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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

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 (31-40):
Beebella
by Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:34 AM
1 mom liked this
Exactly! I also wish we could ship their asses off somewhere like a black hole swallows them up and sends them to hell. After the violence and terror they've inflicted upon society they i don't give 2 shits about their rights. They didnt give about anyone's right to live or to peace of mind when they shot, raped and murdered innocent people. They can starve all they want.


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.


acrogodess
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:40 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't see the problem. You are in prison as a punishment. You should want to serve your time and never want to go back. They don't want to eat? Oh, well.

terpmama
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:41 AM
My bestie's hubby works in the SHU here in Colorado. I know for us it's used for "protective custody" so suicide watches, child molesters and high profile criminals (like Jessica ridgeways' killer and the aurora theater shooter). But they aren't always completely segregated it's more of a lower ratio of inmate to guard (so indented of 1 guard per 10 inmates it's 1 guard per 3 or something)
Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:52 AM
Most people in these prisons did their own kind of torture on society so forgive me for not caring.
Quoting AlekD:

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.


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Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Jul. 9, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Comparing a POW to a Gangbanger or Rapist in Prison is disgusting.

I know what it can do. My degree is in Criminal Justice & Political Science... My original career goal was to be a Juvenile Detention Officer.

If they don't want to be in that situation then they shouldn't have raped, murdered, beaten, etc.
I approve of solitary for any violent offenders.



Quoting viv212:

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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AlekD
by Gold Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 1:02 AM
1 mom liked this

No one deserves to be tortured. I can forgive you for not caring, but I can't lie and say it isn't shocking to me.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Most people in these prisons did their own kind of torture on society so forgive me for not caring.
Quoting AlekD:

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 1:18 AM
I don't blame you.



Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Most people in these prisons did their own kind of torture on society so forgive me for not caring.
Quoting AlekD:

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 1:23 AM
I'm not comparing the people in the hole. I'm comparing the act itself of putting someone in solitary confinement.

A lot of these guys end up in the hole because its the only way to survive.

I don't blame you for having this point of view. My thinking can somewhat lean this way but then I think of my family and know I can't support this type of punishment. I can't forget where I came from so I have a softer spot for these guys.


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Comparing a POW to a Gangbanger or Rapist in Prison is disgusting.



I know what it can do. My degree is in Criminal Justice & Political Science... My original career goal was to be a Juvenile Detention Officer.



If they don't want to be in that situation then they shouldn't have raped, murdered, beaten, etc.

I approve of solitary for any violent offenders.







Quoting viv212:

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.
viv212
by Gold Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 1:28 AM
1 mom liked this
Quick question I meant to ask. If you know what solitary confinement does to people, why are you okay with doing it and then releasing the people back to society?

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Comparing a POW to a Gangbanger or Rapist in Prison is disgusting.



I know what it can do. My degree is in Criminal Justice & Political Science... My original career goal was to be a Juvenile Detention Officer.



If they don't want to be in that situation then they shouldn't have raped, murdered, beaten, etc.

I approve of solitary for any violent offenders.







Quoting viv212:

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.
paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Jul. 9, 2013 at 1:51 AM
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.

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