Hunger strike in Corcoran 3C against indefinite lockdown and group punishment

by Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee

Welcome to Corcoran State Prison, a huge compound housing over 3,000 prisoners. Located on rich farm land, it should be growing food like the fields that surround it, not the hate, cruelty and bitterness that grows in prison. – Photo: CDCR

Since Jan. 9, 2019, an estimated 250 prisoners are on hunger strike within Corcoran State Prison’s 3C facility in response to an indefinite lockdown. They have asked that this info be made public and that their demands be heard.

Background: They and another unit within 3C have been on “modified program” for three and a half months. Here, this essentially means a “lockdown” in all meaningful aspects – no visitation, no canteen, no packages, no educational, rehab or vocational programming, and little yard time.

The pretext for this indefinite lockdown by CDCr of hundreds of prisoners for months on end is an altercation on Sept. 28 which saw three prisoners from their unit attacked and put into the infirmary. Group punishments and indefinite isolation are standard practices by CDCr and must stop.

These practices only escalate trauma and conflict and ultimately only promote violence and destabilization within facilities. The effects are not an accident or “regrettable by-products.” This is how CDCr interprets its mission: control by brutalization and division.

Corcoran 3C demands

Representatives of the unit have composed and relayed their demands to the outside with this message:

“Corcoran State Prison 3C Yard’s Six Core Demands are as follows:

  • Lift lock-down.
  • Allow visits.
  • Allow us to attend educational, vocational and rehabilitation programs that we’re enrolled in.
  • Allow us to receive commissary and packages.
  • Give us our weekly 10 hours of mandated outdoor exercise on the yard.
  • Treat us fairly.

“We’ve been on this peaceful hunger strike since Jan. 9, 2019, and have yet to see change.

“We will continue this hunger strike until our voices are heard.”

Phonezap this Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 23-24

The hunger strike representatives have requested phone calls be made to both the warden and headquarters in Sacramento to amplify the demands. Put aside some time this Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 23-24, to make some calls!

Sample script

“Hello, my name is _________. I’m calling to insist that you meet the demands of hunger strikers in Facility 3C at Corcoran State Prison. I understand that this strike is the result of at least three months of an effective lockdown which must end. I demand that you lift the lock-down and reinstate visits, educational, vocational, and rehabilitative programs, as well as yard time. Reinstate access to commissary, packages and their allotted 10 hours of yard time. This is the MINIMUM level of fairness that you are required to provide to people in your care. Thank you.”

Phone numbers

1) Corcoran State Prison (COR) Warden Ken Clark: 559-992-8800, ext. 5000

2) CDCr Division of Adult Institutions: 916-445-7688

Don’t worry about staff or representatives giving you the runaround or denying that anything is happening at Corcoran. Denial and obstruction are standard operating procedure for them.

Leave your reportback in the comments section of this story online, at https://incarceratedworkers.org/phone-zaps/hungerstrike-corcoran-3c-against-indefinite-lockdown-and-group-punishment. No need to give your name if you’d rather not.

Contact the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee at iwoc@iww.org. This story first appeared on IncarceratedWorkers.org.