[Pnews] PHSS Committee to End Sleep Deprivation asks for letters about the ‘security/welfare checks’

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 26 18:09:51 EDT 2016


http://sfbayview.com/2016/05/phss-committee-to-end-sleep-deprivation-asks-for-letters-about-the-securitywelfare-checks/ 



  PHSS Committee to End Sleep Deprivation asks for letters about the
  ‘security/welfare checks’

May 26, 2016

Guards have been jarringly waking prisoners every 30 minutes on death 
row at the Central California Women’s Facility since May 2014, and in 
the Pelican Bay SHU since Aug. 2, 2015, for so-called “security/welfare 
checks.” This is serious, ongoing sleep deprivation which is torture.

These checks may also be harming people in other prisons; PB SHU and 
CCWF death row is where we have heard the most complaints. These 
“security/welfare checks” are purported to be “suicide prevention,” yet 
are being used as a blanket practice, whether prisoners are suicidal or 
not, and despite the fact that denial of sleep is devastating for the 
human mind and body.

Since late August 2015, there has been a grassroots campaign, legal 
action by prisoners and the Ashker legal team and an official complaint 
submitted to the United Nations with the aim of halting the checks. CDCr 
has ignored prisoners’ individual and group complaints and has done 
nothing about the mental and physical problems resulting from or 
exacerbated by the sleep deprivation.


      These “security/welfare checks” are purported to be “suicide
      prevention,” yet are being used as a blanket practice, whether
      prisoners are suicidal or not, and despite the fact that denial of
      sleep is devastating for the human mind and body.

In the federal lawsuit, Coleman v. Brown, regarding CDCr’s inadequate 
mental health treatment for seriously mentally ill California prisoners, 
Lindsay Hayes is the “suicide expert” and Matthew Lopes is the special 
master, charged with overseeing prison reform and compliance concerning 
care of seriously mentally ill inmates. We believe Hayes and Lopes could 
stop the “security/welfare checks,” but they have ignored that the 
checks are causing sleep deprivation torture.

If you are suffering from the “security/welfare checks,” please write 
Lindsay Hayes explaining how the checks are affecting you and what you 
think true mental health and suicide prevention would entail. Either 
send a copy of your letter to all three of the below addresses or, if it 
is easier, send one letter to the PHSS Committee and we will forward it 
to “suicide expert” Hayes and Special Master Lopes.


      If you are suffering from the “security/welfare checks,” please
      write Lindsay Hayes explaining how the checks are affecting you
      and what you think true mental health and suicide prevention would
      entail.

We understand that if you are sleep deprived, it is difficult to focus 
and write.

Organizations and individuals not in prison, please write Lindsay Hayes. 
Urge him to stop the checks. Share with him the voices of the people 
suffering from them. Find quotes from prisoners suffering the checks at 
http://tinyurl.com/zc3qbn6. The American Public Health Association’s 
letter opposing the checks is at http://wp.me/P1BB1k-27L 
<http://wp.me/P1BB1k-27L#_blank>. Read articles, expert reports and more 
at https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com 
<https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/#_blank> under the 
“Sleep Deprivation” tab.

If you are able, please send your letter to all three of the following 
addresses.

  * Lindsay M. Hayes, 40 Lantern Lane, Mansfield, MA 02048
  * Matthew A. Lopes Jr., Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC, 317 Iron
    Horse Way, Suite 301, Providence, RI 02908
  * PHSS Committee to End Sleep Deprivation, P.O. Box 5692, Eureka, CA 95502

We will work to end the sleep deprivation torture until the 
“security/welfare checks” stop. For more info, contact us at 
510-426-5322, phssreachingout at gmail.com 
<mailto:phssreachingout at gmail.com>, or our mailing address above.

Below is a survey that would be helpful to document the harm. Our 
priority right now, however, is the letters to Hayes and Lopes.


      *Security/Welfare Checks Sleep Survey *

Who we are: The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS) 
originated in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2011 to amplify the voices 
of California prisoners on hunger strike striving to achieve their five 
core human rights demands. It is made up of family members and loved 
ones, formerly incarcerated people, grassroots organizations, lawyers 
and individuals. The coalition continues to work in solidarity with 
California prisoners and their families to end the torture that is 
solitary confinement.

Why we are conducting this survey: Beginning as early as 2013, many 
prisoners throughout the California prison system – housed in SHU’s, 
AdSeg and on death row – have reported guards doing “security/welfare 
checks” every 30 minutes, 48 times a day. We’ve been told that the start 
dates of these checks have varied at different prisons. Some prisoners 
say the checks are extremely noisy and disruptive, result in denial of 
sleep, and cause harmful side effects. We wish to document what is 
occurring in the various solitary units throughout CA prisons with 
regard to “security/welfare checks.”

 1. Name of prison ____________ Since when? _______
 2. When did the “security/welfare checks” begin?
 3. How frequently do they occur? ___ /hour, ____ /day
 4. Is there a difference between the frequency at night and during the
    day? YES / NO
 5. If so, how many times an hour? day___ /hour; night ___ /hour
 6. Is this the first time they’ve occurred? YES / NO
 7. Please describe the sounds/noises. For example, what are the sounds?
    Loud? Do they echo?
 8. Please describe the behavior of guards when conducting the
    “security/welfare checks.” For example, are they quiet, noisy, take
    a long time to pass through the cells, rap their keys against the
    bars, jangle their keys, say anything?
 9. How do the checks affect your ability to sleep, such as amount of
    time you sleep, how deeply you sleep, how many times you wake up,
    how long you are awake?
10. Before the checks began, how well did you sleep and how much sleep
    did you get?
11. How do the checks affect your ability to function and perform mental
    and physical tasks?
12. How have the checks affected your mood, feelings and attitudes?
13. Has anything helped, such as the provision of ear plugs, being moved
    to a lower tier, or guard training resulting in quieter checks?
14. Have you filed complaint(s) regarding the “security/welfare checks?”
    YES / NO
15. Date complaint(s) filed? ______ Still pending? YES / NO
16. Outcome(s)?
17. Have you consulted with anyone about the checks such as an attorney?
    YES / NO
18. Outcome?
19. Do you think the checks could be done differently to be less
    disruptive to your sleep? YES / NO
20. If yes, what would you want to change?
21. Do you know if the checks have impacted other people in the area
    near you? YES / NO
22. If yes, please explain:
23. Any additional comment(s)?

We won’t identify you in our report, but we may reference anonymously 
some of your answers.

Do we have your permission to share your identifying info with the U.N. 
Special Rapporteur on Torture as part of a human rights complaint? YES / 
NO Your Name, Date, Prison, CDCr#

PHSS thanks you very much for helping us by completing this survey. 
Please send answers to: PHSS Committee to End Sleep Deprivation, P.O. 
Box 5692, Eureka CA 95502.

For more info about us, call 510-426-5322 <tel:510-426-5322#_blank> or 
visit https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/.

/If you have family or friends in a California prison, we encourage you 
to print this story and send it to them. /

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