Action Locations and Details — from San Diego to Arcata, CA to New York City HERE
Long live Hugo Pinell, who showed us the power of the human spirit, that love can survive and overpower hell on earth.
Beloved political prisoner Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell, feared and hated by guards, assassinated in Black August after 46 years in solitary
Black August adds another hero and martyr to the roll.
By some accounts, it was his first day on the yard after 46 years in solitary confinement when Hugo Pinell, affectionately known as Yogi Bear, was assassinated Aug. 12. The news sparked a victory celebration by prison guards on social media: “May he rot in hell” and “Good riddens” (sic), they typed. Yogi was the only member of the San Quentin 6 still in prison, and his role in the events of Aug. 21, 1971, the day George Jackson was assassinated, has earned the guards’ incessant enmity ever since.
“This is revenge,” declared his close friend, fellow Black Panther veteran Kiilu Nyasha, on Hard Knock Radio Aug. 13. “They hated him as much as George Jackson. They beat him constantly, kept him totally isolated for 46 years – no window, no sunlight – but they could never break him, and that’s why they hated him.
“The only way he survived was that this man was full of love.” ….
Please read more of this excellent SF Bay View article
which includes “The Black Panther Party and Hugo Pinell” from The Black Panther newspaper of Nov. 29, 1971
….Hugo became a part of the Prison Liberation Movement, which saw the prison as a front of struggle connected to the global upsurge of oppressed people against colonialism, imperialism, and white supremacy. This was a period of intense education, organizing, and resistance among imprisoned people—some locked up as political prisoners, some transformed while inside, nearly all targeted by prison administrations for their political stances and activism. In 1971, Hugo, along with 5 other prisoners at San Quentin State Prison in California, were charged with raising a rebellion at the facility’s Adjustment Center, during which prisoner movement leader George Jackson was assassinated. Several weeks later, actions commemorating the assassination of Jackson by prisoners at Attica went on to spark the massive rebellion at that prison. The story and political trial of the San Quentin Six helped people across the planet to understand the conditions inside prison, the resistance of prisoners, and the connection across the walls that the Prison Liberation Movement was trying to make.
Hugo Pinell would go on to spend over 40 years in the solitary confinement units used to punish prisoners and break up their social, political, and religious organizations—indeed, Pinell was the longest held prisoner in solitary confinement in California, before recently being released into the general population. Despite the torturous conditions of solitary, Hugo remained steadfast politically, and tried to stay connected to people and struggle, inside and outside the prison. Hugo participated in the recent California Prison Hunger Strikes and was vocal supporter of prisoners’ 2011 Agreement To End Racial Hostilities. In his late 60s while on hunger strike, Hugo talked about his activism with journalist Kilu Nyasha:
Hugo Pinell- Rest in Power
August 13, 2015 by Claude Marks
We are saddened by the news of Hugo Pinell’s death. Hugo Pinell always expressed a strong spirit of resistance. He worked tirelessly as an educator and activist to build racial solidarity inside of California’s prison system. ….
….As the California Prisons began to lock people up in long-term isolation and control unit facilities, Hugo was placed inside of the SHU (Secure Housing Unit) in prisons including Tehachapi, Corcoran and Pelican Bay. There, despite being locked in a cell for 23 hours a day, he continued to work for racial unity and an end to the torturous conditions and racially and politically motivated placement of people into the SHU. This work included his participation in the California Prison Hunger Strikes as well as supporting the Agreement to End Racial Hostilities in 2012.
At the time of his death, Hugo had been locked behind bars for 50 years yet his spirit was unbroken.
Please read the full writing, Hugo Pinell- Rest In Power
Here is a link to the Freedom Archives San Quentin 6 collection
brief poem by Luis ‘Bato’ Talamantez
Hasta Siempre Hugo
And we are saddened
You when (it) should have
Counted for something and
What your long imprisoned
Life stood for
Now all your struggles
To be free have failed
And only death an
Inglorious and violent
At the hands of the
Cruel prison system
La Luta Continua
-Bato and the San Quentin 3
A short poem written by Hugo Pinell from a publication issued in 1995.
How long it takes,
Real Changes will come,
And the greatest personal reward
Lies in our involvement and contributions,
Even if it may appear that nothing significant
Or of impact really happened
During our times,
But it did,
Every sincere effort
Is as special as every human life
-Hugo Pinell (1995)
Thursday, July 23 ACTIONS by location (alphabetical order)
Arcata/Bayside, CA – Boston, MA – Chicago, IL – Culver City / Los Angeles, CA – Naples, FL – New York, NY – Oakland, CA – Philadelphia, PA – Pittsburgh, PA – San Diego, CA – San Jose, CA– Santa Cruz, CA – Santa Monica, CA – Thunderclap (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr)
If you don’t see your locale listed here, click HERE to read the entire post. If you still don’t see your locale, we haven’t received the details yet or YOU just might need to organize a simple action where you are!!
- Here are fliers and handbills to distribute.
- Check out our updated Universal Handbill for these actions!
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or click HERE to share your locale’s details and/or request materials be sent for your action.
July 23 Locations & Details (so far)
ARCATA / BAYSIDE, CA:
On Thursday evening, July 23rd, come to the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship to watch the excellent new film ‘Breaking Down the Box’ (40 min). We’ll have refreshments and discussion afterwards with KHSU radio host Sista Soul and other special guests! The film event is hosted by the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Social Action Committee and PARC, Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community (Eureka).
Earlier in the day (location & time will be posted soon), join us in Arcata. We’ll hand out literature for people to get educated and involved now to STOP THE TORTURE that is solitary confinement. We will also be promoting the Agreement to End Hostilities.
HERE‘s the Arcata flier!
Arcata Action Details
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm PST
Location: The Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 24 Fellowship Way, Bayside, CA 95524
For more info, call 707-267-4249
Contact Name: Verbena
Contact Email: email@example.com
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1607915476127367/
The Coalition for Effective Public Safety – CEPS is engaging in public actions the 23rd of each month to bring attention to the 80,000+ people held in solitary confinement across the U.S. on any given day and to end solitary confinement. This date emphasizes the 23 or more hours every day that people are kept in solitary confinement. Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS) has helped launch statewide Coordinated Actions to End Solitary Confinement in California following the Pelican Bay hunger strike initiated in 2013 by people incarcerated there in response to the deplorable conditions they were being held in. Monthly actions began in California in March 2015, and we started here in Massachusetts in June 2015.
Massachusetts is one of only three states where prisoners who commit disciplinary infractions can be placed in solitary confinement for up to ten years, even though the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has called for a ban on any solitary confinement that lasts longer than fifteen days.
This month we are hosting a documentary screening outside about solitary confinement. More details will be posted here soon.
Massachusetts Action Details
Time and Location: will be posted here soon
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coalition-for-Effective-Public-Safety-CEPS/353915588130873
Contact person: Rachel Corey
For info or to help plan future actions: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) estimates that 2,500 – 3,000 people are held in solitary confinement in Illinois on any given day. The Federal Bureau of Prisons plans to open Thomson Supermax Prison in Thomson, IL by the end of the year, bringing 1,500 new solitary cells to the state.
The United Nations considers solitary confinement beyond 15 days torture and has called for its absolute prohibition. Many people in Illinois and throughout the US have spent decades in solitary. We say NO MORE.
All those opposed to solitary confinement are invited to rally on July 23rd outside the Thompson Center, home of IDOC before marching to the Federal Building. We demand an end to the torturous practice in Illinois, by both the state and federal government. We demand that the Illinois legislature hold a hearing to investigate solitary confinement, or what they call “Segregation” or “Administrative Detention”. We demand Thomson close its doors, as Tamms did 2.5 years ago.
This action is in solidarity with anti-solitary activists in California who have been organizing actions, events, teach-ins, and more on the 23rd of every month as part of a statewide campaign to end solitary confinement. They’ve chosen the 23rd of the month because people held in solitary spend at least 23 hours/day in isolation.
Learn more! Read about Uptown People’s Law Center’s lawsuit against IDOC for their overuse of solitary confinement. Here’s
more info on Thomson Supermax.
Chicago Action Details
Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm CDT
Location: RALLY @ Thompson Center, 100 W Randolph St, Chicago, Illinois 60601, MARCH to Federal Building
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/511219215692757/
CULVER CITY / LOS ANGELES, CA:
Two years have passed since people confined in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison initiated (on July 8) a 60-day hunger strike to protest the conditions associated with the prison’s “security housing unit,” or SHU. Four years have passed since the initial hunger strike began on July 1.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) continues to claim that “there is no ‘solitary confinement’ in California’s prisons and the SHU is not ‘solitary confinement,'” but people inside the Pelican Bay State Prison’s security housing unit say they remain locked in for at least 23 hours per day.
At this event, we will present If the SHU Fits-Voices from Solitary Confinement, and follow with a session to:
* Share Stories
* Discuss Strategies to make meaningful change and
* Take Action!
“If the SHU Fits” is produced by Dramastage Qumran, LA Laborfest, & Public Works Improvisational Theatre, and supported by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), and the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS).
The event is a part of the Statewide Coordinated Actions to End Solitary Confinement, a call by prisoners in solitary to their supporters outside to STOP THE TORTURE with events on the 23rd of each month, signifying the number of hours prisoners are kept in solitary.
HERE‘s the Culver City/LA flier!
Culver City Action Details
Time: 7:30pm – 9:30pm PST
Location: Peace Center, West 3916 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA90230
Contact person: Andy Griggs
For info, call 310-704-3217 or email email@example.com
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1453616404940842/
Demonstration in front of the Collier County Jail on the 23rd to End Solitary Confinement. Details will be posted here soon!
NEW YORK, NY:
Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement invites you to a RALLY at UNION SQUARE on July 23rd. (Meet by steps on south side, by E. 14th and Broadway)
Every day in New York prisons and jails, there are more than 5,000 people in solitary confinement and other forms of extreme isolation. There, they spend 23 hours a day locked in a cell about the size of an elevator. In isolated confinement, people are left with nothing to do, no programs, no one to talk to, and no human touch. In these torturous conditions, people experience intense suffering and, often, severe psychological and physical damage. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture determined that keeping a person in solitary more than 15 days is torture; New York regularly holds people in solitary for months and years, and sometimes decades.
Join us on the 23rd of every month in the fight to end solitary confinement. We are joining allies around the country who are holding monthly actions based on the recommendation of people incarcerated in Pelican Bay prison who led the momentous hunger strikes in California.
People in solitary need you.
Together we can HALT solitary confinement and end torture in New York State.
New York City Action Details
Time: 6:00pm EST
Location: Union Square- meet by steps on south side, by E. 14th and Broadway
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday evening, July 23rd, the San Francisco MIME TROUPE will perform at Oakland’s Lake Merritt in back of the bandstand.
Please come volunteer to help set up the model SHU (mock solitary confinement cell) beginning at 3:30 PM.
We will distribute information and people can get a feel for the small space that 10’s of thousands of people are confined to 23+ hours a day, often for years.
Please call Penny (cell: 415-412-1969) to let us know if you can be with us for this important date. As the trial in the Pelican Bay class action lawsuit approaches in December, the public needs to know current news and see the model SHU again.
END LONG TERM SOLITARY CONFINEMENT !!
Oakland Action Details
Time: 3:30pm– Set up mock SHU
5:00pm– Distribute literature and show mock SHU
Location: Lake Merritt, in back of Edoff Memorial Band Stand, Oakland, CA 94610
Contact email: email@example.com
Contact person: Penny
For more info, call 415-412-1969
Originally published in Counterpunch
Four years ago prisoners in California – led by those in the control units of Pelican Bay – organized a hunger strike to demand an end to the torturous conditions of solitary confinement. Two more strikes would follow, with over 30,000 prisoners taking united action in the summer of 2013—both in isolation and in general population in nearly every California prison. The strikes reflected significant shifts in political consciousness among prisoners and their loved ones. The violence of imprisonment was further exposed by demands and heightened organization from within the cages. Prisoner-led collective actions as well as growing public support dramatically have changed the political landscape.
The organization of hunger strikes in 2011 surprised many, especially the CDCr – the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (the lower case ‘r’ by most prison writers derides the Orwellian use of the word rehabilitation), the media, and much of the public.
Current prison organizing continues a historic legacy of struggle. Among prisoners, the strikes of 2011-2013 were compared to the Attica Rebellion of 1971. Shortly before that rebellion, prisoners at Attica refused to speak or eat in the facility’s chow hall, paying tribute to Black Panther Party member and California prison movement leader George Jackson, who had been assassinated at San Quentin prison August 21st. Jackson was a skilled and effective leader who connected the human rights demands of prisoners to revolutionary ideas both globally and in the streets. He argued with powerful clarity that racist and exploitive power relations could and should be changed through political and military struggle, and that Black liberation was achievable as part of an international struggle to destroy imperialism. Within the prisons, he built unity across racial lines – thinking that a unified prison movement could succeed in winning basic human rights both within the cages and in oppressed communities. While the state obviously found Jackson’s ideas and example extremely dangerous, many prisoners and community members found them a clarion call for action.
On September 9th 1971, Attica erupted. Led by prisoners affiliated with the Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords, and the Five Percenters, the rebellion seized control of several large areas of the prison and issued a manifesto demanding, among other things, better health conditions, an end to political persecution of prisoners, and a right to organize or join labor unions (these demands were very similar to the Folsom Prison manifesto written in California in 1970). After four days of negotiations, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered that the prison be retaken – in the ensuing brutal military assault 39 people were killed by state police and prison guards.
While Attica is one of the most remembered uprisings, between the late 1960s and the early 1980s, there were over three hundred prison rebellions across the US, including those at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in 1973, the Idaho State Penitentiary in 1972-3, the August Rebellion in 1974 at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in New York State, a 1975 demonstration at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women, and the Penitentiary of New Mexico in 1980.
In response to these militant uprisings, prisons developed unprecedented strategies of repression, isolation and for a time resistance took less dramatic forms. Yet prisoners were still inspired to resist. In one example, in 1995 women in CA state prisons initiated a class action law suit against genocidal health care conditions and successfully organized family members and allies across the state to support them.
Prisoners in California in 2011-2013 organized against the very policies, strategies, and technology that had been put into place to neutralize the rebellions of previous decades (both inside and outside prison)—including solitary confinement, gang validation (which includes the criminalization of George Jackson’s writings), and the gutting of educational programming. In turn, prisoners used similar historic strategies – collective direct action, multiracial unity, and building strong support and solidarity networks on the outside. Continue reading
Celebrate The Courage of Hunger Strikers of July 8, 2013: Help Human Rights Pen Pals Connect with 59 Pen Pals in 59 Days
Inspired by the call to action by Dolores Canales of California Families Against Solitary Confinement
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
or write to Human Rights Pen Pals, 1301 Clay Street, P.O. Box 71378, Oakland, CA 94612
The most recent hunger strike for the Five Demands lasted from July 8, 2013 to September 5, 2013 — 59 days — and involved over 30,000 people locked in CA prisons, as well as hundreds of other prisoners, young and old, throughout the United States.
It was the largest hunger strike in history and brought the issue of solitary confinement to the attention of the media, legislators, the United Nations, and the public in general, resulting in legislative hearings, proposed (but failed) legislation, media attention, and solidarity actions both nationally and internationally.
Honor the courage of those who engaged in this nonviolent action at great harm to themselves:
–serve as a pen pal;
–reach out and invite a friend to apply to serve as a Human Rights Pen Pal using our new online application; and
–share this email and our new facebook page (which also has our application link) widely with your networks
Annie, Nicole, Mike, and Tynan
Human Rights Pen Pals Leadership Collective
TORTURE IS A MORAL ISSUE
As the grievous loss of Kalief Browder reveals, we must act with urgency to end the devastation of solitary confinement. To that end, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture announces the release of a new NRCAT film, Breaking Down the Box, a 40-minute documentary for communities of faith, to expose the torture of solitary confinement in the context of mass incarceration in the United States.
Produced by filmmaker Matthew Gossage, the film examines the mental health, racial justice and human rights implications of the systemic use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. It is a call to action for communities of faith to engage in the growing nationwide movement for restorative alternatives to isolated confinement that prioritize rehabilitation, therapeutic interventions, and recovery. Watch the film online and then download or order a DVD for use in your congregation or community, at no cost. More resources and DVD order form at www.nrcat.org/breakingdownthebox
Please spread the word:
New documentary from @NRCATtweets exposes torture of #solitaryconfinement in context of mass incarceration www.nrcat.org/breakingdownthebox
Watch a new documentary exposing the torture of solitary confinement in the context of mass incarceration in the U.S. Film and resources for faith communities at www.nrcat.org/breakingdownthebox
We encourage you to share this new resource in your community during June Torture Awareness Month and throughout the year. Additional promotional and discussion materials are available at www.nrcat.org/breakingdownthebox.
Thank you for your commitment to building a #TortureFreeWorld together.
Rev. Laura Markle Downton
Director of U.S. Prisons Policy and Program
Donate for a subscription to a prisoner. Specify with your donation or subscription that you want it to cover the cost of mailing the paper to someone locked inside. Provide an address if you have a specific person in mind. $20 will cover a year subscription for any one of these papers!* Donate what you can for vital publications!
The Fire Inside (CA Coalition for Women Prisoners)
email@example.com (415) 255-7036 ext 4
Prison Focus (CA Prison Focus) firstname.lastname@example.org
(510) 836-7222 http://www.prisons.org/publications.htm
ROCK! email@example.com (206) 271-5003
San Francisco Bay View *$24 please, if possible firstname.lastname@example.org (415) 671-0789
Turning the Tide (Anti-Racist Action Publishers)
email@example.com (323) 636-7388
2015 Prison Resource Directory FREE
If you know someone in prison, send their address to Prison Activist Resource Center (PARC), so they can receive a free 2015 Directory. Consider donating: firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.prisonactivist.org/resources
Brilliant treatise on solitary confinement- compelling legal, moral, ethical and political arguments.
Treatise on Solitary Confinement Torture and Call To Action, 3/30/15 by Todd Ashker, CA hunger strike rep, lead plaintiff in Ashker v Brown, human rights activist, imprisoned in Pelican Bay SHU for over two decades (Excerpts of Treatise below)
“Moving Forward: With Our Fight To End Solitary Confinement [SHU/Ad.-Seg.]
…. I personally believe the prisoncrats’ efforts to turn the global support we have gained for our cause, against us, will fail. An example is, CDCr Secretary Beards’s reliance on 20-40 year old prison history, much of it taken out of context, and/or, telling only one [biased] side of the story, which was transparently weak— for the purpose of dehumanizing the prisoner class- in response to our global exposure of CDCr’s decades long state-sanctioned “policy” of torturing thousands of prisoners in SHU/Ad.-Seg. cells ….
California prisoncrats’ have little-to-no credibility regarding most of their policies and practices, in what is a failed, multi-billion dollar- fraudulent system. ….
The imperialistic, fascist police state elitists abusive exploitation of the working class poor is out of control, and the only way for people to bring about meaningful change is to come together collectively! This includes the prisoner class, which is a microcosm of the working class poor; with most prisoners being casualties of the class war. ….
…[I]ntentionality of CDCr prisoncrats continual dehumanization of the prisoner-class is supported by more than 100 years of scientific study and experimentation … From Stanford Professor Philip Zimbardo’s book, “The Lucifer Effect- Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.” … Dehumanization occurs whenever some human beings consider other human beings to be excluded from the moral order of being a human person…. By identifying certain individuals or groups as being outside the sphere of humanity, dehumanizing agents suspend the morality that might typically govern reasoned actions toward their fellows. …Under such conditions, it becomes possible for moral, morally upright and even idealistic people to perform acts of destructive cruelty. ….
In response to those who pose the question: “Why should we care about what’s going on in prisons?” … We, as a people, do not condone the torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of our fellow human beings—under any circumstances! Such practices are not in keeping with our nation’s international-public stance of being a protector of human rights; nor is it in keeping with our society’s “evolving standards of decency.” “
Read ENTIRE TREATISE HERE
Fact Sheet: Pending Changes to CDCR’s Censorship Regulations
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCr) is poised to implement proposed new rules governing materials it considers contraband. CDCr publicizes at its website that the purpose of these censorship rules is to forbid “publications that indicate an association with groups that are oppositional to authority and society [emphasis added].” (See Initial Statement of Reasons, p. 4. Under the new rules, the CDCr could permanently ban any publications it considers “contraband,” including publications containing political content and correspondence typically protected by First Amendment constitutional rights.
What are activists inside CDCr SHU torture units saying?
- “These new proposed regulations are designed to serve one purpose and that is to censor any writings, mailings and publications that educate the public to what is actually occurring in these prisons.”
- “This is an attempt to silence prisoners and publishers whose voices have been prominent in waging struggle against prisoners’ perpetual suffering. CDCR wants to stifle prisoners’ truths and disconnect them from society at large.”
- “They want to be free to pursue the maintenance of the SHU torture units and the expansion of the prison industrial complex (and the ever-growing portion of the public’s tax dollars) without the prospect of legitimate criticism and the voice of opposition.”
- “They seek to not only halt all criticism, but also the education and political development of underclass segments of their population – particularly those who are imprisoned…They seek to control all we read, see, learn or think.”
- “Allowing CDCr to censor the content of our mail would violate not only the First Amendment but also CCR Title 15, Section 3135(b): ‘Disagreement with the sender’s or receiver’s morals, values, attitudes, veracity or choice of words will not be cause for correctional staff to disallow mail. Correctional staff shall not challenge or confront the sender or receiver with such value judgments.’”
What will the new rules do?
Expand the definition of contraband: Subsection 3006(c)(19) expands the definition of contraband to include “written materials or photographs that indicate an association with validated STG [Security Threat Group] members or associates, as described in subsections 3378.2(b)(5)-(6) ” As subsections 3378.2(b)(5) and (6) specify, this means:
- “Any material or documents evidencing STG activity such as the membership or enemy lists, roll call lists, constitutions, organizational structures, codes, training material, etc., of specific STGs or addresses, names, identities of validated STG affiliates” [sic];
- “Individual or group photographs with STG connotations such as those which include insignia, certified symbols, or other validated STG affiliates.”
Possession of contraband is a disciplinary violation resulting in specific punishments. Also, it can contribute to a person being validated as a member or associate of an STG (formerly termed “prison gang”), leading to a person’s indefinite placement in solitary confinement.
Promote confiscation, censorship, and/or permanent banning of political mail: Under the current rules governing materials considered contraband (which are still in effect until the new rules are approved) every month’s issue of the San Francisco Bay View from January to June—except February’s—was disallowed at Pelican Bay State Prison, and withheld until well after the hunger strike began on July 8. Those issues were packed with letters from prisoners explaining and discussing the reasons for the upcoming strike. Under the new rules (subsection 3134.1(d)), however, an institution could permanently ban a publication in its decision to temporarily withhold it is affirmed by the Division of Adult Operations.
Further criminalize culture, historical understanding and self-knowledge, and political dialogue: CDCr views political and historical writings, as well as materials relating to cultural identity, as an indication of association with an STG. As stated above, the new rules define “written materials or photographs that indicate and association with a validated STG member or associate” as contraband.
Further criminalize correspondence overall: Subsection 3135(c)(14) adds “written materials or photographs going into or out of the prison that indicate an association with validated STG members or associates” to a list of “Disturbing or Offensive Correspondence” which may be prohibited. So, if a person’s mom sends her incarcerated son a photo of his brother, and if his brother is a validated STG member or associate, the photo is considered contraband!
Further impacts for prisoners: Under current state law, media may not conduct face to face interviews with prisoners without a prison’s approval. During approved tours, reporters are only permitted to speak with individuals hand-picked by officials. Incarcerated persons are not allowed to send confidential mail to journalists about prison abuses. Under the new regulations, their outgoing mail can be banned altogether.
If political publications are banned, prisoners will be cut off from nonviolent organizing efforts to improve their situation. In California, where correspondence between prisoners is only allowed with institutional approval, or is punished, publications enable those suffering in silence and isolation to know s/he is not alone.
How could this affect those with loved ones inside, activists, advocates and attorneys?Under the recently approved STG regulations that went into effect October 17, “STG suspect” is defined (under section 3000) as any person who, based on documented evidence, is involved periodically or regularly with the members or associates of a STG” [emphasis added]. Thus, the sheer number of items that can be considered contraband is limitless, as mail sent by any person who is considered an “STG suspect” —incarcerated or not—is apparently indicative of “an association with” a person validated as an STG affiliate. Mail mail and visiting privileges could be revoked for outside supporters and loved ones, in addition to any other consequences that may result. This would have the collateral effect of cutting off prisoners from direly needed contact and support and increasing their isolation.
- “New proposed censorship rules mean more torture for California prisoners in solitary confinement” article published in the San Francisco Bay View
- “Stop Prison Censorship!” article published in the San Francisco Bay View
Public hearing date is November 10, 2014.
Please submit comments no later than 5 PM PST on 10/10 via our action page or to:
Timothy M. Lockwood, Chief, Regulation and Policy Management Branch,
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,
P.O. Box 942883,
Sacramento, CA, 94283-0001;
by fax to (916) 324-6075; or by e-mail at email@example.com (We additionally recommend to cc firstname.lastname@example.org)
PDF version of this Fact Sheet is available here
ALL OUT FOR LARGEST HUNGER STRIKE IN HISTORY….ONE YEAR AGO on July 8th, 2013 …. 30,000 IMPRISONED PEOPLE BEGAN A CALIFORNIA PRISONER HUNGER STRIKE TO RAISE AWARENESS TO THE TORTUROUS CONDITIONS OF ISOLATION AND THE ABUSE THAT GOES ON IN OUR PRISON SYSTEM …
Join California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement (CFASC) and Family Unity Network on July 8th, 2014 to commemorate the largest & longest hunger strike in history ….