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More Racism in Florida's Slammers

More Racism In Florida's Slammers

I have recently heard of the PLN and at this time I will share some headlines of the legalized slavery here at Martin Correctional Institution. There are serious racial problems at MCI within the administration and continuous harassment and brutality by correctional officers. The most flagrant problems at MCI can be defined within two categories. The negative attitude exhibited by guards towards the inmates in their charge, and the failure to provide adequate resources. Racism permeates the atmosphere at MCI. It surfaces daily in racist acts against inmates; derisive racial remarks, threats, and other forms of harassment by correctional officials abound.

Although racism and its manifestations defy easy categorization, they cannot be ignored. Close management, for example, is dominated with Black inmates who have been deprived of the right of going before the review board as required by the rules; cannot earn gain time; no rehabilitative programs; no physical access to the law library; no proper outdoor exercise; cannot play chess; checkers, cards; or smoke on the recreation yard, etc. Caucasian inmates are having a hard time to be placed in close management status and easier for them to be put on CM2 or population than Black inmates.

This leads to an increase in tension and unrest, thereby exacerbating other problems. Curtailing the racist attitudes and behavior of MCI's administrative and security staff is unquestionably a difficult task. Especially in an insular setting where the inmate population is predominantly Black while the administration and security staff are overwhelmingly White. Nonetheless, this problem must be confronted if others are to be alleviated.

Closely connected to the prevalence of racist conduct by officers and just as difficult to categorize is the indifferent attitude exhibited by the MCI administration toward legitimate inmate grievances. The answers of the administration do not address the actual issues, and when they do investigate they don't even bother to talk to the witnesses that you name.

This indifferent attitude and lack of responsiveness to legitimate complaints of brutality only increases the frustration and anxiety of inmates who have no other recourse for dealing with their problems.

Florida's Department of Corrections just recently issued a new rule to the effect that indigent inmates will be allowed only one free letter a month. Those who have relatives across the water cannot write to them because it takes two stamps.

If anyone is interested in seeing paperwork on these allegation they can get in touch with me.

Vincent D. Harris #092011 1150 S.W. Allapattah Road

Indian Town, FL 33456

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