Monday, 23 September 2013

Gloria Morrison, SMK London Social Justice Award Winner 2013

JENGbA was delighted to see our own Gloria Morrison win the SMK London Social Justice Award 2013. 

Gloria is one of our committed campaigners aiming to reform the law on Joint Enterprise.  JENGbA is widening awareness in the UK and beyond.  No matter what it is called - Joint Criminal Enterprise, Common Purpose, Common Design, Felony Murder Rule, Law of Parties - using Collective Liability to treat those with lesser roles or no involvement to punish them for the main offences is a dangerous form of Human Rights Abuse. 

We WILL win this campaign.  Join us and add your voice!

You can see the award ceremony video HERE.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Angola 3 Newsletter: Sept. 10, 2013, A Message From Herman Wallace

Angola 3 Newsletter:  Sept. 10, 2013
 A Message from Herman Wallace  
PLEASE TAKE ACTION: Demand Humane Release for Herman! USA, UK, France, Belgium, and elsewhere

On Saturday
. August 31st, I was transferred to LSU Hospital for evaluation. I was informed that the chemo treatments had failed and were making matters worse and so all treatment came to an end. The oncologists advised that nothing can be done for me medically within the standard care that they are authorized to provide. They recommended that I be admitted to hospice care to make my remaining days as comfortable as possible. I have been given 2 months to live.
I want the world to know that I am an innocent man and that Albert Woodfox is innocent as well. We are just two of thousands of wrongfully convicted prisoners held captive in the American Gulag. We mourn for the family of Brent Miller and the many other victims of murder who will never be able to find closure for the loss of their loved ones due to the unjust criminal justice system in this country. We mourn for the loss of the families of those unjustly accused who suffer the loss of their loved ones as well.
Only a handful of prisoners globally have withstood the duration of years of harsh and solitary confinement that Albert and myself have.  The State may have stolen my life, but my spirit will continue to struggle along with Albert and the many comrades that have joined us along the way here in the belly of the beast.
In 1970 I took an oath to dedicate my life as a servant of the people, and although I'm down on my back, I remain at your service. I want to thank all of you, my devoted supporters, for being with me to the end.
Keep in Touch with Herman and Albert

Albert Woodfox #72148            Herman Wallace #76759
David Wade Correctional Center        Elayn Hunt Correctional Center
N1 A3                                                        CCR D #2
670 Bell Hill Road                                    PO Box 174
Homer, LA  71040                                  St. Gabriel, LA  70776

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Black Bodies Are Not For Sale

JENGbA received this in an email, highlighting how the Private Prison Industry in the United States has become the new face of Slavery.  Do we really want to go any further down this disgusting road where human beings are trafficked through the Criminal Justice System to make fat profits for the likes of G4S, Sodexo, Serco or MTC/Amey?  The UK already has the highest percentage of private prison places in the world.  Is this something to be proud of?  Read on to discover how vile the "New Slavery" has become across the Atlantic...

The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, and the private prison industry is making a killing off this broken system. For-profit prison companies get paid for each person that fills their cells — raking in $5 billion in annual revenue.1 Empty beds mean lost profits, so to keep the money flowing the industry spends millions lobbying the government to expand the destructive policies that keep more people behind bars for longer, harsher sentences.2
Tragically, one-third of all Black men will spend part of their lives in prison.3 Meanwhile, for-profit prisons promote and exploit mass incarceration and racial-bias in the criminal justice system — further accelerating our nation's prison addiction. We can stop this. The prison industry depends on corporate backers for the capital it needs to keep growing,4 and allies in government for contracts that fill their prisons. If we convince enough investors and board members to leave the industry, we can discredit incarceration as a business, bring attention to the harm it creates, and deter public officials from granting contracts to prison companies.
Please join us in urging investors and board members of for-profit prison companies to get out of this exploitative business. We'll inform them of what they're involved in, and if they refuse to do what's right, we'll hold them publicly accountable.
Federal agencies and state governments contract with three main companies to lock people up: Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group, Inc., and the Management and Training Corporation (MTC). The top two prison companies, CCA and GEO, are publicly traded and financed by investors, major banks and corporations, who hold shares in the industry. CCA and GEO Group make money by charging a daily rate per body that is sent to them — costing tax payers billions for dangerous, ineffective facilities.5 The industry also makes money by avoiding tax payments. CCA will dodge $70 million dollars in tax payments this year by becoming a real estate investment trust (REIT) and designating their prisons as "residential".6
In order to maximize profits, prison companies cut back on staff training, medical care, and rehabilitative services — causing assault rates to double in some private prisons.7 A 2010 ACLU lawsuit against CCA-run Idaho Correctional Center cited a management culture so violent the facility is known as the "gladiator school".8 The industry also maximizes profits by lobbying for and benefiting from laws that put more people in jail. In the 1990's CCA chaired the Criminal Justice Task force of shadowy corporate bill-mill, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which passed "3 strikes" and "truth in sentencing" laws that continue to send thousands of people to prison on very harsh sentences.9 Black folks are disproportionately subjected to these uniquely harsh conditions due to our extreme overrepresentation in the private prison system.10
In many parts of the country, the political tide is shifting against the for-profit prison industry. Earlier this summer, Kentucky, Texas, Idaho, and Mississippi broke ties with CCA after reports of chronic understaffing, inmate death, and rising costs to the states became undeniable.11 In April, New Hampshire rejected all private prison bids because the prison corporations could not show that they would follow legal requirements for safely housing prisoners.12 And, there is growing opposition to California Governor Jerry Brown's misguided plan to comply with a Supreme Court order to alleviate the State's prison overcrowding crisis by moving thousands of prisoners into private facilities, at a public cost of $1 billion over 3 years.13
The private prison industry should not control who is locked up, for how long, and at what price. For-profit prison companies have investors that cut across many industries. Some of these investors — wealthy individuals, major banks and financial companies — know exactly what they're doing. But with enough pressure, they might reconsider whether it's worth being known as profiting from exploitation and racism in the criminal justice system.
Profiting off the brutality and discrimination of incarceration is shameful. Please join us in calling on the investors and board members of for-profit prison companies to get out of this corrupt business.
Thanks and Peace,
--Rashad, Matt, Arisha, Aimée, William, Lyla and the rest of the team
September 4th, 2013 is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don't share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.
1. "A Boom Behind Bars," Bloomberg Businessweek, 03-17-2011
2. "Gaming the System," (.pdf) Justice Policy Institute, 06-01-2011"
3. "1 in 3 Black Men Go To Prison? The 10 Most Disturbing Facts About Racial Inequality in the U.S. Criminal Justice System," AlterNet, 03-17-2012
4. "Private Prison Profits Skyrocket as Executives Assure Investors of Growing Offender Population," ThinkProgress, 05-09-2013
5. "Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration," (.pdf) ACLU, 11-01-2011
6. "The Legacy of Chattel Slavery: Private Prisons Blur the Line Between Real People and Real Estate With New IRS Property Gambit," Truthout, 02-04-2013
7."The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America," (.pdf) Grassroots Leadership, 06-01-2013
8. "ACLU Lawsuit Charges Idaho Prison Officials Promote Rampant Violence," ACLU, 03-11-2010
9. "Too Good to be True: Private Prisons in America," (.pdf) 01-01-2012
10. "The Color of Corporate Corrections: Overrepresentation of People of Color in the Private Prison Industry," Prison Legal News, 08-30-2013
11. "Three States Dump Major Private Prison Company in One Month" ThinkProgress, 06-21-2013
12."New Hampshire Rejects All Private Prison Bids," ThinkProgress, 04-05-2013
13. "Gov. Brown's misguided private prison plan" SF Gate, 08-28-2013

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

JENGbA & PPMI Fundraiser - 20 Sept 8pm, Wimbledon

JENGbA and PPMI (Progressing Prisoners Maintaining Innocence) are having a Joint Fundraising Evening on Friday 20 September from 8pm at The Irish Centre, 140 Hartfield Rd, Wimbledon SW19 3TG - Tickets £5 at the door.

Please download, print & share a poster from HERE!

The Queen vs Trenton Oldfield: A Prison Diary

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The Queen vs Trenton Oldfield: A Prison Diary
(Myrdle Court Press: London, 2013)


The Queen vs Trenton Oldfield: A Prison Diary

In 50 days time 'The Crown' is expecting to receive yet another pound of flesh from Trenton Oldfield and Deepa Naik. On the 19th October 2013 (1 year since Trenton was taken to jail) 'The Crown' is  expecting £750 to cover their own costs. It is highly unusual to be forced to pay the 'Crown's costs' when they elected to undertake the prosecution.

As explained in this Guardian profile Trenton & Deepa didn't feel comfortable accepting donations so they published Trenton's prison diary with a photographic essay, court documents, interview transcripts and short essays from Nina Power, Brenna Bhandar, Steve Ruston et al.

About Contents / Reviews

The diary was generously designed by the talented Karolin Schnoor and copy-edited by Barbara Murray. Tom Flynn kindly took photographs of the prison items.

Get your copy here (£14.99 including shipping)
Since its release a few days before the 2013 Oxbridge Boat Race 'The Queen vs Trenton Oldfield' has received numerous 5 star reviews.
"A fascinating personal account of a UK prison, and an essential piece of writing for anyone interested in social equality, justice and the interplay between systems of power." 
Tom Jefferies, The Journal of Wild Culture

"This work is an important contribution, not only about the prison system and Trenton Oldfield's case, but also about the wider issues about protest and the state. I couldn't put it down. A brilliant and compelling read!" 
Stefan Dickers, Bishopsgate Institute

"This book is more than just a prison diary. Although it follows Trenton Oldfield's sentence for disrupting the Oxford-Cambridge boat race, a protest against the issue of elitism in British society, this book reflects on wider issues of incarceration and the growing difficulties for those involved in legitimate public protest."
Ed Wall, Kingston University
In order to deliver our latest pound of flesh to 'The Crown' we need to sell 200 more copies of 'The Queen vs Trenton Oldfield'  in the next 50 days.

If you have been thinking of purchasing a copy - now is the time. If you have a copy already (thank you!) and think friends and family might enjoy it, please buy their 'Christmas' or birthdays presents early ... any time in the next 50 days.

Get your copies here.
"The most important section of the book is definitely the 'Visual Essay', the photographs of all bits and pieces, the detritus and endless prison forms and notifications that every prisoner and ex-prisoner will recognise. These alone make the book a valuable resource that I would certainly offer to anyone facing a prison sentence for the first time." 
Bra Black, Campaign Against Prison Slavery

"This is a wonderful read. Mr Oldfield writes from the heart and the book is full of humour and compassion which despite the adversity, is never jaded. Not only did the book make me laugh but it also challenged my perspective on being English."
Tayieba Shah

Order now (£14.99 incl shipping)
Click here for the latest on Trenton and Deepa's current legal situation (including how to support their work and right to remain in Britain).

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