by Baridi J. Williamson
On Dec. 9, 2014, I visited with Mr. Juan Méndez, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, who is now an expert on our class action lawsuit to end solitary confinement torture here in California. Hopefully, it will have a ripple effect across the U.S.
Being that Mr. Méndez, who had previously been denied access into this state’s prisons, was only able to visit about 10 men here in the Pelican Bay SHU, I presented him a full human, civil and constitutional rights report on behalf of all the men there and our outside mutually suffering families. It was titled, “CDC’s solitary confinement (SHU) torture policies, practices, environment and conditions of dehumanization, sensory deprivation, anti-social isolation, cruelty and torture is rotten to its core!”
I gave him a living experience witnessed from its opening in late December 1989 to the present under its “snitch, parole or die” mass validation and indeterminate SHU torture classification and enhanced coerced debriefing.
Because as I explained to Mr. Méndez, CDCR is still scheming to keep their multi-million-dollar SHU prison cells filled to keep receiving these annual multi-billion dollars of taxpayer’s money when they are supposed to release all of us instead of holding anyone in the varying steps 1-4. And in some instances – like my former cellie PJ – they have not even presented his case before the DRB (Departmental Review Board) since he has been kept in solitary confinement (SHU) for over a quarter century, and CDCR claimed to be “reviewing those cases who’ve been there the longest.” He should have been released to GP (general population) by now!
Here we are, after experiencing the largest prison hunger strike in California history, legislative hearings, class action lawsuits, CDCR officials’ admissions that their scheme to mass-validate (although they prefer to use the term “over-classify”) was wrong and our five core demands were reasonable and should have been granted a long time ago. Why in the hell do they still have anyone in that SHU after they have been wrongfully placed and kept there?
Their scheme was designed and created, implemented, instituted, orchestrated, administered, managed, operated and supervised to break the human mind and spirit to create “broken” men. Sadly, they did break many human beings under their diabolical scheme, coercing them to debrief and out of despair to escape the crushing pressures of their SHU torture. Those men agreed to become prison informants (snitches) and say whatever their tormentors tell them to even if it means to lie on their fellow SHU captives and keep them forever in SHU so the snitch can get out.
Here we are, in 2015, decades after CDCR’s human-breaking, snitch-making scheme began, and there are many real men who have not been broken and continue to defy and resist that scheme, including myself. You will never count me among the broken men!
Send our brother some love and light: Baridi J. Williamson, D-34288, SVSP, C2-205, P.O. Box 1050, Soledad, CA 93960. Typed by Adrian McKinney.