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On Saturday, Dec. 30, Kwame “Lil Beans” Shakur was brutally assaulted by correctional officers at Pendleton Correctional Facility in Pendleton, Indiana. For a full week prior to the attack, inmates in disciplinary segregation had been kept in their cells for 24 hours a day, in violation of policy and international standards of human rights. No form of recreation or bathing was allowed during that time and for at least a full week following the 31st. Shakur and a fellow inmate encouraged others on the block to voice their grievance against the guards. Retaliation followed.
I left CDCr wondering how PBSP could remain in shambles after 22 years of court oversight. As I started educating myself about prison reform, I stumbled upon Keramet Reiter’s 2016 book, “23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement.” Within those pages, I found validation and some disturbing answers. I wish this book had been available to me before I started working in CDCr.