Tags Isaac Ontiveros
Tag: Isaac Ontiveros
Family members, advocates, lawyers, activists and others from across California will travel to Sacramento on Monday to speak out against the state prison system’s continued use of solitary confinement. Hundreds are expected to gather for a rally outside the Capitol Building and will then attend a California State Assembly Public Safety Committee oversight hearing, convened to review the CDCR’s “revised regulations” of its notorious SHUs. Rally starts 11:30 Capitol West Side.
Californians demand further reductions in prison spending to restore social services. A post-election poll by Californians for Safety and Justice determined that 62 percent of voters believe too much state funding goes to California’s prison system, and 86 percent agree that more resources should be dedicated to preventing crime rather than funding prisons and jails.
Yesterday’s election results show Californians calling for additional cuts to the prison population and corrections budget while approving new taxes to save programs like education, welfare, childcare and healthcare. Voters resoundingly passed Proposition 36 by a 69 percent to 31 percent margin. Proposition 30 was passed by voters 54 percent to 46 percent.
With election results in, Oakland residents sent a clear message against gang injunctions. Voting out the most strident and vocal proponent of the use of gang injunctions – Ignacio de la Fuente – and voting in injunction opponents Dan Kalb and Lynette Gibson-McElhaney in Districts 3 and 5 respectively.
Oct. 1 marks the first anniversary of the boldest and most controversial of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget balancing actions: criminal justice realignment. A year later, reactions to the plan remain strong. “It is past time for real bail reform, for real sentencing reforms and for a shift in funds from law enforcement and corrections to social services and education.”
Prisoners in Pelican Bay’s SHU have announced a push to end all hostilities between racial groups within California’s prisons and jails. The handwritten announcement, sent to prison advocacy organizations, is signed by the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective. The statement calls for the cessation of all hostilities between groups to commence Oct. 10, 2012, in all California prisons and county jails. It also calls on prisoners throughout the state to set aside their differences and use diplomatic means to settle their disputes.
“We applaud the goal of reducing corrections spending; however, the way to do that isn’t to increase the corrections budget,” comments Debbie Reyes of the California Prison Moratorium Project. “Why are we increasing General Fund spending on Corrections by 10 percent while we’re cutting In Home Supportive Services (and) public colleges?” asks Reyes.
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.
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.
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.
CDCR disclosed that as of Feb. 9, 30 men at Corcoran ASU were still striking. One of them writes: “On or about Feb 2nd or 3rd 2012 an inmate has passed away due to not eating ... Inmates are passing out and having other medical problems ... There will be more casualties if this isn’t addressed or brought to light.”
The last 30 years have led to an unprecedented concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the 1 percent – as well as the creation of another 1 percent: the 1 in 100 people currently locked in U.S. prisons and jails. Can we imagine what it would look like for imprisoned people to participate in General Assemblies?
Prisoners who participated in the hunger strike are being severely retaliated against with disciplinary actions and threats. Hozel Blanchard’s family said that he felt that his life was threatened and had two emergency appeals pending with the California Supreme Court at the time of his death.
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.
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.”
California spends millions of dollars every year guarding physically incapacitated prisoners. California has a $10 billion budget deficit. California taxpayers will spend nearly $2 billion to pay for the health care needs of state prisoners. A large percentage of those funds are used for a small group of severely incapacitated inmates.
The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition will hold a press conference Tuesday, Aug. 23, 11:00 a.m. at the California Capitol Building in Sacramento where families of prisoners, community members and activists from around California will converge to rally and participate ...
With the Pelican Bay prison hunger strike entering its third week, mediators reported Thursday that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has responded to pressure from strikers and outside supporters, beginning initial negotiations with strike leaders in the prison’s Security Housing Unit, along with an outside mediation team. Some of the strikers’ health has deteriorated to near-fatal levels. Many fear that time is running out.