Attention: Governor Brown, CDCR Secretary Jeffery Beard, and all other parties of interest. Peaceful protest to resume if demands are not met on July 8, 2013.
In response to CDCR’s failure to meet the 2001 Five (5) Core Demands submitted by PBSP- SHU Short Corridor representatives, that ultimately would have affected CDCR prisoners statewide, Salinas Valley State Prison Administrative Segregation Prisoners (SVSP Ad-Seg) respectfully present this notice of, and basis for our individualized, collectively agreed upon decision to resume our non-violent, peaceful protest action on July 8, 2013.
The upcoming peaceful protest will be a combined hunger strike (H.E.) and work stoppage (W.S.) action. Once initiated, this protest will continue indefinitely until all Five (5) Core Demands are fully met.
- Basis for the SVSP Ad-Seg prisoners’ decision to resume our peaceful protest.
The basis for our decision to resume our non-violent, peaceful protest has been made individually while presented collectively on behalf of ourselves and all similarly situated prisoners, as well as non-prisoners who are adversely affected by the inhumane polices/practices at issue.
Governor Brown and CDCR Secretary Cate’s failure to make the changes agreed upon during the July/October 2011 negotiation process has forced us to resume our non-violent hunger strike/work stoppage protest.
The Five Core Demands and the negotiations thereof have a direct effect upon all solitary confinement SHU/Ad Seg units. SVSP 29 Ad-Seg unit being one of these units, places us squarely within the category of prisoners who necessary and substantial changes from the inhumane policies/practices of CDCR are required. CDCRs refusal to honor the agreement of change promised only reinforces the position of prisoners, and loved ones outside these prison walls, that CDCR is content in continuing their inhumane practices/policies and deception that CDCR does no wrong-so long as CDCR can get away with it.
In response to CDCR’s non-responsiveness/unwillingness to make meaningful changes to the current policies, SVSP Ad-Seg prisoners now present our own voices to the forum and seize the opportunity to be heard in order to obtain change and present our own demands.
Many prisoners here in SVSP Ad-Seg are affected by the same inhumane policies/ practices sought for change by PBSP-SHU in their Five Core Demands. Ad-Seg is the first stop before SHU and where CDCR’s abuse and torture begins. There are numerous prisoners stuck in Ad-Seg for years on end awaiting transfer to SHU.
We at SVSP Ad-Seg unit remain 100% collectively committed to continuing our indefinite protest actions on July 8 2013 to obtain a legally enforceable agreement for meaningful change to that inhumanely inflicted upon us.
2. In addition to the 2011 Five Core Demands, SVSP Ad-Seg presents Twenty one (21) Supplemental Demands that are part of and/or related to the Five Core Demands. SVSP Ad-Seg demands will be considered met at the CDCR’s signing off the consent decree in U.S. Dist. Court N.D. Case # 009-05796 CW. As our demands are similarly related yet specific to SVSP they deserve their own attention.
CDCR Lacks credibility to implement the necessary changes on their own word therefore we as well require CDCR to sign off on the consent decree subject to enforcement by the federal court before our non-violent peaceful protest actions are brought to a halt.
Twenty-one Supplemental Demands
- Order that funds be provided for educational opportunities specifically to SVSP Ad-SEG prisoners, either from the CDCR budget or from our Inmate Welfare Fund (IWF). Programs such as college, G.E.D., or high school diploma correspondence courses should be made available to all CDCR prisoners, especially indigent ones. Where these programs can and will help those who are idle with time on their hands to gain productively and create a path to becoming integrated to society. CDCRs withholding of education from Ad-Seg/SHU prisoners as punishment is unconstitutional, illegal and counterproductive to rehabilitation. Course should have proctored exams as well.
- Order that education, vocational training and jobs be returned to all General Population Level IV 180 and 270 yards, especially SVSP. Currently education consists of one class, for those who have a fourth grade reading level or lower. Jobs consist of Program Clerks, Building Kitchen Workers, and Building Porters who double as food servers. Some of which have not once been released from their cell to their assigned job to work, as SVSP staff are in the habit of releasing as few prisoners from their cells as they can. Vocational training is non-existent for G.P. at SVSP. Many prisoners are placed into Level IV housing from the start of their term, and will not see anything lower for many years due to their classification scores being exceptionally high. So many Level IV G.P. prisoners are left to spend their first years of their terms stuck in a cell with no opportunities. Education, vocational training and job experience are fundamental to rehabilitation and becoming productive citizens upon release from prison. For CDCR to withhold education, vocational training and job experience from level IV G.P. prisoners is unconstitutional, illegal and counter-productive to rehabilitation.
- Order that the SVSP Law Library be updated and expanded, either from the CDCR budget or additional funds provided through the state budget. SVSP Ad-Seg Law Library is a tiny room consisting of three cages. Therefore serving three prisoners at a time for one hour increments, one day per week. The waiting list is exceedingly long as many Ad-Seg prisoners are utilizing the Law Library pending court cases. SVSP Ad-Seg Law Library is outdated and under stocked in law books, law periodicals, etc. that are supposed to be available. The computers are malfunctioning or removed for repairs for weeks at a time. Law Library is integral to prisoners’ rights of adequate legal defense and must be sufficient for that purpose by law.
- Order that funds be provided, either from CDCR budget or from IWF to install cable connections in SVSP Ad-Seg buildings so that prisoners here are able to possess our televisions as per CCR Title 15, Section 3190. Currently prisoners in SVSP Ad-Seg are only allowed the option of having their radio, which is not much of an option as SVSP receives all of two stations besides numerous Spanish stations. Cable connections must be installed by prison maintenance/plan operations before TVs are issued, so SVSP has stated. Issue a memo to CDCR/SVSP to be posted in SVSP Ad-Seg ordering this.
- Order that SVSP Ad-Seg prisoners be allowed to use ordinary razors to shave with, to be used during shower time, as is done already in other SHU/AD-Seg units within CDCR. Currently SVSP Ad-Seg prisoners are subjected to shave with electric trimmers shared with other prisoners within Ad-Seg. The trimmers are a health hazard because they are not properly cleaned/disinfected before being passed on to the next person, as there is no disinfectant to be had. Ad-Seg prisoners are subjected to H.I.V., AIDS, Hepatitis C, and an assortment of other infectious diseases having to use these unclean trimmers. SVSP staff have even made complaints on behalf of Ad-Seg prisoners regarding this, to no avail. Additionally in order to use the trimmers prisoners are subjected to do so during yard while being exposed to the elements. During the rainy season at SVSP it can become weeks before being allowed to shave as the trimmers are unusable because rain and electricity do not mix, which in turn forces Ad-Seg prisoners to do un-groomed for weeks on end. SVSP Ad-Seg prisoners should be allowed to shave as other grown men and not forced to shear themselves as animals.
- Order that SVSP AD-Seg Recreation Book Library be expanded and restocked to be funded by either the CDCR budget or from IWF. SVSP Ad-Seg Recreational Library consists of one (1) small book cart shared by the whole building. The books are mostly novels that have been on the cart for the last two years, most of which are torn and falling apart. Additionally there are not nearly enough non-fiction books or those that would provide educational value. Issue a memo in all unit sections ordering this.
- Order that new laundry be provided to SVSP Ad-Seg on a consistent basis. At present most laundry is torn, ripped or just plain filthy. When prisoners do get laundry that is in decent shape, they’re forced to keep that same laundry and wash it themselves in order to not end up receiving laundry that is in poor condition. Ad-Seg prisoners should be allowed the standard issue of white clothing as general population is and be issued their own laundry bag in order to send said laundry out to be cleaned if they so choose. Giving prisoners the responsibility of taking care of their own personal issues would not just improve quality and sanitation of clothing, but would ease expenses of having to replace laundry.
- Order that SVSP Ad-Seg prisoners be allowed to order and possess one (1) sweatpants/sweatshirt and one (1) sweat-shorts with “cords” for a total of two (2). Just as SHU prisoners are now allowed to possess these clothing items, so too should Ad-Seg prisoners. Currently Ad-Seg prisoners are subjected to wearing boxers and t-shirt or a unit jumpsuit everywhere they go (i.e. nurse line, doctors, visits etc.). Boxers and t-shirts are the norm during yard hours regardless of female staff being present. It has long been an issue of Ad-Seg prisoners’ dignity and morale being stripped away by corrections officials. By purposely subjecting Ad-Seg/SHU prisoners to be partially naked on a daily basis while interacting with staff and other prisoners is psychologically demeaning when taken in as a whole with additional circumstances SHU/Ad-Seg prisoners are forced to endure. Allowing prisoners a sense of equality in their modesty can only promote dignity and morale and move them forward in a path to rehabilitation. These items need to be added in the CDCR Article 43 Property matrix to include all Ad-Seg, D-Status prisoners and/or a memo sent to all approved vendors authorizing us to order/possess said clothing.
- Order that SVSP Ad-Seg visiting be expanded and carried out in a different setting than in A-Yard as it is now done. Currently SVSP Ad-Seg visits are limited to Saturday or Sunday for one (1) hour increments per prisoner, which is carried out in A-Yard, Sensitive Needs Yard (SNY) non-contact visiting booths because one has been out of service for the last year and a half. There is a 200 man capacity in SVSP Ad-Seg 2-9 unit, which makes visiting for each prisoner impossible.. There are non-contact visiting booths available on B,C, and D- yards, yet we are subjected to A-Yard. Further as A-Yard is a Sensitive Needs Yard (i.e. protective custody), which houses child molesters, rapists, and individuals of no moral character who associate with those society rejects, SVSP Ad-Seg prisoners are often hesitant to receive visits from loved ones, so as not to jeopardize their safety or cause mental anguish. The ones who do risk visits with loved ones, often go away angry or frustrated, sometimes worrisome at the leers and taunts families are subjected to by being in the same vicinity of such disgusting individuals. Our families/loved ones should not whatsoever be subjected to interact or be near/in reach of said animals. Especially our children, or yet wives, sisters, moms, etc. The individuals on A-Yard are SNY and kept away from the General Population prisoners, and should include our families for a reason. The order of change to our visiting environment and time available to actually visit are mandatory and non-negotiable! Visits are fundamental to connections with the outside world, they should be held in a manner and environment that promotes maximum positivity in strengthening ties to society, and leave prisoners going away happy and uplifted. Until then, issue a memo to all SVSP AD-Seg to be posted in all unit sections ordering this.
- Order that the CDCR DOM Article 43 matrix and DOM Supplemental all be revised, which states that all CDCR SHU/Ad-Seg D-Status prisoners shall be allowed to order and possess all the additional following items: a) no limit chocolate candy bars; b) no limit sugar free hard candy; c) all Asian soups; d) all trail mix products; e) all cheeses; f) all jerky meats (i.e. sausages, chorizos, all nuggets and slices of beef, turkey, pork, pepperoni, salami, chicken); g) all seasonings; h) all powdered sugar free beverage drinks in any kind of container; i) all tea and tea bags; j) one 12’ foot earphone extension cord; k) all art/ hobby supplies (i.e. color pen fillers, 12-24 pack pastels/woodless colored pencils/ water colors/ charcoal sticks, three drawing art pads of any thickness, and art erasers); l) one (1) sweatshirt/sweat-pants and one sweat-shorts (2 total) and sweat-pants and sweat-shorts with “cords” (as shoestrings in our shoes have not been proven a security threat); m) all Dickies brand thermals, tops/bottoms; n) hair grease; o) lotion; p) laundry soap; q) 6 bars of soap; r) one (1) soap dish; s) one (1) tumbler, 16 oz; t) one (1) food container; u) zip lock bags; v) paper mirror; w) four (4) pairs of boxer shorts and four (4) t-shirts, grey or white, long or short sleeved, which will ease costs to CDCR to purchase these for prisoners; x) earplugs; y) one watch cap, grey or white; z) one (1) pair of wool gloves; aa) three (3) typewriter ribbons; bb) six (6) typewriter correction ribbons; and cc) typewriter paper. All these items need to be added in the CDCR DOM Article 43 Property Matrix and/or a memo sent to all approved vendors authorizing SHU/Ad-Seg D-Status prisoners to order/possess all listed herein. Issue a memo to be posted in all Ad-Seg unit sections approving all these items for SHU/Ad-Seg D-Status prisoners.
- Order that the CDCR DOM CCR Title 15 DOM Supplemental and/or operational procedures be revised where it states that all SHU/Ad-Seg prisoners shall be allowed to order and possess art/hobby from the prison canteen and approved vendors. Subsequently prisoners shall be permitted to sell, convey or give away as gifts any artwork or artistic expressions, produced with said art/hobby supplies or otherwise, to any prisoner or the public in general, without being penalized/restricted and/or disciplined. Art in its many forms is a proven and accepted profitable profession and should be encouraged rather than stifled by CDCR. Artwork may not only be a form of income and keeping mental occupation positive while a prisoner is incarcerated, but may also develop into gainful employment upon release to society (i.e. tattoo artist, graphic design, advertisement). To stifle and/or restrict positive development is counterproductive to rehabilitation. Issue a memo to be posted in all unit sections allowing art/hobby supplies to be ordered and possessed as rehabilitative tools, and the products constructed and/or expressed from such have no limitations regarding the sale, conveyance, or gift to another in or out of prison.
- Order that Cal-PIA no longer be allowed to produce or provide any food products to CDCR prisons. The quality of Cal-PIA food products are noticeably poor, as is the cost increases noticed by the portion reductions we are forced to endure. Since 2005 portions of meals have dramatically decreased by CDCRs use of smaller utensils to serve with at Cal-PIAs urging, and the advice of some “nutritionist” who knows nothing of the quality of our meals or the long term observations of the numerous artificial products produced through Cal-PIA. There are some meals that are completely inedible (i.e. cacciatore entrée, creamed beef breakfast). Milk produced by Cal-PIA is routinely spoiled/sour or is on the verge. Bread consistently comes smelling of beer as the packaging allows it to ferment. Cal-PIA has created a monopoly for its inferior products and CDCR prisoners are subject to its strong arm racket. CDCR prisoners are entitled to competitive prices and companies as package vendors. Why must we be at the mercy of Cal-PIA for our daily intake of “nutrition”? We don’t need or want their products or control over our food intake.
- Order that the CDCR DOM and CCR Title 15 be revised to state that all CDCR prisons shall provide their prison populations with the minimum of twenty (20) quality “entertainment” channels. Especially for SVSP, as the current channels are all low budget local stations that are owned or operated by the same network which means that two or three stations will run the same programs and shows at any given time. Leaving SVSP prisoners with few options to choose from throughout the day or evening. Some shows are on constant repeat (i.e. Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, local news). After being repeated on one station, the sister station will pick up the repeat of the same show. Which for someone stuck in a cell is quite frustrating and irritating. Current channels t SVSP consists of FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, and sometimes PBS. Signal interruption is a constant problem. SVSP is in contract with Direct TV which offers multiple “free” stations according to their commercial advertisement and prisoners have been made aware that “free” channels are purposely “blocked” by SVSP administration. To which inquiries as to why, are replied to as this specific zip code is only provided local by Direct TV, which is an outright lie, because Direct TV menu shows up on all TV screens when SVSP administration is fixing signal interruption. Alternate channels are allowed to show at times until some petty individuals choose to block it again. It was showing free of charge, or no more than the contract is agreed for! Why block it other than to torment?! Five (5) channels of major networks run by local low budget stations have run their course and quality is requested. Especially if the cable is paid for by our Inmate Welfare Fund (IWF)! Issue a memo to SVSP prison warden ordering twenty (20) quality entertainment channels paid for by our IWF as should be already. Also order the funds specifically designated for entertainment and recreation purposes from the CDCR budget or from the IWF be immediately used to purchase all the necessary equipment, storage, sheds, and any other digital antennae towers etc. These funds should be used to pay monthly fees and costs to cable companies to add the above mentioned minimum twenty (20) channels to SVSP G.P. and Ad-Seg units.
- Order that the SVSP use the funds that are specifically designated for exercise equipment purposes from CDCR budget and/or from the IWF to immediately purchase and install the promised dip and pull-up bars on our Ad-Seg cage yard.
- Order that in independent audit/investigation be conducted into the expenditure of the Inmate Welfare Fund (IWF) at SVSP for the past five (5) years. Nothing of value has been provided for or given to G.P. or Ad-Seg prisoners for the past three (3) years, as much of that time has been spent under lockdown conditions and modified program. Order that a copy of that investigation and up to date itemized lists of IWF expenditures be posted in all unit sections within SVSP so we prisoners may have oversight into monies belonging to IWF are spent. IWF solely belongs to prisoners and is for our interest and benefits. That said prisoners should be entitled to oversee and/or make opinions as to its spending.
- Order that IGI/ISU staff at SVSP to relinquish the overbearing and hypersensitive tactics/scrutiny of screening mail, visiting, and legal matters. It is understood by prisoners that these things fall under IGI/ISU job description but CCR Title 15 and DOM both state that incoming/outgoing mail is to be forwarded within seven (7) days of receipt by staff, unless it is deemed contraband and notice is given to the prisoner. IGI/ISU is free to photocopy mail at any time if their interests are so inclined. So why is mail routinely late to its destination? Sometimes by thirty (30) to forty five (45) days beyond its postmarked date. I don’t believe that the letter is that important 30 to 45 days later, if it’s passed along, that it couldn’t be photocopied and issued sooner in the first place. Mail from loved ones and family is fundamental to maintaining relationships of meaning to the outside world and are supposed to be encouraged as stated within CCR Title 15. Constantly late/slow mail or outright missing is frustrating and creates hardship and distance that otherwise may not have been an issue if mail was issued correctly and relations left to flourish without interruption. The same can be said for visits. Visits are cancelled at random dates for unexpected reasons, sometimes for none at all. Rarely is an explanation given that is befitting or stands within reason. Issue a memo to IGI/ISU staff to order common sense methods and middle ground regarding mail and visits be adhered to. There is no need for such hypersensitivity to “find’ something, at the expense of family and loved ones.
- Order that tactics practiced by IGI/ISU have greater oversight upon them during cell raids. Currently IGI/ISU practice spray first ask questions later tactics. Meaning that it’s become common place for cell raids to occur at 4AM, and to be awoken out of sleep by being pepper sprayed or having an OC grenade dropped into your cell. In the guise of keeping prisoners from destroying evidence, in order to preserve what may or may not be in your cell. IGI/ISU continues to go off the advice of informants/snitches when conducting cell searches, who often times are handing over bogus information to save themselves. Leaving others subject to IGI/ISUs extremely harmful and torturous tactics. The prolonged exposure to the grenades and spray are harmful and has been known to cause lasting effects and even death. The amount of subduing agent released within he confines of these tiny cells is torturous, as the spray enters your respiratory system and envelops the cell, breathing is made almost non-existent, combined with the burning sensation which if the spray is not removed/decontaminated thoroughly and promptly gets into pores and creates puss bubbles. Oftentimes prisoners are forced to undergo arbitrary “potty” watches while in the condition of torture only to be subjected to more. As now prisoners are taped up and shackled, burning and unable to breath, forced to give a bowel movement as an animal would. Order IGI/ISU to stop these in-humane tactics and blatant human rights violations. IGI/ISU conducts their cell raids with the clear intentions of spraying prisoners and for that reason they must treat them as cell extractions. Whereas extractions necessitate the use of a video camera and approval of an official not lower than a captain present will ensure protocol is followed and adhered to. Also keeping prisoners from subjection to arbitrary contraband watches for no reason other than “suspicion.” Order that these extreme tactics be found inhumane and their usage cease immediately.
- Order that no RVR be issued to any CDCR prisoner in violation of any rules and/or in retaliation for practicing and or leading the July 8, 2013 peaceful hunger strike/work stoppage.
- Order that CDCR prisoners who participate in the July 8, 2013 peaceful hunger/work strike not be retaliated against by placing any of them in Ad-Seg. Nor have any of their personal property removed appliances disconnected, including those already in Ad-Seg, or to be moved to other cells etc. All prisoners whose names are attached to these demands have done s for peaceful change and in solidarity because of shared torture, deprivation, and hardship. Retaliation is unnecessary and counter-productive.
- Order that during any hunger/work strike negotiations, if CDCR does not meet the July 8, 2013 deadline, members of our outside mediation/litigation team may contact us at any time. Either physically present and/or present by phone conference.
- Order that proper cleaning supplies be provided to Ad-Seg prisoners in order to maintain sanitation in their living areas and of their person. Recently the budget for CDCR has reduced cleanser, scrub pads, and soap provided to prisoners. Proper sanitation within 773living quarters and upon the person is primary to healthy living. For CDCR to cut back on sanitation in order to save money is contrary to the medical issues currently in litigation within the courts.
As SVSP Ad-Seg prisoners we remain 100% fully committed to resuming our indefinite peaceful protest action(s), understanding our starvation may result in permanent injury and/or death. We are hopeful that it does not come to that, and that Governor Brown, the CDCR, et al. prior to July 8, 2013, will make the changes necessary to effectuate our prison and others across the state in a positive manner and met our demands.
We fully support and are 100% committed to our cause and those of all other male and female prisoners throughout CDCR and across the U.S. Prison System. The tortures of solitary confinement and the deprivations that come with it must not be allowed to continue unchallenged.
We are willing to negotiate those demands which can be negotiated, from today to the July 8, 2013 deadline, and/or during the HS/WS in order to come to a reasonable consent decree.
~ Barry Gutierrez #G18773
~ Stacey Wells #F80984
~ Greg Hoenshell #F83497