[Ppnews] Pelican Bay SHU Inmates Respond to California’s Proposed Prisons Reforms

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 28 10:17:14 EDT 2012

Pelican Bay SHU Inmates Respond to California’s Proposed Prisons Reforms
March 27, 2012

by Sal Rodriguez

In response to reforms recently outlined by the 
California Department of Corrections and 
Rehabilitation regarding gang validation, a group 
of inmates held in Pelican Bay State Prison’s 
Security Housing Unit (SHU) submitted a “counter proposal” to prison activists.

Asserting that the CDCR “is asking law makers and 
taxpayers to allow them to continue to violate 
thousands of prisoners human rights” and that the 
current system is based on “false propaganda 
scare tactics” the inmates claim that the 
“proposed changes are not acceptable, because 
they seek to increase the use of torture units 
and do not change the manner of dealing with 
those classified as prison gang members at all.” 
Central to their rebuke of the reforms is the 
controversial debriefing process, which the 
inmates claim are “arbitrary” and “unfair.”

They describe the negative effects of solitary confinement:

     Long term solitary confinement by itself is 
an irrational, and unjustifiable instrument of 
corrections and when the state of California 
allowed the prison-industrial complex (PIC) to 
implement such sensory deprivation for over five 
(5) years, they (CDCR) have recklessly modified 
the genetic features of what are human beings 
social characteristics, and by suppressing a 
humans natural social behaviors it changes the 
thought process of targeted prisoners by removing 
objective reality. Once deprivation sets-in, the 
second signal system (subjective reality) of the 
targeted prisoners thoughts will supersede the 
first signal system, which then produces: 
Irrationalism, Cannibalism, Racism, Chauvinism, 
Terrorism, Conformism and Obscurantism
targeted prisoners of deprivation believes 
they’re no longer accountable for their behavior and actions.

Further, they write:

     Sensory deprivation has a secondary 
phenomena, which are social deprivation, cultural 
deprivation, ethical deprivation, and emotional 
deprivation. No sane targeted prisoners can 
escape this type of deprivation that comes from 
long term internment in a supermax control unit. 
The science of deprivation has been perfected by 
the handlers to operate with devastating force.

The inmates, as they have stated before, propose 
a “Max B Management Control Unit” program as used 
in San Quentin’s Max B unit decades ago. 
According to the model proposed by the inmates, 
the program would be based on a three phase “step 
program.” Inmates under this model would have 
access to greater programming and be subject to 
classification reviews every 90 days. This was 
previously noted in an Office of the Inspector 
General Report in October 2011, in which it was 
asserted, based on the experience of a former 
CDCR executive that the “Max B program would be 
considered irresponsible” given the “numerous 
inmate assaults and prison disruptions associated with the Max B model.”

It is unclear whether such disagreements may lead 
to further action by California inmates in 
solitary, particularly after the death of one 
hunger striker, Christian Gomez, at California 
State Prison, Corcoran in February.

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