Abu Ghraib Torture Began at Home

by A.B.C., CCWF
Why go all the way to Iraq to see prisoners abused? Let?s start in our own country, the U.S.A. Brutality happens in the 32 prisons in California every second, every minute, every day non-stop!! CDC inmates are beaten, sprayed with chemicals, slammed on the ground, strip searched and on a lot of occasions, even raped?
Our own people are abusing us in our own country, so what can we expect from our own people in another country? 98% of the time we have no videos or photos or any kind of proof to show it, only our word which isn?t considered much.
Why can?t we spend our tax payers? money on trying to transform or reform all the abuse in the CDC, something that would show humanity that the U.S.A. is really a country of opportunity and freedom? Why can?t the prisoners in the CDC get the same media attention as the prisoners in Iraq?
We are not only pleading or crying out, we are begging for our voices to be heard! We say to our Governor, consider our inhuman treatment and conditions and start giving us some help!
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by M.S., CCWF
It was not a surprise to me that the scandal in Iraq’s prison involved people who were guards in a U.S. prison. Most of the Abu Ghraib abuses happen in every prison in California: harassment, degradation, the inhumanity in treating prisoners. The worst is the plain arbitrariness of the guards. The staff here is not helpful in almost any situation.
We see abuses of helpless people every day. If you try to stand up for yourself, you go to jail (segregation unit, or SHU). The only thing they don’t do here is put naked prisoners in pyramids or put hoods on us. Otherwise, what I saw in Iraq is what happens here every day.
They say that this kind of treatment is against the rules. They have rules they are supposed to follow here, too. But they don’t. The Geneva Convention should apply as a human standard in all situations.
The belittling is constant and at all levels. Recently I was standing in line for sanitary pads; the white women in front of me got 10 pads each. I got three. When I asked if race had something to do with getting an inadequate number of pads, the guard made a scene and said I disrespected her.
We can get strip searched at any time for no reason at all, and many of us do. They feel this is normal, anything they do to us is “normal.”
I had not heard that there were women held at Abu Ghraib, but I can just imagine the treatment they suffered. The incidents underscore the importance of people who stand up when something is not right. It was the soldier who blew the whistle who is the real hero. I had a situation when a staff member abused me. It was only because another staff member stood up for me that I can say I no longer suffer his abuse. I need to speak out about it, because the staff member who was harassing me was also harassing others. If I don’t speak the truth about it, then I am allowing the things that got me here to continue to chain me.