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Posts Tagged with "solitary confinement"

At Tehachapi, release from SHU means more solitary confinement

October 24, 2014

Thanks for keeping the public informed of the rough, horrendous conditions those of us who’re serving time face in California’s prisons known as the SHU. I felt it was necessary that I bring forth the atrocious and severe conditions us inmates face at CCI SHU in Tehachapi. It’s not so much the time we’ve served while doing our SHU term; it’s the pathetic process we’re enduring while awaiting transfer back into the general population.

With at least 20 prisoners on each tier, Alcatraz represented the dawning of a new theoretical concept, which was mass solitary confinement isolation. – Photo: © 2006 Betty Malloy

What is solitary confinement?

October 18, 2014

At first glance the question, What is solitary confinement? appears to be rhetorical, if not insulting, but you would be surprised, if not incredulous, how many prison rights activists are at a loss when I pose it to them. Even more perplexing, many prisoners are only able to provide the standard but antiquated response, which is: a prisoner in a cell behind a solid door, in which he/she is isolated from other prisoners and human contact.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Decarcerate PA Free Speech poster

Oct. 14 take action to stop Pennsylvania’s ‘Gag Mumia and All Other Prisoners’ bill

October 13, 2014

Pennsylvania legislators are trying to stop prisoners from speaking about their ideas and experiences. Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Vereb introduced a bill, HB2533, called the “Revictimization Relief Act,” which would allow victims, district attorneys and the attorney general to sue people who have been convicted of “personal injury” crimes for speaking out publicly if it causes the victim of the crime “mental anguish.” The bill was written in response to political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal’s commencement speech at Goddard College and is a clear attempt to silence Mumia and other prisoners and formerly incarcerated people.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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“Trapped, Isolated” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, HDSP Z-168, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127

Solidarity had the might to move the mountain of prison torture that kept us isolated and voiceless – we still need you now, even more

October 11, 2014

CDCR deliberately lied about their implementation of the Security Threat Group Step Down Program sanctioned by Gov. Jerry Brown. Gov. Brown and CDCr administrators are currently violating our United States constitutional rights, the California Code of Regulations and other rules, laws, policies and standards with the intent of breaking down and destroying men and women prisoners, family bonds and moral ethics here in California.

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“Solitary Confinement Is Torture” – Art: Michael D. Russell, C-90473, PBSP SHU D7-217, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532

After many long years in solitary confinement, I’m just asking

October 4, 2014

How can we the people of this nation and world end the suffering of countless men and women held inside man-made, manufactured torture chambers called solitary confinement? Can we call on the humanity of this nation and world to lend their voice, their time, their strength and heart, their money toward ending torture in Amerika? I’m just asking.

Mutawally Joka Kambon-Cooperwood 100512, 1st pic in 20 yrs,, cropped, web

California transfers Pelican Bay SHU prisoners to general population despite calling them too dangerous during the hunger strikes

October 3, 2014

It has been a few months since my release from 20 years of solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison (SHU) to Step 5 of the Step Down Program (SDP). I thought I should pen this communique with an update on my travels from one place to another – the new location, experience, encounters and situations – as everything has unfolded.

Families of prisoners came from Southern California to join families and supporters in Northern California at the Mosswood Park Amphitheater in Oakland on Sept. 6 to celebrate the first anniversary of the suspension of the largest hunger strike in prison history. Here at the Bay View, we recall our relief not to have to report deaths from starvation or the torture of force feeding on top of the daily grind of the torture that is solitary confinement. We are also mindful that our work is not over until all are free! – Photo: Lucas Guilkey

California prisoner representatives: All people have the right to humane treatment with dignity

October 2, 2014

We are the prisoner class representatives of what’s become known as the PBSP SHU Short Corridor Collective Human Rights Movement. Last month we marked the first anniversary of the end of our historic 60-day Hunger Strike. Oct. 10 we mark the two-year anniversary of the Agreement to End Hostilities. This is an update on where things stand with our struggle to achieve major reforms beneficial to prisoners, outside loved ones and society in general.

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On Aug. 12, Mark-Anthony Johnson and Lynwood social worker Kristina Ronnquist pause at the entrance of the United Nations in Geneva, where they submitted the Dignity and Power Now report, “Impact of Disproportionate Incarceration and Abuse of Black People with Mental Health Conditions in World’s Largest Jail System“ for review of U.S. compliance with the International Convention to Eliminate all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

Exposing a national crisis in Black mental health behind bars

September 10, 2014

When Dr. Samuel Cartwright coined the term “drapetomania” in 1864, he advanced a historical agenda to secure Black subjugation in America. The logic underlying the continuation and funding of the mass incarceration of the disproportionately Black mentally ill and Dr. Cartwright’s medical breakthroughs is the same: Black people’s mental health cannot be achieved, so society has to maintain extreme and inhumane restrictions on their freedom.

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Michael Brown’s body lay in the street for over four hours. Like public lynchings, the delay was meant to strike terror in the hearts of the people.

Another dead teenager: Only in solidarity will we ever get back what’s been taken from us

August 27, 2014

Police officers in Ferguson, whose sole duty is to protect and serve, are seen using dogs, tear gas and now military grade weapons to suppress any peaceful protest and public outcry. This really hits home to those who can relate to being targets of police brutality, where in essence police departments have become judge, jury and executioner, getting away with murder time and time again.

California corrections officials located and designed Pelican Bay State Prison, opened in 1989, as a place where torture could be conducted with impunity. The torture the following year of Vaughn Dortch, a Black man who survived an attempt to boil him alive until his skin fell down around his ankles, horrified judges and the public. – Photo: National Geographic

SB 892: Letter from four main reps at Pelican Bay to California legislators

August 13, 2014

On May 1, 2014, we, California inmates who have been in solitary confinement for long periods of time, co-signed a letter addressed to the California Senate and Assembly expressing our grave concerns with Sen. Hancock’s SB 892. We wish to follow up on our previous letter, as SB 892 has now been approved by the Senate and is being considered in the Assembly.

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Several Jericho Conference delegates were able to visit renowned poet and political prisoner Mondo we Langa. From left are Norman Mogodishu, Linda Kennedy, Mondo we Langa, Dequi Kioni-Sadiki and Billy X Jennings.

Free all political prisoners: National Jericho Movement Conference, new effort to free Mondo

August 1, 2014

The Jericho Movement is stepping up its work to free political prisoners, especially those caught in FBI Director Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO web. Nineteen members of the Black Panther Party are in prison today. Collectively they have been incarcerated for 800 years. Jericho has long been a supporter of Nebraska’s political prisoners, Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa (né David Rice) and Ed Poindexter, known as the Omaha 2.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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Warden Burl Cain of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola weighs the risks of transferring Kenny “Zul

Angola warden ponders releasing Zulu from 35 years in solitary – but he’s a Panther

August 1, 2014

A man who has spent 35 years in solitary confinement – one of the longest stints in a U.S. prison – may soon be released into the general inmate population. In an exclusive interview outside the gates of the largest prison in America, Warden Burl Cain of the Louisiana State Penitentiary said he is prepared to take Kenny “Zulu” Whitmore out of what is known as closed cell restriction if the inmate, who is 59 years old, no longer represents a safety risk.

Stop the McFarland GEO women’s prison!

July 29, 2014

On Thursday, July 31, communities impacted by incarceration, immigrant detention and escalating violence against women and children will march to the site of a new women’s prison in McFarland to demand its immediate closure. Advocates will convene at McFarland Park, 100 Frontage Rd, McFarland, Calif., at 5 p.m. CDCR has contracted with the GEO Group to run the McFarland prison. The GEO group, like the state of California, has been challenged by prisoner hunger strikes, protests and lawsuits due to the deplorable and inhumane conditions of their facilities.

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Pennsylvania hunger striker: I’m in search of a voice to help me bring light to our struggles

July 26, 2014

I’m from SCI-Smithfield in Pennsylvania and I’m in search of a voice to help me bring light to the struggles that the inmates in this facility face. Now I’ve been on my hunger strike since June 11, 2014, and the reason for my hunger strike is policies being overlooked, harassment from COs, very poor calories on daily trays, refusal of proper medical treatment and denial of the equal protection of the laws and due process.

To celebrate the movement: The California prisoner hunger strike one year later

July 14, 2014

One year ago on July 8, 30,000 California prisoners refused meals and work assignments, beginning a 60-day hunger strike with the core demand of ending the state’s use of indefinite solitary confinement. This was the largest hunger strike in U.S. history, and it presented the deepest challenge yet to solitary by bringing national and international attention to a practice that has long been condemned by human rights groups as torture.

Opposition to the torture of solitary confinement is strong in Pennsylvania, where this rally was held prior to a state legislative hearing on Sept. 18, 2012.

Events worldwide commemorate mass California hunger strike first anniversary

July 8, 2014

Prison family members, formerly incarcerated persons, opponents of solitary confinement and mass incarceration and others in Pennsylvania will be fasting and making calls to Gov. Corbett and Department of Corrections Secretary Wetzel on July 8 to join the California Families Against Solitary Confinement and supporters around the country and the world in commemorating the one-year anniversary of the California prison hunger strike.

H. Rap Brown addresses a National Guardian meeting in New York City on Oct. 27, 1967. This hero of the Black Power Movement, one of the most fiery and influential leaders of the 20th century, deserves our strongest support.

Supporters demand political prisoner Imam Jamil (H. Rap Brown), diagnosed with rare cancer, be hospitalized immediately

July 8, 2014

Political Prisoner Imam Jamil Al Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, is in critical medical condition and in desperate need of our urgent action. Imam Jamil was a dominant and influential figure in the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements of the 1960s. He served as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and later as Minister of Justice for the Black Panther Party.

This drawing, the icon for all three California hunger strikes recognized around the world, was contributed by the renowned prison artist Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, then held in solitary confinement in Virginia, now in Texas. – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 1859887, Clements Unit, 9601 Spur 591, Amarillo TX 79107

Largest hunger strike in history: California prisoners speak out on first anniversary

July 7, 2014

One year ago, on July 8, 2013, 30,000 California prisoners initiated the largest hunger strike the world has ever seen. Sixty days later, 40 prisoners, who had eaten nothing in all that time, agreed to suspend the strike when state legislators promised to hold hearings on ending solitary confinement, the heart of their demands. The 2013 hunger strike followed two in 2011. In the interim, effective October 2012, the hunger strike leaders, representing all racial groups, issued the historic Agreement to End Hostilities, which has held with few exceptions throughout the California prison system ever since.

Outlaw to walk free July 14

June 30, 2014

We are excited about the impending release from prison of our beloved friend and comrade, Frank “Outlaw” Reid, on July 14. Outlaw will finally walk free! Allies in D.C. and Virginia have been raising financial support for his re-entry. Our latest effort is a mixed media zine called Justice for Outlaw, which includes an intensive study, by Outlaw, on the origins of the Virginia prison system and how it functions today.

Bomani card w children 'Love is the only freedom'

Don’t let Ohio execute Keith LaMar (Bomani Shakur), framed and innocent on death row

June 23, 2014

Keith LaMar, also known as Bomani Shakur, is a prisoner in Ohio, condemned to death on false charges following the 1993 Lucasville Prison Uprising. Bomani is one of five men condemned to death after being railroaded through forced snitch testimony. They are known as the Lucasville Five. The following is an interview with Bomani from death row, recorded on March 7, 2014.

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