Please grant the requests of California SHU-prisoners in CSP-Corcoran-SHU 4B-1L-C Section and 4B Facility

To be delivered to: Connie Gipson, Warden, Michael Stainer, Cherita Wofford, Ombudsman, and Sara Malone, Ombudsman

Petition Statement

These requests to the warden are basic, modest  and do-able, all pertaining to local issues like food, cleaning of the unit, visiting, and tv-access paid for by the prisoners themselves.

Petition Background

This petition asks you to review and respond to a few simple requests that prisoners in Corcoran-SHU have asked us to negotiate for on their behalf:

See the added list of 13 items, all very logical and humane, modest, none are undoable or unreasonable. They wrote these requests in a letter they sent you more than a month ago (around September/October 2013), to which you have yet to respond.

Some of these demands were negotiated successfully at Calipatria ASU. For instance, on the Memorandum of Sept 3rd 2013, the warden of Cal stated: “expanded the Canteen list effective September 2013…” Also: “two phones are installed in A5 pending activation.”

13 Local Requests of 4B-1L-C Section and 4B Facility, CSP-Corcoran-SHU

To: The Warden, Mrs Connie Gipson
Facility Captain
cc: Ombudsman Cherita Wofford, Sara Malone

1) Visiting
We are requesting that visiting be increased to 2 1/2 hours, and 3 1/2 hours for visitors who travel 100 miles or more.

2) Additional TV-stations
We are requesting that the administration add eight (8) additional stations to the basic package made available to us.
We are requesting that a contract with a cable service provider (such as Direct TV) be established with money from the Inmate Welfare Fund.

We were told that this was supposed to have occurred well over a year ago. By contracting with a cable service provider it would improve the quality of the picture on several stations (channels: 2 (PBS), 6 (NBC), 8 (My TV), 5 (CW). The picture is, always, so bad that they cannot be watched.
We would like to request that the following stations be added to the basic package: …

3) Packages
Policy changes to the title 15 now allow those of us in segregated housing to be issued clothing items, a bowl and tumbler, as well as religious items.

We are requesting that we be allowed, consistent with the new rules and regulations:
one (1) special purchase, “non-food”-package per year.

In the alternative we are requesting that the Administration establish a “grace period,” and in this grace period allow us to receive one (1) special purchase “non-food”-package.

4) Food
While the CDCR policy does require that we be provided with a “heart-healthy diet,” we are not. The quality of the food is so bad that on more than one occasion the food during the evening meals has been referred to as “looking like brains.”

In the alternative, if the administration will not require that changes be made in the quality and quantity of the meals, then we are requesting that we be provided the opportunity to order two (2) annual food packages a year.

We are also requesting that the administration include in the lunches more variety. Processed lunched meat and peanut butter are all that we are issued. The only fruit that we receive are one (1) apple or banana. The apple and banana are routinely rotten / overripe.

Canned fruit, peaches, pineapples, pears can be provided and are available.

Tuna fish, cheese and meat spreads can be provided instead of the processed meat is that we are routinely given. It has been established that processed foods do contribute to increased health risks. (see for instance: Harvard School of Public Health: “Beyond Willpower: Diet Quality and Quantity Matter”, page visited on 12/2/13).

5) Yard
Rarely do we receive our ten (10) hours of yard per week, as policy requires.
One reason for this is because the concrete yards in this building are not used.
If two (2) cells are allowed out to the concrete yard, three (3) times a day, it would go a long way toward our having an opportunity to receive our ten (10) hours of yard per week.

Even on those occasions in which regular yard is not allowed, the concrete yards can be.

This has been done over the years on the 4B-yard. And was being done in this building, briefly, last year.

6) Additional canteen items.
Particularly in light of the food department’s failure to provide us with a heart-healthy diet, as well as a diet that lacks any qualitative or quantitative value, we are requesting that additional canteen items, similar to those items that were on the canteen list previously (tuna, chicken breast).
And that chili-flavored soup be included on the canteen list.
And that one other or additional cold cereal be included on the canteen list.

7) Showers.
Presently, the showers are only cleaned three (3) times a week. We are requesting that an additional shower cleaner be allowed to come out so as to ensure that the showers will be cleaned six (6) days a week, as they should be.

8) Telephone calls.
We are requesting that one (1) non-emergency phone call per month be allowed for all SHU prisoners.

9) TV accessories.
We are requesting allowance of TV-accessories that are approved for privilege group D (earphones, headphone extension, splitters, RCA signal amplifiers).

10) Cleaning.
We are requesting authorizing , in addition to the showers to be cleaned six (6) days a week, that the section be cleaned three (3) days a week (swept, mopped, as well as cell fronts, stairs and rails, and holding cages inside of section).

11) Step Down Program
We request to have the time in the Step Down Program reduced.

12) Step 3
We request STEP 3 for prisoners who are validated as STG1 member or associate, and who has been housed in solitary confinement for a minimum of five (5) years.

13) Contact Visits.
We request contact visits pursuant to paragraph 3334 (K) of the Title 15.

We have been told on several occasions that each of the approved vendors (Walkenhorst’s, Access, Union Supply and Golden State Packages) have been contacted and informed that we are allowed to purchase and possess additional personal property items as well as religious items. However, only one of the vendors, Golden State Packages, will send all of the items. None of the other vendors have been notified of any changes.

Also, we are no longer allowed to receive tennis shoes. This prison has reneged on this altogether. They have told us that the vendors would be contacted over the past two (2) years.

In closing, we would like to thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter. And hope that we might hear from you in an effort to resolve this.

On behalf of 4B 1L-C-Section, and 4B Facility. 

Petition to Dismiss all charges against Dallas 5

In April 2010, at SCI Dallas (PA), after a series of abuses at the hands of corrections officials, 6 prisoners housed in the solitary confinement unit decided they had enough and decided to stage a peaceful protest in response to the inhumane conditions and mistreatment of prisoners. Each prisoner involved in the protest is now collectively referred to as the Dallas 5.    
After enduring abuses, official misconduct and outright administrative corruption, these men decided it was time to do something about the inhumane conditions, immediately, before another prisoner died or is brutally harmed.  The guards were beating inmates and promised these men were next. 
These men who peacefully covered their cell doors and barricaded doors are being charged with riot.  All they did was ask for an outside official. They were protecting themselves from harm.   They committed no violent acts, yet violence was inflicted upon them by the guards in riot gear.  They were pepper sprayed, beaten and tased.  These men are in solitary confinement, which means they are in a single cell 24/7 with no contact.  They did not cause or create riot!  They had no ability to do so!  They are being charged with riot because they have lawsuits against the prison and guards.  Some of them are pro se lawyers who have gone against the DOC as their own attorney.  This is frowned upon and retaliated against on a massive level.  These same men contributed to the Human Rights Coalition report which detailed ongoing abuses and human rights violations within the dungeons of this state and especially at SCI Dallas. 
As revealed in the Human Rights Coalition report and before the House of Representatives, there has long been a policy within the prison walls of Dallas and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) to operate a corrupt administration under an iron wall of silence.  Under this iron wall or code of silence, SCI Dallas, PA DOC, District Attorney’s Office, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police operates in participation and conjunction with one another to cover up crimes and misconduct by state offices by overlooking video footage of officers caught on video tape committing human rights violations.
 This case should be thrown out.  Besides the fact that charges are bogus here are some of the reasons it should be dismissed:
 • Discovered that one man was not arraigned and after more research that none of the men were arraigned in a timely manner.

• They have wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars in housing, transportation and court costs bringing them back and forth across the state for their dog and pony show. The first time they brought them under heavy security with helicopters.
• They brought them to court illegally while the case was in the supreme court in September 2012 but when they guys spoke up that it was illegal they ended the hearing and removed the hearing from dockets like it never existed.

• The charges only carry a short sentence and are ordinarily handled through the prison disciplinary system.
•In 3 ½ years they have been before the court on at least 6 occasions and have not even had pre-trial because the prosecution continues to postpone due to their own errors.
•It is evident that if they had a case it would have been adjudicated long ago.
These men do not want sympathy; they want to do their time without being subjected to racism and violence by staff. These false charges should be dropped.  Mr. Peters who is still being tortured at SCI Dallas, should be moved out of there.  Taxpayer’s money is being wasted on a personal vendetta.  The crime here is what is really going on with in the bowels of our “justice and prison” system.  They should be on trial and not these men.
For more information and updates about the case please visit:
Text of the petition:
To: Luzerne County DA Stephanie Salavantis, Luzerne County Court
Dismiss all charges against Dallas 5

The Dallas 5 are Andre Jacobs, Carrington Keys, Duane Peters, Anthony Locke and Derrick Stanley.

Besides the fact that it is a false and retaliatory complaint, there are many reasons for dismissal of charges. These are only a few:

• The county and DOC have wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars in housing, transportation and court costs bringing them back and forth across the state for a personal vendetta
• Pre-trial has been delayed at least 6 times due to prosecution errors.
• It has take over 3 1/2 years to prosecute a 3rd class felony
• The men have endured well documented human rights abuses at SCI Dallas
• The only people injured during the incident were the prisoners
• They have a right to a speedy trial and this has been anything but a speedy trial
• Covering your window is a violation of DOC policy and should have been handled internally not through the courts
• Covering your window is not a riot!
[Your name] 

Petition: Reverse the Illegal Privitization of Prisoners’ Accounts

Reverse the Illegal Privitization of Prisoners’ Accounts.

Starting September 17, 2012, JPay, a private corporation took over processing all prisoners’ money orders. We, the undersigned object to this new policy for the following reasons:

1. JPay will charge a processing fee of $1.50. This fee amounts to an illegal tax on prisoners’ family and supporters. The legislature must approve all taxes. There is no guarantee that JPay won’t increase this tax in the future.
2. Prior to September 17th, interest from prisoner’s accounts goes into the “I&E” fund, that helps pay for prisoners’ entertainment, recreation equipment, and going home funds. The new scheme allows JPay, a private company, to invest the prisoner’s money and take interest as profits. What will happen with the “I&E” funded programs? Who is insuring that the prisoners’ money will be safe if JPay’s investments fail and they go bankrupt?
3. How can prisoners resolve complaints with JPay? Would it cost a prisoner to mail a complaint to JPay?
4. Most importantly, why has the ODCR handed over personal information of prisoners’ friends and families to this private company? That is illegal. ODRC claims JPay will not have access to the information, but it is impossible for JPay to process and verify the authenticity of the funds without this information.

[Your name] 

Please go to the following link and sign, thank you! Spread the word!

Save the Honor Program

From: The Honor Program
Plz click here to sign the petition to save the Prison Honor Program

July 12, 2012: For Immediate Release

The California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation has decided to transfer out more than three-quarters of the men successfully functioning on the Progressive Programming Facility at California State Prison-Los Angeles County in Lancaster. This will result in the only fully functioning maximum-security facility in the sprawling, sadly dysfunctional prison system to collapse.

The prison system in California is under a federal court mandate to shrink down from a high of almost 200% of capacity to only 137.5% of capacity by June of 2013. To accomplish this, the state has diverted low-level offenders to county jails and changed parole regulations. Ultimately, prisoners remaining in the 33 far-flung institutions of the system will be spread out to ease local crowding. To date, the process appears to be on track to meet court-ordered deadlines.

All of the above is to the good, and we congratulate Secretary of Corrections & Rehabilitation Matthew Cate for his valiant efforts to turn around the troubled prisons in a time of extreme fiscal constraint and limited options.

But moving so many of the men from the revolutionary Progressive Programming Facility to other, far less well functioning prisons is a bad idea for a number of reasons.

It spends money that doesn’t need to be spent on transfers that don’t need to happen.

It jeopardizes the stability of a program that should be the template for the future corrections system in California.

It causes needless hardship to hundreds of friends and family members of men currently housed in Los Angeles’s only prison.

There is still time to change this decision by the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. Read the full proposal submitted to Secretary Cate by the Friends and Families for the Honor Program, and click here for sample letters you can send to Secretary Cate to advocate for his support.

The Friends & Families for the Honor Program ask that you write and/or call Secretary Cate and ask him to allow all the men who desire to continue in the Progressive Programming Facility to stay. It’s simply the right thing to do.

Thank you for your support and assistance.

Address to write to ask for a continuation of the Honor Program:

Secretary Matthew Cate
California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation
1515 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 830-3676

GA Prison Hunger Strike Enters 5th Week

From: Black Agenda Report
July 12th 2012

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

As the hunger strike by 9 Georgia prisoners demanding medical care, due process and human rights enters its 5th week, prison officials are surprised at the level of outside support the inmates enjoy despite a virtual news whiteout. Concerned family members and others plan to visit the Department of Corrections headquarters on Monday, July 16.

Hunger Strike in GA Prison Enters 5th Week

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The hunger strike begun on June 11 by nine prisoners at Georgia’s massive Diagnostic and Classification prison, the same place where Troy Davis was murdered last year, continues into its fifth week. Though reports published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution declare the strike over, the families and one of the attorneys of inmates insist that the nine prisoners remain resolved, and continue to insist on administrative review of their status, adequate medical care, and access to mail and visitation privileges with their families and attorneys which have been arbitrarily denied them.

Our sources claim that these nine were among the 37 singled out by corrections officials in late 2010 and early 2011 after the peaceful strike by Georgia prisoners of December 2010. They were rounded up, many severely beaten, and transferred to close confinement and constant lockdown at Jackson, where they have remained ever since.

On Monday July 9, about 30 people showed up at Georgia’s state capitol to visit the governor’s office, where they left letters of support for the hunger strikers. Through direct and indirect contacts with their families and attorneys and other inmates, the prisoners know that they DO have significant support on the outside. The warden, for example, remarked to Miguel Jackson his surprise that the Georgia Green Party was supporting the strikers. Your phone calls to the prison warden, to the Department of Corrections, and the governor of Georgia have already made a difference.

Whether or not the hunger strike lasts much longer, the nine prisoners involved have already demonstrated their unshakable resolve , and deserve your continued concern and support, and your calls, which are still needed.

When you call, ask about them by name and ID number. Here are the names and ID numbers of the nine prisoners now in the fifth week of their hunger strike. They are:

Justin Boston, ID 1305227

Quentin D. Cooks, ID 1142336

Contravius Grier, ID 591396

Miguel Jackson, ID 890692

Bobby Anthony Minor, ID 1191993

Dexter Shaw, ID 429768

Robert Watkins, ID 1245402

Demetrius White, ID 581709

And here are the people to call:

Warden, GA Diagnostic & Classification Prison, Butts County GA: 770-504-2000

Brian Owens, Commissioner, GA Department of Corrections, ask for his administrative assistant Peggy Chapman 478-992-5258

Georgia governor Nathan Deal: 404-656-1776
Fax the governor at 404-657-7332.
You can also send the Governor a letter online by clicking here.

GA Department of Corrections Ombudsman
478-992-5367 or 478-992-5358

No fax, but you can email them at Please add a cc to the email,

Sign the petition in support of the Jackson Prison hunger strikers: Click here

If you’re in the Atlanta area on Monday, July 16, join us as we travel by van and carpool to the headquarters of the Georgia Department of Corrections in Forsyth GA where, along with the families of some of the strikers, we will demand a meeting with Brian Owens, the head of the department. Meet us at the West End MARTA station, 9 AM sharp. Some cars will be returning around lunch time, some others will probably stay in Forsyth the whole day.

The prisoners behind those walls have done all they can do. What you can do is sign the petition supporting the demands of the hunger strikers. You can pick up the phone to call and express your concern and support. You can forward this to your email and social networks, family, friends and acquaintances.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. He can be reached via this site’s contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)

Please also read: There Is No Justice In Georgia, in the SF Bay View, July 11th 2012

Please also read: Protesters demand Georgia prison reform: About 40 demonstrators gathered outside the state Capitol in Atlanta on Monday to express support for Georgia prison inmates who have reportedly been on a hunger strike for nearly a month.

Where’s the evidence? And: crucial hearing could see Angola 3’s Albert Woodfox freed

On April 17th,[2012] Amnesty International submitted a petition to the Governor of Louisiana with over 67,000 signatures from individuals in 125 countries demanding that Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace be removed from long term isolation. The two men have spent nearly 40 years in solitary confinement in Closed Cell Restriction (CCR) at Louisiana State Penitentiary (known as Angola prison).

Despite the overwhelming number of signatures in the petition, and the presence of representatives from local and national organizations as well as political figures, Governor Jindal refused to meet with the delegation, and referred the issue to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. The Secretary of the Department, James M. LeBlanc, in turn justified their continued placement in CCR by stating that they were a danger to prison employees, other inmates and visitors. He also denied that conditions for the men were inhumane.

After years of working on the case, Amnesty International is not aware of ANY evidence to suggest that the men are a danger to themselves or to others. Prison records show that neither man has committed any serious disciplinary infraction for decades nor do the prison mental health records demonstrate that they pose a threat to themselves or others.

Amnesty International is firm in its belief that conditions for the men in CCR – 23 hour cellular confinement in stark, tiny cells; limited access to books, newspapers and TV; no opportunities for mental stimulation, work and education; occasional visits from friends and family and limited telephone calls – amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

Take Action

Hold Secretary LeBlanc to account and add your voice to the 67,000 others to demand that the men be removed from long term isolation.

Plz sign the letter by clicking on the link below!

Where’s the evidence?

On 17 April 2012, you issued a statement that Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace are held separately from other prisoners to protect prison employees, other inmates and visitors. Where is the evidence to back up this statement?

Records show that neither man has committed any serious disciplinary infraction for decades. Prison mental health records indicate that the men pose no threat to themselves or to others.

In a recent report, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture condemned prolonged isolation as amounting to torture or inhuman and degrading treatment. He refers to the case of Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace in his report.

Along with over 67,000 others who signed a petition to Governor Jindal, I urge you to remove Albert and Herman from isolation.

Yours sincerely,

Sign here:

From: Amnesty International UK (via Angola 3 News):

USA: crucial hearing could see Angola 3’s Albert Woodfox freed

Posted: 28 May 2012

40 years in solitary confinement could end

A three-day evidentiary hearing into a claim of racial discrimination in the selection of the grand jury foreperson prior to the 1998 retrial of Albert Woodfox is due to begin in a federal court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana tomorrow (29 May).

A ruling in his favour could result in Albert Woodfox’s conviction being overturned for the third time, and could secure his release from prison after being held in solitary confinement for 40 years.

Albert Woodfox was convicted in 1973 – along with a second prisoner, Herman Wallace – of the 1972 murder of a prison guard called Brent Miller. Both men, who have vigorously denied involvement in the crime, were placed in solitary confinement in Closed Cell Restriction at Louisiana State Penitentiary (known as Angola prison). A third man, Robert King, who was accused of a different crime, was also held in these conditions and the three were jointly known as the “Angola 3”. King was released in 2001 after serving 29 years in solitary.

Meanwhile, Woodfox’s conviction was overturned in 1992, but he was re-indicted and convicted again at a 1998 trial. In 2008, a federal District Court judge ruled that Woodfox had been denied his right to adequate assistance of counsel at his 1998 retrial and ordered the state to re-try or release him. The District Court had also found that his lawyers had made a prima facie case of discrimination in relation to the selection of the grand jury foreperson, and that this warranted a federal evidentiary hearing to give the state an opportunity to rebut the claim. The state appealed against the District Court order for a retrial and in June 2010 a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned the decision. The case was remanded to the District Court for an evidentiary hearing on the grand jury discrimination claim: it is this hearing that is about to begin.

The foreperson of the grand jury that indicted Albert Woodfox for his 1998 retrial was white. Woodfox’s lawyers have presented evidence of the consistent under-representation of African Americans serving as grand jury forepersons compared to their numbers in the general population of the parish in which Albert Woodfox, who is himself African American, was tried.

Amnesty International considers the issue of discrimination in the selection of the grand jury foreperson to be a significant one. The right to trial, in full equality and free from discrimination, before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal lies at the heart of due process of law and requires that justice must not only be done, it must also be seen to be done. Actual impartiality and appearance of impartiality are both fundamental for maintaining respect for the administration of justice. The organisation will continue to monitor developments in this case.

On 17 April, Amnesty submitted a petition to the Governor of Louisiana with over 67,000 signatures from individuals in 125 countries urging that Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace be removed from long term isolation.

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: