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A Letter from Pelican Bay State Prison
By Fred Tuitasi, Prisonersolidarity.org
May 3, 2006

Salutations 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.

There 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.

An 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 here.

A 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
eyes.

You 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.

For 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.

Sincerely,
Fred Tuitasi

Fred Tuitasi, #E-01512
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: http://prisonersolidarity.org/TipsForWritingPrisoners.htm

Related Readings:
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Prison_System/CrimePunish_Pelican.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelican_Bay_State_Prison

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