Pelican Bay Hunger Strike: Lawyers Turn to Gov. Jerry Brown for Help

Categories: Health
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You won't get Starbucks in solitary confinement
Yesterday marked the first official day of the hunger strike taking place at eight prisons across the state, with as many as 4,000 inmates refusing state-issued meals. In response, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation issued a stern warning that participating inmates could be transferred to solitary confinement and lose other privileges, including time in the sun, unless they start eating again.

Today, the CDCR took it a step further, threatening to expel two mediation lawyers and ban them from prison facilities while officials investigate whether they had jeopardized the safety and security at prison facilities, according to the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity group. SF Weekly contacted the CDCR, which confirmed that some attorneys had been suspended for alleged misconduct.
Attorneys representing the prisoners are now asking Governor Jerry Brown for help. In a letter sent this morning, attorneys asked Brown to meet with them, and help usher in changes to the state's prison system, namely the "inhumane conditions" and its "unfair" gang identification policies.

"This is very worrisome, to say the least," says Carol Strickman, one of the mediation lawyers banned from CDCR facilities. "We have been receiving steady reports from prisoners of CDCR intimidation and retaliation leading up to the strike; now we have the CDCR threatening prisoners and cutting off contact with our legal team."

According to the hunger strikers, 513 of the 1,111 prisoners held at Pelican Bay have been in solitary confinement for 10 or more years, and 78 have been held for more than 20 years without access to light or open space for prolonged periods of time.

Prisoners went on strike that lasted the entire month of July until the CDCR agreed to meet their demands. The prisoners resumed the strike again this week, claiming CDCR officials have yet to substantially meet their demands, which includes better conditions for prisoners in solitary confinement.

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Jessica Serrano
Jessica Serrano

HI MY NAME IS JESSICA SERRANO GIRLFRIEND OF DANIEL MANRIQUEZ INMATE IN PELICAN BAY SHU. I WANTED TO ASK ALL FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF A LOVED ONE IN PRISON TO HELP THIS INJUSTICE END!!!  PLEASE SIGN PETITION ON CHANGE.ORG. AND MAKE GOVERNOR BROWN KEEP HIS WORD IN CHANGING THE CDC PROCESS. I ALSO WANTED TO TELL MY HONEY DANIEL THAT IM VERY PROUD OF HIM. FOR STANDING UP FOR HIS RIGHTS.  I LOVE YOU BABY YOUR NOT ALONE.

JESSICA

EMARTHA42
EMARTHA42

If anyone on here, is living in Sacramento, or if you know anyone that does live here, please contact me, or have them contact me. I need to have some people help in setting up a "Candle Light Vigil" in Sacramento!! This city is the capitol of the State, and it would be a shame, if we did not participate in the state-wide candle vigil!! So, please if you, someone you know, or you have any ideas for it, PLEASE contact me, through this Group page, my wall, my e-mail, jewelsc94@hotmail.com, as soon as you can, as it is the end of this week!!! Thank You!! 1 Love and Solidarity...... Like · · Follow Post · a few seconds ago near Sacramento, CA

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

let make myself clear on two points so I am not misunderstood - I don't support hunger strikes for there are no winners in such a strategy - the inmates suffer and the staff are put on high alert to be aware of the dynamics inside their units that can cause a disruption at a moments notice - medical staff are on standby and special search and tactical teams are put on standby or used creating a higher prison costs already outrageous in the $$$ billion dollars a year. I understand the demands and can agree to disagree on their terms for they are delivered insuch a manner it is adversary in nature as i already explained. Change has to be mutual as does good faith bargaining and respect for each other's ideas. The SHU concept can be tweeked to serve some bettter living conditions proposals but with steps and not overnight action. The population has to earn incentives and not given instant gradification or entitlement becomes the rule of the day. Incentives, clear conduct, void gang activities for at least 4 years could earn a chance in a custody reduction with the guidelines of a step down. Timely reviews  and broadened criteria for validation process can be explored and debriefing should be the prisoner's option and not hthe CDCR cutting a deal for information that might be flawed, fictional or down right untruthful to get a ride out of the SHU - this is my position that includes due process and and fair grievance system. external oversight and better staffing resources  to supervise these close supervisory units and the elimination of hte mental ill in the SHU and moved to a treatment unit.

AJ Honeylake
AJ Honeylake

Most don't know how extensive the reach of the gang leaders are. Most anti-prison activists are relatives and wives of inmates. And most of these anti-prison lawyers are too. There have been cases of inmate lawyers being related to inmates and representing their fellow gang members in court while passing on shot calls and hits through visiting. Some lawyers smuggle in drugs, cell phones and weapons by mail. One of the most common ways for inmates to get contraband is from their own attorney, hidden in their legal mail.

Example:http://www.newschannel5.com/st...

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

This matter has become a "us versus them" battle and the CDCR is determined not to give in this time around. The internal pressure to hold their ground on these demands will create pressures beyond those human beings can endure and something will break.. The governor needs to be the peacemaker and create an executive decision that will allow the CDCR to save face and the SHU prisoners an opportunity to redress the issues to the governor rather than the prison bosses who will not back down.. They have too much at stake to give in like they did the first time with the union breathing down their back and the taxpayers seeking tough on crime treatment but not understanding what it is that is at stake inside the SHU today that needs time  to make change. Perhaps good faith by the governor will settle things down. Public input only incites the problem and now is the time for California to change its ways legitimately to reduce prison costs.

AJ Honeylake
AJ Honeylake

If the lawyers and judges want the gang-infested inmates to be let out of the SHU. Fine. Let them. When they start killing people on the yard in droves, they won't be able to say we didn't warn them.

The liberal U.S. Supreme Court wants an early release for overcrowding? Fine! All of these so-called "non-violent" people are going back into your communities. You deal with 'em. Our job is inside the prison wall. Once outside, I hope you can count on protecting yourself, as us cops, both inside and outside the walls are experiencing layoffs, depsite being severely understaffed.

SF
SF

Before you judge that everyone in the SHU are gang affiliated, ask your self  who told you this.  Some politician who wanted us to feel like he was making prison and our socieity safer.  Well I know for a FACT, there are people in the SHU who don't belong there, never have, and never was gang affiliated.  If you knew the facts how they selected these so called "worst gang offenders", you would feel stupid for believing in another politician liar.

Facts:  Did you know that when they selected the inmates to be placed in the SHU that they asked snitches to supply me a list of names and they did.  These snitches were given time and priviliages for doing this.  They're was NO proof, NO offiliation, NO evidience that standed by this, but yet off they went. 

Fact:  Did you know that they hired a team of prision officials to go from prison to prison validating inmates to fill up the SHU prisions, and this was during Governor Gray Davis election year, which he was later impeached and relaced by an Actor, who didn't do any better, actually worse.

Fact:  Did you know that filling up the SHU did not prevent, reduce, or STOP gang movement in our prison system.

Fact:  Did you know Solitary Confinement Unit (SHU) was meant for desciplinary for  prisionsors who broke rules, not meant to live the rest of their life sentence there.

Fact:  Did you know the inmates in the SHU have barely any privilages right now, yet we let crazy maniacs like Charles Manson and all those sick child molesters have 10 more then these so called dangerous gang members.  These are the ones you should be worried about.

Fact:  Even gang members deserve the same prison human rights as the rest of the criminals.  Don't get me wrong, they do the crime, they should do the time and I don't think we should let them live well on our tax paying dollars, but at least equal to the rest of those criminals.

An old sane, never judge a book by it's cover.     

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

@AJHoneylake - sir, you are putting words in my mouth for nowhere have I proposed to let these inmates "out of the SHU." I am merely proposing that in order to come to a resolution [whatever that may be as I suspect the Gov will be the final say] there are steps that the CDCR can take to ensure and preserve safe and orderly environments in prison and the SHU. For example, ensure adequate staffing is in place; proper training is conducted; adequate supervisory presence; adequate resources availble; review current placement for lower custodies based on a step down program; review placement reviews and implement timely reviews to address significant risk factors both up and down the scale;

I have worked the SMU concept for over 7 years as an officer, a supervisor and an administrator - I don't believe that we should take risks for staff or other prisoners thus this process must be slow tedious and carefully planned. thank you for allowing me to express myself.

Rachel Contreras
Rachel Contreras

CDC is not above the law!!!! The thing is that most polititians are getting there pockets lined by CDC!  Browns campaign money was funded by CDC then he turned around and gave them a hugh raise and job security by not abolishing three strikes and mandatory sentencing, so unless we the public makes enough noise to get these laws changed then we will continue to get the education for our kids and vital programs cut to fund more torture and abuse THINK ABOUT IT we hold the key all we need to do is turn it!!!!!!!!! 

Rachel Contreras
Rachel Contreras

Instead of threatening inmates with more torture and abuse why dosen't the prison try and fix what is wrong, or is it it's harder to do something right than to to do something wrong? They know exactly what there doing wrong but being sadistic they don't want to make changes. As far as Brown is concerened he needs to be recalled for his lack of concern for the inhuman treatment of prisoners since regardless of there crime they are American Citizens and are covered under the eight amendment!!!!!!!

Carl Toersbijns
Carl Toersbijns

When one engages the other team, one must know what the rules are and recognize the possibility that these rules can change as it is the government that holds ultimate control of this process. There should be no surprises in this matter for its a rerun of the last one. However, it is likely the CDCR recognized its weaknesses the first round and has adapted a new technique.. the infamous rope a dope to buy time.. The referee is in their corner and on their payroll, you should have expected a variation of the first round and if you didn't shame on you for collecting your check... The CDCR dictates the rules.. The governor might trump them but that's his call..not that of the prisoners.Hunger strikes are only effective if the masses join and created a burden  [both logistical and polically] on the system. That has not happened in round two.

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