At Tehachapi, release from SHU means more solitary confinement

by James Ingram

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. A lot has been said about the conditions my fellow inmates at Pelican Bay face on a daily.

'Solitary confinement is torture' banner by Illinois Coalition Against Torture (ICAT) 0414Not to knock their struggles, but 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.

We’re moved from the SHU housing area, from either Unit 4A or 4B, and sent to the ASU housing units, which are Units 6, 7 or 8 on Facility 4A.

The problem is, after we’ve served our SHU for whatever our infraction may have been for however long the infraction requires, we’re sent to ASU pending transfer, under conditions that are worse. We’re warehoused for months beyond our MERD (minimum eligible release date).

Here at ASU, administration houses us in cells without electrical outlets, where we’re cut off from any sort of entertainment, allowed access to yard maybe twice a month, allowed one phone call per month and an hour of library a week – that is, if you’re lucky enough to be able to show that you’re currently fighting a case in court.

These accommodations are way below unacceptable compared to what we’re entitled to. Those of us who have completed our SHU terms are in ASU under A2-B status, awaiting transfer. Administration has us tagged as NDS (non-disciplinary status), which is their version of being in privileged group A2-B. But we’re not afforded the accommodations that we’re rightly due.

The problem is, after we’ve served our SHU for whatever our infraction may have been for however long the infraction requires, we’re sent to ASU pending transfer, under conditions that are worse. We’re warehoused for months beyond our MERD (minimum eligible release date).

The bottom line is we’re being kept under solitary confinement months beyond our MERD without administration being held accountable for their lackluster job performance in submitting the needed paperwork to release us from solitary confinement.

I hope my letter reaches the right source to push for Sacramento to look into the cruel punishment that those of us who’ve served our SHU terms are forced to endure, months beyond our release date, awaiting transfer from behind the walls of Tehachapi. Thanks to you all from us at CCI … waiting.

Send our brother some love and light: James Ingram, K-07916, CCI 4A-8A-107L, P.O. Box 1902 Tehachapi CA 93581.