CA Prisoners Win Historic Gains with Settlement Against Solitary Confinement

Posted on September 1, 2015 by prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity

Agreement reached in Ashker v. Brown ends indeterminate long-term solitary confinement in CA, among other gains for prisoners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 1, 2015
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition

Oakland – Today, California prisoners locked in isolation achieved a groundbreaking legal victory in their ongoing struggle against the use of solitary confinement. A settlement was reached in the federal class action suit Ashker v. Brown, originally filed in 2012, effectively ending indefinite long-term solitary confinement, and greatly limiting the prison administration’s ability to use the practice, widely seen as a form of torture. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of prisoners held in Pelican Bay State Prison’s infamous Security Housing Units (SHU) for more than 10 years, where they spend 23 hours a day or more in their cells with little to no access to family visits, outdoor time, or any kind of programming.

“From the historic prisoner-led hunger strikes of 2011 and 2013, to the work of families, loved ones, and advocate, this settlement is a direct result of our grassroots organizing, both inside and outside prison walls,” said Dolores Canales of California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC), and mother of a prisoner in Pelican Bay. “This legal victory is huge, but is not the end of our fight – it will only make the struggle against solitary and imprisonment everywhere stronger.” The 2011 and 2013 hunger strikes gained widespread international attention that for the first time in recent years put solitary confinement under mainstream scrutiny.

Currently, many prisoners are in solitary because of their “status” – having been associated with political ideologies or gang affiliation. However, this settlement does away with the status-based system, leaving solitary as an option only in cases of serious behavioral rule violations. Furthermore, the settlement limits the amount of time a prisoner may be held in solitary, and sets a two year Step-Down Program for the release of current solitary prisoners into the prison general population.

It is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 prisoners will be released from SHU within one year of this settlement. A higher security general population unit will be created for a small number of cases where people have been in SHU for more than 10 years and have a recent serious rule violation.

“Despite the repeated attempts by the prison regime to break the prisoners’ strength, they have remained unified in this fight,” said Marie Levin of CFASC and sister of a prisoner representative named in the lawsuit. “The Agreement to End Hostilities and the unity of the prisoners are crucial to this victory, and will continue to play a significant role in their ongoing struggle.”

The Agreement to End Hostilities is an historic document put out by prisoner representatives in Pelican Bay in 2012 calling on all prisoners to build unity and cease hostilities between racial groups.

Prisoner representatives and their legal counsel will regularly meet with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials as well as with Federal Magistrate Judge Nandor Vadas, who is tasked with overseeing the reforms, to insure that the settlement terms are being implemented.

“Without the hunger strikes and without the Agreement to End Hostilities to bring California’s prisoners together and commit to risking their lives— by being willing to die for their cause by starving for 60 days, we would not have this settlement today,” said Anne Weills of Siegel and Yee, co-counsel in the case. “It will improve the living conditions for thousands of men and women and no longer have them languishing for decades in the hole at Pelican Bay.”

“This victory was achieved by the efforts of people in prison, their families and loved ones, lawyers, and outside supporters,” said the prisoners represented in the settlement in a joint statement. “We celebrate this victory while at the same time, we recognize that achieving our goal of fundamentally transforming the criminal justice system and stopping the practice of warehousing people in prison will be a protracted struggle.”

Legal co-counsel in the case includes California Prison Focus, Siegel & Yee, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, Chistensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC, and the Law Offices of Charles Carbone. The lead counsel is the Center for Constitutional Rights. The judge in the case is Judge Claudia Wilken in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

A rally and press conference are set for 12pm in front of the Elihu M Harris State Building in Oakland, which will be livestreamed at http://livestre.am/5bsWO.

The settlement can be read on CCR’s website, along with a summary. CCR has also put up downloadable clips of the plaintiffs’ depositions here.

CDCR Implements New Brainwashing Tactic, [possibly] Mandatory ‘Journaling,’ as Part of Step-Down Program

Reblogged from: NCTTCorSHU.org:

This piece was written as a follow up to two previously published essays (see: Legislative alert: CDCR’s Step-Down Pilot Program is in fact systematic, mandatory brainwashing  and: Creating Broken Men, pt 2) on the mandatory brainwashing by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) of thousands of people confined in Secure Housing Units (SHU’s).

Re: CCR Title 15, Section 3040 new rules changes relating to Section 700.2 of the Step Down Program [p.42-45]

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A recap of the discussion we started here:

1. One of our brothers who has been in the SHU for 25 years was taken to the review board and they attempted to bribe him with the promise of transfer to another prison and contact-visits in Step 3 of CDCR’s Step-Down-Program (SDP) if he agreed to participate in Step 2 for six months – most centrally the “self-directed journal” outlined in Section 700.2 [p.42-45] of CDCR’s “Security-Threat-Group-Pilot-Program” – their hope being if he does it, then countless other younger, more vulnerable prisoners can be herded into this brainwashing program. He of course refused.

2. We had an opportunity to review one of the journals (The Con Game) and it’s even worse than we thought – well, more accurately, it’s exactly what we knew it would be: a blatant character invalidation and brainwashing tool.

3. Most disturbing of all, they’ve announced a director’s rules change to provisions of CCR Section 3040, which introduces mandatory brainwashing for EVERY PRISONER IN CDCR – called “cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)” – and attaching it to this same regulation that governs mandatory work and education assignments while confined to CDCR.

I think I may have been unclear as to what we were speaking of as it relates to these journals. “Interactive journaling” (for which “The Change Companies” has a registration in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) is just one component of the “Cognitive Restructuring ” [or “brainwashing”] Program” described in paragraph 700.2 of the Step-Down-Program (SDP) p.42-45.

The 21 Journals are simply the first phase of  “… an integrated, cognitive behavior change program…” If this first Journal theme is any indication, the primary purpose of these Journals is “character invalidation,” validating conservative authoritarian views as “responsible thinking and beliefs,” and developing a psychological profile by which to alter the core psychology of the subject.

There is much more involved in this, but these primary components are necessary in any form of brainwashing. What makes this so insidious is they use language that actually seeks to characterize sociological phenomena like poverty or educational underdevelopment as absolutely irrelevant factors in the subject’s decision to violate the state “law” or rebel against personal property – and it’s solely and completely the subject’s “fault;” and this runs contrary to all objective sociological and economic research and evidence available.

For example, the Journal The Con Game begins by stating:

Changing your criminal behavior is a tough job… in order to begin making positive changes to the way you think and act, you must first break through your con game. This journal will help you recognize your faulty beliefs and encourage you to change your behavior. .. Be careful! Answer honestly. Don’t be a victim of your own con game.

It goes on to a section “Don’t fall for myths… that support the con game,” which is a collection of conservative, right-wing political views on social issues overly simplified and couched in unambiguous absolute language.

For example:

Myth: Criminals are the victims of society. They are products of dysfunctional families, abusive childhoods, bad neighborhoods, poor schools, and an unfair economic system. “My criminal behavior isn’t my fault. I just learned to survive the best way I knew how.” Truth: Each person is responsible for his or her own thinking and behavior. Many people grow up in difficult circumstances and lead responsible, crime-free lives. Task: Explain how you have practiced this myth in the past.

The real truth is, both of these views have a direct impact on the viable choices and ultimate decisions of the underclass whether “the law” is a barrier to their survival. The choice between starvation and theft is an easy one – the human imperative of survival will always win out.

There are not “many” people who grew up in underclass communities who lived “crime-free lives” –  the underground economy in most underclass communities is as legitimate as the “mainstream” economy. This is a sociological fact. This absolutist view – this black and white notion of human survival in capitalist America is the sole province of the conservative right and simply ignores empirical socioeconomic data and proof.

These journal-authors continue to seek to impose a supply-side solution to a demand-driven problem; this covers 2 very different types of social behavior: predatory crimes (robbery, home invasion, car-jacking) and market-based crimes (drug trafficking, prostitution, illegal gambling, etc.) – neither can be significantly reduced from the supply-side.

“Supply & demand” in this case is a question of social conformity vs. human need. “Supply” in the case of ‘predatory’ crimes is the number of people (poor) beyond the threshold of social conformity due to economic need and “demand” is the relative socioeconomic conditions and/or desperation compelling them to act to relieve that economic distress.

 As long as the conditions (social & economic, i.e. poverty, disproportionate concentrations of wealth, lack of opportunities, hopelessness, etc.) which compel low income populations to commit predatory crimes exist, there will be enough of the poor willing to “break the law” to meet their needs….  And they know this.

 At the same time, there has never been a single case in history where a black market was defeated from the “supply”-side. From prostitution to prohibition, from gambling to illicit drugs – the story is the same. Supply-side controls act, much like price supports in agri-commodities, to encourage production and increase profits. At best a few mid-level intermediaries get knocked out of business.

 But as long as demand persists, the market is served more or less as before. In the meantime the failure to “win the war” on this or that vice becomes a pretext for increasing police budgets, expanding law enforcement powers, pouring more money into the voracious maw of the prison industrial complex, and apparently funding wholesale brainwashing programs to condition guys to believe none of this is true and it’s just all their fault.

 These journal-editors go on to explain your “barriers to change…” They state,

If you want to make lasting, positive life changes, you will want to carefully cultivate your thoughts and behaviors. The first step is to recognize those negative or criminal traits… If you don’t make a strong and consistent effort to change these beliefs and behaviors they will continue to lead you towards … criminal activities.

They list 8 “barriers” (entitlement, insecurity, manipulation, selfishness, lying, cutting corners, superiority, and dominance) then ask you to read their descriptions of each, admit you conduct yourself like this, then “Give an example of how you might think of act this way.” This is a classic character validation – to successfully complete this section you must state you are an insecure, entitled, manipulative, selfish, lying, superior, domineering, corner-cutter – a piece of scum.

 They go on to state:

Go over your answers you have given in this section, now use the space below to describe those areas you are willing to change today to drop the con game.

 Now men like us don’t even think this way, and to be honest, this process is aimed at these youngsters, not us.

The journal-editors go on to ask you to explain (give an example):

–          You are good at convincing people of your point of view
–          Are you good at coming up with things people want to hear most?
–          Are you successful at getting people to trust what you say when you are lying?

 As this goes on and on, basically you have to explain how you’re a manipulative liar – classic character invalidation; they even ask you to admit you’re like a reptile:

 A chameleon is a reptile that can change its color so as to blend in with its surroundings. How has your past behavior been similar to the actions of a chameleon? Explain.

Et cetera for 22 pages. They even go so far as to instruct you to ignore your instincts to resist this conditioning, stating:

Feelings of fear and doubt are part of being human. As you begin to make positive changes, these feelings will appear from time to time… It will be helpful if you fully accept who you are today… you have an opportunity to continue along the path toward responsible thinking and behavior. Maintaining positive change requires you to concentrate on continually challenging your beliefs and actions. All the work you are doing will allow you to reach a point of inner peace. Accept the real you, not the “con” you.

Just the words themselves are chilling. I am a revolutionary, a progressive, a righteous man – my beliefs and actions are just and correct, they would subject much younger, less developed, and more impressionable men to this process transforming them into docile, subservient, broken slaves parroting the ideas and beliefs of the Tea Party Republican caucus.

Again, this is just the preparatory stage, conditioning the mind of the subject to accept he is just a scumbag because he was born a scumbag and his only hope is to acknowledge this, denounce himself and adopt their predetermined set of “responsible beliefs, thinking, and ideas” and you don’t have a choice in the matter.

A covered -up trademark “process”

This matter is so sick, they accompany the words with imagery designs to impress upon your subconscious mind the brainwashing objectives they seek you to adopt. As I told you in a previous communique “The Change Companies” have their copyright registration notice on page 2 which includes a trade-marked “process.” However, it has been redacted. It looks like this (see ill.):

o they don’t even want us knowing what process is being used against us. This is one of the reasons we need to get as much information as we can on “The Change Companies.”

It is our understanding that they do have this same “process” being used in other states, but only California is making it compulsory. If someone wants to subject themselves to systematic brainwashing techniques – by all means feel free; the U.S. has become ever more complacent in accepting behavior modification in their daily lives in everything from weight loss and anger management – to stopping smoking – but these things are both mild and most importantly voluntary– what we’re talking about here is a radical, 4-year long (1 year at minimum – if you start in step 4) alteration of the core psychology of tens of thousands of prisoners to reflect the attitudes and beliefs of authoritarian conservatism, of the state and interests of its ruling class (to be docile, submissive to authority, long suffering toward exploitation and socioeconomic disenfranchisement, and above all to not seek any change in the system itself – to ask their status and role of oppressed man/woman).

I sincerely do not believe anyone has looked into the legality of this program – no more than they looked off into the NSA’s practice of spying on every American in the U.S. and most of the rest of the world either.

The COMPAS Program: Correctional Offender Management and Profiling for Alternative Sanctions

The “Compas Program” (which is part of the “cognitive behavioral therapy” initiative they’ve just made mandatory for everyone in CDCR with a release date) begins with a “compass assessment” quiz which’ answers will be used to not simply discern which brainwashing components to employ against the subject – but to build a forensic profile of the subject’s friends, family, and community.

This is truly sinister and diabolical what is going on here in California.

Some samples of questions this COMPAS assessment asks to people who have to do these journals:

Family of origin:

Q: How is your relationship with parents (parental figure) and / or siblings?

Peers:

Q: In the last couple of years before this incarceration, how many of your friends / acquaintances were taking illegal drugs?

Substance abuse:

Q: Did you use heroin, cocaine, crack or meth as a juvenile?

Residence / Stability:

Q: In the last 12 months before this incarceration, how often did you move?

Social environment:

Q: In the neighborhood you lived in before this incarceration, did some of your friends or family feel they needed to carry a weapon to protect themselves?

Q: In the neighborhood you lived in before this incarceration, was it easy to get drugs?

Education:

Q: What were your usual grades in High School?

Vocation:

Q: Thinking of your financial situation prior to this incarceration, how often did you have conflict with friends/family owe money?

Q: Thinking of your financial situation prior to this incarceration, how often did you have barely enough money to get by?

Leisure / recreation:

Q: In your leisure time prior to this incarceration, how often did you feel bored?

Social isolation:

Q: “I felt lonely.”

Criminal personality:

Q: To get ahead in life you must always put yourself first.

Anger:

Q: Some people see me as a violent person.

Q: If people make me angry or lose my temper, I can be dangerous.

Criminal attitudes:

Q: A hungry person has a right to steal.

Q: When people get into trouble with the law it’s because they have no chance to get a decent job.

Q: When things get stolen from rich people they won’t miss this stuff because insurance will cover the loss.

Q: Many people get into trouble or use drugs, because society has given them no education, job or future.

With this information, they compile a profile to determine which brainwashing techniques and programs will best achieve the ends they seek – and then enroll you forcibly. If you refuse, they write you a 115 for “Refusing a direct order” – or in case of the Step-Down-Program  – leave you in Step 1.

No better representation of authoritarian excess exists than CDCR’s brainwashing programs.

Not only do CDCR want to be able to march into those Legislative Hearings in February trumpeting how they have this program underway and men are going for it – they want to use men like us to convince all these other men that it’s okay to submit to this also.

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Written on Dec. 18th 2013 in a letter to the webmaster of NCTTCorSHU.org.

CA: "The issues raised by the hunger strike are real – concerns about the use and conditions of solitary confinement in California’s prisons – and will not be ignored.”

September 05, 2013 
Sacramento – Today Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee, and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, welcomed the end to the California prison inmate hunger strike after 60 days.
 “I am relieved and gratified that the hunger strike has ended without further sacrifice or risk of human life,” Senator Hancock stated.  “”The issues raised by the hunger strike are real – concerns about the use and conditions of solitary confinement in California’s prisons – and will not be ignored.”
“I’m happy that no one had to die in order to bring attention to these conditions,” Ammiano said. “The prisoners’ decision to take meals should be a relief to CDCR and the Brown administration, as well as to those who support the strikers.”
The end to the hunger strike comes five days after Hancock and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, announced that they will hold joint public hearings on the conditions in California prisons that have led to the inmate hunger strike. The two legislators asked the inmates to end to the hunger strike so that energy and attention can be focused on the issues that have been raised.
According to Senator Hancock, “The inmates participating in the hunger strike have succeeded in bringing these issues to the center of public awareness and debate, Legislators now recognize the seriousness and urgency of these concerns and we will move forward to address them..”
“I’m especially gratified if the call for hearings helped bring this about,” Ammiano said. “However, our real work begins now, as we will soon start preparing for hearings that I hope can bring an end to the disgraceful conditions that triggered the hunger strike.”
The first hearing is expected to take place in October and will focus on two key issues raised by the hunger strike:
1.  The conditions of confinement in California’s maximum security prisons.
On April 9, 2013, a U. S. District Judge ruled in a class action law suit that inmates being held in solitary confinement, sometimes for decades, had adequately demonstrated that the State of California may be denying them protection from cruel and unusual punishment and granted the plaintiffs the right to a trial.
2.  The effect of long-term solitary confinement as a prison management strategy, and a human rights issue.
Senator Hancock stated, “California continues to be an outlier in its use of solitary confinement. Solitary confinement has been recognized internationally and by other states to be an extreme form of punishment that leads to mental illness if used for prolonged periods of time. Since many of these inmates will eventually have served their sentences and will be released, it is in all our best interest to offer hope of rehabilitation while they are incarcerated – not further deterioration.”
“We know these prisoners have committed crimes,” Ammiano said, “but I have to repeat: It does not justify the way the state is treating them in the name of all Californians. We want California to be a leader in effective and enlightened corrections and true rehabilitation.”
The two legislators cited a report by Juan E. Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, “Even if solitary confinement is applied for short periods of time, it often causes mental and physical suffering or humiliation, amounting to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and if the resulting pain or sufferings are severe, solitary confinement even amounts to torture.”
They also referred to the 2006 report of the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, a bipartisan national task force. The report found that between 1995 and 2000, the use of solitary confinement in the United States had increased by 40 percent, far outpacing the 28 percent growth rate of the overall prison population.  The Commission concluded that solitary confinement is counterproductive to public safety, and costs twice as much as imprisonment in the general population. The Commission recommended ending long-term isolation of inmates. 

July 31st, people around the world will fast and take other peaceful, non-violent action in solidarity with the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers

On Wednesday July 31st, people around the world will fast and take other peaceful, non-violent action in solidarity with the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers. Join family members of hunger strikers along with James Cromwell, Angela Davis, Mike Farrell, Danny Glover, Elliott Gould, Chris Hedges, Michael Moore, Alice Walker, and Cornel West. We fast knowing the criminalization that killed Trayvon Martin, and the criminalization that justifies the torture of prisoners in solitary confinement are one and the same.

We fast in solidarity with the demands of the hunger strikers. And we fast to get justice for Trayvon and for people of every gender, race, and religion who have been killed by state and vigilante violence. Support efforts everywhere for Justice for Trayvon Martin.

“We have taken up this hunger strike and work stoppage… not only to improve our own conditions but also an act of solidarity with all prisoners and oppressed people around the world.”

– Hunger Strikers in the Short Corridor Collective at Pelican Bay State Prison SHU

Join us to help win the 5 demands of the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers

On July 30th the families and loved ones of prisoners on hunger strike are visiting Sacramento to demand that Governor Brown pressure the CDCR to enter into negotiations with the hunger strikers. Call California Governor Jerry Brown and let him know you’re fasting in solidarity with the strikers, ask him to meet the strikers demands: (916) 445-2841, (510) 289-0336, (510) 628-0202.


Endorse, support, and/or join the “Hunger for Justice”.

For More Information Contact: hunger4justice2013@gmail.com

We are all prisoners of injustice.

In solidarity/En solidaridad,

Cities and countries participating thus far: England, Germany, the US (Jackson Mississippi, Los Angeles, Oakland CA, Santa Cruz, Philadelphia PA).
“Hunger for Justice” convened by members of: Alexandria House; Alliance for Global Justice; Anti-Racist Action-LA; Brandywine Peace Community; California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement; California Coalition for Women Prisoners; California Prisoner Solidarity Coalition; Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB); Critical Resistance; DCFS/DHS-Give Us Back Our Children; Ecosocialist Horizons, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network; FACTS Education Fund; Fair Chance Project; Flying Over Walls; Freedom Archives; Global Women’s Strike; Hank Jones – San Francisco 8; Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network; LA Laborfest; Lives Worth Saving Gang Intervention; Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater Los Angeles; National Hood Alliance; Palestinian Youth Movement; Payday men’s network; Peter Laarman – Progressive Christians Uniting and Justice not Jails; Project South; Queer Strike; Rev. Louis Logan; Ruckus Society, Scientific Soul Sessions; Theresa Shoatz – Maroon Philly Committee; Transgender, Gender-Variant, Intersex Justice; US PROStitutes Collective; White Noise Collective; Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike; Youth Justice Coalition; Ordinary People’s Society, Alabama; Prodigal Child Project, Alabama; Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement, National; Sin Barras. 

International Support for California Prisoners resuming Hunger Strike from July 8th

Prisoners in California’s SHU’s: we hear you loud and clear!

On July 8th, many California prisoners in the Secure Housing Units (SHU’s) will go on an indefinite hunger strike again. In 2011 they did so by their thousands, this time they are resuming the hunger strike. 

Why? 
Because the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation (CDCr) has not listened to the many complaints of the prisoners, summarised in Five Simple Core Demands:

1. Eliminate group punishments.  Instead, practice individual accountability.

2. Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria.

3. Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons (2006) regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement. 

4. Provide adequate food and hygiene. 

5. Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates. 

The July 2013 California SHU prisoners hunger strike is done in unity regardless of race, religion, “gang.” All prisoners participating are in unity, following the Agreement to End Hostilities as drawn up in August 2012.

—- 
Our comrades at Prison Watch Europe are going to organize local writing afternoons where people can send cards to the head of prisons reminding him of these 5 simple demands. Also we will be sending cards to prisoners supporting their efforts and letting them know we hear them loud and clear.


More information about the crisis in the California prison system and the torture which is called Solitary Confinement can be found amongst others here:

SF Bay View National Black Newspaper

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
Stop Mass Incarceration Network
NCTT-Cor-SHU 
The Rock
Bay Area Intifada Hunger Strike Support
California Prison Focus
SolitaryWatch.com
Lockupreform.com
California Prison Watch

We will be making more information available soon.



CA: Prisoners’ peaceful protest to resume July 8 if demands are not met

from: Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity and SF Bay View:
Feb. 14th 2013

ATTENTION: Governor Jerry Brown; CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard; and all other parties of interest.

In response to CDCR’s failure to meet our 2011 Five (5) Core Demands, the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Representatives respectfully present this notice of, and basis for, our indi- vidualized, collectively agreed upon, decision to resume our nonviolent peaceful protest action on July 08, 2013.

The upcoming peaceful protest will be a combined Hunger Strike [HS] – Work Stoppage [WS] action. Once initiated, this protest will continue indefinitely—until all Five (5) Core Demands are fully met. Here’s why.

1. The Basis for Our Decision to Resume Our Peaceful Protest

The basis for our decision to resume our nonviolent 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 policies/ practices at issue.

Governor Brown’s, 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 nonviolent hunger strike/work stoppage protest.

During these negotiations, CDCR’s Undersecretary Kernan, et al, acknowledged the rea- sonableness of our Five (5) Core Demands and asked us to suspend our hunger strike in order to give the CDCR time to implement timely and meaningful changes of real sub- stance, in response to our demands. We agreed—while CDCR has failed to do their part.

Before we began our July 01, 2011 peaceful efforts to bring about the long overdue re- forms to the CDCR system, we presented Governor Brown, CDCR Secretary Cate, and many others, with our “Formal Complaint” spelling out the reasons why we are willing to put our lives on the line in order to bring about the necessary changes. Along with our “Five (5) Core Demands,” wherein we made it clear that we can no longer, complacently, accept the policies and practices that have subjected us, as well as thousands of other pris- oners, and loved ones outside these prison walls, to decades of torture within these solitary confinement SHU/Ad-Seg Units, based on innocent associations and unsubstantiated alle- gations of involvement in illegal activities.

The undisputable fact is that many of us have been held in solitary confinement for the past 10 to 40 years, based on fabricated information provided by prisoners who have been tor- tured to the point where they provide false information to IGI, in order to get out of the SHU/Ad-Seg. Few of us, if any, have ever been formally charged with, or found guilty of a single illegal, gang-related act. (To review our Formal Complaint, go to: prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/formal-complaint. For the 5 Core Demands, see: http://www.prisons.org/documents/FinalNoticewith5CoreDemands.doc).

We have demonstrated our commitment to our cause through our hunger strike actions – from July 01 to July 20, and from Sept. 26 to Oct. 13, 2011. We remain 100% collectively committed today!

We have kept our word, while patiently waiting for the CDCR to keep theirs. However, at this point, it is clear to us that the CDCR has no intention of implementing the substantive policy changes that were agreed to fifteen or sixteen months ago – based on their highly touted “Security Threat Group” proposals [March and June 2012], and the much hyped “STG Pilot Program” [October 11, 2012], the CDCR has clearly demonstrated their bad faith; because their alleged changes to the policies/practices at issue are a sham.

In reality, the proposed changes will greatly expand upon the number of prisoners who will be subjected to long-term isolation in torture cells; all the above is detailed in our written Rejection/Oppositions to the March and June proposals. As well as the October 11, 2012 Pilot Program. (See them at: http://www.prisonart.org/images/!Newsletter/Rock2_1 and at: http://www.prisonart.org/images/!Newsletter/Rock1_2. The entire Pilot Program is at: http://www.sfbayview.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CDCR’s-Oct.-11-2012-Security-Threat- Group-Pilot-Program.pdf.)

Another recent example of the CDCR’s refusal to honor the agreement is PBSP’s Warden Lewis’ refusal to allow a test run – visiting pilot program for additional visiting time on the weekend of Nov. 17 and 18; such additional time was agreed to during negotiations with Undersecretary Kernan [see his August 2011 memo]. Thereby, Warden Lewis has directly violated the agreement on this point too!

There are a number of additional examples that have been, and can be, pointed out to dem- onstrate the CDCR’s non-responsiveness/unwillingness to make meaningful changes to the current policies. Therefore, based on the CDCR’s failure to meaningfully address our Five (5) Core Demands, we presently have no available alternative avenues to obtain the long overdue changes, in a timely manner, other than giving the CDCR until July 08, 2013 – as a deadline – to meet our stated demands.

Failure to come to a legally enforceable agreement will be deemed as just cause for us to resume our indefinite, nonviolent, peaceful protest action(s) until the changes are made, as exemplified below.

2. Our Five (5) Core Demands (with Supplements)

At this point, the CDCR’s willingness to implement meaningful changes to the current policies/practices at issue lacks credibility. Thus, the CDCR’s empty promise to effect such changes is not acceptable.

Therefore, the CDCR will be required to sign off on a Consent Decree in US Dist.Ct., N.D. Cal., case # C 09-05796 CW, spelling out the specific terms of the policies to be immediately enacted – pursuant to our five (5) Core Demands [see:http://www.prisons.org/documents/ FinalNoticewith5CoreDemands.doc].

The consent decree will be subject to enforcement by the federal court; it is the only way we have of ensuring the CDCR’s compliance, now and in the future. This is, therefore, mandatory and non-negotiable! The specific terms in the consent decree will be provided by our attorneys, for the above referenced case, in the not-too-distant future.

A few examples of what this consent decree will include are:

(a) SHU confinement shall be solely for determinate terms, per guidelines of CCR Title 15, Sections 3312-3321, and 3341.5(c)(1)(B), “Determinate SHU Segregation” [no more indeterminate SHU terms!];

(b) Ad-Seg confinement shall be solely per guidelines of CDCR, Title 15, Section 3335 regarding placement for legitimate investigative purposes—not to exceed eleven (11) months, absent formal charges being filed;

(c) Step Down Program shall be for a maximum duration of eighteen (18) months, and available for the purpose of enabling prisoners an opportunity to shorten the duration of their determinate SHU term.

3. In Addition to Our 2011 Five (5) Core Demands, We Present the Following Forty (40) Supplemental Demands That Are Part of and/or Related to Our Five (5) Core Demands.

(1) Order that all past Rule Violation Reports [RVR] issued to CDCR prisoners for their participation in the last two 2011 peaceful Hunger Strikes [HS] be rescinded and expunged from all prisoners’ files.

(2) Order that no RVR be issued to any CDCR prisoner in violation of any rules and/or in retaliation for participating and/or leading the July 08, 2013, or any future peaceful HS/WS.

(3) Order that CDCR prisoners who do participate in the July 08, 2013, or any future peaceful HS/WS, 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 be moved to other cells, etc.

(4) Order that the PBSP-SHU D-Facility visiting room also be reopened, like it was during the early 1990’s when this prison first opened—it was specifically built for D-Facil- ity visiting—and that funds be provided in order to accomplish this. This way, all C- Facility and D-Facility SHU prisoners and their families/friends can again have that addi- tional space and time available for visiting, where they will again receive 4-6 hours per visit on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. And not the present 90 minutes or less, especially for those families and friends who have to travel over 200 miles.

(5) Order and issue a memo to all SHU prisons that all SHU prisoners are to be permit- ted to make one (1) weekly phone call as part of their SHU program. And that the memo be posted in all SHU unit sections.

(6) Order that the CDCR’s Department of Operations Manual (DOM), the California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 15, DOM Supplementals and/or Operational Procedures (OP) be revised where it states that, all SHU/Ad-Seg prisoners shall be allowed to order and possess art/hobby supplies from the prison canteen store and approved vendors; and shall be allowed to take one (1) picture per year as part of their program, without having to first be disciplinary free. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections ordering this.

(7) Order that CCR Title 15, Sections 3192; 3100 through 3108; the CDCR DOM and DOM Supplementals be revised, stating that, all CDCR prisoners – especially those in SHU/Ad-Seg – shall be permitted to sell, convey, or give away as gifts any artwork or artistic expressions to any prisoner or the public in general – without being penalized/ restricted and/or disciplined. The CDCR now allows SHU and Ad-Seg prisoners to order and possess art/hobby supplies. In addition, while in SHU/Ad-Seg, artwork sometimes becomes a prisoner’s only form of income, not to mention keeping their minds occupied on something positive. So, they should be allowed to sell or give it away to anyone, including prisoners. PBSP’s IGI is presently confiscating and/or issuing RVR’s just for giving drawings to other prisoners as gifts for their families and friends. That is just real petty and fundamentally wrongheaded! Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections permitting this.

(8) Order that all SHU/Ad-Seg and G.P. recreational book libraries be funded from either the CDCR’s budget or from our Inmate Welfare Funds [IWF], and restocked at least once a year. For example, PBSP’s has not been restocked since 2008 and the books are falling apart from so much use. Yet the prison claims there’s no funds for it. What is our IWF being spent on then?! Issue a memo to all prisons to be posted in all unit sections ordering this.

(9) Order that more funds be provided for education, either from the CDCR budget or from our IWF, to provide real rehabilitation programs such as college, GED, vocational training, etc., so that all CDCR prisoners, especially indigent ones, can have real opportunities to educate themselves. Moreover, these programs can and will help those who are released from prison to be productive citizens, where they are no longer stuck on the same gear that caused them to go to prison in the first place.

(10) Order that the CCR Title 15, Section 3161, “Inmate-Owned Legal Materials,” be revised to comply with the Prison Legal News (PLN) Settlement Agreement (as DOM Article 43, Sec. 54030.10.2 does]. At present, the language is so vague and confusing that most CDCR staff purposely use that Title 15 section to mislead prisoners to believe all law books, law periodicals, etc., are to also be counted towards the ten (10) book limit – where instead they should be considered “legal materials” and should only be counted towards the combined six cubic feet of state-issued and personal items, excluding bedding and appli- ances. [Id. Sec. 3190(c)], plus one cubic foot of related legal materials of an active case [Id.Sec.3161]. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections reflecting the PLN Settlement Agreement at page 4, section (g) [formerly cited as PLN v. Schwarzenegger, now cited as PLN v. Brown].

(11) Order that the CDCR DOM, DOM Supplementals and/or OP be revised to state that, whenever a CDCR prisoner purchases a new appliance, he or she shall be permitted to donate their old personally owned TV or radio appliance to another CDCR prisoner who is indigent – where that used appliance is officially placed on the indigent prisoner’s CDCR Form 160-H, “Inmate Property Control Card.” This way, prison staff cannot arbitrarily confiscate it on a whim. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections permitting this.

(12) Order that the CDCR DOM and CCR Title 15 be revised to increase all D-status prisoners’ maximum canteen draw from $55.00 to $65.00 per month. Ever since it was raised to $55.00, the canteen prices have dramatically inflated. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections ordering this.

(13) Order that the CDCR DOM, DOM Supplementals and/or OP be revised where it states that, all SHU and D-status prisoners shall also be permitted to participate in donating funds to good outside local charity causes via “Charity Food Drives,” just like the ones held for General Population [GP] prisoners. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections permitting this.

(14) Order that the CCR Title 15, Section 3190 (j)(3), CDCR DOM Article 43, DOM Supplementals and OP be revised where it states that, all SHU D-status prisoners shall be allowed to order and possess one clear-cased typewriter [hardwired or manual] under the same security measures that are currently being followed by prison staff for allowing TV, TV-radio combos and radio appliances [Id. Sec 3190(k)-(m)]. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR-prisons [and all approved vendors] to be posted in all unit sections approving this.

(15) Order that the CCR Title 15, Section 3190 (j)(3), CDCR DOM Article 43, DOM Supplementals and OP be revised where it states that, all SHU, D-status prisoners shall be allowed to order and possess a total of two (2) approved appliances; for example, one TV and one radio, one TV-radio combo and one typewriter, one TV and one typewriter, or one radio and one typewriter. (All SHU cells are equipped with four (4) electrical outlets.) Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons [and all approved vendors] to be posted in all unit sections allowing this.

(16) Order that the CDCR DOM, DOM Supplemental and/or OP be revised where it states that all CDCR prisoners in Ad-Seg shall be permitted to possess their personally owned TV and/or radio appliance in their cells with or without fire sprinklers. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections ordering this. And ordering Prison Maintenance/Plant Operations departments to make sure fire sprinklers are immediately installed in all Ad-Seg cells, including all SHU cells.

(17) Order that the CDCR DOM, Title 15, Section 3117(b)(2), DOM Supplemental and/or OP be revised to where it states that, all GP life-term prisoners shall again be permitted “family overnight visits” with their immediate family members. Right now, in all of the CDCR, only life-term prisoners who have become CDCR’s debriefer/snitches are allowed family visits. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections permitting this under the prior amended CCR Title 15 regulations.

(18) Order the California Prison Industry Authority [Cal-PIA] to produce decent qual- ity mattresses. The current 100% cotton air-filled ones, which are not densely packed cot- ton core mattresses, do not have a way to keep the cotton evenly distributed like the old ones did. And where, after a week of two of sleeping on it, on all-concrete bunks, a new mattress literally turns into a flat lumpy torture mattress, due to cotton shifting and the cotton not being densely packed. Where instead, PIA makes these cotton mattresses just appear as ones that are thickly/densely packed. But, in truth, the cotton itself is just puffed up with air – another PIA rip off of taxpayers’ monies! In addition, a prisoner has to liter- ally lift these flat lumpy mattresses from one end in order to pack it down to the other end, in order to make it a little thicker. But, by doing this, the mattress ends up 1-2 feet shorter, leaving our feet on bare concrete because the mattresses have are then too short! Also, with the old ones, a prisoner held onto them for 3-4 years with no problem. But, with these new ones, a prisoner exchanges them every six (6) months – a lot sooner if we were allowed to do so [6-month wait is mandatory]. Which, in turn, means a lot more inferior mattresses have to be produced to keep up with the demand. Where only PIA is literally reaping the benefits at $60.00 per mattress, while prisoners in solitary confinement are being further tortured with these flat, lumpy, short torture mattresses! Therefore, demand that PIA stop ripping off the taxpayers’ monies, and that they either produce better quality ones, or start producing better quality 4-6 inch densely packed 100% all-foam mattresses to immediately replace the present air-filled cotton torture mattresses. That a memo be issued and posted in all CDCR prison unit sections that this was ordered and will be remedied ASAP!

(19) Order the Cal-PIA to also produce boxer shorts with longer inseams to at least 9- inch inseams. The present ones have a very short inseam mode for women prisoners, where male prisoners have no choice but to order them 3-4 sizes bigger and hem them at the waistline just so they can fit correctly. This has been a continual problem for many years now and also needs to be corrected. That memo be issued and posted in all CDCR unit sections that this has been ordered and will be remedied ASAP!

(20) Order that the CDCR DOM, CCR Title 15, Section 3044 (g)(4)(E) and 3190(i), DOM Supplementals and OP be revised where it states that all SHU and Ad-Seg, D-status prisoners shall also be allowed to order, in addition to one annual 30-lb. food package, a second annual non-food special-purchase package [i.e., such items like art/hobby supplies, sweatpants/shorts, shoes, thermals, earphones, etc.], just like we used to be allowed to do. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections ordering this.

(21) Order that the CDCR DOM Article 43 “Property Matrix” and DOM Supplemen- tals all be revised, if they haven’t been already – which states that, all CDCR SHU/Ad-Seg D-status prisoners shall also be allowed to order and possess all the additional following items; (a) no limit on chocolate candy bars; (b) no limit on sugar-free hard candy; (c) all Asian soups; (d) all trail-mix products; (e) all cheeses; (f) all dry jerky meats [i.e., sausage, 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 containers; (i) all tea and teabags; (j) one 12-foot earphone extension cord; (k) all art/hobby supplies [i.e., color pen fillers, 12-24 packs of pastels/woodless color pencils/watercolors/charcoal sticks, 3 drawing art pads of any thickness, and art erasers]; (l) one sweatpants and one sweat- shorts (2 total), and sweatpants/shorts with “cords” [we are presently allowed to possess shoestrings and our new laundry bags have 9-inch, thick cords already attached, proving that the cords are not a security threat]; (m) all Dickies thermals, tops and bottoms; (n) hair grease; (o) lotion; (p) laundry soap; (q) 6 bars of soap; (r) 1 soap dish; (s) 1 tumbler (16 oz.); (t) 1 food container bowl; (u) zip-lock bags; (v) paper mirrors; (w) 4 pairs of boxer shorts and 4 pairs of T-shirts (gray or white; long sleeve or short sleeve), which will ease cost on CDCR to purchase these for prisoners; (x) earplugs; (y) 1 watch cap (gray or white); (z) 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 or they will not send them when we order our packages. Ad-Seg (and all other D-status pris- oners) should also be included for these items because most wait years in Ad-Seg before they are sent to SHU, where Ad-Seg literally becomes a SHU overflow. It should also be noted that ever since the first HS in 2011, CDCR headquarters representatives have come to PBSP and repeatedly stated to us that Article 43 was being revised to add most of these items but, to date, it has just become another broken agreement, because it has not been done. Thus, until it is revised to add all the above, issue a memo to all “approved vendors,” and to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections approving all these items for all SHU/Ad-Seg and all other D-status prisoners.

(22) Order that the Cal-PIA no longer be allowed to produce or provide any food prod- ucts to any CDCR prisons. Ever since they began doing so, the overall quality of prison food has dramatically decreased and the costs have dramatically increased. As well as causing prison and local community bakeries and butcher shops across the state – who were a lot cheaper – to close behind PIA forcing the CDCR to buy from them. Prisoners also working for $1-4 a day used to produce good fresh quality baked goods. Now it’s pre- baked and shipped from PIA where the goods have either been stale or spoiled. For exam- ple, the bread is packed in plastic with industry-manufactured pinholes, causing the bread to spoil. And the lunch meats are now shipped from PIA in sealed pockets filled with nasty-smelling preservatives. We also know for a fact that PIA attempted to force CDCR to buy all dairy products from them in order to supply PBSP – which would have also been more costly – which nearly drove the local dairy supplier Humboldt Creamery in Fortuna, CA out of business. And the only reason PIA failed was because the dairy products would spoil during transport, etc.. The whole sordid story is public record and reported in the local paper, “The Triplicate” [www.triplicate.com]. PIA already produces all other CDCR products from shoes to the very poor quality mattresses. We don’t need or want them to also now control what we eat, period!

(23) Order that all CDCR food-ounce servings be raised two (2) ounces (for example, 3 oz. of eggs raised to 5 oz. of eggs). As well as raising our present two portions of fruit per day to four portions. And, start reissuing us the old real syrup and jelly packets and stop giving us the new unhealthy PIA artificial ones that nobody likes or eats. Thus, raising our overall daily calorie intake with solid non-PIA foods, and not with extra Kool-Aid packets, etc. We are grown men and women, so stop feeding us children’s portions that some fat- cats, so-called “nutritionist” sitting in Sacramento decides we should have. Maybe they should be forced to first eat this PIA junk and small food portions for a year, in order to make a correct informed decision. That a memo be issued to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections ordering this immediately.

(24) Order that the CDCR DOM, CCR Title 15, Section 3220.4 and DOM Supple- mentals be revised where it states that, all uncut, R-rated movie/videos shall be permitted to be shown to all CDCR prison populations. At present, we are only allowed up to PG-13 movie/videos. We are not 13-year-old children, nor in juvenile detention centers. Again, we are grown men and women in adult state prisons. Therefore, we should be allowed to watch uncut R-rated movie/videos. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections approving this.

(25) Order that the CDCR DOM and CCR Title 15 be revised to state that all CDCR prisons shall provide – if they have not done so already – their prison populations with the minimum of twenty quality “entertainment channels.” Especially for prisons like PBSP that are so isolated that they can’t even receive one TV channel over the air, not even with a digital antenna. Presently, this prison only receives eight low-quality Charter Cable channels consisting of 3 cable and 5 network channels. Less than all other SHU prisons across the state. And, where there’s constant signal interruptions. Until then, issue a memo to all CDCR prison wardens – especially to PBSP’s Warden Lewis – ordering this, and to be posted in all CDCR unit sections.

(26) Order that all CDCR prisons use the funds are specifically designated for enter- tainment and recreation purposes from the CDCR budget, and/or from the IWF, to immedi- ately purchase all the necessary equipment, storage sheds and any needed digital antenna towers, etc. These funds should also be used to pay the monthly fees and costs to cable companies to add the above-mentioned minimum twenty channels to all CDCR prisons.

(27) Order that all CDCR prisons use the funds that are specifically designated for exercise equipment purposes from the CDCR budget, and/or from the IWF, to immediately be used to purchase and install all the promised dip and pull-up bars on all SHU/Ad-Seg and Death Row yards.

(28) Order that CDCR prisons use the funds that are specifically designated for exer- cise equipment purposes from the CDCR budget, and/or from the IWF, to also be used to purchase weight-lifting equipment for all GP yards again, as they once had, so prisoners can have something to look forward to on those GP yards other than dip/pull-up bars, handballs and looking at each other.

(29) Order that all arbitrary contraband (“potty”) watches be stopped immediately. Especially order that the PVC tube torture restraints that are currently being used here at PBSP – and maybe at other prisons – as some kind of twisted torture experiment on pris- oners that some C/O conceived and made in his garage, be immediately stopped and abol- ished forever! [See Rock newsletter vol. 1, no. 12, Dec. 2012, at p.4, “Freedom, Justice and Human Rights.”] And that all prisoners that prison staff reasonably suspect – not on some whim – have hidden contraband in cavities, first be given the option to be X-rayed to prove they have nothing hidden. Because, for the past couple of years, prison staff have “intentionally” not given that option in order to arbitrarily and systematically use these PVC torture tube restraints to punish and torture prisoners! This is a barbaric and humili- ating practice! Also, immediately order that when a prisoner does provide a bowel move- ment, that it be done in a closed-room environment, not in the damn hallways and side corridors leading to and from Visiting or law library, like they do here at PBSP-SHU, where everyone from the outside prison tours, to prisoners being escorted, can see him giving a bowel movement like some farm animal! As they walk by just feet away from him. Not to mention all our food carts that are pushed by them, too! That a memo be issued to all CDCR prisons – especially to PBSP Warden Lewis – to be posted in all unit sections ordering all these human rights violations to be immediately stopped!

(30) Order that Dr. Sayre be immediately removed as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at PBSP, or at any CDCR prison – if it hasn’t been done yet – and that he never hold any position of authority over any prisoner’s health and medical treatment. He is behind countless medical negligence and civil rights complaints going back more than a decade. He is also behind not allowing prisoners the option of getting an X-ray, forcing them to go through the “potty watch” torture-tube-restraints “therapy,” referred to at (29) – claiming it was too costly to give the X-ray option. This is the worst of the worst doctors in all of the CDCR and he must be removed!

(31) Order that all CDCR prison cells that have not been painted (i.e., Corcoran, Folsom, etc., and all Ad-Seg cells, etc.) be painted so the cells are not the present drab, depressing, bare gray concrete cell walls. PBSP-SHU cells have been painted since before it was opened. So all other cells should also be painted with a coat of paint! Order Mainte- nance and Plant Operations departments to do this ASAP. Issue a memo to be posted in all unit sections reflecting this order.

(32) Order Maintenance and/or Plant Operations departments at PBSP to finally fix the original flawed-design ventilation system that we have been complaining about in 602 appeals since the day this prison first opened, where they have repeatedly come around and basically did a whole lot of nothing to it. For example, in SHU, these cells only have out- take vents – no intake vents. The only intake vents are the giant ones above the control booths that sound like a jet engine when turned on, where prison staff and prisoners can’t hear anyone talking to them. Thus, it’s never turned on unless there is smoke or a prisoner got pepper-sprayed multiple times in the cell or section. And, the intake vents that are turned on 24/7, that are supposed to suck in any accumulated heat on the second tier, are those right above the top step on the second tiers. However, during the winter months, when this place first opened, and the heaters were turned on, those intake vents proved to be extremely inadequate, where the heat only rose and accumulated on the second tiers – where those prisoners, and even the cops feeding up there – complained of the heat. So, as stated, a whole lot of nothing was done. Where , to date, the heaters are never turned on! And, year round, air barely comes out of the ventilation systems, where we have to ask the Control Tower guard to open the yard door in the mornings prior to yard and when the yard is not being used, just so we can get some fresh air in here – even if it’s ice cold air! Therefore, order PBSP’s Maintenance and/or Plant Operations to at least replace the intake ventilation motors with those with a lot higher R.P.M.s, so, when the heaters are ever turned on again, those intake vents can maintain the heat at the proper levels on the second tiers. And, order them to keep the air levels turned up 24/7 where it properly circulates in the units. Especially in those cells that have their fronts covered with Lexan/Plexiglas that become suffocating during the summer months. Issue a memo to PBSP to be posted in all unit sections that reflects the above order.

(33) Order Maintenance and/or Plant Operations at PBSP, and other prisons that have it, to cut one (1) foot off the bottom of the Lexan/Plexiglas coverings on all cells that have them so air can properly be allowed to circulate in those cells [see (32) above]. And, that ‘if’ a prisoner is housed in one of those cells who is not on “Lexan status,” to give those prisoners the option of having it removed. [Note: Some prisoners prefer it because it’s a lot more quiet and warmer in the winter months.] Thus, issue a memo to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections reflecting this order.

(34) Order that the CCR Title 15, Section 3097, “Inmate Restitution Fine and Direct Order Collections,” be revised where the restitution rate is reduced from 55% back to a reasonable level of 33% that a prisoner has to pay on all incoming monies. At present, prisoners are paying 55% of monies their loved ones send them – especially with the lack of prison paying jobs – so, in reality, their loved ones are the ones paying the full amount, not the prisoners, so a lot of prisoners no longer ask their loved ones to send them any funds. Thus a lot less additional funds get paid into the Restitution Fund. Until these revi- sions are done, issue a memo to all prison Trust Account Offices, and to be posted in all unit sections, ordering the restitution rate of all incoming monies be reduced to a total of 33% that a prisoner has to pay on all incoming monies.

(35) Order IGI staff at PBSP, and other prisons, to stop being so extremely petty on everything from screening mail, visiting, and legal visits. Because, it seems like ever since the first 2011 HS – where IGI for the first time felt they lost total control – they have made it their mission in life to use extreme petty tactics to attack all those in SHU, including all their extended families and friends. Where they have now made an art of twisting any mail/ visiting/contraband, etc. rules and regulations until they “find” something to suspend visits, confiscate mail, etc. and/or issue RVRs for things they have never been known to do prior to the 2011 HS. Therefore, issue a memo to all IGI/ISU staff ordering them to stop being so vindictive and petty under the guise of security!

(36) Order that the following revisions be made to the Cal. Code of Regulations [CCR], which would state that, if an Administrative Rule Violation Report [ARVR] per CCR Title 15, Sec. 3314 hearing is not held within 30 days of issuing it [Id. Sec. 3320(b)], then no restrictions under Sec. 3314(e)(1)-(10) shall be imposed. And that if a hearing is not held within 60 days of issuing an ARVR, then the ARVR shall be ordered dismissed in its entirety and expunged from the prisoner’s C-file. Because, as it stands right now, even if an ARVR hearing is held six (6) months from issuing it, the hearing officer can still impose the same restrictions as if the hearing was held within 30 days of issuing it. This is not right! And there has to be some kind of accountability on CDCR staff for the countless unjustified delays in hearing ARVRs. Therefore, until it is revised, that a memo be issued to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections ordering this change.

(37) Order that the following revisions be made to the CCR Title 15, which would state that, if a Serious Rule Violation Report [SRVR] per CCR Title 15, Sec. 3315 hearing is not held within 60 days of issuing it, then the restrictions under Sec. 3315(f)(5)(A)-(P) shall not be imposed. And that, if the hearing is not held within 90 days of issuing it, then the SRVR shall be ordered dismissed in its entirety and expunged from the prisoner’s C-file. Because, as it stands right now, even if the hearing for a SRVR is not held within 30 days of issuing it, no good behavior credits can be taken. However, as in the ARVR, if a SRVR hearing is held six (6) months from issuing it, the hearing officer can still impose the same restrictions as if the hearing was held with 30 days of issuing it. This is not right either! And there should also be some kind of accountability for the countless unjustified delays in hearing SRVRs. Therefore, until it is revised, that a memo be issued to all CDCR prisons to be posted in all unit sections ordering this change.

(38) Order that an independent audit/investigation be conducted into the expenditures of the Inmate Welfare Funds [IWF] for the past five (5) years. And, that a copy of that investigation, and an up-to-date itemized list of IWF monthly expenditures be posted in all prison unit sections so we, as prisoners, can have something tangible to see where our monies are actually being spent, and to ensure none of those monies are being diverted to other areas not in the prisoner’s interest or benefit. CDCR prisoners have the right to have this information posted in their sections. The IWF solely belongs to all CDCR prisoners. It was created to reimburse services to prisoners, including their training and education and to underwrite the prison canteens. Prisoners who are taxed for that purpose by the CDCR on purchases and the like, have paid every penny themselves that goes into the IWF. Those monies are not court-ordered restitution funds, nor do they belong to CDCR – even though they act like it does. Thus, issue a memo to all prisons to be posted in all unit sections reflecting this order.

(39) Order that all CDCR prisons’ associate wardens conduct monthly meetings with GP, SHU/Ad-Seg and Death Row prisoner representatives [not subject to CCR Title 15, Sections 3230-3232] in order to have open dialogue between prisoners and the prisons’ administrations. And, more importantly, order that every associate warden who conducts these monthly meetings is given the prison warden’s full authority at these meetings, to address and grant/deny any grievances/requests from the prisoner reps right there and then, that can be dealt with at the institutional level — where she or he is not later overruled by the warden – including, discussions on how our IWF should be spent. Thus, issue a memo to all prisons to be posted in all unit sections ordering this.

(40) Order that during any HS/WS negotiations—if CDCR does not meet the July 08, 2013 deadline—a member of our outside Mediation/Litigation Team and a member of the Press either be physically present and/or present by phone conference.

CONCLUSION

We are hopeful that Governor Brown, the CDCR, et al, will make the changes required in order to meet our reasonable demands – prior to July 08, 2013 – because we remain 100% fully committed to resuming our indefinite protest action(s) – to the point of our starvation resulting in serious permanent injury and/or death. To date, three prisoners have sacrificed their lives, and many more have suffered permanent damage, in solidarity with our cause!

We hope more deaths/injuries will not be required – but we are fully committed to our cause, and will accept nothing less than the changes to CDCR policies and practices ref- erenced above.

In addition, be advised that since the 2011 Hunger Strikes, we have read many prison pub- lications [i.e., the Rock and http://www.sfbayview.com, etc., etc.] where we quickly came to realize that we here in PBSP-SHU were not the only ones who have been tortured with solitary confinement and countless deprivations from the past 10 to 40 years. That, all our fellow men and women prisoners all across California, from all security levels 1 through 4 (where many of theirs have been included within the above demands), and all those across all of these United States, in both federal and state prisons, have suffered similarly to us here, in one form or another. But most have never had a voice or forum to lay their demands out for change. Therefore, we have placed the next two paragraphs here in full solidarity with all our fellow women and male prisoners across the country so they can finally be heard!

Therefore, expect your offices to also soon be receiving separate demands from all other CDCR male and female prisoner representatives from all security levels [1 through 4] on GPs, Ad-Segs, Death Row and from all other CA SHU prisons who will also join us on the July 08, 2013 HS/WS, if their demands are not met by that deadline. Which will be tailored to their own particular institutional needs that are not listed above–which we fully support.

As stated above, we are also offering this forum to all male and female prisoners across the U.S. prison systems (state/federal) as a favor to them in full solidarity, who otherwise will not have a voice, nor probably ever have this unique opportunity again, where, if they also wish to volunteer to join us on a “National Hunger Strike/Work Stoppage,” to peacefully protest solitary confinement and other deprivations and conditions in their own individual state and federal prisons for the past 10 to 40 years, or less, and if they also wish to be heard, we encourage all their prisoner representatives to also formulate their own separate demands tailored for their individual state and federal institutional needs, where they also serve a copy on their state governors, etc. And where they also set the same deadline for those officials to meet their demands, or they will also be starting their HS/WS on July 08, 2013, which we will fully support.

Finally, from today to the July 08, 2013 deadline, and/or during the HS/WS, we are willing to keep ongoing communications open with your Sacramento CDCR Administration, and/ or your office, Governor Brown, in order to negotiate all of our demands listed here that can be negotiated. With hopes that we can avoid having to resume our peaceful action(s) – or end it sooner – where we can all come to a reasonable Consent Decree.

Respectfully Submitted,

– Todd Ashker, C-58191, PBSP-SHU, D4-121
– Arturo Castellanos, C-17275, PBSP-SHU, D1-121
– Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (Dewberry), C-35671, PBSP-SHU,D1-117
– Antonio Guillen, P-81948, PBSP-SHU, D2-106

The PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Representatives

Hundreds of California prisoners in Solitary Segregation Petition the United Nations to intervene

From the website of the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law:

California holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other state in the United States or any other nation on earth. The treatment of these prisoners is barbaric and numerous experts agree amounts to torture. It destroys their mental and physical health, and destroys them spiritually. They live like prisoners held in a Gulag, not a modern democracy. They are locked in solitary segregation merely because they may have associated with a gang, and remain in isolation until shown to be “gang free” for “six years.” These prisoners engaged in a widely publicized hunger strike during the summer of 2011, and are now suffering retaliation (more time in solitary segregation) because they had the courage to protest their treatment by refusing to eat.

Hundreds of prisoners have joined together to petition the United Nations to intervene by conducting on on-site investigation, permitting Red Cross visits, and ultimately ruling that the California’s policy on isolated segregation amounts to torture and violates well-established international human rights norms.

These prisoners are joined in their petition by a coalition of the following organizations: California Prison Focus; Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law; Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes; Fair Chance Project; California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement; Justice for Families; The Real Cost of Prisons Project; American Friends Service Committee; Community Futures Collective; Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights; California Prison Moratorium Project; Legal Services for Prisoners with Children; and Disability Rights Legal Center.

The petition names as responding parties the United States of America, the State of California, Jerry Brown, Governor of the State of California, and Matthew Cate, Secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

To obtain the United Nations Petition click HERE (PDF)

To obtain the 22 Quotes by main United Nations Petitioners click HERE (PDF)

See also the article in the Mercury News:

California inmates petition UN to monitor prisons
By Gillian Flaccus Associated PressAssociated Press
Posted: 03/20/2012 01:55:24 PM PDT
March 20, 2012 8:55 PM GMT Updated: 03/20/2012 01:55:24 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES — An attorney for hundreds of California inmates held in solitary confinement in the nation’s largest prison system because of their gang ties said Tuesday that he will petition the United Nations to intervene to stop the practice and launch an investigation into their living conditions and mental and physical health.

The petition, which asks the international body to allow an independent party to interview prisoners and review their medical files, comes after about 6,000 inmates at 13 prisons statewide went on a hunger strike last summer. They have since staged smaller and more intermittent strikes to protest what they call inhumane and torturous conditions in the so-called segregation housing units, or SHUs.

The petition announced Tuesday was drawn up on behalf of 400 inmates who wrote letters seeking help after being assigned to the isolation cells for years because of their gang ties, said Peter Schey, executive director of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law. A half-dozen family members of inmates currently living in solitary confinement joined Schey at a news conference and shared stories of brothers, husbands and sons who have spent decades in the segregated cells.

“It’s one thing to place a person into solitary segregation because they’ve assaulted another prisoner or threatened another person with violence. We’re not arguing with that,” Schey said. “What we’re arguing is the vast majority of people … are being put in solitary and the key thrown away merely because they’re alleged to be a gang member or maybe even just an associate of a gang member. The punishment is barbaric compared to the allegations.”

Read the rest here:

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20215585/california-inmates-petition-un-monitor-prisons