Michael Reed Dorrough’s article written in Feb-March of 2019, was published in the SF Bayview newspaper of June 2019:
Today the interview that Bryan Mazza conducted with Michael Dorrough was aired on KALW’s Uncuffed (91.7FM in the Bay Area, or online at kalw.org. He speaks about his time in the newly built SHU in Pelican Bay prison, where he started the 26 years he was locked in solitary confinement.
You can listen to it here: https://www.kalw.org/post/twenty-six-years-isolation-story-michael-dorrough
Zaharibu let us know in a letter that he has completed a mentorship class called M.A.N.U.P. He will now be able to conduct a class, and he is doing so on Tuesdays.
Zaharibu’s custody level has also been reduced, and therefore he can stay out on the yard until 8:45 PM.
Zaharibu is now also working as a clerk for the educational department. He is looking forward to that experience.
For the rest, Zah keeps working on his case for innocence, and on educating the people about the sentence of Life Without Parole in California dropped as an inhumane sentence, as part of the Lifers With Optimistic Progress (LWOP)-group.
We received the joyful news that as of November 2015 Zah is out of solitary confinement! He is still being held at a Level iii which means he is not allowed out of his cell after 3 PM. But overall he sounded much better in his letter.
Although he writes it is cold up there (no heating in the cells), the food is usually hot, and not bad, and he has spent time out in the yard, which has helped his health too. He can also see the mountains when he leaves his cell. Also, he has been able to call regulary, something which still is very special, because for most of the 26 years Zah spent in solitary, he was not allowed to call.
The prison is about 6 hours from his family in Compton, which is too far for his elderly mother to travel, so we hope that he can one day be moved closer to her, but best would be if his case was overturned…
You can write Zah at this address:
Since April 2015 Michael Reed (Zaharibu) Dorrough has been in prison for 30 years while innocent. Zaharibu is now 61. He is being kept in solitary confinement since 26+ years, due to his political views (New Afrikan), and his health is failing because of this stressful and highly unhealthy situation he is forced to live in.
Please read Michael’s story here, and please spread the word. We need Michael to go home, so that he can look after his mother and be with his family. Here you can download a flyer summarizing his case for innocence.
Michael was moved to an adjoining unit in April, because of being moved up to “step 3” in the “Step Down Program.”
We would like to know if there are attorneys or legal helpers or innocence organizations out there who could help us get Michael back into court. Thank you for your consideration.
Annabelle for Zaharibu’s Support team
Zaharibu [@] gmail.com
It is very obvious here that they have no intention of releasing certain people to general population – they are issuing rules violation reports and finding [certain] people guilty for things that make it obvious that it’s politics. I mentioned in a previous letter that we were issued “rules violations reports.”
I believe that the closer certain people get to being considered for release, these “Rules Violations Reports” will be used to justify retaining those people in SHU.
I am no closer to a general population than i was 26 years ago. And the same thing can be said for a number of prisoners. And because so many of us are being issued “Rules Violations Reports” that have absolutely nothing at all to do with gang activity (except in the warped thinking of the i.g.i. [institutional gang investigators] no one is interested in engaging in any of what the Cdcr proposes – and no one should expect us to subordinate ourselves to things like this.
The Cdcr should be willing to admit that certain people will not be released for whatever reason – and then commit themselves to developing programs for those prisoners.
The state would love to have us – still – fighting this battle years from now – while they continue to subject us to torture – and deprive us the opportunities to re-connect with our families and loved ones, and really, nothing has changed. There are no programs at all in place – and, the policies as to the privileges that were available in SDP [Step Down Program] have been reduced.
People here want to program, they look for light at the end of the tunnel, but only see darkness.
Written Dec. 28, 2014, received Jan. 13th, 2015.
On November 20th, Michael Zaharibu Dorrough was moved back from the prison hospital to cell nr 22 in 4B-1L. You can now reach him here:
Michael Dorrough, D83611
P.O. Box 3481,
Corcoran, CA 93212
Please write Zaharibu and let him know you are in support of him!
Also they routinely get NO YARDTIME.
Email of the Ombudsman: email@example.com and cc it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is what Zaharibu wrote:
“We routinely get beat out of everything that we have coming:
– Personal property items that we are allowed to have (there is a new property matrix out since January and Zaharibu was denied boxer shorts sent in by his parents via a vendor!).
– We are fed on paper trays almost daily.
I have personally spoken to an associate warden here, and the guy who is in charge of implementing the SDP (step down program), both agree that we should get everything that we are entitled to, but neither of them will do anything, nothing at all, to enforce policy and ensure that we are issued those items that we have coming: receive our yard, and receive our full portion of food (something that is not possible on paper trays).”
(from a letter dated Feb 13, 2014).