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Posts Tagged with "suicide"

Losing direction: The abysmal history of mental health care at Pelican Bay State Prison

May 30, 2017

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.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Amend The 13th: Why the Millions for Prisoners March is vital to social change in Amerika

April 30, 2017

Working towards the success of the Millions for Prisoners March has been a central theme of the Amend the 13th’s agenda since the outset. In a movement dedicated to not only abolishing legal slavery in Amerika, but transforming the nature and structure of unequal social, political and economic relationships upon which mass incarceration is based, support for the March is of course an obvious priority – but what is not so obvious is why this march is vital to the very future of progressive social change in Amerika.

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Why Oakland needs a multi-unit smoke free housing policy

April 29, 2017

To educate our entire Oakland community, I’m writing to explain why Oakland needs a smoke-free multi-unit housing policy. This is a social justice issue. Smoking and tobacco products kill more African-Americans than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drug use, homicide, suicide and other non-tobacco related cancers. We must educate our youth and communities regarding the dangers of smoking because it is an unhealthy life choice for them.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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Jay Z calls for Rikers Jail to be closed

January 26, 2017

Today marks the first anniversary of President Obama ending juvenile solitary in the federal prison system in response to the case of New York City teenager Kalief Browder, who committed suicide in 2015 at the age of 22. In 2010, when Kalief was just 16, he was sent to Rikers Island, without trial, on suspicion of stealing a backpack. He always maintained his innocence and demanded a trial. Instead, he spent the next nearly three years at Rikers – nearly 800 days of that time in solitary confinement.

Alabama prisoner commits suicide just weeks after testifying in federal mental health trial

December 23, 2016

Last week, an Alabama state prisoner who had testified in an ongoing federal trial over the state of mental health care in state prisons was found dead, apparently of suicide. According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, he was found unresponsive, hanging from a piece of cloth in his cell. The state’s attorney said, “Jamie’s case is emblematic of the utter neglect and mistreatment of people with serious mental illness in ADOC prisons.”

Nationwide epidemic of suicide in solitary: Solitary confinement is murder!

October 16, 2016

This year at Holman in Atmore, Alabama, there have been five suicides in its segregation unit – more suicides or homicides than in its population. The latest was a mentally ill young man in his 20s. The conditions in the Administrative Segregation housing wings at the H.H. Coffield Unit located at Tennessee Colony, Texas are horrible, and these conditions have driven prisoners to suicide, approximately 13 deaths just this year! We need the broadest exposure of this horrifying trend.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Suicide crisis in California women’s prison: Advocates demand justice for Erika Rocha and Shaylene Graves

June 28, 2016

Erika Rocha was 35 years old and one day away from her Youth Parole Hearing on April 15, 2016, when she committed suicide at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona. Since her death, the suicide crisis at CIW has only worsened. On June 1, yet another young woman of color died at CIW. Her name is Shaylene Graves and she was 27 years old and six weeks away from returning home to her loving son, family and friends.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Emigres demand answers after first African American dies during Israeli army service

April 22, 2016

The African Hebrew Israelite community has launched a protest movement in recent weeks seeking to learn the truth about the untimely demise of community member Toveet Radcliffe, the first African American to die while serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Rejecting the Israeli army’s ruling that no one other than the 19-year-old Radcliffe was involved in her own death, members of the community have launched a campaign to pressure the IDF to reopen the case.

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Filed Under: Africa and the World
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Must-see movie documents God’s unchanging hand in the evolving lives of gays

February 4, 2016

Clay Cane’s new documentary, “Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church,” is an emotional drive-by shooting. The gut-penetrating personal stories in the hour-long film will leave you ducking for cover to avoid being shot dead through the heart. You will not succeed. The film features nightmarish tales that create a reality for many young African Americans who identify as members of the LGBT community.

Inside prison or out, be a hero today, save a life that might be lost to suicide

November 27, 2015

My message is: Take a little time out of your day to check on someone. Listen to your intuition, and observe the world around you. Wherever you are in life at this moment, even if you don’t like it, make use of your time, place and purpose to be a real life hero who saves a life. After all, heroes are not just those that we see on TV; they are everyday people like you and me who take the time to respond to the cry for help from others. Be a hero today.

Leonard Peltier, my cellmate: Simple man with a big vision

June 27, 2014

My cellmate is an inspiration to all ethnic groups who has endured the injustices by the hands of what we call the “government.” His name is Leonard Peltier, in prison since 1975 for a crime he didn’t commit. How can someone hate when all that’s asked for is “peace and equality”? My vision is this: to write with all people of injustice not for the purpose of war but for peace, so we may start to heal. I ask you to stand with me.

Leonard Peltier after 39 years in prison: Live to make our children proud

June 26, 2014

This statement was written for an event on June 26, 2014, marking 39 years of incarceration. Of all the things I want us to remember today and every day, I want us to remember who WE are, I want us to remember where WE came from, I want us to remember our ancestors that we are so proud of, and I want us to live in such a way that our children and our children’s children will look back at us and be proud of who they are because of what we were.

Exchange a word for a life

December 27, 2013

“Hi! How are you?” has become a cliche and has lost its importance concerning others. We say it in passing as we are rushing to a destination and expect the response to be “I’m fine, thank you.” But what if the response is something other than “I’m fine.” Would we be prepared to stop what we are doing to talk to that person? We forget the power that each one of us has to make a difference in this world.

Oregon prisoners driven to suicide by torture in solitary confinement units

March 30, 2013

I am not one prone to fits of temper. But a few days ago I almost lost it. My outrage was prompted by witnessing the steady deterioration of another prisoner, resulting from particularly acute mental torture inflicted in Oregon’s Disciplinary Segregation Units, which duplicate almost exactly conditions of torture practiced at Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary that were outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1800s.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Medical neglect and pepper spray bring death to mentally ill man in SCI Albion’s dark hole

March 29, 2013

Amid rumors that SCI (State Correctional Institution) Albion has been authorized to establish a brutal and bloody regime in its solitary confinement hole, prison guards murdered Stony Schaeffer (DW8560) in his cell using chemical munitions – Oleoresin Capsicum (O.C. or pepper) spray – and electro-shock weapons. Stony, 44, had been in the hole for the past eight years straight.

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Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson: They waited, wanted and watched for me to die…

March 18, 2013

Even before I began my political journey in 2001, I maintained certain principles – a variety of things I just don’t do. And usually, if ever I deviated from those principles, even in error, I’d end up in a tangle of trouble. February 2013 was an ordeal. I broke some of my rules and things got ugly. What happened is yet another experience that those who blindly trust the system – and those who don’t – need to know about.

From slavery to suicide

December 22, 2012

A common denominator among individuals who commit suicide is a traumatic event and/or long-term torment which can result in psychosis. If left untreated, it can lead to suicidal thoughts with the intent to end the internal distress and anguish. This same diagnostic assessment is equally applicable to mass suicide.

Is Britain burning with racism and economic inequality?

September 1, 2011

For days, the world witnessed the flames of discontent and disenchantment engulfing the urban streets of England in the aftermath of the shooting death of 29-year-old Mark Duggan by the Metropolitan Police Service on Aug. 4.

Letter of support for the hunger strikers from Bomani Shakur of the Lucasville 5 – and other strike updates

July 3, 2011

Ask anyone who has ever been on a hunger strike; the process of intentionally starving oneself is a very painful ordeal. And yet, there are places on this planet where the idea of death is preferable to continuing down a path that offers no hope or relief from suffering. I live in such a place; I know.

Hunger strikers protest perpetual solitary confinement

June 29, 2011

On July 1, 2011, I and my fellow prisoners – on their own free will – will be commencing a hunger strike to protest the denial of our human rights and equality via the use of perpetual solitary confinement. The Supreme Court has referred to “solitary confinement” as one of the techniques of “physical and mental torture.”

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