Therapist Tia Barnes speaks of the importance and possibilities of nurturing mental health for ourselves and our families during the ongoing COVID pandemic.
As the penal systems continues to use all efforts to maintain its power over Black, Brown and poor people, weaponizing all available opportunities like the COVID-19 pandemic, civil rights attorney Yolanda Huang exposes the audacity of the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Department and the City and County of San Francisco to appeal a magistrate judge’s order to provide fresh air and sunlight to prisoners.
The stories of domestic violence against women around the world is told again and again. Is this the telling we listen to, the one we hear, the one we feel, the one we commit ourselves to by standing in her place and saying “No More”?
A costly mistake at age 15 holds 26-year-old Eric Allen Jr. in prison serving a 50-year-to-life plus life sentence, plus COVID-19. Eric intimately shares his fear of dying in prison alone, about his being stripped of all human rights and dignity, dehumanized and treated as an animal in a 24-hour cage who can’t fend for himself, with no voice or caretaker and at the mercy of guards who lie and falsify documents to hide inhumane wrongdoing.
Preventive medicine is the best medicine, especially in a capitalist country where the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed long encrusted health disparities that have been in place for centuries. Presently, people have had their ability to move around freely curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine’s shelter-in-place policy.
Distance learning has proven to be a failure in many cases over the last two months throughout the Bay Area and the nation for a myriad of reasons. For example, teachers were never trained adequately in how to pivot from classroom teaching to a cyber environment; school districts had to organize distance learning without having planned for its implementation; huge portions of the student body in the Bay’s Black and Brown neighborhoods don’t have access to the technology needed to be able to engage; and many students have no internet access at home.
Greensville Correctional Center Human Rights Committee demands humane living conditions, rehabilitation,...
History has shown that the individual, disunited voices of incarcerated people will always fall on the deaf ears of prison officials, which ensures that our misery and suffering behind the walls will continue unabated. So we, the incarcerated class here at Greensville Correctional Center have come together out of necessity to form this Human Rights Committee as a mechanism to unite prisoners from different racial groups, religious affiliations, organizational ties and geographical locations so that we can speak with ONE VOICE in communicating and articulating our demands to Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) officials for humane living conditions, greater access to rehabilitation, an end to slave labor etc.
Turkey and trimmings graced the Christmas menu for 1,400 seniors and families from the Bayview and OMI. The recipients were identified by schools and local community and faith-based organizations, who also helped organize the donations and coordinate deliveries. The turkeys and trimmings were donated by Glide Memorial, the Community Living Campaign and the SF Public Health Foundation in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and other community agencies.
Should you or a loved one ever have the great misfortune of being tried and convicted in the state of Texas, your sentence, no matter how great or small, could very well be a death sentence. If you are resilient, strong of mind and body, then perhaps you would survive the conditions: deadly heat, toxic water, squalid living quarters and ill prepared food – and struggle through the conditioning: slave labor, consistent degradation, dehumanization in a variety of fashions – bowing down to insulting, offensive verbal abuse from staff, group strip searches, zero privacy.
People in solitary confinement have been loudly awakened by guards every 30 minutes around the clock since the night of Aug. 2, for more than four months! CDCR claims these checks are to improve mental health care and prevent suicides. Instead, this cruel sleep deprivation constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Prisoners and their attorneys are demanding that these checks be halted. Stop these torture tactics now! Support prisoners’ human rights! Send emails and make calls. Sleep deprivation is torture!
Treasure Island resident Liz Washington and her children exhibit many of the most serious toxic mold symptoms rampant among all islanders who constantly touch, ingest or breathe air filled with black mold spores. After moving to Treasure Island, everyone in the Washington family began to endure year ‘round swollen lymph nodes, sinus infections, nose and throat irritation, phlegm, runny noses, coughing spells and colds. Liz recently battled short-term acute bronchitis.
“Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp” is a documentary about the illustrious life of a pimp who metamorphosed into one of the most well known Black writers in this nation’s history. In the opening lines of the documentary, “Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp,” taken from his autobiography, “Pimp,” Iceberg Slim states: “In this book, I will take you the reader with me into the secret inner-world of the pimp. I will lay bare my life and thoughts as a pimp.”
Last week, men incarcerated at Ohio’s supermax prison brought a month-long hunger strike to a close. Between 30 and 40 men had refused all meals since March 16 to protest new restrictions placed on already severely limited recreation and programming for those in solitary confinement. On April 15, all but one of the men agreed to suspend the hunger strike after a meeting with the warden at which the prison agreed to lifting some, but not all, of the new restrictions.
On Friday, Oct. 3, Antolin Marenco was dead, found “blue” and hanging in his cell in SF County Jail, an apparent suicide. I say apparent because evidence surrounding his death is still coming in and, as someone who was in regular contact with Antolin, I can say with certainty that if he took his own life, he was driven to this extreme act by over a year of sustained torture, brutality and neglect at the hands of the SFPD and the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department.
A mass prisoner hunger strike rocked California’s prison system this past summer, drawing international attention to the extensive use of solitary confinement in the United States. Nearly all of the attention, however, has focused on solitary confinement in men’s prisons; much less is known about the conditions and experiences inside women’s prisons.
Solitary confinement can eat away at someone’s mind, making mental illness worse and leaving many people depressed, suicidal, hopeless or hallucinating. It’s no place for individuals with mental illness. In 1995, a federal court in California agreed. After a trial exposing the appalling conditions at Pelican Bay, a federal judge ordered all mentally ill prisoners out of the prison’s security housing unit (SHU) in a case called Madrid v. Gomez.
It is hot enough in Corcoran, California, to melt people. That being said, it still wasn’t hot enough to keep upwards of 400 people from braving 103-degree weather to mobilize and rally at Corcoran State Prison in support of over 30,000 prisoners on hunger strike in California. The immediate goal is to stop the cruelty and torture that being held in isolation represents. The long-range objective is liberation.
A comprehensive new article by Brandon Keim in Wired Science is titled “The Horrible Psychology of Solitary Confinement.” Keim does an excellent job of summing up the research on the psychological effects of solitary. He also points to the relative lack of cutting-edge neuroscientific research on the subject, which might show the physical effects isolation has on the brain.
I’m thankful to Wanda and the Bay View. We all are. I love the world that Wanda takes me to, because it exists outside of the typical realm of negativity that swamps the prison environment. The Bay View is a necessary tool for prisoners, and I urge anybody who has a subscription to get subscriptions for others who may not be able to get it for themselves. Because who knows, you just may be in a position to save a life too.
The SF Bay View is holding a fundraiser! Come and meet the grandson of Malcolm X, Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, on his speaking tour hosted by the Minister of Information JR.
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