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Dear Superior Court of California-County of Alameda,

We are choosing to write to you because you are our county and what you do in your prisons affect us. As a court, you do not listen to us and itś not fair. Itś going to end now by you helping us with prison reform for starters. You guys are affecting the world and making your county look bad.

For so long in the past and currently, there has been a power struggle in prisons. Guards have so much power over these citizens and there are cases where they abuse them with rape, verbal abuse, physical, and mental abuse. According to Vice, it states, “Staff-on-inmate sexual assault victims have 33% women” (Ptacin). This is proof that there is abuse in prison and even though it appears small people are still abused and who knows if all the people who get abused feel they can report.

Giving people the idea that they have power over these people is what cause this. Based on the Stanford Prison Experiment which includes an experiment with college students taking on the role of a guard or a prison resulting in massive abuse and a crazy outcome. We feel that experiment can show people have this feeling they have to overpower on people given the chance, and it’s not fair to give guards that power.

Prisoners and people who get in trouble by the law are obviously the ones who can be harmed at any time by this. There’s this fear of going to prison sometimes because of the guards there and even though they shouldn’t break the law, they also shouldn’t fear the people there in the prisons.

There are times that when prisoners suffer abuse because of others having PTSD that can cause problems for them because they never deserve the inequity and abuse that happened to them because of a guards problem. According to, The Guardian, “Corrections officers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder at more than double the rate of military veterans in the US…This in turn inevitably affects prisoners. While there is no hard data on guard-on-inmate assaults, interviews with current and former corrections officers revealed that COs occasionally take out the stress of the job on inmates.” (The Guardian). From this, we know that guards admittance is not checked to make sure these inmates are safe and abuse on them is the outcome. Does that sound right to you?

Rather then just an overall corrupted justice system, there are also corrupted judges. People who want to see someone in jail is obviously benefited once they’ve succeeded in caging a person (sometimes for a wrongfully accused crime). I feel there are in fact corrupted judges because, regarding killings caused by police officers that get only suspended, that has to be biased.

Institutional oppression is in these courts, prisons, and jails all the time. The governments and court systems are placing people in these places of punishments when they feel the need too.

If you decide not to help us our allies will. We’ll have prison activist with us and any other people who go against the criminal justice system. The only opponents we have are the people won’t help us, so don’t be an opponent, do what’s right.

There has been protesting (Marches and Rallies) and community organizing about prison reform. The protest was August 19, 2017 (Eventbrite) where a community organized an event to protest for Millions for Prisoners Humans Rights March. This protest was not successful because we didn’t even hear about it. But there is a solution to this because we are going to protest and do public art performance. And make people honk and spread the word out.

If you don’t start to help us yourself as a court then we will fight until you and the rest of California courts understand this problem with the prison to guard interactions. We will make protest art to display your courts as our constant oppressors. Everyone will see the corrupted system that goes on behind bars with art. We will spread our message online to gather as many people we need to help pressure all of the courts to hear our demands. We will email mayors and courts with our demands because they’re so simple why would you disregard them. We will first start with the emails, next to the gathering of us citizens, to our demands becoming higher and higher. If needed we will ignore every rule you put on us to show we’re not stopping. We won’t stop. To do this we need your promise as our county court to start to fix the injustice in those prisons. We need the people at the prisons to be able to talk without harm coming to them later on about their experiences at the prisons. We need their rights to be heightened because we still see them as citizens. Also if they report a problem we need something to know that it will be heard to the fullest. Here we’re not just talking about physical abuse, but also ay mental abuse, verbal abuse, or even taking advantage of inmates has to stop. We feel our action is strong because it will lead to a long-term change, we’ll be having engagement with policymakers, public awareness will be increased. We’re confident in our plan because it will happen no matter what.

Thank you for reading our proposal. You should really follow our movement by joining our protest, contributing to our community organizing, sharing your opinions online about what we need for this prison reform, politically getting involved, and overall helping us. Then, later on, we can help the injustice in the court system farther than just guard to inmate interactions. Follow our hashtag #They’re Still Human so we can come to a consensus.

Sincerely,

Joana

Kamyiah

Kimberly

Annotated Bibliography

Dasha Lisitsina in Oregon and New York. “’Prison Guards Can Never Be Weak’: the Hidden

PTSD Crisis in America’s Jails.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 20 May 2015, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/20/corrections-officers-ptsd-american-prisons.

This website is trustworthy because it was published in 2015 and they are trying to educate people by interviewing others and asking them about their different opinions. It also involves information about guard to inmate interaction.

“Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March.” Eventbrite US Blog, www.eventbrite.com/e/millions-for-prisoners-human-rights-march-tickets-29364229200#.

This website is trustworthy because it is showing community organizing. It doesn’t show the date it was published but the march happened on August 19, 2017.

Ptacin, Mira. “Guards vs. Inmates: Mistreatment and Abuse in the US Prison System.” Guards vs. Inmates: Mistreatment and Abuse in the US Prison System (In Partnership with Starz from VICE Media), 2017, partners.vice.com/starz/starzpowers4/news/guards-vs-inmates-mistreatment-and-abuse-in-the-us-prison-system/.

This website is trustworthy because it shows statistics about how prisoners are being treated by the guards. This website is showing that guards interact with prisoners in a negative way,

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Guards Hurt Inmates by Kamyiah is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

6 Comments
  1. Briana 4 days ago

    My name is Briana and I really enjoyed reading your article I liked how you used a lot of detail and also how you expressed emotion.

  2. Crystal 3 weeks ago

    My name is Crystal and I am a student at Fremont High School here in Oakland. I just read your project blog post and I have some feedback.
    One thing I liked about what you wrote was you guys are talking about the prison and how it makes us look bad. You guys want to help out which is good and i liked that you were specific on the problem and everything. The thing you guys talk about is true and i agree there should be a change.

    • Author
      Kamyiah 3 weeks ago

      Dear Crystal,
      We are so thrilled you took your time to read our proposal, and we are so thrilled that you agree there is a problem. There of course should be a change because it’s not fair about how much prisons, the court systems, and the justice system have unfair processes. For example, why are there black and brown people in prison more than white people? We want to stand up for prisoners who don’t deserve to be treated as they are treated because they are still humans (which we born with rights). Anyway thanks for reading our proposal and check out our instagram please! @prisonequality !

  3. Erica H 3 weeks ago

    Hello Kamyiah, Kimberly and Joana,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. You have chosen to focus on an important topic and it is clear that you are very passionate about creating a change. I noticed that you cited several articles to make a strong point about the cruel treatment that prisoners often experience. However, I’m not clear what specifically you would like the court system to do other than not being biased and wrongfully committing people. Would you like judges to enforce laws or regulations around the management of prisons and the care of prisoners? Marching and protest art can make a compelling statement, draw attention, and raise awareness about an issue. And I can clearly see that you are determined to make a change. Finally, I am wondering what you would like people to do once you have rallied them to your cause? What comes after that to enact lasting change? Did you read about any proposed solutions in the sources that you read?

    Best of luck, Erica

    • Author
      Kamyiah 3 weeks ago

      Dear Erica H,
      We’re really happy you decided to read our proposal for a change in prisons. So for your question, “Would you like judges to enforce laws or regulations around the management of prisons and the care of prisoners? “ , we do in fact want an enforced law and regulations for prisoners care. In the law we are thinking about a person coming to a prison and inspecting it, meaning the prisoners get a chance to talk to someone if they’re being unfairly treated and then an investigation would occur. You know how there is jury duty where a person sits in the court and helps make a decision, well we want the same “duty” to happen for these prison checks. The other question you had was, “ what you would like people to do once you have rallied them to your cause? What comes after that to enact lasting change? “ , After we have people rallied to our cause we want to make a point that a majority of people want what we want as well. It isn’t for sure that, let’s say a court, would listen to us but as said we’ll have a bunch of people ready to fight on with us. To enact lasting change, that’s where our law comes in because it would be staying trust me, or any abuse we’d recieve from officials (like un black lives matter marches). We’d make a longing impact because of how far we’d succeed. Lastly, on some of your confusion we want the court system to just make a change. This does mean wrongly convicting people, being biased, digging deep in a case earlier on, have engaged judges, and to listen to every which way of a story before choosing. Thank you for reading our proposal and I hope you read more of my work and Joana and Kimberly’s work as well.
      Sincerely,
      Kamyiah

    • Author
      Kamyiah 3 weeks ago

      Forgot to mention, please follow our instagram @prisonequality 🙂 !!!

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