Tag: mass incarceration

Political prisoners, mass incarceration and what’s possible for social movements

Since America’s MASS INCARCERATION is driven by unjust racial/class policies, then the real solution to MASS INCARCERATION is MASS “DECARCERATION.” In other words, drastic cuts to ALL prisoner’s TIME, since TIME is the currency, the legal tender, the great equalizer and righter of wrongs in prison.

Build a movement to close solitary confinement

You may think that you know something about solitary, but you don’t. You may have a loved one in prison who has experienced it and told you about it. But still I say, you don’t know it. For, as you know the word torture, you don’t know how it feels. For solitary is torture. State torture. Official torture. Government sanctioned torture.

Invisible bodies

What are the effects of long-term incarceration on prisoners? In a country where mass incarceration has become the norm, what responsibilities do the state and the community have to prisoners and to protecting some of their most basic freedoms – access to health and freedom from torture being chief among them?

From slavery to suicide

A common denominator among individuals who commit suicide is a traumatic event and/or long-term torment which can result in psychosis. If left untreated, it can lead to suicidal thoughts with the intent to end the internal distress and anguish. This same diagnostic assessment is equally applicable to mass suicide.

Are lesser evils progress or collateral damage?

As a people who should be championing the cause of the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, we need to first find humane solutions to our social ills. Isolation, incarceration and, yes, LWOP sentences are barbaric and sit in the realm of the lesser of two evils. And that’s why California still has the cruel instruments of death as its solutions.

Occupy Sandy, from relief to resistance

Welcome to the climate crisis. There’s nothing abstract about it. It isn’t some apocalypse decades away or an event that comes down like one big hurricane to wipe us all out. It’s Hurricane Sandy. It’s all the economic, political and social conditions that were already in place. And it’s the opportunity for forces of profit and repression to push their agenda forward in the aftermath. But guess what: The climate justice movement isn’t so abstract either. This is it. It’s dedicated organizers recognizing how their work can be aligned across issues. It’s relief providers and hard-working volunteers transforming into activists and community leaders.

Mumia, the long distance revolutionary: an interview wit’ documentary producers Stephen...

“Long Distance Revolutionary,” the new documentary about political prisoner and prolific writer Mumia Abu Jamal, will have its international premiere in the Bay Area on Oct. 6 and 8 at the Mill Valley Film Festival. There have been a number of documentaries done about the case of Mumia Abu Jamal, but this one puts his life at the center of the discussion.

Violent crime analysis: The cause is poverty

In order to effectively challenge the prison industrial complex growth, we must challenge and destroy the root causes of crime. Until poverty, the root cause of mass incarceration, is destroyed, we will see a steady rise of citizens in the prison industrial complex.

We need the Bay View like a fish needs water

What we input into our minds determines our outlook and eventually determines our output. That’s the problem with today’s generation. We are simply inputting the wrong type of information into our precious brains. We need the Bay View like a fish needs water. I can’t over emphasize the importance of having knowledge.

Hunger strike recap: California prisoners show the way!

This spring, the news started going around that a hunger strike was being planned in the Security Housing Unit at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP). Prisoners at the SHU had apparently united across racial lines and promised to hungerstrike to the death if need be, starting on July 1.

People are being tortured inside these places

I first of all want to say that this, what you all are doing, is long overdue and needed if we are ever going to change the direction of this unjust system. I know that for a lot of you the idea of resisting and speaking truth to power is instinctive, and we have to figure out a way to inject this spirit into more people.

Facebook caves to the prison-industrial complex

In a decision setting back prisoners’ rights and helping to advance the interests of prison bureaucrats and their guard union allies, Facebook announced plans to work with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to shut down pages set up for prisoners.

California SHU prisoners begin hunger strike July 1

Prisoners in the Security Housing Units, SHUs, at Pelican Bay and Corcoran state prisons in California are beginning an indefinite hunger strike on July 1, 2011, to protest the cruel and inhumane conditions of their imprisonment in what is being called “an unusual show of racial unity.” Breaking news: Prisoners at Centinela have joined the hunger strike. A prisoner there reports: “Only a few inmates are walking the yard. No Blacks or Hispanics have left their cells. No one has gone to work. He said all the races are united in this fight.”

Louisiana Legislature votes to parole some elderly prisoners

The American Civil Liberties Union hailed the passage of a bill in the Louisiana legislature making it easier for elderly prisoners to get a parole hearing as an important step towards reducing the state’s unnecessarily high prison population.

‘Communities rising’ across California to end mass incarceration and the 40-year...

CURB is sending a strong message from different parts of the state to Gov. Brown and the state legislature, calling for the state to take active steps to end its participation in the 40-year-old “war on drugs” and to prioritize vital social services over prison spending.

Michelle Alexander on California’s ‘cruel and unusual’ prisons

On May 23, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision ordering California to release tens of thousands of inmates from its overcrowded prisons on the grounds that their living conditions – including lethally inadequate healthcare – were so intolerable as to be “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Statement of solidarity with Georgia prisoner strike

On Dec. 9, 2010, thousands of prisoners in at least six Georgia state prisons initiated the largest prisoner strike in U.S. history, uniting across racial boundaries to demand an immediate end to the cruel and dehumanizing conditions that damage prisoners, their families and the communities they return to. Readers are invited to add their names to this solidarity statement.

The incarceration capitol of the U.S.

With 3,500 beds in a city of about 350,000 residents, Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) is already the largest per capita county jail of any major U.S. city. Sheriff Marlin Gusman, the elected official with oversight over the jail, has submitted plans for an even larger complex.

The coming Mehserle sentencing: Redrawing the line on ‘outside agitators’

With the upcoming sentencing of Johannes Mehserle on Nov. 5, the rebellions of January 2009 that brought about his arrest could very well be set off once more. And once again we expect to hear the mantra blaming "outside agitators."

Why young people must help free Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal faces perhaps the most crucial period since 1999 when then-Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge signed the last of the two death warrants for Mumia, the first being in 1995. Students and young people are needed at the forefront of a movement to free Mumia.

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