[Pnews] Folsom prison strike manifesto and bill of rights 1970

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 5 16:05:16 EDT 2018

  Folsom prison strike manifesto and bill of rights 1970

In 1970, prisoners protesting about the brutal regime at Folsom Prison, 
went on strike for 19 days. They wrote the following manifesto and bill 
of rights in support of their action.

The following manifesto 
and bill of rights were written in 1970 by inmates at Folsom prison in 
the United States. They were formulated to support a prisoners strike.

Over 2,400 prisoners organized a strike. 
They refused to leave their cells for nineteen days, in the face of 
constant hunger, discomfort, and psychological and psychological 
intimidation. Their action was taken in protest again the overcrowded, 
racist, and brutal prison system.

The manifesto 
is overtly political, and the prisoners called for the end of injustice 
suffered by all prisoners, regardless of race, color, or creed. They 
referred to the United States prisons as ‘Fascist concentration camps’
The prisoners believed that they were treated like ‘domesticated 
animals’, selected to their bidding in slave labor, and furnished as 
personal whipping dogs for the sadistic psychopathic hate of the prison 

The manifesto included a section on the ‘unionization’ of prisoners, as 
a means to end political persecution, and enabling peaceful dissent. It 
referenced explicit abuse of powers by prison authorities, such as 
tear-gassing, locking up of dissenting inmates, shootings, and unusual 
punishments, and other brutality.

Folsom prison strike manifesto

1 We demand legal representation at the time of all (Adult Authority 
2 A change in medical staff and medical policy and procedure.
3 Adequate visiting conditions and facilities.
4 That each man presently held in the Adjustment Center be given a 
written notice with the Warden of Custody signature on it explaining the 
exact reason for his placement in the severely restrictive confines of 
the Adjustment Center.
5 An immediate end to indeterminate adjustment center terms.
6 An end to the segregation of prisoners from the mainline population 
because of their political beliefs.
7 An end to political persecution, racial persecution, and the denial of 
prisoners, to subscribe to political papers.
8 An end to the persecution and punishment of prisoners who practice the 
constitutional right of peaceful dissent.
9 An end to the tear gassing of prisoners who are locked in their cells.
10 The passing of a minimum and maximum term bill which calls for an end 
to indeterminate sentences.
11 That industries be allowed to enter the institutions and employ 
inmates to work eight hours a day and fit into the category of workers 
for scale wages.
12 That inmates be allowed to form or join labor unions.
13 That inmates be granted the right to support their own families.
14 That correctional officers be prosecuted as a matter of law for 
shooting inmates.
15 That all institutions who use inmate labor be made to conform with 
the state and federal minimum wage laws.
16 An end to trials being held on the premises of San Quentin prison.
17 An end to the escalating practice of physical brutality.
18 Appointment of three lawyers from the California Bar Association to 
provide legal assistance for inmates seeking post conviction relief.
19 Update of industry working conditions.
20 Establishment of inmate workers' insurance.
21 Establishment of unionized vocational training program comparable to 
that of the Federal Union System.
22 Annual accounting of Inmate Welfare Fund.
23 That the Adult Authority Board appointed by the governor be 
eradicated and replaced by a parole board elected by popular vote of the 
people. (24) A full time salaried board of overseers for the state prisons.
25 An immediate end to the agitation of race relations.
26 Ethnic counselors.
27 An end to the discrimination in the judgment and quota of parole for 
Black and Brown people.
28 That all prisoners be present at the time that their cells and 
property are being searched.

A bill of rights for prisoners

This composite bill of rights for prisoners has been assembled from 
various state prisoners' demands:
1. Right to organize prisoner unions.
2. Right to adequate diet, clothing and health care.
3. Right to vote and end second class citizenship.
4. Right to furloughs or institutional accommodations to maintain 
social, sexual and familial ties.
5. Right to non-censorship of mail, literature and law books.
6. Right to access to the press and media.
7. Right to procedural and substantive due process to guarantee rights.
8. Right to personality; resistance to coercive attempts by 
"correctional" staff to change behaviour thru brain surgery, electric 
stimulation of brain, aversion therapy, hormones or modification techniques.
9. Right to properly trained counsel.
10. Right to be free from racial, ethnic and sexist discrimination.
11. Right to freedom from mental and physical brutality.
12. Right to have the community come into the prison.
13. Right to have surveillance teams in prisons to monitor rights, 
protect prisoners' due process and see that they have access to their 
own files.
14. Right to make restitution in lieu of further incarceration.
15. Right to know their release date at time of entry to the prison.


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863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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