and ex-prisoners and honest public servants begin to amplify their voices. All the political tools of mass manipulation about prisons, criminals, and justice will be dragged out for critical analysis by the people who know how the system really works, what really goes on inside, how it got to be this way, and what needs to be done to change things. That's what happens in state after state, once the websites go up. I suspect more people realize they don't have to be ashamed for being or loving a prisoner and standing up for their rights, and they finally begin to talk about things they've had to hide. it's very healing, I think. You can be the enemy they're being hurt by, or you can join our side.

Unless it becomes part of the solution - whereas now it is apparently an obstruction - this administration at the Mississippi Department of Corrections may end up being retired before the current governor. As far as we're concerned (that would be the collective "we" of the "America the beautiful" that Mississippi is a part of), the citizens you have the most immediate and pressing duty to protect are the ones who are vulnerable precisely because they are in your custody. If you can’t protect them from your own staff, prisoners, and machinery, you sure can’t be trusted with the rest of the public’s safety.

Jamie needs to get the best care possible so she can live long enough for both her and Gladys to be exonerated or pardoned. Bad enough that the state is responsible for wrongful imprisonment; it may be best not make it wrongful death, too.

We will continue to report and respond to updates from the Scott family. This post goes to Mississippi’s elected officials and the DOJ, as well as media, to make sure they are all on notice. And, of course, it’s going out to all of our sister prison watches as well.

Let’s fire up Mississippi.

Margaret J. Plews
Arizona Prison Watch

Nancy Lockhart sent a message to the members of Free The Scott Sisters.



Mrs. Rasco was informed at 6:00 a.m. that Jamie Scott was returned to the prison infirmary after having been told that her body was full of toxins and that the medication she had been receiving at the prison contributed to the condition she is in today! In typical sadistic fashion, the prison told Jamie that they are not paying for her to have a special diet and that they will be moving her back to the horrible, leaky and moldy building where she was living.  As if all of that wasn't bad enough, she was further informed that she will be taken to a trailer to receive dialysis instead of the hospital!

While Atty Jaribu Hill is working on legal support for Jamie, we MUST continue to advocate for her.  Mrs. Rasco wants us to flood the governor's office as he has released inmates in the past who have been convicted of far worse crimes than which Jamie and Gladys are accused.  Mississippi is also making
deep budget cuts which have included discussions around the release of inmates, and there is no reason on this earth why Jamie Scott should continue to be locked down in her serious medical condition, it is cruel, inhumane, and DEADLY, she has many aggravating conditions, is severely depressed, and there must be COMPASSION!

If you work in the medical field please make that known when calling/writing so that it can be made plain that there are medical professionals aware of this prison's culpability in this previously healthy young woman's deterioration into such a serious condition, which they continue to downplay to this very moment!

We also continue to feel strongly that if we could put the light of mainstream media on this case that it would make a huge difference. PLEASE include calls and e-mails to the media.  If you're from overseas, please make sure that they know that fact.

Thanks again to you all, we have an enormous fight on our hands and we need all of the help we can get!  We know that they expect us to give up, but we must push even harder!



Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205
1-877-405-0733 or 601-359-3150
Fax: 601-359-3741
(If you reach VM leave msgs, faxes, and please send letters)



(601) 960-4426 newsroom
(601) 355-7830 newsroom fax;
"Stribling, Wilson" <>, ( Asst News Director )

calling 601-922-1607. To report news tips, call 601-922-1652.
to submit news to the MGR, news anchor or anyone use this link;

Phone: (601) 372-6311
Fax: (601) 372-8798;





Listing of NBC/MSNBC Show e-mails at;

NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112
Phone: (212) 664-4444
Fax: (212) 664-4426

524 W. 57 St., New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-975-4321
Fax: 212-975-1893

77 W. 66 St., New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212-456-7777

One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-827-1784

Joe Madison:

Geraldo Rivera:

USA Today
7950 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, VA 22108
Phone: 703-854-3400
Fax: 703-854-2078

Associated Press
450 West 33rd St., New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-621-1500
Fax: 212-621-7523
General Questions and Comments:

Dr. Gloria Perry, Medical Department (601) 359-5155

Margaret Bingham, Superintendent of Central Mississippi Corrections Facility
(601) 932-2880
FAX: (601) 664-0782
P.O. Box 88550

Pearl, Mississippi 39208

Christopher Epps, Commissioner of Prisons for the State of Mississippi
723 North President Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Emmitt Sparkman, Deputy Commissioner
(601) 359-5610

Congressman Bennie Thompson
Washington, D.C. Office
2432 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-5876
(202) 225-5898 (Fax)

Jackson, Mississippi Office
3607 Medgar Evers Blvd
Jackson, MS 39213
(601) 946-9003
(601)-982-5337 (Fax)

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings
Washington Office
2353 Rayburn Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
Tel: (202) 225-1313
Fax: (202) 225-1171

Congressman Jeff Miller
Washington D.C.
2439 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4136
Fax: (202) 225-3414
Toll Free Phone Number to District Office
Pensacola, Florida
Phone: 866-367-1614


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tom Manning: Obama's Prisoner Now. Send Help.

This is two posts in one: top first.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Urgent Medical Action: Prisoner Tom Manning.

From the defenestrator:

"Tom Manning is a Vietnam veteran, working class revolutionary and US political prisoner. He militantly struggled against the war in Vietnam and supports the right of self-determination of all oppressed peoples. Tom Manning was captured in 1985 and sentenced to 53 years in federal prison for a series of bombings carried out as "armed propaganda" against apartheid and U.S. imperialism. He tirelessly fought against racist, genocidal capitalism in the USA. Tom Manning was also wrongly sentenced to 80 years in prison for the self-defense killing of a New Jersey state trooper."

Tom Manning is an anti-imperialist revolutionary. The following came in today from the Jericho network. Looks like the alert is still on, so email the prison people if you can, and cc the Jericho folks on it.


Paulette, I just rec'd this from Tom:
"On the medical situation, folks should demand that I be sent to Butner, NC, the Federal Medical Center for cancer treatment, monitoring, etc". --Tom Manning

Jericho has also spoken with his attorney who has already called and sent a request to get Tom moved and suggested we do the same. Here is the information needed to both call and write the Cumberland warden as well as other officials at the federal bureau of prisons.

1. Ask for Warden- However I received a reply by phone (1/22) and was told every request for a transfer for Tom must be in writing either by Fax or e-mail.  So if you can please e-mail or fax this request.
1 Follow the info below if you want to put vocal pressure on the Warden.

2. Have Tom's # ready "Thomas Manning 10373-016 recent transfer from USP Hazelton

3. If you reach the warden or his/her secretary explain that Tom has recently been transferred from Hazelton and had not received the medical care needed for the growth in his groin area, lump under his left nipple or the growth under his shoulder blade. His records have been reviewed by an outside doctor who urgently recommended a biopsy to check for cancer in these areas. Tom asked you to ask for an immediate transfer to the Federal Prison Hospital facility at Butner,  NC to get the necessary medical procedures done.

4. If you get a recording please leave your name and phone # for them to accept our seriousness  regarding Tom's health.

5. If you fax either place a letter be sure to give your information as well as Tom's full name & number.

6. Please send us any information you are given so that we can put pressure on the correct dept.



FCI Cumberland Administration
Phone:  301-784-1000  ask for warden
Fax:  301-784-1008

Mid Atlantic Regional Office press #1 for inmate services & you will probably have to leave a message.
Federal Bureau of Prisons
302 Sentinel Drive
Suite 200
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701

E-mail: MXRO/EXECASSISTANT@BOP.GOV* Phone: 301-317-3100

Free All Political Prisoners!


Warden FCI Cumberland Re: Medical for Manning.

Here's the email I sent early this AM to both of the bureau of prison email sites Jericho gave us,  as well as a number of other prison watchers and abolitionists. And McCain, for good measure - he's supposed to be representing me.

So start putting these posts on Manning up on the blogs folks - like you did for Oso Blanco. In Europe, too. And hit these people with emails until we hear from Jericho that he's been moved, or that we're cranking it up another notch. 


Dear Warden, FCI Cumberland -

This is in re: a prisoner recently transferred to your facility from USP Hazelton - I'm sure you know who Mr. Manning (10373-016) is. I am writing as a concerned citizen and angry taxpayer - part of the greater "public" which I think you have chosen to serve. I am also one of a growing number of Prison Watchers - and as we spread across the country we support each other's struggles: we will be supporting Tom's efforts to get good medical care. He needs an evaluation for suspicious masses to rule out cancer. This needs to be done immediately.

How you treat him will be witnessed by our brothers and sisters around the world, actually. And it will affect increasing numbers of legislative districts as our new blogs go up, to bring more pressure on congress to start changing the way people are criminalized, incarcerated, and brutalized once they get there. We prison watch in part because we've had enough of all the state violence.

There's no excuse to make people suffer while they're in prison - being separated from their families and communities and losing their liberty is the punishment the people gave them - not torture or neglect. We expect this man to be well taken care of for the money we pay to imprison him. We also expect to have him free someday, so we'd like you to take good care of him in the meantime.

Please let us know when Mr. Manning is being transferred to the Buntner, NC Federal Medical Center and scheduled to have these suspicious masses evaluated.

Copies of this email are going to my allies as well as my state senator, John McCain. He probably doesn't care much for Manning (nor will he care much for me, I imagine), but he knows what it's like to be a prisoner and as a matter of principle should be rather concerned about assuring that all our federal prisoners receive appropriate attention to medical concerns.

Thank you for your time.


Margaret J. Plews
Arizona Prison Watch