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For years now, I have endured threats, both overt and covert, from the mouths and hands of CDCr’s (California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation’s) OCS (Office of Correctional Safety), ISU (Investigations Services Unit) and IGI (Institutional Gang Investigations), all of them paramilitary services that boast they are a gang and call themselves the Green Wall. (See my article “Sitawa: Exiting solitary confinement – and the games CDCr plays.”)
I left CDCr wondering how PBSP could remain in shambles after 22 years of court oversight. As I started educating myself about prison reform, I stumbled upon Keramet Reiter’s 2016 book, “23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement.” Within those pages, I found validation and some disturbing answers. I wish this book had been available to me before I started working in CDCr.
Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, aka Cephus Johnson, speaks about the recent police execution of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Phil Castile in Minneapolis. We talk about the role of new media in exposing these two cases. He also discusses Obama’s response to the police executions of Black and Brown people and his inaction. We also discuss the Dallas sniper killing a number of police officers last night in response to the rampant police terrorism plaguing the Black communities of the U.S.
In “Mass Incarceration on Trial,” Jonathan Simon writes, the decisions in Madrid v. Gomez, Coleman v. Wilson, Plata v. Davis, Coleman-Plata v. Schwarzenegger and Brown v. Plata “are legal precedents with ongoing relevance to prison lawyers and officials, but they are also a public sociology text, addressed to all of us, concerning the threat that mass incarceration poses to prisoners, prison officers, and any society with pretensions to decency.”
This is a glimpse into torture by prison staff, using any means available, of which solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison in California is only a reflection of the inhumane treatment and clear U.S. constitutional violations of our First, Fifth, Eighth and 14th Amendment rights that prisoners in solitary everywhere are subjected to.
Oakland may seem like a local anomaly with its big increase in homicides in 2011-12 and the anti-crime hysteria which now engulfs it. But Oakland is just a prime example of the intertwining of crime and criminalization under capitalism, in which the ruling class divides working people one from another and targets particular groups for victimization.
The state of California filed another response to the federal court order to reduce dangerous overcrowding in California’s prisons, urging the court to end the 137.5 percent population cap. Gov. Brown’s 2013-14 budget echoes comments earlier this week that the administration has deserted plans to shrink California’s over-sized prison population, ignoring clear messages from voters.
ILWU Local 10 and SEIU Local 1021, two of the largest labor unions in the Bay Area, have pledged their support for the Justice 4 Alan Blueford campaign and the Nov. 10 march against racial profiling being organized with other Bay Area families victimized by police brutality. Join them at noon at Oscar Grant Plaza.
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.
Oakland City Attorney John Russo’s proposed gang injunction is draconian and does not sufficiently address the root causes of crime, according to legal scholars. Attend the hearing Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2 p.m., in Dept. 20 of the Courthouse at 1225 Fallon St., Oakland
The U.S. Constitution requires that an accused person who lacks the means to hire a lawyer is provided one. Yet budget cuts are forcing public defenders to turn away defendants who have no other legal recourse.
A time bomb is ticking, waiting to explode in communities of color across the nation. Law enforcement officers have become an occupation force. If we are to have peace, we first must place economic justice at the top of our agenda. The day Lovelle Mixon died, those close to him mentioned two explanations: He dreaded being sent back to prison yet he couldn't find a job.
A federal three-judge panel ruled today, Feb. 9, that overcrowding in California prisons is indeed the root cause of health care inadequacy so severe that it amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.