California prisoners in solitary confinement continue to be sleep-deprived due to jarringly noisy “security/welfare checks” 40-48 times a day.
The ‘checks’ are particularly loud and distressing for people in Central CA Women’s Facility (CCWF) Administrative Segregation death row, due to guard aggressiveness, and in Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (PB SHU) where cramped, concrete architecture also amplifies the noise.
Demand a STOP to Sleep Deprivation Torture
in CA Solitary Units
Please make calls (#’s below) and click here to send emails opposing the “security/welfare checks” that are causing sleep deprivation in Pelican Bay SHU and CA Women’s death row. Sleep Deprivation is Torture. Stand with prisoners and their families to demand an end to this torture. We ask that you distribute this flier at your actions. We want to have a big call-in and email day on Monday, April 25th!
Email: Click here http://tinyurl.com/ztjcos3 to tell state officials to STOP the “security/welfare checks!”
- CA Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary
Scott Kernan: 916-323-6001
- CDCR Director of Adult Divisions: 916-445-7688
- Senator Loni Hancock, Senate Public Safety Committee Chair:
- Assembly Member Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Assembly Public Safety Committee Chair: 916-319-2059
- Governor Jerry Brown: 916-445-2841
Suggested script for calls: Your name, city, state. “Please stop the so-called ‘security/welfare checks’ in the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison and in women’s death row. The ‘checks’ are causing sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is torture.”
“… they’re killing us with these Guard One/Welfare Checks. … I don’t know what to do? We really are suffering right now and I can assure you that this is worse than the hunger strikes.” – PB SHU prisoner Oct 2015
“This is torture. We are being emotionally, mentally and physically battered by the security checks throughout the nights.” – 20 death row prisoners in Central CA Women’s Facility
40-48 times a day, these ‘checks’ are subjecting people in small solitary cells to:
reverberating “booms” of steel unit doors opening and slamming shut,
guards stomping through pods, up and downstairs,
rattling keys and chains,
beeping and banging Guard One metal pipes on metal buttons and cells,
shining flashlights into people’s eyes.
The checks serve no welfare or security purpose, rather they are causing serious psychological and physical harm.
“The negative health consequences of inadequate sleep ha[ve] been extensively documented and nowhere in the literature is there a report on as severe a disruption in sleep as is occurring in the Pelican Bay SHU.” – Dr. Jamie Zeitzer, internationally recognized sleep expert, 10/25/15
Prisoners are suffering severe stress and irritation, panic attacks, depression, dizziness, faintness, blacking out, high blood pressure, accelerated heart rates, headaches, migraines, eye problems, weight loss, intestinal problems, nausea, stomach acidity and pain, and vomiting. They can’t concentrate, exercise, read, write, do legal work- the things that help them survive.
The California prisoners’ 2012 Agreement to End Hostilities between racial/ethnic and geographic groups made possible the CA Prisoner Hunger Strike of 2013 by over 30,000 CA prisoners and 100’s more nationwide. Prisoners’ human rights organizing has built an amazing movement and led to the historic 2015 settlement ending indefinite solitary confinement in CA. It appears CDCR is attempting to prevent effective human rights work by prisoners in solitary by instituting a debilitating and internationally-condemned torture technique: sleep deprivation.