Please come out to show your support on February 23rd for people to be put in a true general population setting with regular access to yard, day room, programming, jobs, fresh air, phone, and other means of social interaction and environmental stimulation.
Rally with us and be in court for oral argument in this important hearing in Ashker v. Governor of California.
Friday, February 23, 2018
Phillip Burton Federal Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA 94012
12:00 pm: RALLY outside the SF Courthouse
1:00 pm: PACK THE COURTROOM, Courtroom #1, 17th Floor
Show the judge we still support those incarcerated in solitary/SHU-like conditions!
We will head inside the courthouse at 12:40pm. You must pass through a metal detector and present ID to enter the courthouse.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2011774719037446/
“My total out-of-cell time for the entire month was 16.83 hours”
To supporters of human rights,
On February 23, 2018 in San Francisco, an important motion will be heard in Ashker v. Governor (aka Ashker v. Brown), the federal class action lawsuit challenging prolonged solitary confinement in California. As a result of the settlement in Ashker, over 1400 people were released from solitary confinement Security Housing Units (SHU) to what the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) calls “General Population.” Yet, many of the class members released from SHU continue to suffer conditions of extreme isolation. Hardly ever getting out-of-cell time, they have been forced to spend as much or more time locked in their cells as when they were in SHU, with little to no rehabilitative or educational programming or social interaction with other people.
On February 23, Jules Lobel, of the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Ashker legal team, will be arguing a motion challenging these SHU-like general population units as a violation of the settlement agreement.
A prisoner who is no longer in SHU after 15 years, explains his new “general population” conditions at Calipatria:
“… Out of cell time is regularly cancelled or restricted. Yard time is scheduled 4 times per week, but is often available only 1 or 2 times per week. Showers and telephone calls, which are supposed to be available every other day, are infrequent, and we must choose one or the other. … I leave my cell for 20-25 minutes for breakfast, and many days, this is my only out-of-cell time. …The conditions in ‘general population’ in Calipatria are similar to SHU… I have limited social interaction and intellectual stimulation. I rarely go outside…I have difficulty maintaining relationships with my family especially since my ability to use the telephone is so infrequent and irregular. I suffer from insomnia. I suffer from anxiety that I feel is directly linked to the irregular programming: I am anxious because I do not know what will happen next.”
Carol Strickman, of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and the Ashker legal team, states:
“On Friday, February 23, the San Francisco district court magistrate will hear argument on our motion regarding the isolated conditions that many of our class members are experiencing in the Level IV maximum security prisons that they were transferred to. Their conditions are so extreme that our correctional expert states, ‘These prisoners are not actually in what reasonably may be considered general population: rather, they are in a form of restrictive housing as these terms are commonly understood within the corrections profession.’ We are encouraging interested parties to attend the hearing.”
RALLY AT 12PM before the hearing, outside of the courthouse
HEARING AT 1PM in Courtroom 1, on the 17th floor. (Remember to bring ID)
Please pass this message on to fellow supporters of human rights who may be able to attend on the 23rd. Check the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity website for upcoming details on a postcard campaign to further support the Ashker class members. https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/