Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa: Worse than Pelican Bay

by Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (R.N. Dewberry)

Sitawa-Nantambu-Jamaa-Ronnie-Dewberry-2012-1988-by-Adithya-Sambamurthy-CIR, Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa: Worse than Pelican Bay, Abolition Now!
That’s Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa in both photos, one taken in 2012 and the other in 1988. – Photo: Adithya Sambamurthy, CIR

This place is worse than Pelican Bay State Prison in so many ways. I’ll start sending updates on corruption and racism against prisoners who have been placed in Steps 3 and 4 of these keepers’ Step Down Program (SDP).

The DRB (Departmental Review Board) lies to the public. Prisoners are coming into a non-functional SDP, and they are trying to create a functional program while we are in this corrupt system. We were placed in an allegedly functional program.

George Giurbino and Suzan Hubbard are the two CDCR officials who are doing those DRB-CBC (Community-Based Coalition) reviews. They are playing CDCR prison politics as to who they are allowing to go directly to the general population (GP) and who is placed in Steps 1-4.

All of us being reviewed at Pelican Bay have spent 10, 20 and 30 years in the SHU (Security Housing Unit, California’s form of solitary confinement), so how can they say go to GP? That would be admitting we’re not the worst of the worst, as they call us.

CDCRs-George-Giurbino-testifies-Solitary-Confinement-hearing-Public-Safety-Committees-Sacramento-021114, Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa: Worse than Pelican Bay, Abolition Now!
CDCR’s George Giurbino testifies at the joint hearing on Solitary Confinement by the Senate and Assembly Public Safety Committees at the Capitol in Sacramento on Feb. 11, 2014.
CDCRs-Suzan-Hubbard-testifies-Solitary-Confinement-hearing-Public-Safety-Committees-Sacramento-021114, Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa: Worse than Pelican Bay, Abolition Now!
CDCR’s Suzan Hubbard testifies Feb. 11.

Instead, we’re placed on one of the Steps 1-4, which means that we have to endure one year to three years of continued torture and CDCR prison politics being played against us. By these officials even placing us in a Step 1-5, they show that we should have not been held another day, period!

This is how CDCR prison politics are being used against all prisoners based on Giurbino and Hubbard’s racist views directed at specific prisoners and these officials’ bias and hate against prisoners generally. That is clearly the basis for their decisions as to who is going directly to the GP and who will be given additional years in solitary confinement.

Yes, that is a criminal act being committed against us. To correct a historic wrong, these officials should be immediately releasing us to the GP.

Sen.-Loni-Hancock-chairs-Solitary-Confinement-hearing-Public-Safety-Committees-Sacramento-021114, Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa: Worse than Pelican Bay, Abolition Now!
Sen. Loni Hancock chaired the hearing, along with Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.

CDCR has knowingly lied to state Sen. Loni Hancock about the entire SDP and how well it is functioning. She should come to Tehachapi Prison and see for herself how CDCR lied and didn’t give a damn about the state legislators in order to get the CDCR plan out there with a positive spin. The new STG (Security Threat Group) and SDP system are nothing but lies and half-truths!

Sitawa is one of the four “main reps” responsible for the historic mass hunger strikes in 2011 and the largest hunger strike in prison history, involving 30,000 prisoners, in 2013. He is highly respected throughout the California prison system. His supporters rejoiced when he was released from decades in the Pelican Bay SHU and devastated to learn he was simply transferred from one SHU to another. Send our brother some love and light: Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, s/n R.N. Dewberry, C-35671, CCI SHU 4B-7C-209, P.O. Box 1906, Tehachapi CA 93581.