Demands from Stevie

Currently our demands center on two things:

1. Releasing prisoners, especially those with compromised immune systems and the elderly (over 50). Also, we hold that all pretrial detainees who have been entered into bail should be released. They are being held due to poverty. Lastly, those with clemency and parole petitions should have their decisions and releases expedited. Healthcare inside is notoriously negligent. While all of us are vulnerable, certain populations face more vulnerability. They should be prioritized for release.

2. Prevention measures should be taken that mitigate the chances of prisoner becoming infected. Most important, the DOC needs to enact measures that protect prisoners from being infected by their employees. The only way we will become infected is if the staff brings COVID19 inside. Proactive steps need to be taken to diminish, if not to eliminate, the chances of this occurring. Currently, little is being done to prevent DOC staff from infecting prisoners.

We are fundraising for toiletries and cleaning supplies. The DOC does not provide these items for us. We need help boosting this fundraiser. Any assistance will be appreciated. A bar of soap costs .90. Prisoners make .19 an hour and 25% of it is automatically deducted for fines and court costs. And now, people are not able to work due to restrictions on movement inside. A little help will go a long way. Thanks.

[Venmo: @ijalexander || CashApp: $ijalexander || PayPal: –IA]




Solidarity with Striking Prisoners!

Right now, prisoners on Rikers Island and in Essex County, NJ jail are hunger striking for basic protection from and preventive measures against contracting COVID19. They should not have to go on hunger strike for these things to occur, but as usual, jail administrators refuse to prioritize prisoners’ health and well being. I fully support these prisoners and their demands. Moreover, most county prisoners are pretrial detainees, poor people who have not been found guilty of any crime. They should be immediately released from jail. Healthcare in jail is notoriously negligent. Prisoners are among the most vulnerable populations. Once inside, the virus will spread like wildfire. And neither Rikers Island or Essex County is truly prepared to deal with this pandemic. Release prisoners now!

I ask that everyone support these prisoners’ actions and amplify their voices and demands. Let the jail administrators know that we are fully behind the prisoners.

In Solidarity,



Terrifying Assault on our Comrade at SCI-Smithfield ~ PHONE ZAP NEEDED

Yesterday at 12pm, Andre Logan, PA DOC # LM3820, was assaulted by two officers outside of the chow hall at SCI-Smithfield. The officers used excessive force on Andre because his shirttail was untucked.

Andre suffered a fractured nose after having his face slammed into a glass window and then slammed to the concrete ground in full view of other prisoners. Andre was then taken to the restricted housing unit and placed in solitary confinement.

In situations like this, prison officials depend upon the opaqueness of what happens behind prison walls to get away with violent behavior. We ask that you contact Jamie Luther, Superintendent here, and let her know that you are aware of the incident and the injuries Andre suffered.

The number to call is 814-643-6520

No doubt, the officers will attempt to cover their backs. If we allow this behavior to go unaddressed, other prisoners will suffer too.

We thank you for your concern, support and solidarity.

In Solidarity and Struggle,




Circle Up

Letter to America

I have outmaneuvered the death you prepared for me and my community

*image credit, James P. Anderson (San Quentin, death row)

This is a letter to America from Tauheed Sadat, a member of 9971.

9971 is an abolitionist study group in the @studyabolition network at SCI Smithfield. It provides a space open to everyone in the prison population. We meet monthly and it is the largest of the study groups here. Our studies include Black feminist thought, Black radical thought, queer/trans liberation, indigenous struggles, disability justice, capitalism and the history of social justice movements.

Dear America,

Allow me to introduce myself because I’m not the monster you imagine and depict me to be. Despite not growing up around positive role models, I have become a man of strong character. And despite your many attempts to diminish me, I shine brightly — even from behind these walls. Just as Maya Angelou said: “Still, I rise.”

I have outmaneuvered the death you prepared for me and my community. From inside this coffin you made for me, I have learned how to love myself and others. The grave you dug for me has provided the rich soil from which sends of hope and liberation are now sprouting. You locked me down and I found freedom. Your call for law and order that has lead to the occupation of my neighborhood and the premature death of my loved ones. But I am not defeated. Still, I rise.

I am strong, tenacious and determined. I am loving, caring and compassionate. Despite the oppressions I endure, my spirit shines brightly. I am wholly human — not the 3/5 you measured. The injustice that characterizes so much of what you are and do, cannot kill my spirit.

You may have thought you know me. Your images and stories of who I am are lies. I cannot be found in rap sheets and docket sheets. I can not be found on television shows designed to trick the public into thinking they know what goes on behind these walls. I am the truth you’ve been running from. I am the fact that demolishes all fiction. I am the reality you fear. I am America, too.

Tauheed Sadat

Love and Protect’s Reflection on the INCITE! – CR Statement Against Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex

This is really good, and worth your time reading.

The Abolitionist

ByRachel Caïdor

In 2001, INCITE! and Critical Resistance laid down a network of strong roots in the form of the visionary Statement Against Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex. Those roots were offshoots of and intertwined those planted over hundreds of years by feminist anti-violence, anti-prison movement work in this country and beyond. adrienne maree brown and Shana Sassoon remind us that strong trees weather storms when their roots grow intertwined with those of others.  It is this interconnection that has helped us weather a myriad of storms that have shifted the ground beneath us. We now live in a country where hundreds of thousands of women and femmes—an overwhelming number of whom are survivors of sexual and domestic violence—are incarcerated in prison or jails.  We also live in a country whose president speaks glibly about his entitlement to sexually abuse women and who actively rips apart families…

View original post 1,842 more words

Smithfield’s so-called “Violence Reduction Strategy”

Stevie’s take on Smithfield’s latest repressive policy, followed by two statements from SASS and the 9971 Study Groups

On May 15, 2019 | SCI-Smithfield implemented the “violence reduction strategy.” Much like the failed and derided sentencing enhancements that were supposed to reduce crime, the new strategy increases punishment for certain violent acts by prisoners. Note, officers’ violent behavior is not addressed. Prisoners will not only be sentenced to hole time, but lose phone, commissary and visiting privileges after their hole time is up. Sounds like collateral consequences of a conviction!

But here’s the real kicker. I’ll quote the policy for you:

Privilege restrictions can be applied to both the perpetrator of the prohibited violent act and the group that he associates with. If it is determined that the perpetrator of a prohibited violent act has a group affiliation and associates with individuals who have the potential to influence his behavior, then both the perpetrator and identified close associates could be subject to these privileges restrictions.

So now prisoners are responsible for monitoring and stopping the behavior of other prisoners. Isn’t that the officers’ job? Aren’t they being paid tens of thousands to do just that? Moreover, who determines group association? What is potential to influence? So if a Muslim gets in a fight, all of his Muslim brothers get punished? If a queer prisoner gets into a fight, all the queer prisoners who hang with him get punished?

This is a violation of due process. More important, it doesn’t bring produce a safer environment. How about real interpersonal, conflict resolution and mediation skills training? These have been proven to work. How about giving prisoners a chance to practice the skills they learn and not punishing them for being assertive.?

Below are two statements prepared by the SASS and 9971 study groups here at SCI-Smithfield.

We need your help to rescind this horrible policy. Please call 814-643-6520 and let Superintendent Jamey Luther know that enhancing punishments doesn’t produce safety. Healthy relationships do. Tell her to offer programming that builds relationship skills.

In Solidarity,

Stevie Wilson

SASS’s Letter to Supt. Arthur

Fire will not extinguish fire. It will only add to the conflagration. Using harm to remedy harm is like using urine to wash a blood-stained rag. It only makes things worse. Our history and current situation teaches us this much.

When someone harms us, disrespects us, or does something we don’t like, we feel an urge to punish them. We want to hurt or diminish that person. We want that person to suffer. This is the punitive impulse that lies within us all. Each of us must learn to recognize and eradicate it because it can never produce safety. Treating fire with fire never does.

The new violence reduction strategy stems from the punitive impulse. It is derived from the idea that a person who does harm should be extraordinarily punished to prevent future harm. Moreover, this policy punishes those who associate with the perpetrator of harm. How will this achieve safety? It only validates the punitive impulse: when someone hurts or disrespects you, hurt or disrespect them more. Is this not the very thinking that got many of us locked up now? Is this not the mentality that leads to the very harm you claim you want to end?

All of must work to remove this impulse from our lives. We must change the ways we interact with others on an ongoing basis and change the harmful patterns in our daily lives. We must question the punitive impulses in our relationships and rethink the ways we deal with personal conflicts thereby reducing hands that occur here and in our communities. Fighting fire with fire leads to further destruction.

We must learn new ways of dealing with harm. We must learn to put the fires out, not add to them. This policy addresses harm by harming others, including those who have not behaved violently. We can do better. If we want a safer compound, then we have to eradicate the punitive impulses in all of us prisoners, staff and officers.


9971’s Letter to Supt. Arthur

Across the country, jurisdiction after jurisdiction, has learned that sentencing enhancements do nothing to stem crime or violence. They produce mass incarceration and devastated communities. Safety is not achieved through enhanced punishment. Likewise, enhancing sanctions for violent behavior and holding prisoners accountable for other prisoners’ behavior, actions they did not commit, won’t stem violence at SCI-Smithfield. Each person is responsible for his/her own behavior. Are we rewarded for other prisoners’ good behavior?

If you are really interested in reducing violence, then you should offer programming that teaches prisoners how to resolve their conflicts peacefully. Try offering courses on restorative or transformative justice, peace and healing circles and interpersonal skills development.

Moreover, give prisoners a chance to practice what they learn. Currently, if a prisoner behaves assertively, he is deemed disrespectful and punished. We sit in hours of programming and have no opportunities to practice. This is why the skills never take.

You were in attendance at the Day of Responsibility. We talked about being responsible for our own behavior and building safer communities through healthy relationships. What message are you sending now? Exactly how are prisoners supposed to control the behavior of other prisoners? If correctional officers, who are paid tens of thousands of dollars to do so, cannot, then how can we?

Everyone wants to live in safety. But this is not the way. We would feel safer if the men here knew how to handle conflict peacefully. We would feel safer if they possessed good interpersonal, conflict resolution and mediation skills. Taking away phones, commissary and exercise periods won’t achieve safety. It will only stress the men more, increasing the potential for violent encounters. This new violence reduction strategy is actually counterproductive. Please reconsider this policy.