[Ppnews] City of Berkeley sends letter to Gov Brown to end solitary confinement

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 11 17:55:59 EDT 2013

/*September 10, 2013 - Berkeley City Council unanimously voted to send 
Governor Brown a letter about solitary confinement in our prisons. */
Well over ten thousand adult prisoners are currently being held in some 
form of solitary confinement in California prisons – 80,000 in total 
across the United States.
Among the worst form of solitary confinement is the indefinite and 
long‐term, extreme isolation of the Security Housing Units (the SHU) at 
Pelican Bay State Prison, California’s “supermax”. Locked in a 11’7” x 
7’7” windowless concrete box/cell for at least 22 ½ hours a day, day in 
day out, year after year, prisoners endure without sunlight, fresh air 
or human touch. In contrast to every other system in the United States, 
prisoners can’t even receive a phone call unless a family member has died.
Over 500 prisoners have been locked down in the Pelican Bay SHU for over 
10 years. About 80 of them have been in solitary for over 20 years and 
at least two prisoners have been isolated for over 40 years. This is a 
policy that condemns to permanent life long isolation.

Extended solitary confinement as it is practiced in California prisons 
is inhumane. Cut off from any normal human interaction, enduring sensory 
and physical deprivation, many prisoners describe their lockdown in the 
SHU as being “buried alive”. The State of California asserts that 
solitary confinement is not a form of punishment, but rather an 
“administrative assignment” to insure the safety of the prison and the 
public. These conditions of torture will not make anyone safer, or 
prepare men subjected to such dehumanizing conditioning for eventual 

We call on Governor Brown to address the inhumane conditions in 
California prisons and end the inhumane practices currently in place at 
Pelican Bay and elsewhere.
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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