A Cry For Help/A Call to Action
by Michael Carrico
During my 18 years in prison, I've spent much of that time in solitary confinement for all manner of things, including numerous assaults on staff(male officers), rioting, and institutional murder, the details of which are not pertinent to this particular article. What is pertinent, however, is the fact that about ten years ago, while once again sitting in solitary confinement, for yet another act of violence against an internal affairs informant, I made a conscious decision to try to be a better person. To think before I act. To process information differently. To resolve matters peacefully, rather than violently. To have more respect for my fellow man. To have more sympathy and empathy for the plight of others. With no real rehabilitation in the I.D.O.C.(Indiana Dept. of Correction) only cold storage and warehousing of human beings, I basically had to rehabilitate myself, and completely retrain my brain. During these last ten years, I've managed to accomplish many things, such as obtaining my GED, completing several programs, maintaining steady employment(back-breaking manual labor for slave wages) donating handmade woodcrafts to charities for children, and even marrying my childhood sweetheart...I write to you now, once again, from solitary confinement, where I will spend the next three years, not for another act of violence, not even for a verbal assault, but for simply wishing my family a Merry Christmas on facebook. Neither my clear conduct, (no write ups for 5 years) nor my many positive life changes were even considered when internal affairs and the corrupt kangaroo court system known as the DHB, worked together to illegally stack multiple conduct reports against me.
As I previously mentioned, many years ago, I committed an institutional murder, taking the life of a fellow inmate. For that particular transgression, I was given (1) one year of solitary confinement, after which I was released back into general population, no strings attached. As I said before, the details of that incident are of no importance here. What is important, is the fact that I brutally took another person's life. I murdered a human being and was given (1) one year in solitary, whereas now, I sit in a much more harsh environment, for three times as long, for spreading love and positive messages on social media. This speaks volumes to the lack of concern this administration has for our lives and our well being, and even more so to their unquenchable desire to censor, limit, and ultimately control what information we send out to the people. This system is corrupt and rotten, form the root to the tip. From the crooked officers who write us up, to the corrupt DHB staff, who violate their own policies on a daily basis, to the blatant gangsterism of internal affairs who, in a vulgar display of power, seem to decide our sanctions, even though it is nowhere in their job description to do so, all the way up to the head of the snake; the fascist administrative leaders who allow it all to happen. I am only one of the many victims of this corruption; fellow comrades, some who will leave before me, and many who will remain after I am gone, stuck in these deplorable conditions here at Pendleton Correctional Facility. Many of us sit here with an excessive amount of time, or altogether trumped up charges. We are allowed very little of our own personal property, which we paid for with our money. Only three showers per week,, with no access to any actual hygiene products, e.g. toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, deodorant, vitamins, etc. Absolutely no allowance of commissary food items, only what the state kitchen provides, which is barely enough to satisfy the appetite of a small child. Phone and kiosk restrictions for extended periods of time, usually for six months to a year. I myself am currently on a seven month phone/kiosk restriction, while the comrade Kwame Shakur will not be able to use the phone or kiosk until 2019, which, according to their own policies, they are not allowed to do. A shining example of IA's iron fist beating us into the ground: limiting contact with our families to only paper letters, which IA is further restricting by the day. The end goal being to completely eliminate all incoming paper mail and photos. They have already completely done away with greeting cards of any and all types. No birthday cards. No Father's Day cards. No Christmas cards. No exceptions! Our cells are searched, often times destroyed, every time we come out for showers or recreation, to deter us from wanting future showers or recreation. We are regularly sprayed with mace and physically assaulted while in restraints. We are constantly denied medical attention. We are told that if we are not literally dying, the medical staff will not see us. We have little to no ventilation and temperatures often climb well above 90 degrees, yet we are denied ice, cold water and access to fresh air. These are just a few of the daily torturous conditions under which we live.
We are not just a number. We are not our crimes. We are men! We are fathers! We are sons! We are brothers! We are uncles! We are human beings! We are the people! And we are struggling! We call on all fellow comrades and any fellow human being with any compassion in their hearts, to join our families and loved ones, as they support and fight for us, next month at the “Prison Lives Matter: In the Spirit of Nelson Mandela” demonstration, July, 18th, 2018(International Nelson Mandela Day)...Please, come and show your support and be a voice for the voiceless.
Michael Carrico #106495
4490 W. Reformatory Rd.
Pendleton Correctional Facility