Letter from Pelican Bay State Prison
By Fred Tuitasi, Prisonersolidarity.org
May 3, 2006
from this side of the fence, in California. I am incarcerated in
a supermax prison in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) - also known
as solitary confinement. I have been in the SHU now since December
1995. I will parole from this hell hole in a few more years, when
my full sentence has been served.
are no programs at this institution. We are confined in windowless
cells for 22 1/2 hours per day, cell fed, no contact visits, no
phone calls, and there are no vocational programs period.
inmate can enroll in college correspondance courses if they can
afford them. Every time we exit the section we must first submit
to a strip search. Then, we are cuffed up and escorted by two guards
to our destination, which is only a hundred yards away. This place
is desolate, dreary, a stagnated maze of pain and misery, built
to torture those poor souls who blunder into desolation. It is a
graveyard of broken lines and rusting dreams for many who reside
lot of prisoners housed in the SHU live their daily lives as if
in a lab, like mice for an audience of what free people call "authority."
The ultimate goal of solitary confinement is to break the spirits
of the men it confines. I've seen men enter the SHU with healthy
minds and later go insane, lose it all mentally, right before my
know that old saying, that "only the strong survive."
Well, it's true. Only, here it's a mental battle. In this world
I live in there si no gentleness. And kindness is always taken as
weakness by the predators. You learn to trust nobody. It becomes
a game of survival in here, pretty much. My refuge is found in my
solitude, and also in reading whatever I can get my hands on, to
keep my mind acting naturally. I also enjoy reading a book I can
gain knowledge from.
many in the SHU, contact with people in the outside world keeps
them sane and grounded. I would like to know more about prisonersolidarity,
and receive information about any newsletters or publications for
prisoners that I might subscribe to. I came across your organization
in an announcement in Z-Magazine. I am interested also in corresponding
with people on the outside and exchanging letters on a regular basis.
I am 38 years old and I've been incarcerated now since 1993.
PO Box 7500 C3-112
Crescent City, CA 95531
You may contact Fred Tuitasi directly by writing to him at the address
listed above. The following link offers tips for writing to prisoners: