tv Watching the Hawks RT March 31, 2020 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT
to make money so you try to figure out which. we have to. take to washing your old clothes on your. show. you put your clothes in a bag. you take to the laundry and. you don't know which. you might or might. not get it all. in the prison she is coming to the wall you bring it to be in the field there. are a lot of people. even and the unit $29.00 is said to be the newest the most modern unit is still crumbling the infrastructure is crumbling and it's visible to anybody who even walks into the normally when you go to
a visit on unit $29.00 it's going to be hotter it's going to be cold either it's going to be extremely cold outside or is going to be extremely hot inside normally in temperatures in excess of $100.00 degrees there's no aircon there's no air conditioning. there's no aggravation for us in a ventilated area. and in the actual pods in the sales at home guys they have no circulation at all so what you normally would seeing is that you see. and they're laying on the coal for because units when that is in. cinder blocks they hold in either cool air and they hold the heat so during the summer months they're holding in all the cool air so the gas just lay bare just like bare chested on the floor it's not uncommon to see 5 or 6 guys just laid out and in a sale on the floor vironment is visible in the visiting area. spiders. in little. biters mosquitoes the size of.
walls any if you want to see in the corners of the facility and these are areas where the public are. allowed i mean there's nothing new about what's happening in march and i would say in very recent history i think 2 summers ago in august there was basically every other day most of them parchin and in a little bit further back history if we look at the 1000 some usual punishment so as long as the prison has existed there have been these sort of cruel inhuman conditions and what we're going to continue to see and have seen in the past is these. periods where the state violence is sort of most apparent to us but for people who are incarcerated that state violence every day i would never drink the water or i don't like to wash my hands in the bathroom because when you turned water it's literally the color of my water fountains when they were the same
way they were they come on the water fountains you're too scared to drink the guards will tell you not to drink up bad guys give me about water because i didn't have any they went to water but my clients weren't that water out of the water varies between 2 ways it's either to chlorinate it or it smells like sewage and so all the pipes leak right so the gas had their socks around the leaky pipes and so if that's not so brown. they know not to drink the water if the socks are why they know koreans in the water we can wash our clothes and that if you don't drink the water you're going to drink it at that time period if there is a border notice in the area you guys will get by the water there are still forced to drink that water they take their medication with water that smells like sewage they take medication in water that visibly if you put it in a cup and they have the gas will take it they let the water sit and they let all of the soil and all of the particles go to the bottom and then they just drink the water that is clarified on top. conditions that partially have been laid for.
behind me is the mississippi state penitentiary known locally as parchment prison where an astounding 9 individuals have died in the past month alone since the start of the new year reports of everything from fights and fires and suicides to insufficient food and water supplies power outages an individual sleeping on the floors have been reported and a mountain of human rights abuses are allegedly going on behind these walls we traveled here today to speak with locals activists politicians celebrities and everyone in between and to try and figure out why these things are happening here parchment and what can be done to fix the problem in order to understand the current crisis inside parchment you have to go way back in history and understand the prisons roots of former governor of mississippi and open my supra mrs james k. vardaman was instrumental in creating the mississippi state prison he believed that
the money made from convict leasing and chain gang should go to the state instead of private entities and thus the mississippi state penitentiary was born the prison itself is a reform so parchment prison comes about at the turn of the last century as a as a way to sort of. undo what some people are see as the problems of the comically system and in particular governor the governor at the time james vardaman who is an unapologetic white supremacist actually runs on the campaign of white supremacy. believes that the problem with comic leasing was not really the sort of. human rights abuse that it was but rather that you saw it as sort of lining the pockets of the plantation class so he was a white supremacist populist and believe that this sort of state run plantation style prison would instead be a way of sort of socializing african-americans to their place which he saw as.
manual labor the reform that led to the establishment of parchment was also why it's a crime assist in its intent. as i mentioned james james parliament the person who established. parchment and he used to actually incarcerated people on the grounds of parchment with bloodhounds for sport so if you think about that kind of context in which this place is born there's really no some training white supremacy. initially. after the timeline of the so there were about 4 or 5 it's within 3 or 4 days between december 29th and january 2nd either on january 2nd in the o.c. issued a statement stating that everything was under control however on january 3rd 2 more people died as a result of incidents that occurred within within one of the indio see it was still
a tease throughout the state we did a timeline breakdown of everything that was occurring once we did that time last week we deployed the article on twitter facebook all of our platforms and certainly it began to go really viral we posted a video image of that was sent of several mean being housed in a in a unit 32 of parchment unit 32 of parchment has been condemned closed down since 2009 says 2000 that suffered for over 10 years and that was closed down with a.c.l.u. into than agreement with mississippi state prison for parchment to close it down the reason it was closed down was because it was a hellhole the. essential it was it was a place where where 6 of the people that were being housed there it was the different facility it was the place where where people who were very sick was also being housed but it was also a. a place that was
a violent place to say the least essentially the a.c.l.u. the site it. this facility should no longer be open so for 10 years this this place had been closed down and this was the place that. these these the incarcerated people were moved to this facility now is flooded it has black mold in it they have no mattresses it basically has not been maintained in 10 years it was continue to be able to years ago but we have video surfaces of these men inside of this facility and we had already told the story that no other new site was telling with regard to those men being in unit 32 nobody else had disclosed it because they didn't have the inside information once we got it we shared it and we shared their video on the video went viral on twitter it was shared by. many hip hop artists and attain his own twitter instagram can people like t.i.
david banner and big create i think even so a lot of rappers have really been vocal about it parchment is located at least 2 hours away from many major cities making it difficult for lawyers family members and having kids to visit in recent months incarcerated people have used contraband cell phones to share videos and photos of their conditions on social media. and incidents of forced transparency in a deadly situation one of the prison officials allege that prison gangs are to blame for the mounting death of the merge many many are pushing against that narrative stating that the inhuman conditions are driving people beyond sanity i think now with all of that. technology that now we're going to have people are now going to be able to see inside and i think that's what's threatening to. the people that are supposed to be in charge of the prisoners now disappoint i think this is was threatening to warm because you can't you get so many people in so much of that is around so much controversy they were going there you can't you can't
really control and find out who were to get richie this from who. and so it's going to continue to leak we're going to change a lot more things that continue to slip because people are getting bold but now people are also coming up get the main way their prisons have been able to skirt any type of regulation authority around issues involving prisoners and litigation pretty much came out of the night a $95.00 in congress passed the prison litigation reform act and what that was is that at that time congress was seeing in prisons we're seeing a large number of prisoners filing suits about the conditions that they lived in and it was causing a backlog in the backlog. in the system and so congress wanted a way to limit the rights of prisoners to bring federal lawsuits about the conditions that they were being to. and so what the p.l.r. a does is that it basically calls for prisoners to allow their captors
time and notice to fix issues that are conditions based so basically which you have to do is that you have to say you have to say to the people who are holding you in these conditions hey. this is why artists males like for this war. and then you have to give those people a reasonable amount of time to address. before you can move on. to even file a lawsuit against the prison. i can't show you my face but i'm going to see you must. in 9093 this man was
sentenced to death. they get charged with capital murder even though he didn't have the gun didn't pull the trigger didn't intend to kill anybody imagine living in your bathroom for that week with the son of a $23.00. i don't doubt that he. had been. confined within 4 green walls. it's using. him to leave defense room. micrographs friends aren't sleights and dad sed you know why. for example there are there slights against women or nonwhites so it's always the idea is that statements that directed toward a privileged group are interpreted differently than a statement directed toward an oppressed group and so that's kind of the whole framework and it's a it's a political framework that's used the result is of course focusing at least on
certain kinds of minor slights and say more rather than the north more than we need to call attention to them but it's not all slight so it's very political and its contents. the system is working let this be clear it's not a broken criminal justice system the criminal justice system is do or what it was designed to do steal kill and destroy. in cage people this work what needs to happen with the system is tear the system apart. that's what needs to happen because if we don't repeal it with some lousy we're going to
keep this repetitive cycle. that only rubio will you bring good from people to the table would do for the absolute and the would be mississippi you would always have been the good old boy rule right but i believe that this generation lose comune. the good old boys won't work for them it's not the gang leaders who are feeding them only one meal a day it's not the gang leaders who are not repairing the. plumbing where they can get water i mean more than just one water bottle a day it's not the gang leaders who are leaving trash everywhere i mean this is obviously a problem with the state of mississippi when we think of prisoners we don't think humans we think criminals we think gang members we think murderers rapists we don't think that over half the population in prison are in there for victimless crimes we don't think that these are indeed humans who deserve human rights. we want to think
that they're terrible people so whenever the state tells us that they're terrible people we feel like it's ok that they get treated terribly and that's just not the case most prisoners are not in there for any other reason than possibly smoking a plant or doing some other victimless crime harshman for example you have the a.a.r.p. process which is called the administrative remedy process and the way it's supposed to work is that there is the post to be about each unit on each zone he needs to hear and they're supposed to be these little forms that you can fill out in the end it has to in you can only bring up one issue at a time and it has to be so specific as to give the reasonable notice and to fix your problem before you can move on and so it is that is a 3 step process you feel that they are p. and you tell them what your complaint is and you put it in the box and you hope to get a response. if you don't get a response within 30 days you move on to the 2nd step the 2nd step is i did not get
a response i still want to respond. you put that in the box they have 30 days to respond to it and then and only then if you have gotten no response in 60 days then if you can find somebody to file a lawsuit on your behalf against in the o.c. to do so it makes it virtually impossible to file to get any kind of remedy legally for prisoners who don't have any. solutions to the problems at parchment are difficult but they do exist holding elected officials and prison officials accountable is on the lips of everyone i spoke with as well as creative solutions to addressing the issue people that are making decisions about what should happen with prisons. should be present have not a clue what's really going on you've got the wrong people at the table you know you need those who play at the table that really care people that are connected to the
issue at hand people who have had family members behind you know the bars how can you really connect how can you really see what you're willing to see and be human and see people as human if you have not been through the experience one way or the other whether you've been a family member if you had a family member in there or locked up to hold somebody accountable for what's happening you almost have to do. go back so far it didn't just or. it didn't just happen you just keep getting people in position to not change and it is the problem but in order to deal with hold of somebody accountable you gotta go way back so was ham you got to actually have legislators and people actually going to the facility actually talking to people like they're people and not just walking me and ignoring them like you're looking at the paint on the wall but actually humanize them bring them meaning you know find out the day ask them them name you
know make them human because they can help you solve the problems they can tell you is needed they can fix it guess who gets to vote light on this not us not any other organization not even the state of mississippi the inmates the prisoners all 100 percent in charge 100 percent in show it. out of the media attention has pressurize out the more the abuse the abnormal use behind the walls we live behind the wall and you're going to have offices this going to say oh. yeah relive a yaml today you get channel 3 for fat. guy washington whoever here and guess would they go now and you don't shower when
i say you can shower. you go eat when i say you can eat and guess would i say take your reckon take it now that's the reality it was going on behind the walls in the prison would lock down and a lockdown in this in a state but especially in mississippi is a time for dio say out to more to allow staff who are rated been overworked. to have time off so it's a lot. less going out even more pressure rises a pressure situation. we want you to 29 should we want any brothers or sisters as inside you know 32 to be our unit 32 we were partially shut down in the interim. immediately what we want is for those brothers and sisters assad to have better food better health care better mental health care we want to be treated like human beings we want them to be able to have access to their family existed to their
representation because these are things that they're being deny right now just the sheer volume of which you have to try and do in this year manage time and the amount of money that it takes to even to file any litigation the bad conditions we can take the alabama department of corrections case as an example that's a 6 year lift. you know organizers and have attorneys 6 years to even get it to a point to where they can bring alabama department corrections to the table in mississippi. question when he let the health department last week the reason is the health department is can the before. but since that time they refused to allow those brothers access to to the necessary thing and we want people out of there ultimately we want them to immediately reinstate parole for those who have the ability to have access to the roe we want them to media really released those who have been healed all not in the fences on drug offenses to de
coster rate this system also billy and i'll be honest with you to goal is to abolish this system started over you know what i mean like reboot because we've never had a say in this process whether this is a sad nobody had a say in this process but this process has always come down on us is very defensive . we demand that whatever changes come in a transformative way the the problem of the prison and prison organizing has remained the same over time which is visibility it's how do you draw attention to these dark sites across the country when they're specifically designed to sort of prevent the public from understanding and empathizing in and knowing how to. address the problem so i think a starting point for all of these campaigns is greater connectivity between people outside and inside so we make sure that we are responding to people's needs inside and also aware of the conditions and creating sort of networks. so that when we
have these episodes of extreme violence were able to better address the sort of everyday violence as well as it gets more and more attention and we get more and more leaders stepping up who are using their voices and using their their power 70 or their power to create a voice for. for the incarcerated we're still trying to be centric on the voices of the actual prisoners i know they're they're bringing in celebrities who are taking their own actions and what not but our thing is we're talkin directly right now to incarcerated people and to direct family members of people who are incarcerated because when we look at the root cause and the root solutions of what needs to be done these are the people who are closest to the issue and they're going to know what they need done a thing a lot of times people have. to speak almost they didn't have a wall. because they have knowledge or heard someone else speak about it
they may feel it was deliverable voice book them to you want to march. argue you were in the right it's hard to explain to people. you it expert if you went to school to learn criminal justice reform or you went to law school or you now been elected june june now this you you want to be the expert you want to have the answers you pay this price of educating yourself to be the expert and then when you have some magic come allow you did the time in the prison. now tell you what you need this is what you need and that's a lot of why. the criminal justice system in what's happening here in mississippi is happening because we have deafen our sadness the voices of the people they need to be heard because here we are 30 plus years in the gang and we
still haven't been hurt although i hope that we have being heard you heard us your ear. if our state has heard us desta key because we can happy people come from all over the world even local give media attention to it but the only way we know that we've been hurt is because chang starts to care. but it's a cause for pride pressure conditions that's what makes this a pressure water. a water pipe if you put too much pressure on it and. everything is happening right now and disappoint you say it. lobster loss. for no reason. people in sales was not supposed to be with you and it's not good. not good it's called as
it's causing death. to prison and you want to go in prison you do the time. go to prison. but not to disc a pass. this is the worst i've ever heard. say to my brothers and sisters. feel your. pain. and we have a stout from the day we. took a current moment and we just asked him stand down is strength in the was. dead a week in areas where you can stop valley. where you can encouraged. just like you would embrace want with low. fat like you would if you want. a like you desire only and. and to know that you have people here work in a way to for you to.
i can't show you my face but i'm going to teach you must store in 9093 this man was sentenced to death. they get charged with capital murder even though he didn't have the gun didn't pull the trigger didn't intend to kill anybody imagine living in your bathroom for that week with just under 23 hours. i doubt that i deserve to be . confined within 4 gray walls fights using. turn all to help him to leave defense room. full of let me. ask i wouldn't. take i could.
not sell the thing. to show more than. you love clued me in on the. sound you make good to see because the ones who tell. you what they were all of the kook on the standards of that not as you dunks. no more the filthy filthy. new and those the morons who moved in with along much of the snooze florida night 2 for not so would you hire them. anything to use into this. line in the budget. plan none of the new one on the media has on the name.
welcomed on contact today we discussed the legacy of the great investigative journalist i asked stone with d.d. got the plan all presidents lie. and he also said every government has long run by liars but what's really dangerous is when they start believing the hash they're peddling they start smoking has they're peddling you know and i think that's true and i think there's a there's always been a difference look it's always been a way to advance up the career ladder to the compass to not refer to power tell me about it i worked at the premier institution for that exactly and if you don't you become a management problem you that's right and stone was a management problem and i'm now the editor of the nation and in 9th.