Tags California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
Tag: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
Today, residents throughout the state celebrate as AB1270, a bill to lift the media access ban in California prisons, passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety in a 4-2 vote. Since 1996, media have been prohibited from choosing their interview subjects inside prisons, and nine versions of this bill have been vetoed by three different governors.
As a prisoner at Pelican Bay’s Short Corridor, I had to laugh in disgust at the audacity of the Department of Corruption’s motion to rescind the medical receiver appointed by the federal court after decades of inadequate medical care. Here at Pelican Bay’s SHU, it is common knowledge that the Institutional Gang Investigation (IGI) Unit actually make the medical decisions by way of the chief medical officer.
If we would have been self-transforming for the last 60, 50 years, there would not be millions of new slaves today and we would have the power to be making an impact and difference toward the building of the New World. Our teachers kept saying: “No matter what, we gotta keep pushing and growing. It’s the only way to continue our growth and become free.”
On March 24, 2012, Leonard “Mousy Brown” Fulgham passed away while in the custody and care of the California Department of Corrections. His obituary read: “Mousy’s formative years occurred during the period known as the Black Power Struggle and the Civil Rights Movement ... This man’s presence will forever be felt, missed and recognized by the masses!”
A little over a month after CDCR released its “Security Threat Group Prevention, Identification and Management Strategy,” which proposes new gang validation and SHU step down procedures, the department has called a meeting with members of the mediation team advocating on behalf of SHU and Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg or ASU) prisoners.
Monday the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released “The Future of California Corrections: A Blueprint to Save Billions of Dollars, End Federal Court Oversight and Improve the Prison System,” an attempt to overhaul and redirect a prison system that has been floundering for at least a decade.
Imagine you were framed again by prison gang officers using a tattoo you got as a child and a symbol in a birthday card to “validate” you as a “prison gang associate” and label you “worst of the worst” and placed in segregation in a Security Housing Unit, or SHU, for years on end. That is what happened to my childhood best friend and husband, Robbie Riva.
Top CDCR administrators admitted several times during our negotiations that the five core demands made by 12,000 hunger striking prisoners were reasonable and would all be addressed via meaningful, substantive changes. Our rejection of CDCR's March 1 proposal is based upon its failure to act in good faith. CDCR is asking lawmakers and taxpayers to allow it to continue to violate thousands of prisoners’ human rights, torturing us with impunity. Our counter-proposal will bring this illegal torture to an end.
For decades the CDCR has operated a domestic torture program in California SHUs whereby men are consigned to indefinite solitary confinement, sensory deprivation and constant illumination with the sole intent of compelling these state victims to become state informants.
If we can do a mass hunger strike, can we not gain support to pursue a mass boycott of the canteen for three-six months. What can prisoncrats do about a collective will to not buy canteen or have family and friends send money when the state takes over half of off the top anyway? What rule have we broken or what prison order has been disrupted?
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s “Security Threat Group Prevention, Identification and Management Strategy” targets the underprivileged prisoners and their communities to retain them in solitary confinement indefinitely. The Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement rejects this document.
I am glad that the four principle groups behind these prison walls have agreed to the fundamental principles of “each one, teach one” with the open hand of natural humanity from the north to the south to the east to the west. We are united as one, a Prison Movement of the 21st century.
Comparing their conditions to a “living coffin,” 400 California prisoners held in long-term or indefinite solitary confinement petitioned the United Nations Tuesday to intervene on behalf of all of the more than 4,000 prisoners similarly situated. California holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other state in the United States or any other nation on earth. Conditions inside California’s SHUs and ASUs were at the center of two massive waves of hunger strikes last year that saw the participation of thousands of prisoners in at least a third of California’s 33 prisons.
The Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit Short Corridor representatives have read and carefully considered and hereby reject CDCR’s gang management proposal of March 2012. Prisoners designated Security Threat Group Members – including the majority of us – will not receive any meaningful change.
CDCR has released its “Security Threat Group Prevention, Identification and Management Strategy,” which proposes new gang validation and SHU step down procedures. “The biggest issue with the stakeholder review is that the most important stakeholders, the prisoners who have been validated and are currently in administrative segregation or the SHU, are not included,” says Jerry Elster.
My call to arms is this: Until we are organize in consciousness as one class, which we are as prisoners, and eradicate the petty politics that give the illusion of security but only act to strangle our solidarity, we are hypocritical in our demand for CDCR to take the boot off our neck and the knife out of our backs.
The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law believes that the treatment of California prisoners placed in Administrative Segregation Units and Security Housing Units should be brought before the United Nations. Placing thousands of prisoners in segregation for long periods of time is one of the most serious mass human rights violations taking place in the United States today. On Tuesday, March 20, 10-11 a.m., at the Ronald Reagan State Building, 300 South Spring St., Los Angeles, join the press conference to release a petition calling for a United Nations investigation.
The death of Christian Gomez, 27, the first California hunger strike martyr, will be covered by Democracy Now! on Friday, Feb. 24, on 1,024 TV and radio stations around the country and online at DemocracyNow.org. His family is speaking out about the loss of their family member in the hope that similar incidents are avoided in the future. While CDCR emphasizes Gomez' conviction to discourage public sympathy, his sister contends his conviction was wrongful, and according to a late report, the assault charge that sent him to segregation was about to be dropped.
Our hunger strikes were the only way to effectively resist the nonstop assault on our humanity which is the inevitable consequence of burying us indefinitely in these sensory deprivation torture units. The success of the Occupy Movement, like the hunger strikes, requires sacrifice and strategic insight. The kind of sacrifices you exemplify – we love it, we love you and we stand with you.
The striker reportedly knew Christian Gomez and described the day of his death. Several inmates were screaming and pounding their fists on their cell doors trying to get the attention of the correctional officers. His knuckles were noticeably battered during the visit. CDCR officials continue to assert that autopsy results show Gomez did not die of starvation.