California Health Care Facility – Care?

by Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa and Balagoon Kambone Muhammad

California Health Care Facility (CHCF), built 10 years ago on 144 acres of state-owned land at the cost of $820 million, is the largest, most expensive medical and mental health subsidiary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Due to Legionnaires’ disease and problems with management, it has closed down four times then reopened under the stewardship of six different wardens. 

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa with arms crossed 2017
image: Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa with arms crossed, in 2017

CHCF has an inmate-patient population of 250 of CDCr’s sickest elderly inmates and is equipped to actively treat everything from cancer, cardiac and Crohn’s disease to zoster, aka shingles, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

A few years ago, a federal judge ordered CDCr to decrease its population at San Quentin by 50 percent. So, in partial compliance, the department shifted a few pieces, moved a lot of sick bodies around and released approximately 500 old, broken-down convicts, most who had been isolated in Pelican Bay, Corcoran and Tehachapi SHUs (Security Housing Units) long-term.

Note: Most of the Warriors who were housed in the SHU due to gang validation came out sick from years of poor diets, polluted air, extreme workouts, poisoned food, contaminated water and old age, so compassionate release was in order.

Suffice it to say, the department also developed contractual agreements with health care facilities, rehabilitation centers and convalescent homes for “beds,” then paid them millions of dollars annually to house high-risk medical patients in those beds as part of the “expanded medical parole” program.

The Health Care Placement Oversight Program (HCPOP) is responsible for various population management functions. The Medical Classification Matrix (MCM) is a tool that supports the task of matching a patient’s medical classification factors with the available facilities. Hence, the MCM is maintained by the Health Care Placement Oversight Program.

So, matching overall patient medical needs with facility capabilities in a particular institution is the objective of the aforesaid computer programs or medical classification systems and classification services unit.

Many of these patients have completed their base term decades ago, but because of their extensive medical issues and thus their financial worth to the system, they are retained within a population risk stratification level that guarantees federal and state budgetary funds.

I was sent to CHCF – an acute care and rehabilitative hospital unit that provides intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy plus supportive nursing services aimed at helping me recover from a massive stroke – from Ashbury Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Strategic Offender Management Systems is a place that was supposed to provide a bed to CHCF for continuous skilled nursing care and supportive care on an extended basis.

In other words, for the millions of dollars given to this particular nursing facility, we are supposed to get: 1) 24-hour nursing care, 2) access to a physician, 3) skilled specialists, 4) dietary services, 5) pharmaceutical services, 6) an activity program.

When I pointed this and other factors out and challenged the facility to come up to the standards – I was castigated and labeled a troublemaker.

The truth of the matter is I had a working knowledge of chronic care conditions, high-risk medications, and the extent, frequency and complexity of nursing care activity needed at the facility. So I was considered a threat to those whose performance fell far below the specified standard of care.

Why is this of any significant import to the general public? Because it’s the taxpayers billions that keep these cash cows in flux. It’s their dollars that keep an elderly population locked away in prison clinics and healthcare subsidiaries like CMF-Vacaville, CMC-San Luis Obispo and CHCF-Stockton until they die.

Many of these patients have completed their base term decades ago, but because of their extensive medical issues and thus their financial worth to the system, they are retained within a population risk stratification level that guarantees federal and state budgetary funds.

Needless to say, were this the way of CDCr and its medical facilities, it could be written off as just another aspect of corruption and the fleecing of America’s taxpayers in the name of crime and punishment. But this is also the way of convalescent homes, nursing and rehabilitation centers and healthcare facilities that have gotten into bed with CDCr under the Extended Medical Parole program. It is the way of Wall Street and the barons of finance and investment who wage billions on the overall system, the Prison Industrial Complex, and devise ways and means of quadrupling their investments.

Understand that “crime and punishment” is devoid of meaning and purpose without a financial incentive. Law and the federal funding of law enforcement is utterly devoid of meaning and purpose without a financial incentive.

Case in point: There are now hundreds of anti-drug, anti-gang laws on the books – and multi-dimensional task forces within every city and state police force who receive billions and trillions in federal funding, yet the problem persists.

The rules of the game are designated to allow for maximum return on minimum investment – this same principle can be applied to the healthcare system and general services.

If that annual budget is cut in any way, law enforcement backs up, gives the green light to their drug dealers and agent provocateurs in each hood, and has a proposal sent to the mayor and state governor for “more money to combat the drug gang problem.” They now use the upgraded version 2.0 of this tactic – “an opioid pandemic that is adversely affecting middle and upper-class ‘white communities.’”

The rules of the game are designated to allow for maximum return on minimum investment – this same principle can be applied to the healthcare system and general services. Why is healthcare and the overall system of medicine now at the forefront of the game? Because it is the system now producing the most revenue – especially post-global pandemic.

Remember to remember, never to forget that every system depends on the tangible benefits that go to those responsible for the development, administration and maintenance of the system.

Go back for a moment to 2019 and the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic – what was going on in government, society at large and within the global economy during the first days of the Trump regime? Who were the first groups that Mr. Trump met with and why?

Our beloved brother George Floyd had just been murdered. The voice of doubt about Trump’s legitimate win was growing louder. The economy was failing and jobs were being outsourced by the millions or given to foreigners who are being supplanted in America for political dissidents and asylum-seekers.

But the most important move was a meeting that Mr. Trump held with “Big Pharma” to regulate them. If you go back and look at the pharmaceutical companies on the stock exchange, all of them dropped to less than $5 per unit/option. Then the pandemic hit, and Mr. Trump announced a $300 billion grant for research and development of an antidote – and pharmaceutical stocks went crazy.

CDCr has within its medical budget a multi-billion-dollar pharmacy stipend that is twofold – Big Pharma pays to have agency cops at their disposal and the federal government pays to keep the system afloat.

What does this have to do with elderly prisoners, convalescent homes and CDCr’s new cash cow? A lot! When you hear on the news that a new drug has been developed, tested (with limited deaths) and FDA-approved, who do you think it was tested on? Us Elders who are sitting here dying or the people in African countries that the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank have a stranglehold on – those who rely on the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders.

CDCr has within its medical budget a multi-billion-dollar pharmacy stipend that is twofold – Big Pharma pays to have agency cops at their disposal and the federal government pays to keep the system afloat. And medication and operations are the biggest money makers of the department’s health care system followed by durable equipment and medical supplies. 

Why is this over-spending on what prisoners need such a big issue? Because we only see the bare minimum and receive the cheapest products, yet the financial records will show that the warden of business affairs, the chief medical executive and administrative staff responsible for requisition have paid top dollar for synthetic drugs, inferior equipment and substandard medical supplies. They have fired licensed medical providers with credentials from American colleges and universities and hired unlicensed health care workers from Asia, India and Africa, whose credentials can be bought and paid for online. 

We never thought that we’d see the day when a West African person would be the administrator and the white American the Pride Industries trash man. We never dreamed that Equal Employment Opportunity would open the doors to foreigners, but lock their doors to local, struggling mothers living in the streets by the thousands.

And although our range of vision and power of sight allows us to sit in our new medical think-tanks and to see in the past, present and future tense, it doesn’t allow us to predict how the systematic healthcare scheme will end. For now though, we follow the money – because in a capitalist society, the bottom line is all that counts. 

Stand firm and move forward,
Sitawa and Balagoon

Special note: Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa and Balagoon Kambone Muhammad are both medical patients and survivors of the repressive elements that identified and isolated hundreds of the most powerful and influential convicts as validated gang members. Together they have 80 years straight behind the wall and 46 years of that in the SHU (Security Housing Unit) – Sitawa surviving 30 years of torture, Balagoon 16 – yet they push forward from their hospital beds and wheelchairs with but one call: Stand firm and dare to overcome the impossible. 

Send our brothers some love and light: Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, C-35671, CHCF D-Fac B1A-127, P.O. Box 213040, Stockton, CA 95213; Bro. Balagoon K Muhammad, C95955, CHCF D1A-129 L, P.O. Box 21340, Stockton, CA 95213.

Originally posted in the SF Bayview

Lost in time: Lift up our brother Sitawa and strike down indefinite incarceration

by Mutope Duguma

It’s always hard to stomach news that is disheartening. To hear that a brother and comrade has suffered a stroke after spending countless years in solitary confinement, as well as being held on an indefinite sentence for an alleged crime he did not commit, is even more disheartening.

I need not stress the sorrow that is felt amongst the whole prison

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa in July of 2018

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa in July of 2018

population for our brother Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, who, along with countless fearless prisoners, pioneered our Prison Human Rights Movement (PHRM) to the world’s stage. We continue to see men and women incarcerated far too long – beyond anyone’s imagination – and continue to be held indefinitely.

Our beloved brother Sitawa is amongst this class of men and women. The inhumane treatment of prisoners must end.

Our brother Sitawa and many others have suffered enough and should not continue to do so based on being given a life sentence that equals a civil death. Prior to 1968, under original Penal Code Section 2600, California prisoners suffered complete civil death, which means prisoners were stripped of all civil rights.

The prison system is actually covertly executing all of its lifers. The United States is the only country in the whole world that incarcerates people indefinitely – forcing them to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Men and women have been incarcerated for 35 years or more.

Many of these people are lost in time. They came to prison as youth in their teens and early 20s in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Yes, many of them were immature, many had no real direction, but they all became adults in the Amerikan prison system.

At present these prisoners, Baby Boomers, most of whom have survived decades of incarceration, are now between the ages of 60 and 80. Many of these senior citizens are wheelchair-bound or use assistive devices such as walking canes.

Like most seniors, many are on special medications, require special medical therapy for seniors, and suffer from aging illnesses of various sorts. I hear some say that a few manage to get around good at 70 years young.

Many say, yes, they should be in prison, and that may be true in some cases. Given the things they did in society, the way they carried themselves in the youth of their lives was utterly wrong and disrespectful, but that was decades ago when they were young! Decades!

They are now older, mature, grown, senior adults, who have fulfilled all requirements from various parole boards around the U.S. Multiple prisoners have complied with all laws, rules and regulations of the prison and carried themselves as role model human beings and in many cases have done so for decades.

Still, many of them are forced to remain in prison when the maximum amount of time on their sentence has long since expired. This is terrible and extremely cruel to force rehabilitated human beings to remain in bondage and especially when statistics clearly show that 90 percent of them are not returning to prison once released.

Sadly, 89 percent of prisoners across the US are Black and Mexican. From 1619 through the 1800s, the chattel slavery plantation concept lurks in the shadows like the Wizard of Oz.

This “behind the scenes” type strategy involves money laundering exclusively into white rural areas under the Prison Industrial Slave Complex (PISC). (That’s where prisons were built during the height of mass incarceration, in small rural communities that had lost their economic base, where people were so desperate for jobs, they were willing to work in a prison. These were white communities with deep prejudice toward Blacks. – ed.)

Many of us may very well die in these man-made tombs. It should be stipulated that these deaths are in clear violation of the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

The suffering is indefinite where there exists no end to the punishment. Many have died, and many will continue to die where there is no remedy to resolve the cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners.

We must resist to end this cruel and unusual treatment of human beings and encourage our brother Sitawa, who is fighting for his life. We will fight for his freedom and the freedom of the thousands of men and women lost in time.

One Love, One Struggle,

Mutope Duguma

Sitawa is recovering from a major stroke. Send him some love and light (Sitawa is currently housed near San Diego, mail will be forwarded):

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa with arms crossed 2017

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa with arms crossed, in 2017

Freedom Outreach
Attn: Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa
Fruitvale Station
P.O. Box 7359
Oakland CA 94601

[1] Note: Original penal code 2600 prior to 1968, California prisoners suffered complete civil death which stripped prisoners of all civil rights.