ATTENTION: Governor Jerry Brown; CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard; and all other parties of interest.
In response to CDCR’s failure to meet our 2011 Five (5) Core Demands, the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Representatives respectfully present this notice of, and basis for, our indi- vidualized, collectively agreed upon, decision to resume our nonviolent peaceful protest action on July 08, 2013.
The upcoming peaceful protest will be a combined Hunger Strike [HS] – Work Stoppage [WS] action. Once initiated, this protest will continue indefinitely—until all Five (5) Core Demands are fully met. Here’s why. Continue reading
The Stop Torture CA Campaign is hosting its official kick-off this weekend in Los Angeles! We’ll be hosting a vigil, panel events, a screening of Herman’s House, and an official launch party all over the Los Angeles area. Check the schedule below for events near you!
PELICAN BAY HUNGER STRIKE RESUMES:The Continued Struggle to End Solitary Confinement in California
Tuesday March 19th @ 6:00pm
UC Hastings College of the Law
198 McAllister Street
Louis B. Mayer Lounge
JOIN US this Tuesday, March 19th at 6:00pm at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco for a panel on the current status of the struggle against extreme isolation in the SHU, CDCR’s updated policies including prisoner, community, and legislator reactions to the Step Down Program, and the prisoners’ class action lawsuit against long-term solitary confinement for more than 10 years, Ruiz v. Brown. Continue reading
Join us on Monday, February 25th @ 12pm for a rally to hold CDCR accountable for their failure to end their torture policies and respect the human rights of prisoners! Then let Jerry Brown, California legislators and CDCR hear your voice at a public hearing of the state assembly Public Safety Committee at 1pm, and pressure them to end their silence and inaction on this crucial issue!
The Department of Corrections has implemented new statewide policies which they claim are a “dramatic” new change to how prisoners are sentenced to the SHU. However, the new policies don’t change the fact that prisoners are still being gang validated for such innocent activities as possessing cultural artwork or reading political and historical books and articles. The policies also do nothing to alter or end the practice of long-term solitary confinement in California.
We need your voices at this hearing in Sacramento of the state assembly’s Public Safety Committee, led by Chairperson Tom Ammiano, where CDCR will defend their new policy!
Sign up here if you need a ride either from Los Angeles or the Bay Area! See you all there!
I’m one of the 16 SHU-Reps here at PBSP. I write this in response to the ROCK editorial comments in Vol1, No. 2, Dec. 2012. I’m just going to address one area. I won’t even waste my time with the rest of it.
In that ROCK, it states that those up here “put out the dictate that nobody should take an interracial cellie.” This is first I hear of it! That has to be a false rumor, especially when wardens cross CA right now won’t cell-up any individuals from other races in SHU. Hell, here at PBSP-SHU we Mexicans, whites and most Blacks can’t even cell-up with our own race [unless they're related], let alone with someone from another race… that’s a fact! Continue reading
What a year! The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition has worked tirelessly since 2011 to achieve the goals of the 2011 Hunger Strikes that started in Pelican Bay and rocked the entire California prison system. During our short year and a half as a coalition we have accomplished a lot. We have helped coordinate international awareness and media coverage of the torturous conditions of solitary confinement in California. We have worked in direct collaboration with families, advocates, media and legislators to raise awareness about torture in California prisons. We have conducted regular legal visits to the prisoners in the Security Housing Units at Pelican Bay and Corcoran State Prison. We have constructed a model SHU cell and toured with it over the summer, setting it up at various events, allowing people to step inside, and speaking to people about the over reliance on solitary confinement in California prisons.
For the past few months we have been actively working to make sure that next year we are even more productive and effective. In September, we supported hunger strike representatives, calling themselves the Short Corridor Collective, when they asked us to publicize their Agreement to End Hostilities. As a result of our work, their historic call received national attention when it went into effect in October. In January, we will begin our Human Rights Pen Pal Program which will train Bay Area activists to become prison advocates by engaging them in political education and correspondence with a pen pal in prison. In February, we will launch our 2013 “Stop the Torture” campaign which will complement the class action lawsuit that has been filed on behalf of the prisoners at Pelican Bay. We are also collaborating with advocates in other states to coordinate support for the nationwide non-violent protest actions which have been planned by prisoners in several states. This year will prove to be an important one in the struggle against long term solitary confinement. Please consider making a donation to our coalition so that we can continue to fight for the human rights of people in extreme isolation in California prisons. Donations can be made online at www.prisons.org ; be sure to click the “Special Instructions” link and write “PHSS” to direct your donation to us. Or you can write a check to California Prison Focus/PHSS and mail it to PHSS 1904 Franklin Street #507, Oakland, CA 94612.
Our goal is to raise $5,000 to help fund legal visits, as well as the printing and mailing costs of our newsletters.
$200.00 covers the cost for legal visits with 15-20 people
$100.00 covers the cost of printing our monthly newsletter
$65.00 covers the cost of mailing our monthly newsletter
Any amount you can give is a tremendous help. Thank you for supporting our work!
The Short Corridor Collective at Pelican Bay State Prison has asked us to publish a letter denouncing the reforms proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The collective remains in steadfast opposition to the proposal, which they rejected in March of this year. This statement responds to the CDCR’s July proposal revision, saying: “We remain 100% opposed to CDCR’s revised proposal for the same reasons stated publicly [last March].” More pointedly, it also says: “We cannot accept the garbage proposal from CDCR!”
This latest rejection does not come softly, as it also threatens “return to non-violent, peaceful protest actions in the form of indefinite hunger strike and no work” if the CDCR doesn’t shift directions and revamp the reforms to appeal to the internationally recognized human rights framework.
Short Corridor Collective letter:
Greetings from the Pelican Bay Short Corridor Collective to all who stand with us in solidarity and support our struggle to force an end to this nation’s draconian practice of subjecting tens-of-thousands of prisoners to the torture of long term isolation cells… via an ongoing nonviolent peaceful effort, inside and out. Continue reading
Anthony Arteaga, a prisoner being held in the Security Housing Unit at Corcoran State Prison, sent us an essay he wrote about the history of solitary confinement in California. In his words:
“Having been slammed down in the SHU since 2001, for an indeterminate period, I’ve constructed this writing based on personal experience and studies. I’ve also utilized PHSS, the Rock, The Abolitionist, MIM and PLN as resources for factual assertions… Thank you for the support.”
Anthony also asked us to publish his name and address, which is at the bottom of this page. The article is typed as written. Please take time for a thorough read through!
Solitary Confinement In California
In the 1970s there was a general tendency to regard the basic aim of imprisonment as rehabilitation of the criminal rather than as punishment. In addition, federal courts – often as a result of prisoners acting as their own lawyers – began to recognize for the first time that prisoners had constitutional rights: Most notably, the right to due process prior to discipline, any sanctions, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment in the form of deplorable prison conditions.
This of course didn’t last. Before long the emphasis on prisoners’ rights and prison reform, distinguishably trail blazed by the events at Attica State Prison in New York, followed by several other less publicized prison uprisings and riots of the same agenda, began to evaporate in the face of the “tough on crime” and “war on drugs” crusades. Continue reading