mental illness

New from Solitary Watch: “Solitary 101″ PowerPoint Presentation

Our “Solitary 101″ PowerPoint, developed for the recent Midwest Coalition for Human Rights conference on Solitary Confinement and Human Rights, is now available online. The 60-slide PowerPoint includes sections on the history of solitary confinement, solitary as it is practiced in the United States today, and the growing movement against solitary confinement.

We encourage educators and advocates to use, share, and customize the presentation according to their needs (for non-commercial purposes only, with proper attribution to Solitary Watch). No advance permission is necessary, although we will appreciate hearing about how you are using the presentation, as well as any suggestions for improvement.

Solitary Watch’s ‘Solitary 101′ Powerpoint Presentation

MOTHERS DAY, May 13th: Mothers Smashing the Prison Industrial Complex & Mothers Speaking Out for Their Children in Solitary Confinement (Hear Audio)

Mother’s Day provides an opportunity to honor and celebrate our given and chosen families.  For those of us fighting the prison industrial complex, Mother’s Day can also provide an opportunity to reflect on the ways the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) attacks and disrupts our families. 

The good news is that all over the world moms are leading the charge against the PIC.

13 Reasons to Shut Down California SHUs*

1. SHUs don’t work.

Rates of gang activity, yard violence, illegal drug sales and assaults on staff are increasing in California, while decreasing in other states. Maryland has recently closed its SHU.

2. SHUs add violence to the prison system.

The psychologically brutal and degrading conditions of long term SHU confinement encourages violence and harassment by guards and enrages inmates.

3. SHUs cause short, medium, and long term psychological breakdown and social deterioration.

SHU inmates have no physical contact with anyone for years on end and rarely are able to talk to anyone else in the prison.

4. SHUs do not serve public safety.

Inmates are often released directly from the SHU to the general public without skills that would help them survive. They are thus often less well equipped than nonSHU inmates to function in society. Staff working in SHU units have higher rates of drug use, family breakdown, and spouse/child abuse.

Why Prisoners are Protesting

Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Units Peaceful Protest Hunger Strike Starting July 1, 2011  [VIDEO below]

By James Crowford, Mutop DuGuya (a/k/a Bow Low)
It is important for readers to understand the cruelty of the policy sanctioned by the state that allows the CDCR to place men/women under an indeterminate SHU program only on the word of a prison informer—where there is no offense, no violence, nor any gang or criminal activity. Yet prisoners who are held in indeterminate SHU are held, well, indefinitely—for the rest of their lives in SHUs and Adjustment Centers across the state, and even on Death Row if validated as a gang member.

July 8 RALLY (Eureka) TO SHOW SOLIDARITY With Prisoners Hunger Strike

Prisoners in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison (Crescent City, California) will begin an indefinite hunger strike July 1, 2011 to protest the cruel and inhumane conditions of their imprisonment.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
has been found guilty of constitutional rights violations by federal courts, and its practice of long-term isolation, particularly at Pelican Bay, has been identified by human rights monitors as constituting a form of psychological torture.

The lives of the prisoners who say they are going to participate in the strike are at great risk.

 

Why a California Prisoner Hunger Strike (Starts July 1st)

CA Prisoner Hunger Strike Starts July 1st!

Pelican Bay SHU Prisoners' Formal Complaint and Final Notice

Todd Ashker, who is in the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit, has asked us to expose
THESE DOCUMENTS, Complaint and Final Notice,  in place of the one circulated at the end of March 2011 (below).

The new material is in the Final Notice. The Complaint was part of
the previous hunger strike document but Todd asked me to send it along with
the Final Notice.

The men who intend to go on hunger strike on July 1, 2011 have
collaborated on five core demands that they plan to present, along with their
"Formal Complaint" to the Governor, Secretary of Corrections, and Warden, about
30 days prior to July 1. They have expanded their demands to include
eliminating long term confinement in Security Housing Units and Administrative

My Son's Death, by Valerie Barber Dec. 2010

 In the December 17, 2010 Santa Rosa Press Democrat there was a very predictable story titled: JUDGE: SANTA ROSA POLICE JUSTIFIED IN 2008 KILLING. Wish we had a nickel everytime some version of that headline has been printed in our local press. Below is a statement (also sent as a letter to the Editor) from Jesse’s mom Valerie Barber. I’ve worked with Val for the past two years since her son’s death and she has been very generous with her time and energy reaching out to other families in similar situations. She went through the laborious process of finding an attorney and putting in the hundreds of hours it takes to build a case—a process that the local Leday and Sullivan families are now going through. Even getting the names of the officers who commit these killings is difficult and the deck is stacked big time against any sort of justice... for families left suddenly and unnecessarily without a loved one.

Days of Action Details

On Thursday, October 22nd, people all over the U.S. will be gathering in strength on what will be the 14th recognized National Day of Action Against Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation!