Tags California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
Tag: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
The bill by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, to restore media access to prisoners, AB 1270, passed the California Assembly Jan. 26. The bill would remove restrictions on pre-arranged in-person interviews with specific prison inmates.
Since the last hunger strike ended, we have weathered wave after wave of retaliation from the state’s prison administrators that continues unabated to this day. None of us want to die, but all of us are prepared to do so to realize our five core demands. History dictates no less. The ultimate arbiter of our fate – and this society’s fate – is the people. YOU. Our love, loyalty and solidarity to all those who cherish freedom, justice and human rights and fear only failure.
Last night 17 of us were bussed from Pelican Bay State Prison to Corcoran. The ride down here was beautiful. Being able to see the ocean, the trees and all the people going about their daily lives, it was really worth it. After all, it has been over 20 years since I last took a ride outside of Pelican Bay’s SHU.
I am a California prisoner who was sent involuntarily to NFORK CCA (the Corrections Corporation of America’s North Fork Prison), a private prison in Oklahoma, where I have been for over a year. California thought they could more effectively silence my protests and lawsuits by hurling me hundreds of miles away.
It’s a good thing to have exposure of torture going on in the Ad/Segs. We’d included all SHUs and Ad/Seg units from the beginning in our formal complaint. We all need to be united and work together on making the wrongs in this system right! It’s critical to include ASUs in the process of challenging SHU issues!
We were placed on Hell-Row for “concentrated torture.” Yes, we were placed in ice cold cells and given nothing. The cold blowers were deliberately turned on to intensify our suffering in Ad-Seg in order to try and get us to eat. Each and every one of us refused to eat.
The conditions inside San Quentin’s West Block are inhumane and uninhabitable. They are in cells with no power. A lot of the toilets don’t flush. The men are trying to clean the feces off the walls themselves. There is ankle deep standing water in the showers and black mold on the walls.
From the very first day of my incarceration, I was placed in security housing for no justifiable reason. Now, nearly 17 years later, without reprieve, I find myself still in a security housing unit in the absence of a single serious rule infraction.
We all were willing to die in a hunger strike to get attention and changes to a flawed validation policy, where prisoners are kept in solitary confinement indefinitely by fabricated tales by prison informants and officers. So we are truly committed to seeing this out and sacrificing ourselves.
We understand the importance of unity and how our oppressors have played us against each other for far too long. We can probably never get rid of agents/snitches/pig informants but to awake and realize what George’s concept really was about, a people’s revolution. It’s time!
About two weeks ago, the IGI (Institutional Gang Investigator) searched my cell in SHU and confiscated my Bay View newspapers, saying they are contraband if any articles speak on George Jackson or Black August. They said that the newspaper with said articles would be used to re-validate me at my six-year review. I should not be penalized for a newspaper article.
I was validated as a prison gang member on one source of false information, even though CDCR regulations require “three (3) independent sources of information that is proven to be reliable.” Being falsely accused of prison gang membership and consequently being housed in SHU/CMU indefinitely amounts to state sponsored persecution for our political beliefs.
For 15 years the California Coalition for Women Prisoners - activists on the outside together with prisoners on the inside - have published an extraordinary newsletter called the Fire Inside. Hear Angela Davis keynote the anniversary celebration, hosted by our own Wanda Sabir, Friday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m., at the Women’s Building, 3543 18th St. at Valencia, San Francisco.
Mediators who met with hunger strike representatives at Pelican Bay confirm that prisoners there have decided to stop their hunger strike after nearly three weeks. The prisoners have cited a memo from CDCR detailing a comprehensive review of every SHU prisoner in California whose SHU sentence is related to gang validation.
With the second phase of a massive California prisoner hunger strike in its third week, prisoners have begun to report grave medical issues. Prisoners at Corcoran have stated, “Due to what they have done here to us, some men have stopped drinking water completely, so we may well be close to death in a few days.”
The numbers of strikers began dropping this week from the 12,000 refusing food a few days ago, after the CDCR intensified retaliation against them, such as air conditioning the small concrete cells at 50 degrees. The hunger strike representatives at Pelican Bay were moved to Administrative Segregation, while at least one inmate on strike who was denied medications has suffered a heart attack. Readers are urged to pressure Gov. Jerry Brown to tell CDCR to meet the prisoners’ five core demands and cease all retaliation against the hunger strikers. Call (916) 445-2841.
As the renewed prisoner hunger strike enters its second week, the federal receiver’s office reports that at least 12,000 prisoners were participating during the first week. Family members of striking SHU prisoners reported that their visits this weekend were denied by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which is threatening participants with disciplinary action and banning two lawyers who represent the strikers. “Historically, prison officials have used extreme measures, including physical violence to break strikes,” says Dorsey Nunn, a member of the mediation team working on behalf of the strikers.
Solitary confinement in the Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (SHU) is a reflection of our inhumane treatment and clearly violates our constitutional rights under the First, Fifth, Eighth and 14th Amendments.
Today, prisoners at Pelican Bay’s Security Housing Unit (SHU) and Calipatria’s Administrative Segregation Unit (Ad-Seg or ASU) resume their hunger strike. Referring to the first round of the hunger strike, Mutope Duguma (s/n James Crawford), a strike representative in Pelican Bay’s SHU, writes, “This is far from over and once again, hopefully for the last time, we will be risking our lives via a peaceful hunger strike on Sept. 26, 2011, to force positive changes. We continue to struggle to be treated like decent human beings.”
How long does it take for a man on hunger strike to starve to death? The answer depends on what kind of physical shape that man was in to begin with. In 1981, it took the 10 Irish Republican hunger strikers – who were drinking water – from 46 to 73 days to die in Britain's Maze Prison outside Belfast. Will it come to this is California? Based on the response so far from the state, it appears that it could.