Michael Zaharibu Dorrough finally out of solitary!

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:

Michael Reed Dorrough D83611
CSP-Solano B-7-131L
P.O. Box 4000
Vacaville, CA 95696-4000
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We came together to reclaim our humanity

In: SF Bay View, Dec. 2nd, 2013by Michael Zaharibu Dorrough

To the extent that it is possible, we have been following the legislative hearings and we are hopeful – cautiously optimistic – that something meaningful and permanent will result from them.

We are all mindful of the promises made by some legislators in 2000 that efforts would be made to change the inhumanities that are inherent in the SHUs and exacerbated by the state, the pitting of prisoners against one another, isolating prisoners away from their families and loved ones and housing us in areas that are hostile to us (the complete illness). But we are also mindful that this time the legislative hearings are being held as a result of struggle and sacrifice.

It is what Frederick Douglass meant by “If there is no struggle there is no progress … Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” He also said, “Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow.”

And it was magnificent [during the hunger strike] to see inside the walls, to actually struggle together, people from different cultures and spaces. (The hospital here was overwhelmed nightly.)

And it’s really important that we separate ourselves from the state-created gang narrative that has been responsible for so much discourse [and discord] amongst us for so long.

This coming together to reclaim our humanity required political maturity on everyone’s part, young and old alike, throughout the system and the organizing efforts of the many, many progressives out there were and are equally magnificent. It serves as a basis for our hope.

And more than anything I wanted to write to say, from all of us here, thank you (and that is such an understatement) to you, the Bay View and everyone throughout the nation and globe for your courage, leadership, faith and friendship, support and inspiration and love.

There is still so much work to do and freedom to win and we look forward to the struggle ahead with you all. Until we win or don’t lose.

Send our brother some love and light: Michael Zaharibu Dorrough, D-83611, Cor SHU, 4B-1L-43, P.O. Box 3481, Corcoran, CA 93212.

About Zaharibu (Michael Reed Dorrough)

Zaharibu, or Michael Reed Dorrough, is held a prisoner at the California State Prison – Corcoran Secure Housing Unit (SHU). He was falsely arrested in 1985. He has spent more than 24 years in solitary confinement.

With this website we, Friends of Zaharibu, show our support for his case for innocence.

Also, we want to highlight the torturous conditions inside California’s solitary confinement units: locked in a very small cell for 24 hours a day, with only yardtime a few hours a week; no telephone calls ever; one hour visits behind glass; never being able to touch one’s family/loved ones; one photo a year they had to fight for to get; inadequate food and clothing, etc. Zaharibu needs to be heard and released.

We have also created a Facebook profile page for Zaharibu that we manage to keep in contact more easily with his family and friends, supporters.

Note: “Being validated” does not mean a lot, it is the terminology of the California dept. of Corrections (CDCR). The term is being used not only for gang members but also to lock-in solitary people who adhere to authors, political programs, etc. that are classified by CDCR as undesirable in their views. Making these prisoners political or politicised prisoners.

This comes from SolitaryWatch and SF Bay View: (Sept. 24th 2012)

Michael Dorrough, an inmate at California State Prison, Corcoran, who has spent 24 years in the SHU after being  validated as a member of the Black Guerilla Family in 1988, is skeptical of any talk of reforms:

It is virtually impossible to figure out or believe anything you might hear regarding the step down program. It’s supposed to be revised again. This will be the sixth revision. In all honesty I would not want to be included in it. Aside from those privileges that have been outlined in each of the draft proposals, you have no idea what the expectations are. And it is stated that there are expectations. There is a contract that you must sign stipulating that you agree with whatever the expectations are. No one knows what the contract looks like and that’s usually the best indication that something is wrong.

Dorrough, who has been held in all three of California’s SHUs, writes of psychological struggles as a result of his prolonged isolation:

I know that, psychologically, damage has been done. I don’t just talk to myself, I curse myself out. Sometimes I’ll drop something, a piece of paper, a spoon, and I’ll get mad at whatever I’ve dropped. I’ll snatch it off the floor with the intention of harming it.

You can actually feel yourself disconnecting. And I ask myself from what? You really have been cut off from everything. This is it.

And here we are only allowed out to the yard cages once, maybe twice a week. We are confined to the cells 24 hours a day, five or six days a week. I have developed a condition in which I bite down on my back teeth constantly. It’s been happening for a couple of years. And the only thing I have been told is that it’s all in my mind.

“Isolation can really crush your spirit,” he writes.

Address:

Michael Zaharibu Dorrough
D-83611,
CSP-Cor-SHU, 4B-1L-43

P.O. Box 3481,
Corcoran, CA 93212

(Zaharibu was forcibly removed from 4B to 4A during the July 2013 hunger strike)