I would like to extend our utmost love and respect to all who remain strong and positive against CDCR’s death grip of long-term segregation. It has been eight months since the last Pelican Bay-California Statewide Hunger Strike and there have been some “material changes” here at Calipatria ASU. Our objective as a whole is to see an end to all wrongful validations and long-term segregation/isolation.
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.
CDCR Deputy Director Stainer said that the STG (security threat group regulations) will replace the six-year inactive status program – big whoop! Yeah, it will but it will have the same end result. Only this time, we’ll all be bouncing back and forth like a ping pong ball between step 1 and step 2, all while we’re in the same cell until we die.
I was moved by California Department of Corrections (CDC) Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) officials. This now separates me from my jailhouse attorney, so I won’t be able to continue with my cases. This move was retaliation; PBSP knew very well about my lawsuit against them and knew that by separating me from that unit they would make it impossible for me to proceed.
Hundreds of men at Calipatria State Prison in the Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) participated last year in the Pelican Bay State Prison hunger strike that spread statewide in July and again in September. They starved themselves in unity with the five core demands, but the men at Calipatria added their own demand, which was to have a TV or radio.
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.
The new CDCR proposal will only make things worse by creating the Security Threat Group (STG) designation so as to place thousands more in Ad/Seg-SHU-type units. It’s the only way for CDCR and CCPOA (guards’ union) to recoup some of the loss sustained from the prison population reduction forced by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May of 2011.
On Jan. 25, 2012, 8 a.m., at CSP-San Quentin II, West Block convicts revolted, shutting down the entire unit, as a result of prison guards and unit Sgt. Bloise abusing their authority and discretion by attempting to move convicts from cleaned cells to filthy ones.
The reduction of 35,000-40,000 prisoners equals a potential loss of $2 billion in the yearly CDCR budget and 7,000 CCPOA members. The “security threat group” (STG) scheme enables CDCR to segregate a lot more men. Segregation costs nearly double general population and requires more staff.
Thousands of mothers currently incarcerated in the California state prison system are now eligible to serve out the end of their sentences at home or in local facilities. To qualify for the program, women must be “primary caregivers” convicted of non-violent, non-serious, non-sexual offenses with remaining prison sentences of less than two years.
Evidence indicates Hozel Blanchard's death wasn’t a suicide. J. Turner, Hozel's brother, saw this article and reports that services will be held Tuesday, Nov. 22, 11 a.m., at the Miraculous Word Christian Center, 2723 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. The family seeks “any information or advice you can provide for us to get justice for my brother. We also have an email set up solely for this purpose: firstname.lastname@example.org. Any information would be greatly appreciated ... to get to the bottom of this tragedy.”
Today, Sept. 28, lawyers and mediators with Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity’s mediation team confirm that at least 6,000 prisoners throughout California are resuming the hunger strike that began in July. The expansion of the strike demonstrates that CDCR’s atrocious practices and brutal conditions are in fact a system-wide issue and endemic of the CDCR. Support the prisoners in winning their demands! Call Gov. Jerry Brown and urge him to make the CDCR comply with the prisoners’ demands!
We had our last and final meeting with Undersecretary Scott Kernan on Aug. 18, 2011. Sitawa and the rest of the negotiators were very disappointed with the outcome because the undersecretary’s horns came out for real!
I’d like to extend my deep and heartfelt thanks to you and the Bay View staff in truthfully reporting what came down during and after the hunger strike on July 1, 2011, at Pelican Bay State Prison and all other prisons that took part in it.
Support for the hunger strike grows with solidarity actions across the U.S. and Canada this past weekend. A series of noise demonstrations outside jails, detention centers and prisons occurred internationally in St. Louis, New York City, Oakland, Los Angeles, Montreal and Kitchener, Ontario.