[Pnews] CA Prisons - Prisoner Human Rights Movement Blue Print

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 31 12:19:04 EDT 2016


http://sfbayview.com/2016/05/prisoner-human-rights-movement-blue-print/


  Prisoner Human Rights Movement Blue Print

/*Overview by Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa - May 28, 2016
*/

California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation (CDCr) has 
systemic and dysfunctional problems that run rampant statewide within 
California’s prisons for both women and men which demand this California 
government to take immediate action and institute measures to effect 
genuine tangible changes throughout CDCr on all levels.

The entire state government was notified and made aware of this 
“dysfunctional” CDCr prison system in 2004 when its own governmental 
CIRP (Cooperative Institutional Research Program) blue ribbon 
commission, authorized by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, reported this 
finding and fact. (See 
http://www.immagic.com/eLibrary/ARCHIVES/GENERAL/CAGOV_US/C040600D.pdf; 
also see Prison Legal News article “California Corrections System 
Officially Declared Dysfuntional 
<https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2005/mar/15/california-corrections-system-officially-declared-dysfunctionalquot-redemption-doubtful/>.”)

However, this CDCr state of “dysfunction” was not new to the massive 
number of women, men and youth being kept warehoused in CDCr, because 
they face it daily. (See California Prison Focus News prisoner reports, 
investigation and findings, 1990s to the present; San Francisco Bay View 
articles; ROCK and PHSS newsletters etc.)

During the historic California Prisoners’ Hunger Strikes, 2011-2013, 
tens of thousands of men and women prisoners in CDCr’s solitary 
confinement torture prisons, as well as a third of the general 
population prisoners united in solidarity in a peaceful protest to 
expose this dysfunctional system officially reported in 2004 by the CIRP.

The Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM) Blue Print is essentially 
designed to deal with identifying and resolving primary contradictions 
by focusing on the various problems of CDCr’s dysfunction, including but 
not limited to the following areas:

  * The systemic problems we face on 180 and 270 designed (Level 4)
    prisons and institutions deal with all matters of chain-of-command,
    assessing staff’s performance and the “culture” of CDCr staff;
  * The prisoners’ Inmate Welfare Funds (IWF): Where are the monies
    being allocated and spent – that is, from canteen, recreation and
    entertainment, visiting, all available television channels, hobby
    craft etc.?
  * The injustices, brutality and overall human rights violations facing
    women and men prisoners.

In order to deal with these injustices, we insist on:

  * The right to document, expose and challenge abuses and violations;
  * An end to violence and brutality at the hands of prison employees;
  * An end to police brutality both inside and outside of prison; and
  * The right to be safe from retaliation and from being coerced,
    threatened and blackmailed to betray fellow prisoners with false
    accusations.

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, a PHRM principal negotiator, and his sister, 
Marie Levin, savor their first “contact visit” in 31 years with a big 
hug. Previously, like all visitors to SHU prisoners, Marie would have to 
drive for hours just to talk with her brother through thick glass on a 
telephone. So long as they are in solitary confinement – and many in 
California were there for decades – they never feel a single friendly touch.

We understand that all prisoner activists throughout CDCr have been 
harassed and threatened and have had acts of over-generalization of 
false intelligence directed at both women and men prisoners.

We must all hold strong to our mutual agreement from this point on and 
focus our time, attention and energy on causes that are mutually 
beneficial to all of us prisoners and our best interests. We can no 
longer allow CDCr to use us against each other for their benefit!

Because the reality is that we are an empowered, mighty force that can 
positively change this entire corrupt system into a system that actually 
benefits prisoners and thereby the public as a whole. And we simply 
cannot allow CDCr and CCPOA, the prison guards union, IGI (Institutional 
Gang Investigations), ISU (Investigative Service Unit), OCS (Office of 
Correctional Safety) and SSU (Service Security Unit) to continue to get 
away with their constant, progressive oppression and warehousing of tens 
of thousands of prisoners.

/Send our brother some love and light: Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, C-35671, 
SVSP C1-118, P.O. Box 1050, Soledad CA 93960. And learn more at 
//www.prisonerhumanrightsmovement.org/ 
<http://www.prisonerhumanrightsmovement.org/>/./


      The Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM) Blue Print is
      essentially designed to deal with identifying and resolving
      primary contradictions by focusing on the various problems of
      CDCr’s dysfunction.


      *Blue Print *

The declaration on protection of all persons from being subjected to 
torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment 
was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in its Resolution 
3452 (XXX) of Dec. 9, 1975. The declaration contains 12 articles, the 
first of which defines the term “torture” as:

“Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, 
is intentionally inflicted by or at the instigation of a public official 
on a person for such purposes as obtaining his or a third person’s 
information or confession, punishing him for an act he has committed or 
is suspected of having committed, or intimidating him or other persons.”


      *Prisoner Human Rights Movement*

We are beacons of collective building, while clearly understanding that 
we, the beacons, must take a protracted internal and external 
retrospective analysis of our present-day prisons’ concrete conditions 
to forge our Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM) onward into the next 
stage of development, thereby exposing California Department of 
Corruption and Repression (CDCr) and the United States prison system of 
cultural discrimination against our prisoner class.

This is why our lives must be embedded in our determined human rights 
laws, based on our constructive development of the continuous liberation 
struggle via our scientific methods and laws. Therefore, through our 
prisoner class, the concrete conditions in each prison shall be 
constructed through our Prisoner Human Rights Movement.


      *Background*

The Prisoner Human Rights Movement’s (PHRM) principle negotiators (PNs) 
are Arturo Castellanos (C17275), Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (Dewberry) 
(C35671), Todd Ashker (C58191) and George Franco (D46556), who have been 
the principle negotiators of our protracted struggle for all California 
prisoners’ rights within CDCr’s 33 prisons.

Like Sitawa and Arturo Castellanos, Todd Ashker, now called a principle 
negotiator, was one of the four “main reps” during the hunger strike 
era, 2011-2013, along with Antonio Guillen.

We have each been negotiating on behalf of all prisoners with the 
offices of CDCr Secretary J. Beard, Undersecretary S. Kernan, Director 
of Adult Institutions K. Harrington and Deputy Director R. Diaz, all 
officials of CDCr; California Attorney General’s Office; California 
federal judges; and California legislators from May 20, 2011 to the present.

The major changes within CDCr from 2011 to the present have been a 
result of prisoners’ willingness to acknowledge the PHRM and the PNs’ 
ability to navigate through the concrete conditions of our current 
environment, that is, prison. We serve the hard core interests of all 
prisoners, regardless of race or geographical location here in California.

The four of us serve all of California’s hundred thousand plus prisoners 
in all aspects of our common human rights and interests as we challenge 
all corrupt California prison employees violating and depriving us of 
our rights.


      The Prisoner Human Rights Movement’s (PHRM) principle negotiators
      (PNs) are Arturo Castellanos (C17275), Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa
      (Dewberry) (C35671), Todd Ashker (C58191) and George Franco
      (D46556), who have been the principle negotiators of our
      protracted struggle for all California prisoners’ rights within
      CDCr’s 33 prisons.

Arturo Castellanos is also a principle negotiator and former “main rep.” 
Each of the four comes from a distinct racial or geographic group – what 
CDCr calls whites, blacks and Southern and Northern Hispanics – and 
prison officials counted on controlling them by keeping them divided and 
conquered. When these three men, Sitawa, Todd and Arturo, were placed in 
adjacent cells in the Pelican Bay SHU, CDCr expected them never to talk 
to each other. But they did, eventually becoming friends and planning 
the hunger strikes and now the Blue Print to ensure continuing progress 
and no backsliding on their incredibly hard-won gains.

We are responsible for listening to the complaints of prisoners on the 
state level and assisting all PHRM Local Councils to correct the local 
corrupt prison officials by seeing to it that all PHRM LCs do effective 
monitoring, investigating and correcting the denials of all prisoners’ 
rights; improving the constructive programs and conditions; stopping the 
government’s illegal acts of retaliation, corruption and anti-prisoner 
rights culture of all general population, Ad Seg, and women’s and men’s 
prisons on all fronts.

We work closely with the various lawyers who represent Ashker v. Brown 
class plaintiffs.

The Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM) representatives are Gabriel 
Huerta, Louis Powell, Danny Troxell, Antonio Guillen, Paul Redd, Alfred 
Sandoval, Ronnie Yandell, J. Mario Perez, Y. Iyapo-I (Alexander), 
Fernando Bermudez, Frank Clement and Donald Lee Moran.

The Ashker v. Brown class plaintiffs represent all California women and 
men prisoners in CDCr to end long term solitary confinement in the state.

The Prisoners Human Rights Movement continues the struggle by taking our 
human rights issues to the United Nations (U.N.).


      *I. Monitoring reports on 33 state prisons*

The PHRM Local Councils are those representatives at the 33 California 
prisons. They work together to deal with local prisoners’ 
contradictions, for we oppose any opposition to the Agreement to End 
Hostilities. Read it here 
<https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/agreementtoendhostilities_engspan.pdf> 
in both English and Spanish.

The PHRM Local Councils seek to obtain and provide to the plaintiffs’ 
counsel (Anne Cappella, Esq., Pelican Bay Class Action Correspondence, 
Weil, Gotshal & Mangee, 201 Redwood Shores, CA 94065; Anne Butterfield 
Weills, Attorney, 499 14th St., Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612; Carol 
Strickman, Attorney, 1540 Market St, Suite 490, San Francisco, CA 94103) 
the following information:

Prison Warden: __________________; Deputy Warden: ___________________;

Prison Associate Warden of GP: __________________;

Facility Captain: _________________;

Facility Lieutenants: _____________________; __________________;

Facility Sergeants: ____________________; ___________________;

Facility Correctional Counselor I: _________________;

Facility Correctional Counselors II: _____________________; 
_______________________.

The plaintiffs’ counsel will submit the Local Councils’ prison 
monitoring issues to the principle monitors for investigative review. 
The principle monitors will then submit their reports to plaintiffs’ 
counsel for submission to the government/court.


      *II. Monitoring implementation of the Ashker v. Brown settlement
      agreement*

George Franco is the fourth of the PHRM principle negotiators. All are 
fierce defenders of the rights they starved themselves to win in the 
hunger strikes, the largest in history with 30,000 participating at the 
peak. Strong and determined, some were able to survive without eating 
anything for 60 days! Contact them and the movement by writing to 
Freedom Outreach/PHRM, Fruitvale Station, P.O. Box 7359, Oakland, CA 
94601-3023.

As stipulated under the terms of the settlement, the PHRM PNs, 
Castellanos, Jamaa (Dewberry), Ashker and Franco, will retain their 
hard-won seats at the table to regularly meet with executive CDCr prison 
officials to review the progress of the settlement agreement; to discuss 
general population (GP) programming; to review the development and 
structure of the step-down program during September 2015 through 
December 2016 for enhanced and improved programming; and to monitor 
prison conditions, inclusive of putting procedures in place to secure 
human rights.

For this stipulation to have meaningful authenticity in both the legally 
binding settlement and compliance, as well as its real, practical and 
effective impact on the concrete conditions throughout the California 
prison system, it is essential that some critical preliminary matters be 
discussed between the PHRM Local Councils and their respective cultural 
classes for men, women and GP populations and their Coalition Support 
Teams, who can then unify their collective solidarity Human Rights 
Braintrust via established hunger strike processing channels to:

 1. Establish the manner upon which the “progress” of the settlement
    will be monitored, assessed and reviewed with CDCr and determined to
    be acceptable as “progress” or non-progress utilizing the method of
    examining patterns and practices of five or more cases of the same
    independent violation.
 2. Establish the non-existence of programs at respective institutions
    and facilities, such as denial of full yard and dayroom, phone
    access etc. as well as prospective “programming,” identified as
    needed, and proposed to CDCr by Coalition-Legal Mediation Teams.
 3. Monitor and report on the functional implementation of investigating
    prison conditions and CDCr employees, holding their feet to the fire
    and letting CDCr employees know that they are not above the Ashker
    v. Brown Settlement Agreement. In addition, we shall gather all
    available information relevant to the terms of the settlement and
    for our federal due process and our human rights to be protected
    against all forms of substantial retaliation.

We will identify any CDCr, CCPOA, OCS, ISU and IGI actions not in 
compliance with the various terms of the settlement and which involve 
acts of harassment, discrimination etc. and foment, promote, manipulate 
and support CDCr, CCPOA and OCS’s long tradition of racial hostilities 
and violence.


      *III. Instituting the ‘Agreement to End Hostilities’*

There are various components to our PHRM – principle negotiators, reps, 
plaintiffs and Local Councils – who are all prisoner activists fighting 
for our human rights, yet CDCr and its employees continue to wickedly 
dehumanize us all.

It has become abundantly clear, and should be known by the various 
General Population (G.P.) mainlines, that they should continue to be 
creative. As prisoner activists, we know a few creative resourceful 
efforts that can be initiated to lay a workable plan of action. Each 
prison has varying factors and contradictions that have an adverse 
effect upon us, and we will have to factor these matters into 
consideration as we put forth the following:


      *IV. ‘Legal’ PHRM prison activism education packets*

Establish the connecting of our Five Core Demands, the Agreement to End 
Hostilities and the class action civil rights lawsuit – which affect 
solitary confinement (SHU and Ad Seg) and women and men GP mainlines – 
by first uniting like-minded women and men of all races around the 
Agreement to End Hostilities (AEH). At their respective law libraries, 
they can prepare a “Know Your Rights” educational packet.

For a model, write to Freedom Outreach/PHRM, Fruitvale Station, P.O. Box 
7359, Oakland, CA 94601-3023 and ask for Appendix No. 9(A), “*Learn to 
Protect Your Rights* <http://wp.me/P5w4hJ-j6>.” Share this awareness 
information with all California women and men prisoners throughout the 
system.

_We seek supporters from the religious community, inside and outside 
prison, educating them to the agreement and unconstitutional human 
rights violations._

Also, educate the prisoners on their legal rights to oppose CDCr’s 
Security Threat Group (STG) scheme, including their rights to refrain 
from saying, doing and/or writing anything that they do not want to, 
such as CDCr’s “journals,” part of the Step-Down Program scheme, which 
violate their constitutional rights under the state and federal 
Constitutions’ free speech clauses.


      *V. Freedom Outreach*

Freedom Outreach is the official clearinghouse for our Prisoner Human 
Rights Movement to provide our informational packets on California 
prison corruption. We shall educate each other daily, concerning our 
interests and rights to be treated like human beings throughout this 
prison system. We shall no longer tolerate being targeted and treated 
like animals.

We, the PHRM, clearly understand the importance of our family unity, 
family reconnection and rehabilitation of self.

We encourage all people to request a copy of the booklet “Prisoner Human 
Rights Movement Blue Print” from the Freedom Outreach address below and 
ask that you cover the cost for the mailing by sending $11.50 either in 
funds or the equivalent in postage stamps to: Freedom Outreach/PHRM, 
Fruitvale Station, P.O. Box 7359, Oakland, CA 94601-3023.


      *Three questions for prisoners recently released from solitary
      confinement*

The Prisoner Human Rights Movement, PHRM, poses the three questions that 
follow below to CDCr prisoners, so that we can share with the world the 
facts about the harsh treatment and sensory deprivations we personally 
experienced over five, 15 or even 30-plus years.

We seek your factual stories of life within CDCr’s control units and 
general population. We accept donated articles and artworks for Freedom 
Outreach’s book project and fundraising purposes.

We do not need any articles to exceed six single-sided typed pages per 
article. Anything longer will be rejected. All donated materials become 
the property of Freedom Outreach forthwith.

Here are the questions:

 1. What did you do to survive the horrible and dehumanizing mental and
    emotional torture over “X” years?
 2. What is your reaction to the first 30 days of your being released
    out of solitary confinement?
 3. Upon your release to the general population, were you afforded all
    of your due process, equal protection and procedural due process
    rights? Please explain whether you received them or not.


      *Resources*

The following publications are recommended reading:

  * San Francisco Bay View newspaper <http://sfbayview.com/>, 4917 Third
    St., San Francisco, CA 94124
  * The Abolitionist <https://abolitionistpaper.wordpress.com/> c/o
    Critical Resistance, 1904 Franklin St., Suite 504, Oakland, CA 94612
  * CA Prison Focus <http://www.prisons.org/>, 1904 Franklin St., Suite
    507, Oakland, CA 94612
  * PHSS News, 1904 Franklin St., Suite 507, Oakland, CA 94612
  * The Fire Inside Newsletter, 1540 Market St., Room 490, San
    Francisco, CA 94102

The following books are recommended reading:

  * “The Golden Gulag” by Ruth Wilson-Gilmore
  * “Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow” by Daniel Hunter
  * “The New Jim Crow <http://newjimcrow.com/>” by Michelle Alexander


      *Conclusion*

In July 2015, President Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to 
denounce the use of solitary confinement. Locking people up alone for 
years or decades, Obama said, “is not going to make us safer. That’s not 
going to make us stronger. And if these individuals are ultimately 
released, how are they ever going to adapt?” (See New York Times article 
“ 
<http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/opinion/solitary-confinement-is-cruel-common-and-useless.html>Solitary 
Confinement Is Cruel and Too Common 
<http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/opinion/solitary-confinement-is-cruel-common-and-useless.html?_r=0>” 
by the Editorial Board, Sept. 2, 2015).

In our statement issued on Sept. 1, 2015, marking the class action 
settlement legal victory, plaintiffs collectively stated:

“This settlement represents a monumental victory for prisoners and an 
important step toward our goal of ending solitary confinement in 
California and across the country. California’s agreement to abandon 
indeterminate SHU confinement based on gang affiliation demonstrates the 
power of unity and collective action. This victory was achieved by the 
efforts of people in prison, their families and loved ones, lawyers and 
outside supporters.

“Our movement rests on a foundation of unity: our Agreement to End 
Hostilities. It is our hope that this groundbreaking agreement to end 
the violence between the various ethnic groups in California prisons 
will inspire not only state prisoners, but also our communities on the 
street, to oppose ethnic and racial violence.

“From this foundation, the Prisoners’ Human Rights Movement is awakening 
the conscience of the nation to recognize that we are fellow human 
beings. As the recent statements of President Obama (above) and of U.S. 
Supreme Court Justice Kennedy illustrate, the nation is turning against 
solitary confinement.

“We celebrate this victory while, at the same time, we recognize that 
achieving our goal of fundamentally transforming the criminal justice 
system and stopping the practice of warehousing people in prison will be 
a protracted struggle. We are fully committed to that effort, and invite 
you to join us.” – Todd Ashker, Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, Luis Esquivel, 
George Franco, Richard Johnson, Paul Redd, Gabriel Reyes, George Ruiz, 
Danny Troxell

/To learn more, visit //Prisoner Human Rights Movement/ 
<https://prisonerhumanrightsmovement.wordpress.com/>/at 
//Prisonerhumanrightsmovement.org/ 
<https://prisonerhumanrightsmovement.wordpress.com/>/. /

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