Duane Palm, recently transferred to High Desert State Prison after working to close down California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville

Good afternoon! — as we move forward with the work of closing 10 CA prisons by 2025!

The windows to prison have always been Dark Tinted to the public. Too many oppressive secrets that reside behind these walls represent the face of torture. 

To change a flawed system, society must be willing to challenge those that give the system power. We must be willing to challenge the system of oppression and exploitation that the prison system is designed to protect. But there is no accountability, and prisons are the home of Paid, Corrupt Officials who know exactly what they are paid to do. 

I saw this first-hand while I was at CCC [California Correctional Center]. My experience there was intricate, mind awakening. Separated from my family I was educated to the prison’s mission: to break a man’s spirit. To make sure you remain trapped in a pit of despair. You take a stand on the side of what’s right and you will be tortured by what’s wrong.

But I also knew that if we didn’t speak out then nothing would change. Organizing with other prisoners allowed me to get in touch with my inner self. I learned how to endure suffering while focusing on my goals. How to survive the storm of injustice because it had to be done.

Together, we wrote a petition and formulated demands – with nearly 100 prisoners adding their signatures. Connecting with CURB helped get our message out and gave us voice in a legal process that was listening to every voice except ours, even though we were most directly affected. And we ended up getting CCC shut-down! 

But there is so much more to be done. These kinds of prisons should not be allowed to exist. The surface beneath the surface is held in confidence. Eradicate injustice or protect it. What path will we choose?

For Change,

-Duane Palm  

High Desert State Prison