October 1, 2012
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano decried Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto yesterday of legislation that would have returned openness to California’s prison system. Ammiano’s bill, AB 1270, would have restored, not expanded as noted in the veto message, media access to the level that existed in 1996 when the CDC clamped down on the press’ ability to interview specific prisoners.
September 27, 2012
The state of California must make substantial changes to their prison isolation units and halt the inhuman suffering of thousands of prisoners, Amnesty International said in a new report out today. “The Edge of Endurance: Conditions in California’s Security Housing Units” explores the conditions of confinement endured by more than 3,000 prisoners – including 78 who have spent in excess of two decades in isolation.
September 26, 2012
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has recently circulated a memo regarding the most recent revised edition of its Step Down Program (SDP) and Security Threat Group (STG) Program proposal. The revised policies come one year after a series of statewide hunger strikes by inmates in the Security Housing Units (SHU) in Pelican Bay and other California state prisons.
September 12, 2012
Prisoners in Pelican Bay’s SHU have announced a push to end all hostilities between racial groups within California’s prisons and jails. The handwritten announcement, sent to prison advocacy organizations, is signed by the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective. The statement calls for the cessation of all hostilities between groups to commence Oct. 10, 2012, in all California prisons and county jails. It also calls on prisoners throughout the state to set aside their differences and use diplomatic means to settle their disputes.
September 2, 2012
This year marks the 33rd anniversary of Black August, the annual commemoration of the liberation struggle of African people inside the United States. The month of celebration and reflection was initiated by political prisoners, many of whom were members of the Black Panther Party and the Republic of New Africa, two of the main revolutionary organizations that emerged during the late 1960s.
September 1, 2012
Mumia’s motion not only attacks his own sentence to “slow death row,” but makes the constitutional challenge to life imprisonment without parole, solitary confinement for death row inmates and solitary confinement in general. Mumia is fighting with and for the entirety of the “incarceration nation.”
August 18, 2012
As can be seen from the LSPC report, “Cage within a Cage: A Report on Indeterminate SHU Confinement and Conditions,” CDCR’s torture has reached beyond just the targeted California indeterminate SHU class imprisoned person and extends into the families and communities as well.
August 16, 2012
The green monster always labels us who are validated [alleged to be prison gang members or associates] as violent and threats to other inmates, staff and the security of the institution. The thing is this: They fail to show proof of these claims.
August 12, 2012
An estimated 80,000 men, women and even children are being held in solitary confinement on any given day in U.S. prisons. If the struggle to end inhumane treatment inside prisons is to become anything more than a largely apolitical movement for so-called “civil rights,” it must put two long-ignored points back on the agenda: race and revolution.
August 10, 2012
Black August is a time to remember and recommit to freeing our political prisoners who were targeted by COINTELPRO and similar schemes and have been imprisoned ever since – many for more than 30 years.
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.
August 6, 2012
More than a year after our July 1, 2011, peaceful protest hunger strike actions, calling for an end to decades of SHU/Ad-Seg abusive confinement, CDCR has yet to meet our five core demands, all of which they admitted were reasonable, so now we’re focusing on two non-negotiable demands: 1) CDCR must abolish “intelligence” based solitary confinement, and 2) A four year step-down process is too long. For more than 25 years, CDCR has placed thousands of us in solitary for being gang members or associates, even though we never committed a gang-related criminal act.
July 31, 2012
CDCR state operatives have criminalized the historical-cultural legacy of Black August under the false pretense of it being a BGF (Black Guerrilla Family) prison gang concept that promotes violence against CDCR’s state operatives. Black August is not a prison gang concept, and it definitely does not entail the promotion of any violence!
July 25, 2012
According to multiple witness accounts, staff at Pennsylvania’s SCI Rockview killed John Carter, a 32-year-old man from Pittsburgh, during a cell extraction in the prison’s solitary confinement unit on April 26, 2012. One witness, esteemed writer André Jacobs, reports: “The murder was in retaliation for Carter protesting what began as guards denying him his dinner meal. … During the collection of our food tray, guard Sherman said to me, “Your buddy’s going down tonight,” while smiling.”
July 14, 2012
The prison industrial complex (PIC) is a “corporation” whose objective is to profit. In California alone they pay up to $20,000 more per solitary confinement unit than for a general population unit. This keeps officers working, which is why they become willing pawns who have an interest in oppressing prisoners.
July 4, 2012
“Solitary confinement does one thing: It breaks a man’s will to live and he ends up deteriorating,” testified Texas death row exoneree Anthony Graves before a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Tuesday, June19. The hearing, convened by Subcommittee Chair Sen. Richard Durbin, was the first of its kind at the federal level on the issue of solitary confinement.
July 2, 2012
The prison officials believe that they have a right to subject us prisoners to physical and psychological torment simply because we choose to fight peacefully for our basic human rights. These officials fail to realize that prisoners are committed to the peaceful struggle and by no means do we plan on giving up, under any circumstances.
July 2, 2012
Since June 10 an undetermined number of Georgia prisoners have been on a hunger strike. Some of these men are the Jackson State prison strikers. After two weeks, according to the families of Miguel Jackson and Preston Whiting, they are weak from hunger and subject to fainting spells. But they seem to believe they have little to lose. They are, a letter from one of them asserts, “starving for change.” We must demand justice for Miguel Jackson and other Georgia state prisoners who are being targeted and brutalized for exposing their inhumane conditions and standing up for their most basic human rights.
June 26, 2012
In 1989 the California Department of Corrections opened Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP). Their primary stated reason for its construction was to reduce prison violence by isolating “alleged” gang leaders and members, but contrary to their stated purpose, prison violence has both rapidly and dramatically increased. California prisons are more violent now than before the opening of Pelican Bay.
June 21, 2012
The Pelican Bay SHU is a desolate and dreary place, where one is locked in a windowless cell, or better yet a “TOMB,” 24/7 for years on end. This type of solitary confinement and sensory deprivation can and does weigh heavily on a person’s mind, body and soul. – Sonny Trujillo. This story is illustrated with a scale drawing of a SHU cell by another Pelican Bay prisoner, F. Alejandrez.