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Apr 26, 18

NC IWOC Prisoner Petition Against Mailroom Censorship

Radical prisoner and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) member Stanley Corbett, Jr., recently set up a petition to protest mailroom censorship at Maury Correctional.

The petition can be signed here. It reads:

Hey everyone. My name is Stanley Corbett Jr. I’m currently housed in solitary confinement at Maury Correctional Institution in Maury, NC. I’m seeking for the Secretary of Corrections, Erik Hook, here in North Carolina, to create a policy and procedure stating that only mailroom staff be allowed to touch prisoners’ incoming and outgoing mail, unless there’s a security interest involved, and that all incoming and outgoing mail is logged, not just legal mail.

Each facility (prison) has mailroom staff that scans our incoming and outgoing mail, but mailroom staff do not pick up mail directly from us, nor do mailroom staff deliver mail directly to us. Instead, mailroom staff picks up mail from each unit’s mailbox, and delivers mail to each unit’s supervisor’s office, then the unit officers deliver the personal mail to us. They are the same officers that I, and thousands of other prisoners, have filed grievances, petitions, and civil complaints against. They are also the same officers who I, and thousands of other prisoners, have had verbal or physical altercations with. Due to these facts a lot of these correctional officers censor my/our incoming and outgoing mail, or they trash it! And sometimes the officers deliver my/our mail to other prisoners, intentionally. There are thousands of prisoners within the NC department of Public Safety’s Division of Adult Corrections who are experiencing the same issues.

Anytime I, and thousands of other prisoners, address the problem to the mailroom supervisor(s), they tell me/us to address the problem to unit management, but when I/we address the problem to unit management, they tell me/us to address the problem to the mailroom staff. The problem never gets resolved because the mailroom staff shifts the burden on the unit staff and vice versa. At most facilities the mailroom staff delivers legal mail to our cell doors, in which we have to sign for it to receive it, but they do not deliver our personal mail to our cell doors, nor do they pick up our personal/legal mail from our cell doors.

If I lose this campaign, my freedom of speech rights (and other federal laws) will continue to be violated along with thousands of other prisoners’ rights, including your rights! If I win this campaign, it will stop corrupt correctional offers from retaliating against me and thousands of other prisoners; it will stop corrupt correctional officers from violating federal laws; it will help me and thousands of other prisoners maintain communication with society (family, friends, and associates); it will help protect your (the public’s) freedom of speech rights; and it will help stop a lot of prisoners from harming or killing themselves–due to being cut off from society by corrupt correctional officers. They put us in solitary confinement for long periods (5, 10, and 20 years), then stop our communication with society. Isn’t that mental torture?!

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Members of the IWW have created the IWOC, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, which functions as a liaison for prisoners to organize each other, unionize, and build solid bridges between prisoners on the inside and fellow workers on the outside. Prison is a setup, a big business, there to make money off the People. Neither the setup, nor the slavery inside of prisons can be combated without the conscious participation of prisoners and the working class on the outside through mutual aid, solidarity, and the building of working relationships that transcend prison walls and the politics of mass incarceration. The IWOC has been actively reaching out to prisoners while at the same time prisoners have been reaching out to the IWW for representation and assistance in building a prisoners union. The IWOC has taken up the cause and is helping prisoners in every facility organize and build a union branch for themselves, which will together form a powerful IWW Industrial Union.

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