Invitation to meeting on solitary confinement in CA prisons with
Juan Mendez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture
California holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other state or country on earth. In 2012, over three hundred prisoners submitted a Petition to Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, alleging that their conditions of confinement violate the United Nations Convention Against Torture. In response to the prisoners’ Petition, Mendez requested that the US State Department authorize him to visit prisons in California. That request remains pending before the State Department.
Nevertheless, during the 2013 hunger strike, Juan Mendez granted the prisoners’ request to visit California and meet with prisoners’ family members and advocates to learn more about solitary confinement in California, and to share his views on how solitary confinement may violate the international human rights obligations of the United States. Please join us for this important meeting with Juan Mendez.
Date: Friday October 18, 2013, 9:30 am to 11:30am
Place: Immanuel Presbyterian Church
3300 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90010
Parking: UTLA Headquarters, 3303 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010 (across street from the church)
Thousands of prisoners are serving what are effectively indefinite sentences in solitary confinement inCalifornia based solely on alleged association or membership in a gang. No illegal or harmful conduct is required. Thousands more are in solitary confinement for minor infractions not involving the security of the prisons or the safety of its prisoners, visitors, or staff.
The evidence of gang association can be as trivial as who signed their birthday card, what books they read, or the art they draw. There is no trial, no rules of evidence, and no impartial hearing officer.
Concrete windowless cells are less than 8’ x 12’. Prisoners spend about 23 hours a day in these cells.They are only touched when shackled. They never feel the sun or breath fresh air.
Sponsors include California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity, and the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.