Governor’s veto of bill to stop unreliable informant testimony is a missed opportunity for CA

End solitary confinement bannerPhoto: Tudor Stanley / AFSC

by American Friends Service Committee, Oct 2, 2020 https://www.afsc.org/story/governors-veto-bill-to-stop-unreliable-informant-testimony-missed-opportunity-ca

Gov. Brown might not have been paying attention when the people at Pelican Bay went on hunger strike twice in 2011 and once in 2013 for 60 days! The key driver to their indefinite placement in California’s Security Housing Units was the use of confidential information that “validated” them as gang members. Not until the settlement in the Ashker v. Brown case were most of them released to general population. Little did they realize that this so-called information would continue to dictate their fate– in classification, rule violations hearings, risk assessments, and parole decisions.

Every one of us is entitled to our right to due process. But right now, people incarcerated in California prisons are being held in long-term solitary confinement based on fabricated or inaccurately disclosed confidential information.  

This year, Sen. Nancy Skinner introduced legislation, SB 1064, to require independent corroboration of any such “information,” more transparency in disclosing when and where incidents occurred, and some due process in challenging the material. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and UnCommon Law were the co-sponsors of the bill. Unfortunately, Gov. Newsom vetoed this legislation, again subjecting people inside to the misuse of unreliable informant testimony. In a time when Americans are waking up to the lack of accountability among law enforcement and the need to provide greater transparency, California cannot afford to continue business as usual within these closed systems.

One former security housing unit person, Paul Redd, described his own experience with confidential “information”:

My 35 plus years spent in the various Security housing units was based on erroneous confidential information:  In one case the informant did not exist; in another the staff never documented it nor investigated the information; in 2005 I learned through a court proceeding that that I had been accused of killing an inmate at San Quentin, although I was never charged with that offense. It took six more years, and a new investigation, before they admitted I hadn’t killed anyone and the material was removed from my file. However, that so-called information had cost me years more in solitary confinement. Once I was released to general population, other confidential information kept determining my risk assessment and denying me for parole.” The court released Mr. Redd in late May and he came to work for the AFSC.

“This injustice cannot be corrected by asking the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to review its practices, as suggested in the Governor’s veto message,” said Laura Magnani, Program Director of AFSC’s California Healing Justice Program. “It will take new requirements and legislative oversight, as SB 1064 had attempted to provide.

“Over 25 groups supported this legislation and we will not give up.”

Civil Rights Attorneys in Solitary Confinement Case Condemn Newsom Veto of SB1064

Oct 1, 2020, NY – In response to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s veto of legislative bill SB1064, which was critical in advancing the right to due process for incarcerated people, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

We represent men who have been held for decades in solitary confinement in California prisons, often on the basis of confidential information. Despite a landmark settlement agreement in 2015, intended to end indefinite solitary confinement throughout California prisons, we have uncovered extensive evidence that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) continues to use fabricated, exaggerated, or inaccurately disclosed confidential information to return men to solitary confinement. 

SB1064 would have been an important step towards ending these abuses of confidential information. In light of Governor Newsom’s veto, it is paramount that the courts extend the monitoring period of the settlement agreement, provide specific remedies for ongoing violations of rights, and enforce the settlement agreement and to finally end the abuse of confidential information to hold men in solitary confinement.

On September 25, 2020, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a motion asking a federal court to extend the judicial monitoring period of the settlement for the second time and provide remedies for continued violations of their constitutional rights.

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The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org .

CONTACT: Jen Nessel, Center for Constitutional Rights, (212) 614-6449, jnessel@ccrjustice.org

Compliance or Critical Thinking?

By Terry A. Kupers, M.D., M.S.P.

(Many thanks to Willow Katz and Dolores Canales for support and editing)

Prisoners consigned to solitary confinement or Security Housing Unit (SHU) are derided as “the worst of the worst.”  But when I enter SHUs around the country in preparation for expert testimony in class action litigation, I find very ordinary people, with some exceptions.  There are very bright people, and there are not so bright people, just as in the community.  There are mean and ornery people and there are peaceful and very caring people, just as in the community (and in prison the peaceful and caring are much more numerous).  

The exceptions include the fact that: 1. A disproportionate number of prisoners in solitary suffer from serious mental illness (S.M.I.) — either they were diagnosed before entering solitary or they developed emotional problems on account of the harsh conditions — and that’s why, when I started touring supermax solitary confinement units in the 80s and 90s, I found that 50% of SHU-dwellers suffered from S.M.I.; 2.  A disproportionate number are people of color — the racism that permeates the criminal “justice” system does not stop at the prison walls; and 3.  A large proportion of individuals in solitary confinement are very bright and very political — I think officers are intimidated by willful and very intelligent prisoners, and selectively send them to solitary.  Of course, the subgroups can overlap, so there are no sharp boundaries.  In any case, the population in SHUs are very far from “the worst of the worst.”

When I set out to interview and examine the plaintiffs in the Ashker v. Governor of California lawsuit about unconstitutional conditions and a lack of due process at the Pelican Bay State Prison SHU, I met men in the second and third categories, people of color and very bright and very political.  There were not very many prisoners who suffer from S.M.I. because prior litigation, Coleman v. Governor of California, resulted in a federal court order that SHU residents receive mental health evaluations and those suffering from S.M.I. be transferred to special units, the Psychiatric Services Units (PSUs), where they might receive mental health treatment.  Of course, conditions in the PSUs closely approximate SHU conditions except that prisoners are moved from their cells to “cages” (the staff call them “treatment or programming modules”) for mental health sessions.  

A majority of the inhabitants of the Pelican Bay SHU were alleged to be “gang-affiliates” or members, based on “confidential information,” typically meaning other prisoners had informed they were gang-related.  Those other prisoners were granted privileges or released from SHU in exchange for their “snitching,” and of course the prisoners in SHU had never been told what evidence there was against them, nor were they given an opportunity to defend themselves against the charge of gang-affiliation.  So, in an average case, a Latinx man from an East L.A. barrio was seen giving the high five to a suspected gang member, or wrote a letter to a cousin in prison who was suspected of gang-affiliation, and from then on he was classified gang-affiliated and sent to SHU.  

Alleged gang-affiliation was sufficient cause for the CDCR to consign prisoners to SHU for the remainder of their lives, unless they were willing to snitch on other prisoners (the “debriefing” process), reach the end of their prison sentence (parole), or die.  Prisoners described their choices as “snitch, parole or die.”  The Ashker settlement supposedly ended the practice of sending prisoners to SHU for alleged gang-affiliation alone.  

The 24 prisoners I interviewed were all very bright, many were very well read, and all of them were very aware of and articulate about social injustices and inequities.  On average, they had gotten into trouble with the law as teenagers, maybe were doing drugs, and in some cases they were involved with street gangs.  Almost all of them dropped out of school before graduating high school.  They entered the criminal legal system in their late teens or early twenties, settled down and looked back with regret on their criminal ways (or, a significant number were actually innocent of the charges against them, having been falsely convicted on the basis of tampered or bribed witness identification, the same unfortunate process that would get them consigned to SHU and then denied parole). 

I found myself face-to-face with men I found simpatico, and very interesting to talk to.  I rarely find people in the wider community who have so thoroughly studied philosophy and history and are conversant with the theories not only of Freud, Marx, and Darwin, but also Malcolm X, Franz Fanon and Che Guevera.  But in the Pelican Bay SHU these were studies and theories that might pop into the conversation at any moment.  The men had started studying on their own as soon as they entered prison, earned their G.E.D.s, took college courses when permitted, and in many cases studied the law and became jailhouse lawyers, helping other prisoners with their appeals and legal cases.  In fact, the Ashker v. Governor of California lawsuit began as a pro se case (meaning prisoners act as their own attorneys) brought by plaintiffs Todd Ashker and Danny Troxell.  Imagine how difficult it is to study law and file claims from a windowless cell with no library privileges except being able to request a few specific books or cases and hope officers will deliver them to the cell.

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CALL FOR URGENT LAST MINUTE ACTION for Ashker v Governor case!

Wed, May 13, 2020, 9am PST*: Please tune in at  San Francisco Courtroom 3 9:00am Wednesday 5/13

THANK YOU AND CALL FOR URGENT LAST MINUTE ACTION! from California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC)

***Please circulate this as broadly as possible

First, thank you for attending our Ashker v. Governor hearing today. It uplifted our spirit to see such wide support.

WE ALSO WRITE TO ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN THIS URGENT LAST MINUTE ACTION! To our surprise, the 9th Circuit Judges have ordered parties to return to court tomorrow, giving our attorneys less than 24 hours to prepare to argue for the extension motion.

PLEASE TUNE AGAIN TOMORROW TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

CLICK ON: https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_video.php?pk_vid=0000017350

or

San Francisco Courtroom 3 9:00am Wednesday 5/13

Why is the extension motion important?
We are arguing for an EXTENSION MOTION so the court will continue to monitor that CDCr (CA Dept of Corrections) is in compliance with the Ashker settlement. Given CDCr has continued to violate the terms of the settlement and the constitutional rights of the prisoners represented in the class action lawsuit, it is necessary to have the settlement monitoring period extended. CDC wants the monitoring to end so they cannot be held accountable.

*The Ashker case is 4th for the court on its 9am calendar Wednesday. Please keep checking. It will probably be closer to 10 or 10:30am when our case is heard.

FEB 19 POLITICAL MUSICAL – Promote the Prisoner Human Rights Movement & Honor the Agreement to End Hostilities

Liberate the Caged Voices Coalition presents:
A PREMIER POLITICAL MUSICAL by K.A.G.E. UNIVERSAL:

Gangsta Revolution, Transform, Until, When the Panthers Died

A correlated musical series to highlight the Mass Peaceful Protest Hunger Strikes 2011-2013 & Humanity’s Agreement to End Hostilities!

Wed, February 19, 2020
6:30pm – 8:30pm
Freedom & Movement Center, 4408 Market St, Oakland, CA 94608

FREE event, but all donations are deeply appreciated!

Download, print, or publish the above flier: jpg or pdf

This is the first of 12 performances featuring the work of Minister King, that aims to educate the participants and bring to light the issues concerning this particular Class of Tortured Prisoners having suffered decades of Solitary Confinement. We will learn about their extraordinary effort to end CDCr’s tactic of indefinite solitary confinement through peaceful protest hunger strikes, and the authoring of what could be considered the most important document of the past 30 years, the Agreement to End Hostilities.

Liberate the Caged Voices works in partnership with: K.A.G.E. Universal, California Prison Focus, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition, Bay Area News & Letters, and the San Francisco Bay View newspaper in this campaign to Free All Hunger Strike Representatives and Promote the Prisoners Human Rights Movement.

For questions, contact Nube Brown: nube@prisons.org
www.prisons.org

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/514252225887846/

Liberate the Caged Voices: FREE SITAWA!

Sitawa-Nantambu-Jamaa-0919

This photo was taken of Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa during a visit with him by his sister Marie Levin and Nube Brown. Thankfully, they were able to visit shortly before Sitawa’s recent stroke, and the visit included extensive planning for the Free Sitawa! Campaign.

This article was first published Jan 6, 2020 in the SF Bay View newspaper.

Promote the Prisoner Human Rights Movement

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington and Nube Brown of the Liberate the Caged Voices Coalition

Peace and blessings, sisters and brothers!

There is a saying among the Muslim brothers: “Want for your brother what you want for yourself.” In the case of Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa,​ principled thinker, leader, brother, son and community member, we want freedom for him.

Last year in July 2019, Malik was granted parole by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. In July 2020 we want to see the Parole Board in the state of California grant our Brother Sitawa his freedom when he goes before the board after five previous denials and 39 years of captivity, 32 of those years spent in solitary confinement.

It is not just a plea based solely on Elder Sitawa’s physical health. He is of a particular class of politicized prisoners subjected to decades of the torture of solitary confinement seen only in California, with rare exceptions in other states such as the decades of solitary endured by the Angola 3 in Louisiana.

And yet, Sitawa remains a stellar example of what positive transformations a human being can undergo in the most inhumane environments. Sitawa inspires us!

Many people fail to recognize that Sitawa, along with three other strong and principled leaders of the Pelican Bay Short Corridor Collective, inspired 30,000 courageous prisoners, who, in their struggle for freedom from the torture of solitary confinement – or the threat of it – chose to shun violence and rather embrace a peaceful strategy in order to bring about much needed change in CDCr (California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation) by implementing the powerful tenets of the Agreement to End Hostilities, an agreement that holds today, despite non-cooperation by CDCr.

Rather than being systematically punished for his leadership and commitment to the community on both sides of the wall, Sitawa should be rewarded with freedom and the opportunity to thrive and empower the community from which he was taken and show the world he is undaunted in his quest for change and peace.

We cannot and will not remain silent while CDCr uses a “death by incarceration” tactic on Sitawa and numerous other elders and leaders trapped in state prisons all across the United States.

Our respected Elder Mujahid Farid of Release Aging People in Prison taught me the slogan: “If the risk is low, let them go!”

Sisters and brothers, we suggest strongly that this should be our battle cry in 2020 for all incarcerated elders. Sitawa is a human being who deserves and has earned not just a national show of support, but an international freedom campaign, and we plan on helping to lead the way! Will you help us?

We leave you all with a quote from Victor Frankl that we would like all of you to meditate on – with the hope that it resonates in your heart, mind and soul. Perhaps it will motivate you to join this Freedom Campaign today:

“We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed … for what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform personal tragedy into a triumph.” – Victor Frankl, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Washington Square Press, New York 1969

I, Malik, have faced the reality that being an outspoken New Afrikan man in Amerika means I must accept being despised and hated. How I respond to the hate is totally up to me! Today I choose a path of peace and love.

Activist Nube Brown says that love is the most powerful force in the universe. Let’s see if we can collectively tap into the power of love and encourage the state of California to FREE SITAWA in July 2020.

Meanwhile, as we organize the campaign and Brother Sitawa recovers from a stroke, please send him some love and funds, to Freedom Outreach, c/o Marie Levin for Sitawa, Fruitvale Station, P.O. Box 7359, Oakland CA 94601.

Click HERE to donate online  for Sitawa, and for his family to be able to visit him.

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win! All Power to the People!


Keith “Malik” Washington is assistant editor of the Bay View, studying and preparing to serve as editor after his release in 2021. He is also co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. Visit his website at ComradeMalik.com. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 34481-037, USP Pollock, P.O. Box 2099, Pollock LA 71467.

Nube Brown is a New Abolitionist and activist working with California Prison Focus and facilitator of Liberate the Caged Voices. She is actively co-leading the Free Sitawa! Campaign to promote the Prisoner Human Rights Movement and hosts Prison Focus Radio on KPOO 89.5 San Francisco and KPOO.com every Thursday 11am to noon, PST. Nube is a proud member of the human race and seeks to dismantle the prison industrial slave complex and replace it with a transformative, healing justice paradigm. Connect with her at nube@prisons.org.

1/15 Rally at CDCR Headquarters: CHALLENGE FORCED YARD MERGERS

 

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NDPF_Action_1

On Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday:
CHALLENGE FORCED YARDS MERGING IN CALIFORNIA STATE PRISONS

Wednesday, January 15th
ACTION AT THE STATE CAPITAL, SACRAMENTO

MEET ON L STREET STEPS AT 9AM
9am-12Noon – Visits with State Legislators
1pm – Rally at CDCR Headquarters

34 UNITED: The coalition uniting people in all 34 state prisons, led by formerly incarcerated, people still incarcerated, and our families to challenge the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation’s (CDCR’s) forced merging of General Population (GP) and Sensitive Needs Yards (SNY). Those who refuse to merge because they fear violence are threatened with 115 disciplinary write-ups, loss of program access, and solitary confinement – all of which impact Parole eligibility and release.

To register or for more information, email 34 UNITED: action@yourthforjustice.org

11/9 Vigil for Vickie Lee Hammonds – No More Preventable Deaths at CIW Prison!

Please come out to support the families & friends who have lost loved ones to the abuse & neglect at the California Institute for Women (CIW) prison in Chino, CA.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/523482625142414/

Vickie Lee Hammonds

Join us at a vigil for Vickie Lee Hammonds who died at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in June 2019.  March with Vickie’s family alongside others who have lost loved ones to state-sponsored death at CIW.

Demand that the State of California, the Corrections Department (CDCR) & CIW be held responsible for the ongoing abuse, neglect, and preventable deaths in custody.

Saturday, November 9, 2019
2:00pm – 4:30pm
Gather at 2pm
American Heroes Park, 6608 Hellman Ave
Eastvale CA 92880

Support the survival & release of people currently incarcerated at CIW.
Speak out against isolation, abuse, and state-sanctioned death!

Bring our loved ones home, ALIVE!

#SayHerName #VickieLeeHammonds #ShayleneGraves #ErikaRocha #AliciaThompson #ShadaeSchmidt #StephanieFeliz #MargaritaMurugia #LauraAnnRamos #GuiFeiZhang #NoMoreDeaths #CareNotCages #InvestigateCIW #EndSolitary #Criminalized2Death #BlackLivesMatter

Vigil and rally organized by the family of Vickie Lee Hammonds & the California Coalition for Women Prisoners.

RSVP for details, or to endorse: California Coalition for Women Prisoners, ccwpla@gmail.com

Vickie Lee Hammonds Vigil_Nov 9

Vickie Lee Hammonds Spanish

 

NOTHING NEW: CDCr Fuels and Socially Engineers Violence between Prisoners

Nothing New

By Mutope Duguma
[See this June 2018 article posted here at Prisoner Human Rights Movement and here in an archive of Mutope Duguma’s writings]

An End To Hostilities” is an agreement/document that was brought forth to build Peace amongst the Prison Class, which means that strong communication between the groups will to be used to end any problems that may surface within prisons.

We prisoners had to come to terms with the realization that our inactions have allowed prison officials to suppress us under their Social Tyranny, where we have been held hostage in what we call ‘protracted violence.’ From 1979 to 2009, prison violence would devastate prisoners throughout CDCr [California Dept. of Corrections and rehabilitation], and sadly would do the same to our communities, where we would also be conditioned to this violence inside of California prisons. Based on gathered intelligence, there has never been an impartial or thorough investigation into how prison officials allowed such violence to occur as well as spread into our communities.

Prisons, no matter what their classification levels, I, II, III or IV, are very dangerous environments. They house mostly young people; those who suffer from drugs and alcoholism. Lest we cannot forget those undeveloped minds, which have yet to become rational thinking men and women. Therefore, it is relatively easy to socially engineer prisoners under social tyranny by manipulating conflicts that lead to their destruction.

Prison officials have total control over all prisoners held in CDCr, and this affords them the power to impose their will upon prisoners as they try to see fit.

So, prisons and citizens of this country should not be surprised to see that CDCr is managing prisoners with violence in order to secure their best interest: Higher Pay and Job Security. Peaceful prisons go against CDCr agenda and, therefore, violence has to be its trademark.

This explains why CDCr would want to disturb the current peace achieved by more experienced prisoners who have built solidarity around our “Agreement to End All Hostilities” (AEH). CDCr needs to ‘come clean’ and take responsibility for their role in fueling so much of the violence between prisoners.

The million-dollar question for all tax payers is: Why disturb such a Peace???

Case in Point:

1.) It was CDCr who manipulated the racial violence between prisoners by pitting them against one another, favoring one group over the other with respect to Jobs, etc. I’ve been in Calipatria three (3) years, and there have been countless incidents where staff attempted to instigate or agitate violence amongst prisoners, but due to our AEH we have been able to counter these attacks through Sound Communication, rooted in respect for what is right!!!

2.) It was CDCr who created the debriefing program, pitting prisoners against prisoners, that led to thousands of prisoners becoming informants (i.e., snitches) and this was done by torturing each of these prisoners held in solitary confinement units, forcing many of them into being informants.

3.) It was CDCr who created the indeterminate SHU program that held men and women indefinitely inside of solitary confinement units, through a gang validation process that allowed them to remove all the “unfavorable” prisoners off general population and into the SHUs, where prisoners were held in solitary confinement for decades, the longest more than 44 years.

4.) It was CDCr who created the Sensitive Needs Yards (SNY), which is where one third (1/3) of the prison population is today… SNY prisoners are, or were, “keep aways” from general population prisoners for various reasons, such as having been informants, child molesters or rapists, or being elderly, and requesting to be placed in protective custody.

5.) It was CDCr who set up the Gladiator Fights inside Corcoran State Prison Security Housing Unit – CSP-SHU in the 1980s, that led to seven (7) prisoners being murdered in cold blood and thousands of prisoners being wounded and beat on in these conflicts instigated and agitated by CDCr officials.

6.) It was CDCr who did away with all the positive incentive programs that led to the hopelessness that we see throughout CDCr today.

7.) It was CDCr who did away with nutritious foods and went to non-nutritious foods, starting in 1997, that is today having an adverse effect on prisoners’ health and behavior.

These failures on CDCr’s part led to deadly consequences for prisoners. The senseless violence we experienced in the past is now being introduced again by CDCr, who continue to find ways to socially engineer prisoners under Social Tyranny.

The claim that they (CDCr) will be able to determine if prisoners want to go home or not by how they get along on a combined yard is total BS. SNYs and GP prisoners should’ve never been separated in the first place.

Those of us who were manipulated into this violence have first-hand experience on how it works, and we are doing what we can to educate those prisoners who don’t see the un-seen hand of CDCr. Because, unlike our past, we are today very mature-thinking men and women who have taken responsibility for our roles inside the manmade madness, by coming together and establishing an End To All Hostilities.

The Agreement to End All Hostilities was created by the Four (4) Principle Groups behind these walls. They agreed on their word alone to end prison violence amongst the races, which has saved countless lives to this day.

What is CDCr’s objective to off-set the many positive programs and policies that afford prisoners the opportunity to go home? CDCr’s objective, as always, is that Peace goes against their bottom line: Profiting off Prisoners.

So, as long as CDCr officials want to use violence in order to secure their income, there will be violence in prisons. (See the recent article by Nashelly Chavez in the May 27, 2018, Sacramento Bee titled “Nashelly Chavez, May 27, 2018, titled: California Prisons Phase out ‘Sensitive Needs Yards’ Critics See A Rough Transition”).

We are an expendable source, therefore, our lives have no value to our keepers. It is us who put value in our lives and this is where our power comes from, Reclaiming our Humanity. The violence is Nothing New.

One Love – One Struggle

Mutope Duguma

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Mutope Duguma was incarcerated at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, in its notorious Security Housing Unit. He is now at CSP Los Angeles County in Lancaster. He is a member of the Human Rights Movement First Amendment Campaign and PLEJ [Power, Love, Education, Jusice] for Liberation and is a prolific author, with articles published in the SF Bay View and many other places, including his website, http://www.mutopeduguma.org.

Write to Mutope at:

Mutope Duguma
s/n James Crawford D05996
CSP – Los Angeles County
PO Box 4490, B-5-C-141
Lancaster, CA 93539

Special Review of How Salinas Valley State Prison Handles Allegations by Prisoners of Staff Misconduct

by the Office of Inspector General (OIG)

In January 2018, the secretary of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and attorneys from the Prison Law Office requested that the OIG assess the prison’s process of handling inmate allegations of staff misconduct, “staff complaints.” The department allows local prison supervisors to conduct “staff complaint inquiries,” which are a preliminary collection of evidence pertaining to an allegation. Our review included a retrospective paper review of 61 staff complaint inquiries the prison completed between December 1, 2017, and February 28, 2018, and an onsite monitoring review of 127 staff complaint inquiries the prison initiated between March 1, 2018, and May 31, 2018. This totaled 188 staff complaint inquiries, which included 268 allegations. Our review also included our assessment of nine additional complaints submitted to the department by the Prison Law Office.

FULL REPORT (137pgs): Special Review of Salinas Valley State Prison’s Processing of Inmate Allegations of Staff Misconduct
https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/2019_special_review_-_salinas_valley_state_prison_staff_complaint_process.pdf

FACT SHEET (6pgs): Special Review of Salinas Valley State Prison’s Processing of Inmate Allegations of Staff Misconduct
https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/2019_special_review_-_salinas_valley_state_prison_staff_complaint_process_-_fact_sheet.pdf

Special Review found Salinas Valley’s Reviews of Allegations of Staff Misconduct involved: Poor interviewing techniques Poor evidence collection Poor report writing Lack of training Lack of independence: Display of bias, Inappropriate reviewers, Breached confidentiality

Salinas Valley rarely found misconduct from its staff complaint inquiries, and in the few cases where it determined that staff violated policy, it did not always provide corrective action—until we asked about it. The hiring authority determined that subject staff did not violate policy in 183 of the 188 complaint inquiries we reviewed (97%).

A reviewer’s rank of service had little effect on the quality of the staff complaint inquiry; we found the work across all ranks to be lacking in quality. Sergeants performed the poorest at 70% inadequate. Lieutenants, the most common reviewers, produced inadequate inquiries 52% of the time.

Below are excerpts from the OIG’s Full Report included in the OIG’s Fact Sheet:

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2019_Special_Review_DISPLAY Bias-Fact_Sheet-page-4


Electronic copies of reports published by the Office of the Inspector General are available free in portable document format (PDF) on our website at www.oig.ca.gov .

Office of the Inspector General, 10111 Old Placerville Road, Suite 110, Sacramento, CA 95827

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