On the Abolition of Solitary Confinement


From: Main Representatives, PBSP  SHU, Short Corridor

July 8, 2012

Greetings to all of our supporters who stand with us in solidarity for our collective struggle to force an end to CDCR’s indefi nite Security Housing Unit/Administrative Segregation (SHU/Ad-Seg) policies and practices. More than a year has passed since our July 1, 2011, peaceful protest hunger strike actions, calling for an end to decades of SHU/Ad-Seg abusive confi nement; and, we’re still waiting for CDCR to meet our fi ve core demands, all of which CDCR’s top administrators admitted were reasonable! Thus, at this stage of our struggle, we believe your outside support efforts should focus on pushing CDCR to grant one, or two, of the most important main issues relevant to our core demands!

At this point, these are the non-negotiable demands that CDCR must grant, as follows:


This is short, attention grabbing, and goes to the heart of our fi rst three core demands, because most of us are in SHU/Ad- Seg based on alleged gang-activity “intelligence”’ and, can be followed up with the following explanatory summary. For more than 25 years, CDCR’s policy has been to place/retain thousands of prisoners classifi ed as gang members/associates in SHU/Ad-Seg indefi nitely, based on so-called “intelligence” indicating alleged gang-activity. Now it’s important to note that CDCR’s defi nition of “intelligence,” as applied to, and used for, “sanctionable gang-activity” purposes by CDCR, is in reference to innocent associational activity; political type activity; and/or, unsubstantiated allegations of involvement in gang-activity, by confi dential prisoner informants! Most of these prisoners have never been found guilty of committing a gang-related, criminal act, while spending decades in SHU/Ad-Seg, subject to the torturous conditions therein, with no end in sight! Equally important to note is the fact that CDCR’s NEW proposed gang management policy changes claim to be behavioral based, i.e., sanctions will be imposed upon those found guilty of “criminal gang behavior,” implying one has committed, been charged for and found guilty of, a criminal act!

However, the truth is that CDCR will continue to rely on “intelligence” based information to keep alleged “members” in SHU/Ad-Seg indefinitely, without any requirement for CDCR to formally charge them with a rule violation! See, e.g., CDCR’s March 2012 Proposal at pages 7-8, 25, re “intelligence” references, and pages 19-24 re “intelligence” categories. This equates to ZERO change from the present “inactive gang status” policy that’s proven to be a SHAM for 13 years! Such a policy/practice regarding STATUS” gang-label and intelligence based indefinite SHU/Ad-Seg confinement for decades amounts to TORTURE, condemned by the international community, and, WE collectively condemn this practice in California!

We hereby demand an end to this illegal practice immediately! SHU/Ad/Seg confinement should be reserved for prisoners found guilty of committing a serious rule violation that merits a SHU term–period!


Any Step Down Program should be no longer than 18 months MAX; and, the incentives need to be meaningful, e.g. contact visits, etc., ASAP! These are two solid points to focus on, and leave CDCR with no wiggle room. These are non-negotiable, mandatory reforms, while the rest of our core demands (including our supplemental demands) are open for negotiations after the above referenced two demands are met!

In Solidarity & With Respect,

Todd Ashker, Arturo Castellanos, Sitawa N. Jamaa, Antonio Guillen

PBSP SHU, Short Corridor, Main Reps.

4 thoughts on “On the Abolition of Solitary Confinement

  1. I will support the inmates and I oppose the inhumane treatment of CDCR to the inmates in the SHU we will collectively write letters to the Governor.
    Michelle Tyon

  2. After a year writing letters to Brown, CDC (there is no R there), and our do-nothing legislature representatives that do nothing except hold meaningless ‘hearings’, to believe that writing more letters to these people is to believe in writing Christmas letters to Santa and expecting presents in return. The prison system as it is, and always has been, depends on prisoner labor to function efficiently and cheaply. A state-wide prisoners witholding their labor, will be the tactic to get this evil system’s attention.
    Troy Troyer

    • I totally agree Troy, a work strike is the ONLY thing that will work…. i hope they do it… esp with the CDC reneging on the Step Down program….

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