[Pnews] CDCr must effect genuine changes in its old policies, culture and practices

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Mar 27 10:48:43 EDT 2017


http://sfbayview.com/2017/03/cdcr-must-effect-genuine-changes-in-its-old-policies-culture-and-practices/ 



  CDCr must effect genuine changes in its old policies, culture and
  practices

*/by Baridi and Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa - March 25, 2017
/*

As always, allow us to begin by paying our respects to the families who 
lost their loved ones during the historic California hunger strikes. 
Prior to the solidarity hunger strikes, the four principal negotiators, 
Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, Arturo Castellanos, George Franco and Todd 
Ashker, found ourselves locked inside Pelican Bay SHU Short Corridor. 
There we would discuss the vision of effecting genuine change in CDCr’s 
long term solitary confinement combined policies, prac­tices and 
conditions. (See our Five Core Demands 
<https://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/education/the-prisoners-demands-2/>.)

And Brutha Sitawa would continue to share the broader vision, foreseeing 
not only our tortured class being released from solitary confinement, 
but also changing the backwards direction of the California and U.S. 
governments’ new Jim Crow systems of mass incarceration.


      Prior to the solidarity hunger strikes, the four principal
      negotiators found ourselves locked inside Pelican Bay SHU Short
      Corridor. There we would discuss the vision of effecting genuine
      change in CDCr’s long term solitary confinement combined policies,
      prac­tices and conditions.

Then came the hunger strikes (2011-2013) and we saw CDCr (California 
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – the last word often not 
capitalized because it’s proved to be an empty promise) being compelled 
to start releasing some of our class members – aka DRB (Departmental 
Review Board) kickouts – out of soli­tary confinement into the general 
population. And upon our arrival out to the GP, some of us knew that 
CDCr-CCPOA guards were plotting and scheming to not only figure out a 
way to stop from having to release the rest of our class from the SHU by 
finding a way to use us as their pretextual excuse, but to begin 
re­filling those multi-million dollar SHU unit cages with the next 
generation of solitary confinement-tortured subjects.

CDCr-CCPOA guards have a long, sordid history of manipulating and 
playing prisoners against one another like pawns in the game being 
pulled on puppet strings, which is well rooted in its old ingrained 
culture, traditional patterned practices and institutional racism and 
impu­nity.


      Then came the hunger strikes (2011-2013) and we saw CDCr being
      compelled to start releasing some of our class members – aka DRB
      (Departmental Review Board) kickouts – out of soli­tary
      confinement into the general population.

Many if not most of us DRB SHU released class members refused to allow 
CDCr-CCPOA staff assigned to OCS (Office of Correctional Safety), 
SSU (Special Services Unit), ISU (Investigations Services Unit) and 
IGI (Institutional Gang Investigations) to manipulate and play us 
against each other out here so the rest of us could have the same fair, 
rightful release out to see the sun, enjoy contact visits with their 
loved ones, socialize and begin the long process of healing from years 
and decades of being tortured by CDCr-CCPOA, OCS, SSU, ISU-IGI and LEIU 
(Law Enforcement and Investigations Unit).

Shout out to all those who understand the bigger picture of our 
solidarity efforts coming out of the hunger strikes, which continue 
today as the Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM).

Unfortunately, there are some California prisoners still allowing 
themselves to allow CDCr to pull them backwards into that old CDCr way 
of thinking and behaving that allowed us to be set up to be wrongfully 
placed and kept inside CDCr’s solitary confinement torture system under 
their old “snitch, parole or die!” mass validation, indeterminate SHU, 
coerced, enhanced, interrogative debriefing mind and spirit-breaking scheme.

Whether it be what happened at New Folsom last Au­g. 12, 2015 – 
condolences extended to the family of Hugo Pinell for the loss of our 
Brutha Hugo to the old, evil, backward thinking of the past – or when it 
appears elsewhere throughout CDCr, we have to be mindful of what we 
witnessed and experienced during the solidarity hunger strikes, class 
action lawsuits, standing up against this wicked system together with 
our families, relatives and supporters who challenged and rocked CDCr 
and this state’s government to its core with our Five Core Demands, 
Agreement to End All Hostilities etc.


      Shout out to all those who understand the bigger picture of our
      solidarity efforts coming out of the hunger strikes, which
      continue today as the Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM).

And now a course has been set to demand and win back most if not all the 
rights, privileges and amenities that were wrongly taken away and denied 
to California’s incarcerated residents being warehoused on these Level 
180 and 270 institutions. We deserve fair and equal access to the state- 
and federally-funded rehabilitative programs and services, including 
access to immediate family and conjugal visits, vocational trades and 
classes, workable-skills jobs, computer literacy education etc.

Upon arriving at CDCr’s Level 180 Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) 
Facility-C general population (GP) Yard 1, which reflects a traditional 
CDCr GP for adult men, that is, Southern Mexicans, Afrikans, Northern 
Mexicans and Whites, except the other nationalities are over on Yard 2, 
along with some more Afrikans, Fresno Bulldogs and New Flowers, it was 
clear to us disciplined solidarity supporters of the Agreement to End 
Hostilities (AEH) that we had gone from one messed up, 
non-rehabilitative reality to an old traditional CDCr environment.

We even heard that certain staff had been overheard betting that “those 
guys won’t stay out here a month, certainly not six months.” And now 
they’ve come to realize that not only is this former indeterminate SHU 
class out here to stay, but we are still standing united in solidarity 
to demand and get our rights to all be treated with respect as human 
beings and provided with the same opportunities to have a parole date 
and to be released back home with our families, communities and society!

The winds of change are beginning to blow again in the direction of 
opposition to mass incarceration, rehabilitation and recidivism, as well 
as opposition to the long-term use of solitary confinement, which must 
include abuses even for short-term solitary. While much of this new 
direction for change is still in its idea and/or early stages of being 
worked out through the very same governmental branches and systems that 
have been identified as play­ing a large if not total part of causing 
the problems in the first place, it will take the courageous people, 
organizations and groups, independent of the govern­ment, to continue to 
stand in solidarity both inside and outside U.S. and California 
institutions to call for, demand and make real tangible change.

We prison activists recognize that CDCr and each of the solitary 
confine­ment housing units – SHU, Ad-Seg, Stand Alone etc. – have been 
illegally warehousing women and men prisoners for four decades. We knew 
that during the three non-violent peaceful hunger strike protests in 
2011 and 2013. And we lost some prisoner ac­tivists who paid the 
ultimate sacrifice. We shall always honor those heroes!


      We prison activists recognize that CDCr and each of the solitary
      confine­ment housing units – SHU, Ad-Seg, Stand Alone etc. – have
      been illegally warehousing women and men prisoners for four decades.

We prison activists recognize that wardens and their subordinates are 
governmental peace officers and must be held accountable to discharge 
their public service duties and responsibi­lities in a professional and 
transparent manner. To ensure governmental ac­countability and 
transparency, these peace officers working in CDCr should also have body 
cameras on their California governmental CDCr peace officers’ uniforms, 
just like the outside peace officers throughout California.

We prison activists recognize that CDCr is operating semi-general 
population and modified general populations within the prisons, thereby 
violating general popu­lation prisoners’ constitutional rights. And as 
such, we prison activists cannot fulfill the personal goals and 
objectives of rehabilitative success.

We prison activists recognize CDCr Secretary Kernan’s statement: “To 
change CDCr employees’ attitudes as he (Secretary Kernan) tries to alter 
a culture that often pits prison guards against inmates and outsiders, 
CDCr has to train and bring racial di­versity to its leadership for 
prison employees.”

/In solidarity, Baridi and Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa /

/Send our brothers some love and light: James X (Baridi) Williamson, 
D-34288, and Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (R. Dewberry), C-35671, Salinas 
Valley State Prison, Yard 1, C1-118, P.O. Box 1050, Soledad CA 93960./

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