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CA State Prisoners going on hunger strike

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Paul Sakuma/AP

Demonstrators rallied in front of the State Building in San Francisco two summers ago to support prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison. A new strike started Monday to protest the continued isolation of many prisoners.
Inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison launched a hunger strike Monday to protest the use of Security Housing Units as a way to break the power of prison gangs.

Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said 30,000 inmates refused their morning meal Monday. The department will only recognize a hunger strike when an inmate has refused nine consecutive meals. Also on Monday, 2,300 inmates declined to work or attend class.

California isolates 4,500 inmates from the general prison population in Security Housing Units at four prisons, but those at Pelican Bay face the most severe form of confinement. The super max's so-called "short corridor" restricts prisoner to their cells 22 1/2 hours a day. Inmates leave their cell only for exercise in a high-walled concrete yard, to shower, or for medical appointments. They are allowed no phone calls and can only visit with family separated by a glass partition.

Pelican Bay SHU prisoners led two mass hungers strikes in the summer of 2011 that spread to 6,600 inmates at 13 prisons. The hunger strikes each lasted less than a month and ended when the corrections department announced it would loosen some restrictions on inmates in the isolation units and review department policies for determining who to send there and for how long.

Prison officials separate inmates confirmed as gang leaders or members in isolation units indefinitely. CDCR has confined more than 500 prisoners in those units for more than five years, and dozens for more than 20 years.

Until last year the only way for SHU prisoners to return to the general population was to "debrief" — a process prison officials describe as renouncing gang membership, but which inmates describe as "snitching."

The CDCR made changes to gang management policies in 2012 that allow inmates to earn their way out of the SHU through good behavior.

But in a statement distributed by advocates for prisoners , the leaders of the hunger strike faulted CDCR's "failure to honor their word" and said the department had "acted in bad faith."

They say CDCR has actually broadened the isolation program, and still validates gang members on flimsy evidence.

"We believe that our pilot program addresses inmates concerns" said spokeswoman Terry Thornton. "It has been revised and reformed, it incorporates additional elements of due process, and we’ve created a step alternative for inmates to demonstrate their willingness to leave the gang."

Thornton said the department has reviewed the cases of 382 SHU prisoners statewide, released 208 of them to the general prison population and placed another 115 in various stages of the step-down program.

"People are leaving the SHU," Thornton said.






by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Replies (21-30):
Firenygirl180
by Bronze Member on Jul. 8, 2013 at 11:50 PM
1 mom liked this
I have a degree in law enforcement.

I did my internship in the local prison.

I was basing my response on just what i read inthe article.


Quoting viv212:

PS the inmates who are in protective custody are the "snitches", rapists, child abusers, etc.



Quoting Firenygirl180:

I don't think anyone belongs in segregation unless they are a serious threat to other inmates or the corrections officers. Just being in a gang doesn't mean you are a danger. Yes, there are things you"have" to do to be accepted, but there are members that are in them solely for protection from other inmates.

viv212
by Gold Member on Jul. 8, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Don't forget that the guards themselves are a part of the gang problem.

Secondly, just because they're in a gang doesn't make them violent.

Last, at some point some if these inmates are coming out. Would you want someone in the streets out in public that was held in solitary confinement for years at a time where they were treated like an animal?


Quoting Arroree:

Psh, let all the gang banging idiots starve themselves, no loss to California, there's an overabundance of them there to begin with.  Personally if it was my choice we'd ship all the gang members to an island to kill eachother off like the idiots they are. It would save a lot of innocent lives.

As for whether the confinements are deserved, seriously who are we supposed to believe, the guards or convicted gang bangers?  CA has a massive gang problem and the gang members in the jails and prisons in the state are constantly trying, and many times succeeding, to kill eachother. I'm all for keeping ALL of them in solitary cells and not allowing them to ever have access to eachother.

viv212
by Gold Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:03 AM
1 mom liked this
Actually the link I posted showed that getting rid of the SHU program benefited the budget.

Quoting Chelsey191:

Good. It will save US taxpayers some money. If they starve themselves to death, good riddance.
Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:04 AM
They are in Prison not the Hilton.

Get over it.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
viv212
by Gold Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:08 AM
1 mom liked this
Lol I can't argue that. But the link I put up on page 1 says that when prisons needed to cut the budget, the SHU program closed.

Quoting JoshRachelsMAMA:

Bleh. California needs to save money anyway.
viv212
by Gold Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:14 AM
http://www.scpr.org/blogs/politics/2013/07/08/14194/ca-prisoners-resume-hunger-strike-to-protest-isola/

I believe you can also find info on Facebook. If you're on Instagram you can hashtag:
Cholapinup
Hungerstrike
Prisonerhungerstrike
Isupport


Quoting AlekD:

Can I get a link to this article? I want to share it on facebook.

AlekD
by Gold Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:22 AM
1 mom liked this

Theres a huge difference between being "not the Hilton" and psychological torture.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

They are in Prison not the Hilton.

Get over it.


viv212
by Gold Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Oh I very much agree about the child molestors but in CA State prisons, these type of men are put in protective custody, which means no other inmates can harm them.
Child molestors are worse than the gang members in my opinion. The gang members kill their own kind if they're child molestors.


Quoting blue123244:

murderers and child molesters can starve themselves to death for all I care - they should at least have to work and support the families they've affected till the day they die, as for others free all the ones that are in for victimless crimes like pot, etc and prostitution (should be legalized anyway), and for the rest put them somewhere  else

viv212
by Gold Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:30 AM
What do you think then of how the inmates are only allowed out of the SHU if they snitch? That's signing away your suicide IMO.

Quoting Firenygirl180:

I have a degree in law enforcement.



I did my internship in the local prison.



I was basing my response on just what i read inthe article.




Quoting viv212:

PS the inmates who are in protective custody are the "snitches", rapists, child abusers, etc.





Quoting Firenygirl180:

I don't think anyone belongs in segregation unless they are a serious threat to other inmates or the corrections officers. Just being in a gang doesn't mean you are a danger. Yes, there are things you"have" to do to be accepted, but there are members that are in them solely for protection from other inmates.

viv212
by Gold Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:33 AM
You're not alone in thinking that way. But have you done any research on what this does to the psyche of a human? And they leave you in solitary confinement for years at a time. POW also sometimes are held in solitary confinement. Being in prison can cause PTSD but being in the SHU is 100% worse to your mental health.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

They are in Prison not the Hilton.



Get over it.
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