[Pnews] Statement of CA Prisoner Representatives on Second Anniversary of Ashker V. Brown Settlement

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 11 14:56:08 EDT 2017


Oct 14, 2017 marks the 2 year anniversary of the approval of the /Ashker 
/settlement. We celebrate our victory in the /Ashker /case, in which 
virtually all of the over 1600 prisoners then languishing 
inindeterminate SHU were released to General Population. This victory 
was achieved through 3hunger strikes and the non-violent legal and 
political action of thousands of California prisoners, their families, 
supporters,and their attorneys.

However, unfortunately our general monitoring is due to run out after 
two years unless the Court grants an extension. We believe that CDCR is 
still engaged in constitutional violations that deny prisoners due 
process and seeks to put us back in the hole, for many, indeterminately 
under the guise of Administrative SHU. Our attorneys will seek an 
extension of the agreement due to CDCR’s systemic violations of the 
constitution. We don’t know what the court will do, but we do know that 
prisoners and their families have to re-energize our human rights 
movement to fight against the continuing violations of our rights. 
Examples are:

· CDCR’s continued misuse of Confidential Information to place prisoners 
back in the SHU, particularly with bogusconspiracy charges;

· The lack of out of cell time, programming and vocational programs in 
Level 4 prisons. The last letter of CDCR stands for rehabilitation, and 
there is almost no rehab programs and opportunities in the level 4 
prisons. They function like modified SHUs;

· The denial of parole to lifers and Prop 57 prisoners who have clean 
records simply because of old, unconstitutional gang validations and 
CDCR’s illegally housing us in SHU for years;

· The turning of the Restrictive Custody General Population Unit which 
was supposed to be a GP unit where prisoners who had real safety 
concerns could transition to regular GP, into a purgatory where the only 
way out is to either debrief or die;

· CDCR promulgation of new regulations which gives the ICC discretion to 
put people back in the SHU, allows for many prisoners to be placed in 
the future in indeterminate Administrative SHU, or to be placed in the 
RCGP on phony safety concerns.

We must stand together, not only for ourselves, but for future 
generations of prisoners, so that they don’t have to go through the 
years of torture that we had to. We need all prisoners – young and old 
-to make our collective outcry public to ensure that the victory that we 
have won is not reversed by CDCR behind closed doors. Ultimately, we are 
the ones who are responsible for leading the struggle for justice and 
fair treatment of prisoners. That is why we entered into the historic 
Agreement to End Hostilities, and why it is so important that the 
prisoner class continue to stand by and support that agreement. We 
cannot allow our victories to be nullified by CDCR’s abuse of power, and 
may have to commit ourselves to non-violent peaceful struggle if CDCR 
continues on its present path.

We need everyone- prisoners, their families and the public - to send 
comments on CDCR’s proposed regulations tostaff at aol.ca.gov, send emails 
and letters urging Gov Brown to sign Assembly Bill 1308, make sure that 
prisoner complaints about unfair treatment are publicized, and to work 
together to rebuild our prisoners human rights movement.

We cannot let CDCR increase its use of prolonged solitary confinement 
either by misusing confidential information to place prisoners in SHU on 
phony conspiracy charges, or through increasing the use of 
Administrative SHU. As the Supreme Court stated over one hundred years 
ago in the 1879 case of /Wilkerson v. Utah /, it is “safe to affirm that 
punishment of torture…and all others in the same line of unnecessary 
cruelty are forbidden by that [the Eighth] Amendment.” The admired 
historian Howard Zinn noted the application of that decision to the 
modern SHU: “All we need then, is general recognition that to imprison a 
person inside a cage, to deprive that person of human companionship, of 
mother and father and wife and children and friends, to treat that 
person as a subordinate creature, to subject that person to daily 
humiliation and reminder of his or her own powerlessness in the face of 
authority… is indeed torture and thus falls within the decision of the 
Supreme Court a hundred years ago.”

Sitawa (S/N Ronnie Dewberry), Arturo Castellano, Todd Ashker, George Franco

Via CFASC - https://familyunitynetwork.org/cfasc/
Email: info at familyunitynetwork.org <mailto:info at familyunitynetwork.org>

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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