[Ppnews] Legislative Hearing on Pelican Bay SHU Conditions to be Held In Sacramento 8/23

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 22 17:20:39 EDT 2011


For Immediate Release—August 22, 2011

Legislative Hearing on Pelican Bay SHU Conditions to be Held In Sacramento

Community Rallies to Challenge CDCR Practices

Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
<tel:510-444-0484>510-444-0484 office

South Steps of Capitol Building, 11th and N Sts, Sacramento
Tuesday August 23rd, 11:00am

Sacramento – The Prisoner Hunger Strike 
Solidarity coalition will hold a press conference 
Tuesday, August 23rd at 11:00am at the California 
Capitol Building in Sacramento where families of 
prisoners, community members and activists from 
around California will converge to rally and 
participate in a legislative hearing of the 
Public Safety Committee of the California House 
of Representatives on conditions in Secure 
Housing Units (SHU) in state prisons around 
California, including Pelican Bay. The hearing, 
initiated by State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, 
was called in response to the recent prisoner 
hunger strike initiated by prisoners in Pelican Bay’s SHU.

“This is an important opportunity for the 
California legislature and the people of 
California to hold the CA Dept. of Corrections 
and Rehabilitation (CDCR) accountable for 
upholding the basic needs and human rights of 
prisoners,” says Carol Strickman, a lawyer at 
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, “The 
hunger strike opened the eyes of many people in 
California and around the world to the 
reprehensible conditions that exist within the 
SHU and now it’s time to start making some lasting changes.”

Over the course of the last two months, thousands 
of prisoners have drawn support nationally and 
internationally in condemning conditions inside 
of California’s SHUs, including the effects of 
long-term isolation on prisoners’ health.  “Long 
term solitary confinement causes severe mental 
and physical health effects that make it nearly 
impossible for an individual to function in 
society,” says Terry Kupers a psychiatrist and 
expert witness in class action litigation on 
prison conditions. “Putting an end to this 
practice will not only reduce violence within 
prisons, but also give people a better chance to 
reintegrate into their communities when they are 
released.”  Changes to SHU conditions have 
recently been implemented in other states, including Mississippi.

Prisoners at Pelican Bay paused their hunger 
strike on July 20th, when the California 
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 
(CDCR) took minor steps towards negotiating with 
prisoners. Along with some concessions around 
demands for cold-weather clothing and educational 
opportunities, the CDCR indicated that it could 
make changes to debriefing and gang validation 
policies, as well as the practice of long term 
solitary confinement. The prisoners have stated 
that they would resume their strike if 
significant changes are not made. Dolores 
Canales, whose son participated in the strike, 
says “We are in this for the long haul and will 
continue to push the CDCR to meet the reasonable 
demands our loved ones inside.”

For more information about the rally and 
legislative hearing as well as future events, 
please visit 
<http://www.prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/>www.prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com.



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