August 19, 2013
Supporters of prisoners who are on the 43rd day of a hunger strike are expressing outrage at an order signed today by a federal judge allowing strikers to be force fed, disregarding international human rights principles. Thousands of prisoners have united to challenge the torture of prolonged isolation, demanding an accountable process to challenge the gang validations that have kept them in security housing for decades. Gov. Jerry Brown stands silent but is presumably in agreement with the force-feeding strategy, which will prevent the strikers from becoming martyrs.
July 13, 2013
A comprehensive new article by Brandon Keim in Wired Science is titled “The Horrible Psychology of Solitary Confinement.” Keim does an excellent job of summing up the research on the psychological effects of solitary. He also points to the relative lack of cutting-edge neuroscientific research on the subject, which might show the physical effects isolation has on the brain.
July 1, 2013
Herman Wallace, 71, has been diagnosed with liver cancer. He is being held in a locked prison hospital room in Louisiana. The prognosis is grave. Wallace and Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 remain in solitary confinement after more than 41 years. POV will premiere the documentary “Herman’s House” Monday, July 8, 10 p.m., on KQED and other PBS stations nationwide.
March 7, 2013
The battle over the future of Tamms became the most visible and contentious example of a phenomenon seen around the country: Otherwise progressive unions are taking reactionary positions when it comes to prisons, supporting addiction to mass incarceration. And when it comes to issues of prisoners’ rights in general, and solitary confinement in particular, they are seen as a major obstacle to reform.
August 7, 2012
Three African-American inmates in Pelican Bay and Corcoran SHUs criticize their continued isolation for being members of the Black Guerilla Family, the only Black prison gang in California that will lead to placement in the SHU. Drawings of dragons are used to justify their continued isolation.
March 21, 2012
Comparing their conditions to a “living coffin,” 400 California prisoners held in long-term or indefinite solitary confinement petitioned the United Nations Tuesday to intervene on behalf of all of the more than 4,000 prisoners similarly situated. California holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other state in the United States or any other nation on earth. Conditions inside California’s SHUs and ASUs were at the center of two massive waves of hunger strikes last year that saw the participation of thousands of prisoners in at least a third of California’s 33 prisons.
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.
August 27, 2011
“We are not evacuating Rikers Island,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a news conference Friday afternoon. Bloomberg annouced a host of extreme measures being taken by New York City in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, including a shutdown of the public transit system and the unprecedented mandatory evacuation of some 250,000 people from low-lying areas.
August 22, 2011
The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition will hold a press conference Tuesday, Aug. 23, 11:00 a.m. at the California Capitol Building in Sacramento where families of prisoners, community members and activists from around California will converge to rally and participate …
July 21, 2011
Sympathy for the prisoners on hunger strike in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison is limited due to the widely held impression that these men — and indeed most supermax prisoners — are the “worst of the worst.” According to conventional wisdom, in order to land in the most secure units in the prison system, these men must have committed terrible crimes in the first place …
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 2, 2011
As Americans prepare to celebrate Independence Day, inmates in solitary confinement at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison are standing up for their rights in the only way they can – by going on a hunger strike.
June 30, 2011
Prisoners in the Security Housing Units, SHUs, at Pelican Bay and Corcoran state prisons in California are beginning an indefinite hunger strike on July 1, 2011, to protest the cruel and inhumane conditions of their imprisonment in what is being called “an unusual show of racial unity.” Breaking news: Prisoners at Centinela have joined the hunger strike. A prisoner there reports: “Only a few inmates are walking the yard. No Blacks or Hispanics have left their cells. No one has gone to work. He said all the races are united in this fight.”
January 10, 2011
Jamie and Gladys Scott walked out of prison Friday into the free world. Yet the sisters’ “debt to society” is still far from paid. The conditions of their release stipulate that Gladys Scott must give Jamie Scott a kidney, and the sisters will have to pay out money to maintain their freedom.
December 14, 2010
In a protest spreading through Georgia’s prison system, inmates are striking for better conditions and to be paid for their work, which they’re now forced to do for free. They’ve locked themselves down in peaceful protest but are being punished violently, some beatings resulting in broken ribs and one man beaten beyond recognition. Sign the petitions and learn other ways you can help.
March 13, 2009
An 18,000-acre complex that still resembles the slave plantation it once was, Angola Prison is where Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 has served nearly all of his time in solitary confinement – 36 years, 2 months and 24 days.