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after 21 years of being unjustly incarcerated it´s time to tell my story...the true story

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"My return to Pelican Bay finds improved conditions"

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posted on | Wed, September 3rd 2014

It is 8/7/14 and I’m back at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City California which is just a few miles from the Oregon boarder. It took us 10 hours to get here on the bus from DVI not the 6 hours I thought it would.

I’m presently in Administrative Segregation (ad-seg) since there’s not any open cell in the Security Housing Unit (SHU). I can already tell there have been a lot of changes here for the best. It’s almost like I’m at a different place. You see during the months of July 2011, July 2012, and July 2013 there were hunger strikes. The July 2013 hunger strike was the largest in United States history. It started off with 60,000 inmates which concluded with 30,000 inmates. The hunger strikes were to bring changes to the conditions here at Pelican Bay State Prison SHU. They were to bring awareness to the indeterminate SHU terms they are giving inmates and the conditions place on prisoners while in the SHU. You see, these are people who have been housed in this SHU for 30-40 years with in determinant SHU terms. The only way they could be released is to go through a debriefing process where by they implicate other prisoners who would then be placed in the SHU. It’s pure snitching! The thing you all need to understand is most snitches don’t tell the truth! They say whatever the prison officials want to hear, period! I remember when I was leaving Committee in 2008 and they had asked me if I wanted to debrief and I explained to them that I don’t know nothing about the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) and I’m not an associate as they claimed so it’s a waste of time for them to keep asking me that. While walking back to the cell the Institutional Gang Investigator (IGI) told me “just give them some names”. I said, “I’m not no BGF”. He said “Underwood, we know you’re a Muslim. For every action there is a reaction”. He was speaking about the lawsuit I filed.

Well they also brought attention to the food they was feeding us here. I can tell you right now the food is 100% better. The food here was terrible and I just can’t get over how much better it is. They also are coming around every thirty minutes doing a count due to the high suicide rates. I could do without that.

They also reviewed several prisoners’ SHU terms resulting in over 500 of them being released from the SHU to the general population. They also implemented this new step down program that labeled Security threat group (STG) 1-5; STG-1 is the most restrictive which means you will be released from the SHU to general population.

They also change the SHU canteen. I can’t believe the changes they’ve made. You see, we were allowed basically coffee, cookies, chips and the cup of soup. All our canteen items were taken out of the containers or bags. In other words our tooth paste was squeezed into a paper cup. Our deodorant was put in a paper cup. Our chips, cookies and soups were put in brown paper bags. We were not allowed any type of plastic in our cells. Now we can basically get the same canteen the general population can get. Man, this is truly monumental!

They also allowed us to have 2 appliances now we can now have a T.V. & radio. I also heard we are now allowed typewriters but that’s not a sure thing yet. I must wait until I get to the SHU to really find out what’s what. I sure hope so because I really need the typewriter for my legal obligations in the courts. That’s the number one thing I need.

We are confined to our cells for 22+ hours a day. If I can get a typewriter I’ll put so many hours per day into over turning my case. All this is truly a blessing for me. This is where I need to be to work on my case.

A couple of inmates died during the hunger strikes. It’s a shame that their deaths was the only way to get their attention that we have been denied so many basic human needs and was stuck in a system that can basically just lock you away in the SHU for life!

I go to Committee on Thursday to find out what they are going to do with me. If they are going to keep me in the SHU I hope they move me there ASAP! As I mentioned I’m in Ad-Seg and I’ve bee in Ad-Seg the last 3years in Massachusetts. I’m going to mention this to Committee since they are the ones who generated the information that included a bunch of lies that eventually helped influence the people of Massachusetts to use enhance security measures against me violating my rights.

I have been gone from California since 5/4/11 and I can’t say I’m glad to be back because I’m so far away from my family. But I am looking forward to receiving all my legal materials and attack the murders I didn’t do! On 8/4/14 it made 23 years I’ve been incarcerated. Wow, it really doesn’t seem that long. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

The biggest difference is this Ad-Seg compared to MCI Cedar Junction is its very clean and quiet. I’m behind a solid door and it’s been 3 years since I’ve been able to enjoy silence. I’m around convicts here and respect is mandatory. There’s only one way a convict disrespects someone and that’s with violence. In Massachusetts, they use to say anything out of their mouths. I’ve heard almost daily inmates cussing each other. One thing I’ve noticed is I never got involved in any of that, the whole time I was there. My problem was with certain staff never inmates.


 

8/14/14

Well I just came back from Committee. They are sending me back to the SHU. They stated my inactive/active review is due so I’m going to be reviewed by Institutional Gang Investigation (IGI) to see if I can be released from the SHU to general population. I addressed to them about the information charge that was generated by PBSP and sent with me to Massachusetts and was printed in the News paper back there. I explained the appeals coordinator here at PBSP said it was not generated at PBSP and was not part of my prisoner file. I pointed out how this document has affected me adversely while in Massachusetts.

The Warden and the Associate Warden was present in Committee. They asked to see the document once I get me property. They stated I should continue to use the avenue of the courts.


 

8/15/14

Today is my birthday. I ‘m 53 years old. A couple of the convicts said I look 38 & 40 years old. I don’t have any canteen or anything yet so they couldn’t be lying to ask me for something. Smile! I really don’t feel 53. I can push it during my workout as if I was 30. I don’t say up late like I use to. I don’t sleep anymore than 4 hours a night and that really worries me. Sometimes I have real bad anxiety attacks which keep me up for 2 days straight with no sleep at all. I really think I need to see somebody but I have a stigma when it comes to that. I’ve seen guys go down hill real quick after seeing mental health and getting on those drugs.


 

8/16/14

My number one concern now is over turning the murders out here in California. I’ve prepared the motions for copies of the trial and hearing transcripts. I have not received any of my legal property yet. I have some property (legal) I left here as well as the legal property they took from me on transport back to California while at Donald Wyatt facility in Rhode Island. Until I get all my legal materials and books there not anything I can do.

As far as the Massachusetts case the innocent project in Massachusetts will assist my lawyer Mr. Fellows with the chain of custody issues with the DNA evidence. He told me he will utilize their help. We are waiting for the trial transcripts to be completed so we can prepare all the petitions and briefs. I’m sure that case will result in an overturning of the conviction! The thing is I thought it was no way I could get convicted on a case in a state I’ve never been to! Well I was wrong! I thought I’ll get to get out of the SHU and travel and get to see my family and get an acquittal.

The few times I got to see my family made it all worth it! I got to use the phone too while in Massachusetts which they don’t allow at Pelican Bay. So I’ll miss those 2 fifteen minute calls a week. Being able to check up on my mom was a blessing.

So it took me from 7/18/14 thru 8/7/14 to go from Massachusetts to Pelican Bay State Prison. I pray that some day I’ll get out of prison and be able to travel again.

I have not shaved since the beginning of Ramadan so I have a beard now. It’s the Sunnah (path, ways) of Muslims to grow a beard so it’s about time I grew it. I notice the Imams and other Muslims use to always ask me why I don’t grow my beard. To be truthful, it was vain!

Well, I will let you all know what’s going on and once I get my transcripts of the California case. I’ll start having them posted showing all the things about the case I’ve mentioned on the site.

Take care,

May God bless you all!!

Please share your thoughts with me.

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