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Posts Tagged with "solitary confinement"

“California Department of Corruption and Retaliation” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore

The Fairness and Restoration Act of 2015

June 20, 2015



We as prisoners did not forfeit our citizenship when we came to prison or the laws which are designed to protect our basic human rights and dignity. The implementation and enforcement of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act was a clear procedural deprivation of our rights under the Fifth and 14th Amendments. The Fairness and Restoration Act 2015 is about restoring fairness and justice to those who were denied it.

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The Los Angeles action for May 23 was a very well-received play, “If the SHU Fits: Voices from Solitary Confinement,” compiled by Andy Griggs and Melvin Ishmael Johnson, directed by Andy Griggs and performed at Chuco’s Justice Center. It will be performed again during Torture Awareness Month at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena 91103, on Tuesday, June 23, at 7 p.m.

On the 23rd of every month, Californians demand, ‘End solitary confinement!’ – May report

June 17, 2015



On May 23, 2015, families and loved ones of people in solitary, community organizations and prisoner-class human rights advocates once again mobilized Statewide Coordinated Actions to End Solitary Confinement (SCATESC) throughout California and in Pennsylvania. Since the actions began on March 23, 2015, over 30 organizations – statewide, nationwide and worldwide – became co-sponsors, 45 endorsed, and the movement keeps growing.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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On Quest for Democracy Day at the capitol in Sacramento, April 27, 2015, 250 people split up into 30 teams to visit legislators’ offices to advocate for legislation relevant to formerly incarcerated people and their communities.

Quest for Democracy 2015: Formerly incarcerated people lobby for justice in Sacramento

May 28, 2015



Our Formerly Incarcerated Quest for Democracy (Q4D) Day continues to grow and evolve. This year we had over 250 committed people. We had around 30 teams advocating on legislation relevant to formerly incarcerated people and our communities. Grassroots co-sponsors got a chance to educate community members about their bills. And Sen. Holly Mitchell as well as Assemblymembers Reginald Jones-Sawyer and Autumn Burke addressed participants.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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The militarized Georgia Department of Corrections Special Operations Section demonstrates a cell extraction at Horizons Event Center during a career fair, where military personnel leaving the service were recruited to become guards. – Photo: Misuzu Allen, U.S. Air Force

We cannot live by bread alone: Texas abuses prisoners with denied food and bread-and-water diets

May 26, 2015



Food is routinely used by U.S. prison officials to summarily punish, torture, abuse and retaliate against prisoners. This happens with especial frequency in administrative segregation (solitary confinement) where prisoners are confined inside locked cells all day every day and must have all meals delivered by guards. Under such circumstances, we remain at guards’ total mercy “to eat or not to eat.”

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Solitary confinement tricknology at Menard Concentration Slave Camp

April 30, 2015



On the battlefield of psychological warfare, the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) made moves that “appeared” to redress the unconstitutionally inhumane conditions in Menard isolation unit that gave rise to last year’s hunger strike. But the move is no more than tricknology aimed at curbing grassroots activism and damage control due to the negative publicity that the hunger strike generated.

“Solitary Confinement” – Art: Baridi J. Williamson

Baridi Williamson at Pelican Bay: ‘I met with UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez’

April 29, 2015



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. 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.

Siddique Abdullah Hasan, alleged ringleader of the 1993 Lucasville Uprising, is led to trial on Jan. 16, 1996. – Photo: Al Behrman

At Ohio’s supermax prison, a hunger strike ends but extreme isolation remains

April 26, 2015



Last week, men incarcerated at Ohio’s supermax prison brought a month-long hunger strike to a close. Between 30 and 40 men had refused all meals since March 16 to protest new restrictions placed on already severely limited recreation and programming for those in solitary confinement. On April 15, all but one of the men agreed to suspend the hunger strike after a meeting with the warden at which the prison agreed to lifting some, but not all, of the new restrictions.

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Johanna Fernandez (left) and Heidi Boghosian visit Mumia on Feb. 7, 2012, in the exciting days after he was finally released from 30 years in solitary confinement. Finally, he could have visitors he could touch – no glass separating them – and he was allowed to have his picture taken for the first time since 1996. He had recently been transferred to SCI Mahanoy, the prison where medical neglect has come close to killing him.

A slow death for Mumia Abu-Jamal and thousands of prisoners in America

April 23, 2015



The majority of U.S. prisoners are African American and Latino males in their childbearing years, imprisoned in a system that regularly violates their fundamental human rights and ravages their health. Mumia would want us to use his suffering to demonstrate that those relegated to the lowest strata of our society – imprisoned Black, Brown and poor – suffer not only their sentences but illness and death by neglect.

This imaginative sign appeared at the Oakland action on March 23.

Gov. Jerry Brown, AG Kamala Harris and CDCr officials, you have the power to stop torture in California prisons

March 29, 2015



We are sharing our express concerns as the CCI Prisoner Human Rights Movement Local Council – Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (Dewberry), Danny Troxell, Antonio Villagrana and George Ruiz – concerning the non-functional operation of Steps 1 through 4 and how we as SHU Step Down Program prisoners are being denied our federal and state constitutional rights to equal protection and substantive and procedural due process.

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SHU-shifting: An update on and overview of the Ashker v. Brown class action

March 28, 2015



Some nine months after allowing certification of two classes in Ashker v. Brown, Judge Claudia Wilken issued her written order granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to File a Supplementary Complaint on March 9, 2015. Pursuant to the order, a supplemental class of plaintiffs – those who’ve spent 10 years or more in Pelican Bay State Prison’s SHU but have recently been transferred to other California SHUs – may proceed with their Eighth Amendment claims as class representatives.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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“Trapped, Isolated” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore (address above)

The criminality of solitary confinement

March 21, 2015



In this series of articles, we have traced the various mechanisms whereby the prison procedures of “gang validation” are used to deny the civil rights, the human rights and even the humanity of the prisoners. These procedures mark the criminality of the prison administration. The real crime problem in the U.S. is the prison system itself and its judicial machine. Together they are making justice and democracy practically impossible.

Successful motion in court strengthens California prisoners’ case against solitary

March 10, 2015



Pelican Bay prisoners named as plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the use of solitary confinement in California gained an important victory yesterday. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of a motion allowing prisoners who have been in solitary confinement for more than 10 years, but have been transferred out of Pelican Bay State Prison since the lawsuit was first filed, to remain eligible as class members in the case.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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On leaving solitary confinement after 26 years, I salute all the advocates of progressive positive change

March 1, 2015



Today, Jan. 23, 2015, I appeared before the Director’s Review Board and I was granted release from PBSP SHU (Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit) after 26 years in solitary confinement. I’m to be transferred to Salinas Valley State Prison, where I’ll be able to have human contact and new experiences and hopefully be able to re-meet my family.

Rwanda: Free Victoire! international webcast

February 26, 2015



Over the weekend the organization Friends of Victoire hosted an international webcast to strategize about how to free Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. Ingabire has become an icon of freedom, democracy and peace since returning to Rwanda in 2010 to attempt to stand for the presidency against incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

“Know Your Rights” – Art: Criss Garcia, J-93559, PBSP SHU C1-112, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

Amplify the voices these prisons try to silence: Fight censorship from California to Pennsylvania

February 24, 2015



Departments of corrections and state legislatures are putting into place chilling bans on free speech and expression by prisoners, formerly incarcerated persons, family members, friends, journalists, advocates and activists. Pack the courtroom for the hearing on Abu-Jamal v. Kane, challenging Prisoner Gag Law SB 508, on Thursday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m., in U.S. Courthouse, 228 Walnut St., Courtroom 2, Harrisburg, Penn.

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South Carolina prisoner Islam Dunn's Facebook page since removed by AP, cropped

Hundreds of South Carolina prisoners sent to solitary confinement over Facebook

February 15, 2015



In the South Carolina prison system, accessing Facebook is an offense on par with murder, rape, rioting, escape and hostage-taking. Back in 2012, the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) made “Creating and/or Assisting With a Social Networking Site” a Level 1 offense, a category reserved for the most violent violations of prison conduct policies. It’s one of the most common Level 1 offense charges brought against inmates.

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Judge approves expanding class action suit against solitary confinement to include prisoners transferred out of Pelican Bay

February 13, 2015



A federal judge tentatively granted a motion by the Center for Constitutional Rights to file a supplementary complaint to its class action on behalf of hundreds of prisoners in prolonged solitary confinement at California’s Pelican Bay prison. The supplementary complaint will cover prisoners recently transferred under the state’s Step Down Program from solitary confinement at Pelican Bay to solitary confinement at the state prison at Tehachapi.

“Stronger Together: Black Brown Unity in Prison” – Art: Jose Villarreal, H-84098, SHU C11-106, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

The Black Guerrilla Family and human freedom

February 11, 2015



Under the aegis of repressing a “gang” called the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF), the administration carried on a witchhunt against the political thinking of many Black prisoners and punished them by solitary confinement. This article, the second in a series of three, looks at the notion of prison gang, its relation to the prisoner’s need for defense and how that affects us beyond the prison wall.

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The idea of learning about their own history and culture made George Jackson University so popular when it was first organized several years ago that 25,000 Black prisoners immediately signed up. But prison authorities moved immediately, too, not to support but to erase the concept and, at about the same time, the GJU records were destroyed by fire. Now GJU is being reorganized mainly as a source of literature. To learn more and get involved, write to Abdul Olugbala Shakur, s/n J. Harvey, C-48884, CSP Cor SHU 4B-1L-19, P.O. Box 3481, Corcoran CA 93212. – Art: Damu Katika Chimurenga, s/n Hayward L. Mayhan, P-60322, 4A-2L-6L, P.O. Box 8800, Corcoran CA 93212

Prisons, gangs, witchhunts and white supremacy

February 1, 2015



There is a trick that the California prison administration pulls on African Americans in prison. It is to charge them with gang activity if they refer to “George Jackson” or any of his writings or ideas or to the “Republic of New Afrika” or the politics of New Afrikans. Thousands of people, mostly Black and Brown, have been held in solitary confinement for years and even decades, because “gang activity” constitutes a “security threat to the prison,” according to the Administration.

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What would compel a man to try to cut his own face off?

January 30, 2015



“What sort of conditions could be so unbearable that they’d drive a person to suffer cutting through the skin, nerves, muscles and arteries of his own face, at the risk of permanent disfigurement, disability or even death?” Amerika inflicts such extreme torture on prisoners that they routinely commit such acts as could never be expected of a sane and stable mind. And this is the point: Solitary confinement drives people into insanity.

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