October 14, 2011
For 15 years the California Coalition for Women Prisoners – activists on the outside together with prisoners on the inside – have published an extraordinary newsletter called the Fire Inside. Hear Angela Davis keynote the anniversary celebration, hosted by our own Wanda Sabir, Friday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m., at the Women’s Building, 3543 18th St. at Valencia, San Francisco.
October 13, 2011
Mediators who met with hunger strike representatives at Pelican Bay confirm that prisoners there have decided to stop their hunger strike after nearly three weeks. The prisoners have cited a memo from CDCR detailing a comprehensive review of every SHU prisoner in California whose SHU sentence is related to gang validation.
October 11, 2011
With the second phase of a massive California prisoner hunger strike in its third week, prisoners have begun to report grave medical issues. Prisoners at Corcoran have stated, “Due to what they have done here to us, some men have stopped drinking water completely, so we may well be close to death in a few days.”
October 8, 2011
The numbers of strikers began dropping this week from the 12,000 refusing food a few days ago, after the CDCR intensified retaliation against them, such as air conditioning the small concrete cells at 50 degrees. The hunger strike representatives at Pelican Bay were moved to Administrative Segregation, while at least one inmate on strike who was denied medications has suffered a heart attack. Readers are urged to pressure Gov. Jerry Brown to tell CDCR to meet the prisoners’ five core demands and cease all retaliation against the hunger strikers. Call (916) 445-2841.
October 4, 2011
As the renewed prisoner hunger strike enters its second week, the federal receiver’s office reports that at least 12,000 prisoners were participating during the first week. Family members of striking SHU prisoners reported that their visits this weekend were denied by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which is threatening participants with disciplinary action and banning two lawyers who represent the strikers. “Historically, prison officials have used extreme measures, including physical violence to break strikes,” says Dorsey Nunn, a member of the mediation team working on behalf of the strikers.
September 28, 2011
Solitary confinement in the Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (SHU) is a reflection of our inhumane treatment and clearly violates our constitutional rights under the First, Fifth, Eighth and 14th Amendments.
September 26, 2011
Today, prisoners at Pelican Bay’s Security Housing Unit (SHU) and Calipatria’s Administrative Segregation Unit (Ad-Seg or ASU) resume their hunger strike. Referring to the first round of the hunger strike, Mutope Duguma (s/n James Crawford), a strike representative in Pelican Bay’s SHU, writes, “This is far from over and once again, hopefully for the last time, we will be risking our lives via a peaceful hunger strike on Sept. 26, 2011, to force positive changes. We continue to struggle to be treated like decent human beings.”
July 16, 2011
How long does it take for a man on hunger strike to starve to death? The answer depends on what kind of physical shape that man was in to begin with. In 1981, it took the 10 Irish Republican hunger strikers – who were drinking water – from 46 to 73 days to die in Britain’s Maze Prison outside Belfast. Will it come to this is California? Based on the response so far from the state, it appears that it could.
July 15, 2011
With the Pelican Bay prison hunger strike entering its third week, mediators reported Thursday that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has responded to pressure from strikers and outside supporters, beginning initial negotiations with strike leaders in the prison’s Security Housing Unit, along with an outside mediation team. Some of the strikers’ health has deteriorated to near-fatal levels. Many fear that time is running out.
July 13, 2011
Medical staff at Pelican Bay State Prison say that the health of at least 200 hunger strikers in the SHU is rapidly worsening. A few have tried to sip water but are so sick that they are vomiting it back up. Some are in renal failure and have been unable to make urine for three days. Some are having measured blood sugars in the 30 range, which can be fatal if not treated. Families witnessed their loved ones faint or go into diabetic shock in visiting rooms over the weekend.
July 10, 2011
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reports that as of Friday, July 8, at least 6,600 prisoners in at least 13 of the state’s prisons have joined the hunger strike initiated at Pelican Bay on July 1. Push the state to negotiate with prisoners at Pelican Bay and immediately implement their demands.
May 24, 2011
Because California penal code does not classify involuntary manslaughter as a “violent” or “serious” offense, Johannes Mehserle, the convicted killer of Oscar Grant, could be released as early as mid-June of this year, after serving less than one year behind bars.
May 6, 2011
In the state of California, 227 people who were juveniles when they were convicted are serving life term prison sentences without the chance to ever re-enter society. Senate Bill 9, the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act, would allow sentence reduction to 25 years to life.
January 5, 2011
After three years of appeals and litigation, I’m pleased to announce that, beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCr) will no longer be allowed to furnish prisoners food containing poisonous trans fats.
February 9, 2009
A federal three-judge panel ruled today, Feb. 9, that overcrowding in California prisons is indeed the root cause of health care inadequacy so severe that it amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.