Greetings to all of our supporters who stand with us in solidarity for our collective struggle to force an end to indefinite SHU/AdSeg policies and practices!
More than a year has passed since our July 1st, 2011 peaceful protest hunger strike action, calling for an end to decades of abusive confinement; and we’re still waiting for CDCR to meet our give core demands (all of which CDCR’s top administrators admitted were reasonable!) Thus, at this stage of our struggle, we believe your outside support efforts should focus on pushing CDCR to grant one, or two, of the most important—main issues—relevant to our core demands!
At this point, these are the non-negotiable demands that CDCR must grant, as follows:
- 1. CDCR must abolish “Intelligence” based SHU/AdSeg Confinement!
For more than 25 years, CDCR’s policy has been to place/retain thousands of prisoners classified as gang members/associates in SHU/AdSeg indefinitely, based on so-called “intelligence” indicating alleged gang activity. Now it’s important to note that CDCR’s definition of “intelligence” as applied to and used for “sanctionable gang activity” purposes by CDCR is in reference to innocent associational activity, political type activity and or unsubstantiated allegations of involvement in gang activity by confidential prisoner informants. Most of these prisoners have never been found guilty of committing a gang related or criminal act, but spend decades in SHU/Adseg subject to the torturous conditions therein, with no end in sight!
Equally important to note, is the fact that CDCR’s new proposed gang management policy changes—claim to be behavioral based [i.e. sanctions will be imposed upon those found guilty of ‘criminal gang behavior’; implying one has committed, been changed for and found guilty of a criminal act!] However, the truth is that CDCR will continue to rely on “intelligence” based information to keep alleged ‘members’ in SHU/AdSeg indefinitely without any requirement for CDCR to formally change them with a rule violation!!! (See: March Proposal). This equates to zero change from the present “inactive gang status’ policy, that’s proven to be a sham for 13 years! Such policy/practice regarding “status” [gang label and intelligence] based, indefinite SHU/AdSeg confinement for decades, amounts to torture! The international community already condemns it and we collectively condemn this practice in California.
We hereby demand an end to this illegal practice immediately!
- 2. A Four Year Step Down Process Is too Long!
Any step down program, should be no longer than 18 months—maximum, and the incentives need to be meaningful (e.g. contact visits, etc) as soon as possible!
These are solid points to focus on, and leave CDCR with no wiggle room—these are non-negotiable, mandatory reforms. While the rest of our core demands [including our supplemental demands] are open for negotiations—after the above referred two demands are met!!
In Solidarity & with respect,