CA BISHOPS ISSUE STATEMENT ON PRISON HUNGER STRIKE AND ISOLATION POLICIES

Bishops offer to serve on any oversight committee convened to investigate alleged human rights violations and propose corrective measures.

Sacramento, August 29, 2013 – The following joint statement was issued today on behalf California Conference of Catholic Bishops concerning the current prisoner hunger strike and state policies on prisoner isolation.  Please attribute to the “California Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

“Today marks Day 52 of the California prisoner hunger strike.  We, the California Conference of Catholic Bishops, once again extend our offer to Gov. Brown and Dr. Jeffrey Beard, Secretary of the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), to assist in the resolution of this urgent life threatening situation. We offer to serve Gov. Brown and Dr. Beard on any outside oversight committee that may be convened to investigate any alleged human rights violations in the California’s prisons in order to propose the necessary corrective measures.

“As the U.S. Catholic Bishops wrote in their pastoral letter, Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice (dated November 15, 2000),  ‘We oppose the increasing use of isolation units, especially in the absence of due process and the monitoring and professional assessment of the effects of such confinement on the mental health of inmates.’  No one affected by crime is helped when a human being is subjected to this inhumane form of punishment. The California Catholic Bishops have voiced concerns and have been in dialogue with the CDCR for 12 years on the very issues being surfaced now.

“We stand opposed to any form of unjust, inhumane treatment. While it may be that isolation mitigates gang activity, placing humans in isolation in a Secure Housing Unit (SHU) has no restorative or rehabilitative purpose.  It is not a sustainable solution to legitimate security concerns.  Some of the men on this hunger strike have been in isolation for up to 35 years with very minimal human contact. International human rights standards consider more than 15 days in isolation to be torture.

“Our prayers and concern go out to the men involved in this hunger strike and their families. Our prayers and concern also go out to all who are affected by the criminal justice system: prison leadership, staff, correctional officers and administrators; as well as to crime victims and their families, who have endured the pain and suffering of criminal violence.  We offer our assistance to state officials to resolve this terrible situation.”

 (Eds: The California Catholic Conference is the public advocacy office of the Bishops of California. Representing the Archbishops of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the Bishops of Fresno, Monterey, Oakland, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Stockton, it is the official voice of the 10 million Catholics and their many parishes, schools, universities, social service agencies in California.)

7 thoughts on “CA BISHOPS ISSUE STATEMENT ON PRISON HUNGER STRIKE AND ISOLATION POLICIES

  1. thank you Jesus for advocating for the rights of human beings. There is no due process inside the wall. It is a kangaroo court they should have outsider sit in on committees and disciplinary hearings. When the state court drops a case in the intrest of justice the CDCR has there own court and slams inmates down in SHU for the safety and security of the prison. out here it would be called double jeopardy, in there its their law. they get lots of overtime for high paid babysitters that have watch in the SHU unit.

    • All persons held as slaves ( as #prisonIdustry has) within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom….

  2. Pingback: California Prison Hunger Strikers Continue Their Resistance | Counter Information

  3. Pingback: California Prison Hunger Strikers Continue Their Resistance » Banoosh

  4. Have to wonder what is going through California Governor Jerry Brown’s mind knowing CA voters elected him to represent this State in a fashion that brings Inter+national acclaim,not horrified cries from tortured prison inmates !

    We understand Jerry Brown the man does not condone CA prison torture,but everyone knows only Girly Men & think isolation for years in CA prison’s is torture.

    Should all American’s need to pray that California sends our tortured isolated prison inmates to Syria’s Bashar Assad for rendition so they can at least live?

    We remember well the innocent Canadian citizen who requested his rendition to Syria from Canada via Uncle Sam !

    We support Jerry Brown and hope he decides to now focus his keen mind on CA tortured residents plight being isolated in his States Penal System..

    When everything goes well in California,Governor Jerry Brown deserves and should receive the citizens praise & appreciation! Likewise when California Prison injustices continue to bring the State of CA Inter+National negative attention,the buck again stops on Governor Jerry Brown’s Desk<

  5. Pingback: Los Presos En Huelga De Hambre De Las Cárceles De California Siguen Resistiendo Después De 56 Días De Ayuno - Tokata | Boletín de difusión, debate y lucha social | Tokata | Boletín de difusión, debate y lucha social

  6. Pingback: California Prison Hunger Strikers Continue Their Resistance | Moorbey'z Blog

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