Enough is enough: Pelican Bay Hunger Strike and the Abysmal Conditions in America’s prisons « Your Black World

Enough is enough:

Pelican Bay Hunger Strike and the Abysmal Conditions in America’s prisons

Originally Published on Your Black World

by David Leonard

On July 1, 2011, hundreds of prisoners initiated a hunger strike in California. While the strike began inside of the Special Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison, where human beings are locked away inside of soundproof cells for 22 1/2 hours each and every day, the strike has spread to prisons throughout the state, reaching as many as 6,600 prisoners in 13 locations. According he protest sought to “draw attention to, and to peacefully protest, twenty-five years of torture via [California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation]‘s arbitrary, illegal, and progressively more punitive policies and practices.” More specifically, the strike began as an effort to change the inhumane treatment facing prisoners in California (and elsewhere). Colorlines Magazine succinctly summarizes the demands as follows

· “End Group Punishment & Administrative Abuse” would end group punishment as a means to address an individual inmates rule violations.

· “Abolish the Debriefing Policy, and Modify Active/Inactive Gang Status Criteria” The practice of “debriefing,” or offering up information about fellow prisoners particularly regarding gang status, is often demanded in return for better food or release from the SHU. Prisoners demand the end to debriefing because it puts the safety of prisoners and their families at risk, because they are then viewed as “snitches.”

· “Comply with the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons 2006 Recommendations Regarding an End to Long-Term Solitary Confinement” Prisoners demand a more productive form of confinement in the areas of allowing inmates in SHU and Ad-Seg [Administrative Segregation] the opportunity to engage in meaningful self-help treatment, work, education, religious, and other productive activities. This demand includes access to adequate natural sunlight and health care treatment.

Continue reading at Enough is enough: Pelican Bay Hunger Strike and the Abysmal Conditions in America’s prisons « Your Black World.

One thought on “Enough is enough: Pelican Bay Hunger Strike and the Abysmal Conditions in America’s prisons « Your Black World

  1. there is a lot of misinformation being spread about the conditions inside prisons. The truth is prisoners eat better and have better medical than 90% of the world. Do you have your meals prepared with the aid of a dietician? Do you have nurses standing by 24/7 for you if anything goes wrong? Do you have a psychologist coming by your house every week to see how you are? Can you afford to go to the DR or dentist for ANY little problem? Do you have guards standing by to keep you safe at all times (even if it is from yourself)? The things I describe are usually reserved for millionaires and up.. oh yeah and prisoners. Imagine never having to work a day in your life again. Imagine meals brought to your door. Homeless people on the streets would commit crimes just to go to prison if they knew how good it is. Words like inhumane, torture, gulag, barbaric, etc.. are absolutely false when used to describe prison life. There is no such thing as solitary confinement in the SHU. Prisoners are master manipulators, and this is what it comes down to: inmates spreading false information that gullible people believe, PERIOD. There is no torture, no inhumane conditions, no solitary confinement. WAKE UP PEOPLE! oh yeah, one more thing, the cells are NOT soundproof.

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