Tags Kendra Castaneda
Tag: Kendra Castaneda
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.
On May 22, brave prisoners at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison began a hunger strike. A recently released prisoner discusses torture at Red Onion: “having your fingers broken, being bitten by dogs, being strapped to beds for days, being forced to defecate on yourself – I mean all of this has led to these men demanding to be treated as human beings.”
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.
When the leg irons were applied, four officers immediately began forcing me to the nearest wall, causing my head to slam against the wall once again. The impact caused my head to bleed profusely; blood drained down into my eyes, which obscured my vision. At this point I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I’m not afraid to say that I’m now suffering anxiety attacks.
The families and loved ones of us all constitute a very powerful voice and matter tremendously in any change that is coming. You really do have the respect and support of us all.
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.
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.
The Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit Short Corridor representatives have read and carefully considered and hereby reject CDCR’s gang management proposal of March 2012. Prisoners designated Security Threat Group Members – including the majority of us – will not receive any meaningful change.
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.
The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law believes that the treatment of California prisoners placed in Administrative Segregation Units and Security Housing Units should be brought before the United Nations. Placing thousands of prisoners in segregation for long periods of time is one of the most serious mass human rights violations taking place in the United States today. On Tuesday, March 20, 10-11 a.m., at the Ronald Reagan State Building, 300 South Spring St., Los Angeles, join the press conference to release a petition calling for a United Nations investigation.
The striker reportedly knew Christian Gomez and described the day of his death. Several inmates were screaming and pounding their fists on their cell doors trying to get the attention of the correctional officers. His knuckles were noticeably battered during the visit. CDCR officials continue to assert that autopsy results show Gomez did not die of starvation.
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 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.
Calipatria State Prison Institutional Gang Investigator (IGI) E. Duarte is currently under investigation by the United States District Court due to a complaint of excessive force on an inmate and complaints of falsifying legal documentation and planting evidence on inmates.
In July, when over 12,000 California inmates of all creeds and colors united for the first time for the historic peaceful Pelican Bay Prison Hunger Strike, an “ordinary” woman, Kendra Castaneda, 29, began her transformation into the key national human rights defender she is today, overcoming one adversity after another in advocating for tortured prisoners.
At Calipatria State Prison near the Mexican border in the Mojave Desert, the ASU (Administrative Segregation Unit) is so isolated the prison authorities can do anything they want to the ASU inmates without anyone knowing. The men are forced to wear nothing but boxers, and some do not get blankets in their freezing cold cells.
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: email@example.com. Any information would be greatly appreciated ... to get to the bottom of this tragedy.”
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