[Pnews] California Prisons - CDCR’s new con game to undermine our class action suit

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 1 10:46:08 EST 2014


    CDCR’s new con game to undermine our class action suit
    <http://sfbayview.com/2014/11/cdcrs-new-con-game-to-undermine-our-class-action-suit/>

November 29, 2014
*http://sfbayview.com/2014/11/cdcrs-new-con-game-to-undermine-our-class-action-suit/*
<http://sfbayview.com/2014/11/cdcrs-new-con-game-to-undermine-our-class-action-suit/#> 


/*by Randall ‘Sondai’ Ellis*/

In order to successfully advance in each step of CDCR’s newly enacted 
Step Down Program (SDP), prisoners are expected to fill out and complete 
a series of thought policing or brainwashing workbooks. One such 
workbook is entitled “The Con Game” and purports to elucidate for the 
prisoner via “self-directed journaling” the ways in which he either 
consciously or unconsciously is a con artist and criminal.

However, empirical evidence irrefutably proves that the true con artists 
and criminals are CDCR, the Department Review Board (DRB), Office of 
Correctional Safety (OCS), Institutional Gang Investigations (IGI), 
Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and the Classification Staff 
Representative (CSR) – and the con game they’re running is the SDP, 
replete with such old cons as “Three Card Monty,” “Smoke and Mirrors,” 
“The Bait and Switch,” word games and manipulation.

So let’s look at it. It appears that the court has issued CDCR yet 
another “save.” It has effectively permitted CDCR to undermine the class 
action lawsuit filed in Ashker v. Brown et al., CV-05796-CW, challenging 
the use of long term solitary confinement and the lack of any meaningful 
periodic review of our status towards release from said confinement, as 
was mandated – but never enforced by a court – in Toussaint v. McCarthy, 
801 F.2d 1080, 1098-1101(9th Cir. 1986).

Following the suspension of the hunger strikes, CDCR issued a series of 
memorandums that it said would effectively move it away from the current 
status-based punitive system to a more behavioral based individual 
account­ability system, where a man would be punished based on his 
individual actions and not based on this current “he said she said” 
game. That game has evolved into a mechanism whereby the so-called 
investigators fabricate so-called evidence of gang activity and 
association and membership and is based on things like “your name was 
discovered on a roster in another validated prisoner’s property” or 
whatever comes to their imagination.

The court, seeming to support the prisoners’ position in Ashker v. 
Brown, denied CDC’s motion to dismiss the suit saying that “CDCR may be 
violating prisoners’ con­stitutional rights by confining them to the SHU 
indefinitely and without offering them a meaningful way out.”


      It has effectively permitted CDCR to undermine the class action
      lawsuit filed in Ashker v. Brown et al., CV-05796-CW, challenging
      the use of long term solitary confinement and the lack of any
      meaningful periodic review of our status towards release from said
      confinement.

True to its form, CDCR released a few hostages from the SHU and set in 
motion a pilot program that it touted as a change to the current policy. 
It sold this policy to the Legislature in a series of hearings and 
informed the prison population via a series of memorandums.

CDCR claimed to be initiating case-by-case (CBC) reviews of every 
prisoner assigned to the SHU, beginning with those with the lengthiest 
validation dates, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s etc.

In the meantime CDCR began playing “Three Card Monty.” It claimed that 
as part of these reviews, the DRB would look back four years for 
evidence of “gang activity” to determine one’s placement within a given 
step in the so-called Step Down Program (SDP). The CCPOA, the guards’ 
union, threw a fit, filing a motion to intervene in the case. It claimed 
that CDCR was putting guards in danger if they released these guys.

As the process evolved, the court hinted that the new pilot program 
wasn’t a cure for the prisoners’ claims because it was only a pilot 
program, so CDCR moved to make the program permanent by enacting a rule 
change with the OAL. At the same time, CDCR set up a sanctioned 
“punishment facility” at Tehachapi, where the program is so 
dysfunctional, so disrespectful, so degrading, it is said to be even 
worse than the torturous conditions that spawned the hunger strikes at 
Pelican Bay!

Here, the DRB selects who it will subject to additional punishment by 
pl­acing him in either Step 3 or 4 under the guise of there being some 
sort of recent gang activity uncovered by the IGI or OCS – “smoke and 
mirrors.”

In a subsequent ruling, the Ashker court ruled to certify the case as a 
class action and said that anyone confined to the SHU at Pelican Bay for 
10 continuous years could adequately represent the class and anyone 
placed into the new SDP could not represent the class! So CDCR began 
relocating the named plaintiffs to the new punishment facility Step 3, 
though one or two went directly to the general population.

And wouldn’t you know it, the DRB has changed its focus. It is no longer 
reviewing those with the lengthiest validation dates. They are now 
focusing their reviews on those who have been confined to the SHU at 
Pelican Bay the longest.

So anyone who left here for whatever reason – out to court, transferred 
for medical treatment or sent to another SHU for a brief period, as 
experienced by myself – is not viewed as having been held hostage in 
Pelican Bay for 10 continuous years. Many of us were transferred to 
Corcoran SHU back in ‘99-‘00 as part of the first con game, the 
active/inactive reviews.


      CDCR set up a sanctioned “punishment facility” at Tehachapi, where
      the program is so dysfunctional, so disrespectful, so degrading,
      it is said to be even worse than the torturous conditions that
      spawned the hunger strikes at Pelican Bay!

Now all of a sudden our DRB reviews will be scheduled according to the 
date they deem you were “returned” to the PBSP SHU. So one can end up 
being in the SHU 30 to 40 years, as in my and other prisoners’ cases, as 
long as he’s transferred to another SHU before he reaches the now 
requisite 10-year continuous mark – “word games and manipulation.”

This effectively undermines the entire case, and CDCR is taking the 
“save” it’s been given by now “bait and switching” its stated procedure 
of reviewing the hostages by length of validation, to those by length of 
placement in the Pelican Bay SHU. They didn’t even bother to issue a 
memo for this latest arbitrary policy shift, proving their nefarious if 
not criminal intent.

This is nothing but a con game, a scheme to buy time so that they can 
conspire to ensure that they keep this place full of hostages. After 
all, they have a 10-year window to torture their next victims to death, 
or worse, at “the punishment facility.”

This con game must be viewed for what it really is, an ongoing and 
contin­uing conspiracy designed to keep as many hostages in the SHU as 
possible, while the guards sit back and collect exorbitant pensions in 
the name of safety and security. Who said crime doesn’t pay?


      This con game must be viewed for what it really is, an ongoing and
      contin­uing conspiracy designed to keep as many hostages in the
      SHU as possible, while the guards sit back and collect exorbitant
      pensions in the name of safety and security. Who said crime
      doesn’t pay?

In closing, Ashker v. Brown should be amended to make a claim for 
damages we suffered as a result of being subjected to these 
unconstitutional practices, which have resulted in irreparable injury to 
their victims. For more information, visit 
justiceforsondai.wordpress.com <http://justiceforsondai.wordpress.com/>.

Release the hostages!

/Send our brother some love and light: Randall ‘Sondai’ Ellis, C-68764, 
PBSP SHU D1-223, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532./

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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