Jorge Rico is incarcerated in Pelican Bay State Prison and has brought a civil rights lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the loud “security/welfare checks” that he (and others) in Pelican Bay’s solitary units endure every 30-60 minutes 24/7. These so-called “checks”- done by guards – wake and disturb prisoners day and night causing serious sleep deprivation and, as his lawsuit claims, constitute cruel and unusual punishment.as his lawsuit claims, constitute cruel and unusual punishment. (The guards do no checking on top of that). Sleep deprivation is internationally recognized as torture.
Please RALLY at 9am on May 18 in support of Jorge Rico’s case against the “security/welfare checks” and in public outrage against the jarring noise and sleep deprivation they cause. At 10am, after the rally, help form a STRONG COURTROOM PRESENCE at the hearing in his case. Show solidarity with Jorge Rico while his attorneys argue that his case should not be dismissed at CDCR’s request.
The CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will argue for the court to dismiss Jorge’s civil rights case. Jorge’s lawyers will argue that the case against CDCR administrators, guards, and wardens, must move forward. HERE is a link to Jorge Rico’s Opposition to CDCR’s motion to dismiss.
The PHSS Committee to End Sleep Deprivation asks you to help make a powerful showing of solidarity with Jorge and all people in CA solitary confinement who are suffering from the checks, and who cannot be in the courtroom or outside rallying and speaking about their experience.
Friday, May 18, 2018
Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse, 501 I St., Sacramento, CA 95814
Sacramento Federal Court/Eastern District
Case name and number: Rico v. Beard 2:17-cv-01402-KJM-DB
9:00am RALLY outside the Courthouse
10:00am COURTROOM SOLIDARITY with Jorge Rico,
prisoner who brought this case (Crtrm #27, 8th Floor)
After the hearing, Jorge’s attorney, Kate Falkenstein, will be available briefly outside the courthouse to speak with community supporters and media.
Note: You must show ID and pass through a metal detector to get inside the Courthouse.
One way CDCR is attempting to get rid of the civil rights cases against the checks is by claiming that the guards and administrators causing the sleep deprivation and harm are only ‘following orders’ and not violating any clearly established right. We recall these words from a person in Pelican Bay solitary, who, like Jorge, has been subjected to the checks’ loud, reverberating banging noise every 30 minutes 24/7 in a small, enclosed concrete and metal cell:
“For decades, military and police forces have used extreme isolation, sleep deprivation and constant banging/noise to cause mental/physical torment and try to break a person’s mind or human will to resist questioning. These are so-called clean torture methods. So CDCR/Pelican Bay State Prison cannot possibly claim, ‘We did not know the cause or effect of this new program’s use of extreme isolation, sleep deprivation, and constant noise/banging.’”
Jorge’s Opposition to CDCR’s Motion to Dismiss quotes the court in another current federal case challenging the checks, Matthews v. Holland:
“It has been clearly established in the Ninth Circuit, since the 1990s, that inmates are entitled to conditions of confinement which do not result in chronic, long term sleep deprivation.”
These “security/welfare checks” have been occurring for almost three years in Pelican Bay State Prison.
LITIGATING AGAINST THE CHECKS
Jorge is one of seven people we know of who has persisted through the frustrating prison grievance process, and taken a stand against the checks through litigation. The legal system does not make filing lawsuits easy or quick for anyone, much less someone in prison. Retaliation is common in prison for asserting civil/human rights and taking legal action against your captors. We respect the courage and persistence it is taking for Jorge and others to bring these lawsuits. We stand in strong solidarity!
In February 2018, we did a rally, press conference, and courtroom solidarity, at the San Francisco federal court, for two other prisoners, Christopher Lipsey and Maher Suarez, who have civil rights cases against the “security/welfare checks.” Theirs and all such federal cases now have been transferred to Sacramento Federal Court/Eastern District.
The February 2018 mobilization around the lawsuits and the court hearing itself FINALLY gained (some) much-needed media attention to the sleep deprivation torture. We need to keep the pressure on. Please be present with us at the federal court on Friday, May 18.
Call 510.426.5322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Please contact us if you can offer a ride or need a ride to and from Sacramento on Friday. There are some rides leaving from the SF Bay Area. Call if you are interested!
See Sleep Expert Reports regarding the 30 minute checks in Pelican Bay State Prison SHU https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/sleep-expert-reports-about-30-minute-welfare-checks/
and Open Letter from the American Public Health Association Opposing the 30-minute checks: https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/sleep-deprivation-in-ca-solitary/open-letter-from-the-jail-and-prison-health-committee-of-the-american-public-health-association-opposing-the-30-minute-checkschecks/
Also, see the Sleep Deprivation tab at prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com .