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Posts Tagged with "solitary confinement"

Georgia’s extremely cruel Tier II program seems to have been instigated by the historic but short-lived Georgia prison work strike of Dec. 9, 2010, put down with unparalleled brutality: Guards threw one prisoner off a tier and beat two others with hammers. That strike and the successful hunger strike at Lucasville in Ohio the next month inspired the California hunger strikes of 2011 and 2013. So as Georgia intensified the cruelty of Pelican Bay with Tier II to protect its slave labor regime (Georgia prisoners are paid nothing for work in our outside the prison), the Pelican Bay hunger strike heroes are gradually returning to “normal” prison life. The rally pictured here, on Jan. 6, 2011, called for a federal investigation, which culminated this year in the conviction of several of the guards who put down the Georgia work strike. – Photo: Kristi Swartz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia DOC’s Tier II Program, extreme solitary confinement, is dehumanizing torture

November 27, 2015

I’m writing to you on behalf of myself and ALL of the other brothers who are sharing my same struggle as a captive of the Georgia Department of Oppression. Georgia is a “hate state,” so we have no “progressive” media outlets here in the state and we need to bring attention to our plight with hopes that the publicity will garner us some help in one fashion or another.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
Jesse Perez, web cropped

Prison guards face jury in retaliatory abuse of solitary confinement case – pack the courtroom through Friday, Nov. 20!

November 12, 2015

Jesse Perez, a young man buried alive in the Pelican Bay SHU, began advocating for a Prisoner Political Action Committee after the hunger strikes, when attention had turned to legislative action. Now he’s suing his jailers for their retaliation, and the judge denied defendants’ summary judgment motion. The trial began Nov. 9 and is expected to continue to Friday, Nov. 20. Pack the courtroom daily (except no court Thursday): Courtroom 4, 17th floor, Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco.

Jalil gets a visit from comrades with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in November 2009.

Attica book ban

October 26, 2015

On Oct. 7, political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim was denied four books which arrived for him at Attica Correctional Facility. Muntaqim is a former member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army and one of the longest held political prisoners in the world today; he has been incarcerated since 1971, when he was only 19 years old. Muntaqim was initially told he could have the books, but when a guard noticed that one of the titles in question was actually written by Muntaqim himself, he simply said, “No way.” This censorship is simply a more petty example of harassment directed against someone who is hated for what he represents.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories

Women’s prisons as sites of resistance: An interview with Victoria Law

October 25, 2015

Too often, organizing work done by incarcerated women goes wholly unrecognized. In her book, “Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women,” Victoria Law focuses on the many forms of activism happening inside of women’s prisons, most of which never reach the dominant media. In the following interview, Law shares ways in which individual acts of resistance are building toward a transformational new reality.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
'Together to End Solitary' logo

‘Together to End Solitary’ unites activists nationwide

October 24, 2015

No one is more knowledgeable about the lasting damage solitary confinement can cause than the tens of thousands of men, women and children experiencing it today. Building on the activism of these individuals, communities around the country are coming together to demand an end to long-term solitary confinement through public events and actions on the 23rd of each month in recognition of the 23 hours per day those in solitary confinement are confined to their cells.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories

In largest one-time release, 6,000 inmates will walk out of federal prison

October 9, 2015

In an unprecedented move, 6,000 inmates will soon be released from federal prisons in what the Washington Post calls history’s “largest one-time release of federal prisoners.” This change is due to last year’s decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to lower sentencing guidelines for drug crimes and apply the change retroactively. Remarkably, this release is only the beginning.

This is the grim façade of the Menard Correctional Center, built in 1878, Illinois’ second oldest prison, on the banks of the Mississippi River in Chester, Ill. – Photo: The Southern

Menard hunger strike, Sept. 23-28: Trying to make it better for the next person who rests in this tomb

October 4, 2015

On Sept. 23, 2015, at least 19 and possibly as many as 22 men in Administrative Detention at the Menard Correctional Center began a hunger strike that ended on Sept. 28. It was nearly a week after the hunger strike ended before we received any mail from them. The following is a composite account based on what they sent us, written on the first and last days of the hunger strike.

“Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 1859887, Clements Unit, 9601 Spur 591, Amarillo TX 79107

Hugo Pinell, like George Jackson, shall ever be an example of New Afrikan manhood: three perspectives

September 30, 2015

Today I sit in my caged existence away from the outside world and still connected to the revolutionary community. Recently a New Afrikan brother and comrade wrote me with news: Hugo Pinnell was executed on the prison yard at Folsom. This was heartbreaking news and it sent me into a rage. Hugo Pinnell, like George Jackson, was and shall ever be an example for New Afrikan manhood.

Messing with Major

September 30, 2015

Major George Tillery is a Pennsylvania lifer, 65, who confronted SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes over Mumia Abu-Jamal’s deteriorating health. Prison authorities retaliated against Major Tillery – repeatedly ransacked his cell and denied him medical treatment for seeking medical assistance for Mumia and other prisoners. Tillery was transferred to SCI Frackville and then falsely charged with drug possession, disciplined and given six months in “the hole.”

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
'Writing on the Wall' by Mumia Abu Jamal cover

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s eighth book: ‘Writing on the Wall’

September 26, 2015

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s eighth book written from prison cells in the state of Pennsylvania, USA, is a selection of 107 essays that date from January 1982 to October 2014. They cover practically the entire period of his incarceration as an internationally recognized political prisoner. Most of the pieces were written while he was on death row after being framed for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner on Dec. 9, 1981, in the city of Philadelphia.

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Filed Under: Culture Stories

Update from Menard: Hunger strike resumes Sept. 23

September 25, 2015

Some of you will remember the hunger strike in January-February 2014 by prisoners in Administrative Detention at the Menard Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois. During and after the hunger strike, several of the strikers were sent to prisons as far away as California, Virginia, West Virginia and New Mexico. Others remain in Administrative Detention at Menard.

It was the “Multi-Colored Power” of good men, who never were the worst of the worst, that created the Agreement to End Hostilities and ended endless solitary confinement in California! – Art: Criss Garcia, J-93559, KVSP B6-113, P.O. Box 1502, Delano CA 93216

Good men, not worst of the worst

September 22, 2015

We are coming up on three years since the End of All Hostilities with all races has been implemented. I’ve been seeing people from all walks of life and groups observing the Agreement to End Hostilities. What CDC could not do in 20-30 years, these brave men in the Short Corridor prison collectives accomplished in just a short period of three years. Yet CDC continues to label them “worst of the worst.” That’s complete bullsh-t!

Alvaro Luna Hernandez

Revolutionary eulogy by Texas Chicano POW-political prisoner Alvaro Luna Hernandez for Comrade Brother Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell

September 17, 2015

We were saddened by the news that Yogi was murdered during an alleged “prison riot” at a Sacramento maximum security prison, after Yogi’s release from decades in solitary confinement in the California prison system. Our prison movement grieves at the loss of one of its most respected and beloved foot soldiers within the belly of this fascist beast in our mutual struggles against the common enemy of the human species.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
This flier announcing the first of three historically huge hunger strikes uses the “logo” created for the strike by an artist who has grown famous in prison, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, then caged in Virginia and punished for his activism by expulsion to other states’ prisons, first Oregon and now Texas.

California prisoners win historic gains with settlement against solitary confinement

September 1, 2015

Today, California prisoners locked in isolation achieved a groundbreaking legal victory in their ongoing struggle against the use of solitary confinement. A settlement was reached in the federal class action suit Ashker v. Brown, originally filed in 2012, effectively ending indefinite long-term solitary confinement and greatly limiting the prison administration’s ability to use the practice, widely seen as a form of torture.

Hugo 'Yogi' Pinell, daughter Allegra Taylor hugging him New Folsom 080215, web cropped

Hugo Lyon Antonio Pinell, aka Daddy

August 31, 2015

Aug. 12, 2015, I sat waiting for the mail to come as I did each day. This day it was different because for the first time my dad was in his first lockdown on the mainline. He had only been there 15 days – abruptly moved on July 29 after a meeting with the DRB (Departmental Review Board) on July 28. Each day I waited to hear from him hoping and praying he was OK. Finally the mailman delivered the letter I was waiting for.

Bato Talamantez of the San Quentin 6 makes the first public appeal, on June 17, 2011, to support the hunger strike, organized by prisoners in the Pelican Bay SHU, which began on July 1, 2011. Participation by an amazing 6,600 prisoners across the state was topped months later in the second hunger strike that 12,000 participated in and the last hunger strike, beginning July 8, 2013, which drew 30,000 participants, the largest hunger strike in world history. – Photo: United for Drug Policy Reform

Testimony of Everett D. Allen, M.D., former chief physician and surgeon at Pelican Bay State Prison, to US Senate Judiciary hearing, Part 2

August 28, 2015

Dr. Everett D. Allen’s testimony to Sen. Richard Durbin’s United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights at its hearing on “Solitary Confinement as Torture” on June 19, 2012, was previously published by the Bay View, and this testimony was presented to the second hearing, held Feb. 25, 2014.

Filed Under: Prison Stories
Kambui Nantambu Jamaa 031914, web cropped

The other death sentence: Deliberate indifference at Corcoran SHU

August 28, 2015

“Deliberate indifference” is defined as “the act(s) or omissions of a prison official who knows that the prisoner faces a substantial risk of serious harm or significant pain and disregards that risk by not taking reasonable measures to abate it.” But what happens when deliberate indifference is longstanding, pervasive, well documented and expressly noted by officials over the course of time. Yet the state does nothing to correct it?

Filed Under: Prison Stories
Hugo Pinell 1982, cropped

Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell, comrade of George Jackson

August 25, 2015

On Aug. 12, Hugo “Yogi” Pinell (1944-2015) was killed in the California State Prison-Sacramento. Pinell was a comrade of George Jackson, W.L. Nolen, James Carr and other founders of the modern prison movement. He was released from solitary confinement in 2014 after 45 years, the longest any state prisoner has spent in solitary.

A prisoner in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary Angola, a former plantation, peers through his mail and food slot. Will the condemnation of longterm solitary by Justice Kennedy and President Obama help him finally find freedom? – Photo: Adam Shemper

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy goes out of his way to denounce solitary confinement

August 21, 2015

Justice Anthony Kennedy agreed with the majority in its most recent capital punishment case. But in an unusual move, he dedicated almost all of his concurring opinion to condemning the practice of solitary confinement in the nation’s prisons, even though the issue, of his own admission, had “no direct bearing” on the case. In Kennedy’s lengthy opinion concerning how Ayala was incarcerated, he noted that Ayala had been isolated for most of his 25 years of custody.

Filed Under: California and the U.S.
Heavenly views of redwoods and the ocean line the highway to hell at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, Del Norte County, 13 miles from the Oregon border on the rugged coast of the far northwest corner of California.

Hell in paradise: Visiting Hugo ‘Yogi’ Pinell at Pelican Bay State Prison

August 20, 2015

Written Nov. 14, 2013 – The 80-mile drive from Eureka to Crescent City, Calif., must be one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in the world, with magnificent forests of spruce and redwood to the east and breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean to the west. I’m on my way to Crescent City to visit Hugo Pinell, the only member of the San Quentin 6 – the famous trial that grew out of the murder of George Jackson – still imprisoned.

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