CORCORAN SHU ALERT
We’re calling for solidarity activists to call and email Corcoran Prison and CDCR authorities to demand the end to destructive and retaliatory cell searches.
The 2013 hunger strikes are over, but the retaliation against peaceful protesters exercising their first amendment rights continues. For the last month or so, the Institutional Gang Investigators (IGI) have been staging invasive and destructive “cell searches” in the torture units at Corcoran Prison, with a focus on people who participated in last year’s hunger strike.
When CDCR staff conduct these searches, they are supposed to keep a record of anything removed from the cell and return all items unless they allege them to be contraband. Instead, they have thrown away or destroyed basic personal items that people in these units have difficulty obtaining, as well as sentimental items like family photos or letters.
Here’s what people imprisoned in the Corcoran SHUs are saying about what’s happening:
“The Institutional Gang Investigators (IGI) came in here Friday morning (2/21/14) [..] someone upstairs allegedly getting caught with some kind of electronic device, and tore up every cell in the section ….They tossed out one full bag of our canteen items, a pair of my cellie’s headphones, his radio antennae and all of his boxers. They tossed out my long-sleeve t-shirt, and just basically disrespected us in a major way.”
“For the second time this month…only our section was searched. This time, unlike the first one, we stayed outside in our cages — dog kennels — all day long. We weren’t even given toilet paper in case we needed to use the facilities or given any lunches. And no reason was given as to why this Gestapo-style cell search was taking place.”
“Since we didn’t get our cell search receipts until two days later, we don’t know what to make of it. On all our receipts, they’ve marked “trash” for everything that was taken. Even though personal property was trashed, we can’t be compensated because on our 602s they’re going to deny everything due to the receipt not documenting what all was taken.”
“They just returned my property they confiscated it for about 5-6 weeks. It looks like a tornado hit all my legal documents. My case files are so messed up it will take days to sort it out. A lot of stuff is missing…. It looks like a bunch of racist, unprofessional cops went through my stuff on some kind of retaliation mission. I/we don’t disrespect these cops. We conduct ourselves as principled men. I am always civil, even when some don’t deserve it.”
It’s possible that Corcoran Prison authorities may believe that all the attention is now on Pelican Bay as the lawsuit there unfolds – so let’s show them we’re paying attention to Corcoran too.
Please call or email the following people, and send a snail mail letter if you can.
See sample letter and phone message for wording.
Mr. Dave Davey
phone: 559-992-8800 ext. 5008
Corcoran State Prison
PO Box 8800
Corcoran, CA. 93212
Office of the Ombudsman
Cherita Wofford phone: 918-324-6123
Mr. Michael Stainer, Director of Adult Institutions
Office of the Inspector General
Mr. Robert Barton Phone: (800) 700-5952
Office of the Inspector General
10111 Old Placerville Road, Suite 110
Sacramento, CA 95827
I have recently learned that the IGI at CSP-Corcoran, on Feb. 21st, 2014 and other dates since then, has thrown away the personal property of people imprisoned in sections of the Corcoran SHUs during cell searches that turned up no contraband. Please immediately put a stop to this type of retaliatory action and complete disregard for CDCR regulations, and return or reimburse people for their property.
The property thrown out or destroyed was purely practical and could not in any remote way threaten institutional security , including things like hygiene items, shoes, food and coffee, dentures, headphones, appliances and clothing items. Irreplaceable property was also destroyed – legal papers, family photos and other items with purely personal value.
These mean-spirited actions are alarming to me, because the people in this unit already have so little, and what they do have has been purchased by family and friends. The officers responsible kept no record of property removed from cells, as they are supposed to do. This kind of wanton destruction of property is against CDCR regulations, as you know.
Sincerely, (Name) (City & State)
“I demand that you:
1. Stop all destructive cell searches of prisoners in the Corcoran SHU by the I.G.I. (Institutional Gang Investigators) and prison guards.
2. Immediately return all confiscated property to prisoners whose cells were searched; account for all property taken; and reimburse all costs for destroyed property.”