As more progressive District Attorneys such as newly-elected Los Angeles County DA George Gascón are being elected across the country, the glimmer of possibilities for changes in the (in)justice system arise, as a result of the voices from behind the walls and families and loved ones outside, all suffering the brutal abuses of our Industrial Prison Complex.
If we would have been self-transforming for the last 60, 50 years, there would not be millions of new slaves today and we would have the power to be making an impact and difference toward the building of the New World. Our teachers kept saying: “No matter what, we gotta keep pushing and growing. It’s the only way to continue our growth and become free.”
Last night 17 of us were bussed from Pelican Bay State Prison to Corcoran. The ride down here was beautiful. Being able to see the ocean, the trees and all the people going about their daily lives, it was really worth it. After all, it has been over 20 years since I last took a ride outside of Pelican Bay’s SHU.
The conditions inside San Quentin’s West Block are inhumane and uninhabitable. They are in cells with no power. A lot of the toilets don’t flush. The men are trying to clean the feces off the walls themselves. There is ankle deep standing water in the showers and black mold on the walls.
Although much of prison health care is inadequate, many of its youthful captives can at least squeak by on what’s presently provided. Not so for those over 50 years of age, most of whom are beset by the common old age infirmities. The smartest and quickest way to begin reducing prison health care costs and prison overcrowding is to release aged and infirmed Lifers and those serving Life Without Parole (LWOPs).