Richard Brown and Jennifer Laskin on Africa Today

Chip Fitzgerald is up for parole in FEBRUARY 2016!! (That is less than a year away!)

Fundraising Campaign IS ON!!!

Please donate $5 or $10 to build Chip’s Legal Fund.

Legal services are needed to attend to Chip’s medical needs, basic Human Rights and start his PAROLE PACKET!!!!

Listen to Richard Brown and Jennifer Laskin discuss Chip’s case on KPFA’s “Africa Today” with Walter Turner.

Stay tuned for more updates.

In solidarity and FREE EM ALL!!!

The Committee to Free Chip Fitzgerald


Letter to Tom Ammiano (CA Assembly)

(Editor’s Note.  Tom Ammiano represents the 17th Assembly District and San Francisco)

Dear Mr. Ammiano: It is my sincere hope this letter will be received in the same spirit of appreciation and cooperation in which it is written. First and foremost, I wish to acknowledge the courage and independent thinking and actions you demonstrated in the unannounced visit to inspect the conditions of confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison/Security Housing Unit, and speak with Strike Leaders.Mr. Ammiano as indicated by the return address on this envelope, I am a state prisoner and I have been incarcerated for a little more than 43 years.

Romaine 'Chip' Fitzgerald 2012

Romaine ‘Chip’ Fitzgerald 2012

Entering the prison system in 1970, at that time the mission focus of the prison system was rehabilitation; to keep prisoners out of the cells as much as possible and engaged in prison work assignments, academic and vocational training programs, and organized sports. All of the prisons in operation at that time required prisoners in participate in weekly group counseling and individual therapy sessions. These programs were designed to build character, explore the motivations of their actions, instill discipline and good work habits.The success of these programs  were reflected in the less than 50% recidivism rate that was somewhere in the area of 40 to 45% or less. The prison system was relatively successful at that time which supported by the historical record.In 1976 the California Prison Movement compelled the abolition of the Indeterminate Sentencing Legislation (ISL) by the California Prison Movement compelled the abolition of the Indeterminate Sentencing Legislation (DSL) with passage and signing into law by Governor Brown, Senate Bill 42. The progressive legislators and the prison reformists who supported them, viewed the implementation of SB 42 as progressive prison reform and a positive move toward equal application of the law when determining the parole of prisoners regardless of race, gender or religion.

However from the perspective of the distance of time it can be said there were draconian-minded, right wing legislators who were operating with a hidden agenda to nullify or reverse the progressive/liberal aspects of SB 42. With the implementation of SB 42, it was accompanied by the conservative shift of mission focus from rehabilitation to punishment. Continue Reading →


My View on Prison Life and New Possibilities

Reflecting on my 43 plus years of incarceration, I can state with absolute conviction that one of the worst aspects of prison life for the imprisoned is the ongoing antagonism and violence—frequently created out of malice or out of sheer ignorance by prison guards—among the convicts.

These are my thoughts on the cessation of hostilities among the various competing and rival prison gangs and associations that are divided along racial and geographical lines: I applaud this unprecedented, historic development, while acknowledging the courage and integrity of the men being held in the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit (SHU), who stepped forward to move the convicted masses in a progressive direction. The leaders are men with credibility, who command respect among their peers and contemporaries by way of reputation, and demonstrating a propensity for acts of violence. Prison administrators do not want to see the cessation of hostilities among prisoners initiated by the Prison Hunger Strike leaders of 2011. Draconian prison administrators who made their mark in corrections by being “tough on crime” and insensitive to the care and treatment of convicts, do not want to see stability and progressive developments in the prison milieu, and the Pelican Bay convicts given the credit. Which of course, would clearly contradict the prison administrators defining convicts as “domestic terrorists” and beyond rehabilitation and social redemption.

The prison administrators and their advocates within the state bureaucracy want the tax paying and voting population to view convicted felons—who are someone’s son, father, daughter, wife, grandfather!—in the worst possible light. They want to create fear in the minds of the public in an effort to persuade the people to give state authorities carte blanche in the inhumane treatment of convicts, and allow the prison administrators to operate without oversight and accountability. Continue Reading →


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