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  #1  
Old 06-06-2013, 06:02 PM
azadeh azadeh is offline
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Exclamation New "Welfare Checks" Every 30 minutes at Pelican Bay SHU

Here is an important new development up at Pelican Bay. Concerned people should call CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard and/or their legislators to inquire into this outrageous new practice. We have written the following memo to some legislators:

Starting this week, correctional officers in the Security Housing Units at Pelican Bay State Prison have begun prisoner checks (counts) every half hour, 24 hours a day. Until now, the checks had occurred about once every three or four hours. This is an unprecedented escalation of prisoner checks, which is causing both prisoners and correctional officers extreme stress. Sleep deprivation was already a serious problem for SHU prisoners. They already rarely sleep well, with all the "normal" interruptions every 3 hours, with guards opening and clanging shut the doors and yelling at other guards when they do their rounds day and night.

This information comes to us from attorneys who conducted interviews with SHU prisoners on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those attorneys report that they were told about the frequent checks from prisoners and that correctional officers confirmed them. The attorneys were told by prison staff that the checks were ordered by CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard through the Office of Correctional Safety, and that the checks are to continue 24/7 until ordered to stop.

These checks are also disturbing to the officers. It disrupts their normal schedule and speeds up their days in ways that cause them to get angry and tense. Reportedly, the officers are in contact with their union about this speed-up.

The speed-ups have been confirmed by CDCR to one legislative aide, who contacted CDCR yesterday. It was described as a revised administrative segregation welfare check procedure to limit self-harm. While a 30 minute check may be appropriate for prisoners on “suicide watch,” it is wholly inappropriate for the approximately 1100 prisoners in the Pelican Bay SHU who are not on “suicide watch.” Over 500 of these prisoners have been in solitary confinement in the SHU for more than ten years. They have been placed in these solitary confinement cells based on an administrative decision by CDCR that they are affiliated with a prison gang, and not because of mental instability or the violation of a prison rule.

This practice serves no legitimate penological interest and has the potential for grave harm to prisoners and staff alike, in terms of mental suffering, stress and conflict.

Concerned people can contact Secretary Beard to ask about this new policy, express concern and seek its reversal. CDCR's Sacramento phone number is: (916) 445-7682: press "zero" to speak to an attendant.
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2013, 11:35 PM
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They are putting them under pressure and I would guess it will continue until the hunger strike is over.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:32 AM
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That is sooo eff up...that made me feel so bad n sad at the same time.. my p/p nevet tells me how the shu has affected him but he did start to mention lil things last letter now this... I feel like I need to be there more for him more than ever now... :-(... what sucks is that mail jacks everything up and I don't think I can write him every day.. I'm not that cool or interesting lol
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:44 AM
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They are putting them under pressure and I would guess it will continue until the hunger strike is over.
that's probably why they are doing it,to keep them from gathering any stores of energy and resolve they will need to carry it out.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:40 PM
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OK, I'm going to play "devil's advocate" here - if there are 1,100 men in PB SHU how is it physically possible to do a count every 30 minutes??? My math may be wrong but wouldn't that require 550 CO's per hour??

I do beleive we all need to take a look at "past history" of people posting in this forum. There could be a lot of "scaremongering" as July approaches.

On the other hand, maybe I'm just skeptical? All of a sudden this person is posting in these forums when there's only been a total of 4 postings by this person since last Nov?

I could be totally wrong here and if I am I apologize. Just be aware my friends, that is all I'm saying......

We see our "usuals" in these forums here. Just got to be careful.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:27 PM
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OK, I'm going to play "devil's advocate" here - if there are 1,100 men in PB SHU how is it physically possible to do a count every 30 minutes??? My math may be wrong but wouldn't that require 550 CO's per hour??

I do beleive we all need to take a look at "past history" of people posting in this forum. There could be a lot of "scaremongering" as July approaches.

On the other hand, maybe I'm just skeptical? All of a sudden this person is posting in these forums when there's only been a total of 4 postings by this person since last Nov?

I could be totally wrong here and if I am I apologize. Just be aware my friends, that is all I'm saying......

We see our "usuals" in these forums here. Just got to be careful.

I was actually wondering the same things around the time you posted this. I notice there has been no response here or to my question regarding contradictions in another post. I think it's important to review who is doing the posting when we respond on here. Thank you
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:04 AM
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Well, I received a letter from my man about the checks every 30 minutes. The sleep deprivation is starting to get to him but he's trying to stay strong. This is happening. I'm praying for all of our loved ones going through this
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:08 PM
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Well, I received a letter from my man about the checks every 30 minutes. The sleep deprivation is starting to get to him but he's trying to stay strong. This is happening. I'm praying for all of our loved ones going through this
She did respond in another thread.I believe the poster worked as an inmate rights advocate.
I'm Sorry this proved correct.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:38 PM
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She did respond in another thread.I believe the poster worked as an inmate rights advocate.
I'm Sorry this proved correct.
I saw that response - but it hadn't been responded to at the time. I can admit when I'm wrong though

I am very worried that these welfare checks are going on to make our loved ones sleep deprived and physically drained going into the hunger strike coming up.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:43 PM
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I understand a lot of people are worried for their loved ones.
It isn't a good sign that they are already messing with them.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:55 AM
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Default Sleep deprivation update

Both guards and prisoners complained to lawyers conducting legal visits last week about a new policy requiring prison guards to conduct “welfare checks” every 30 minutes on prisoners isolated in the prison’s Security Housing Units (SHU). Normally, prisoners in the SHU are counted every three to four hours by guards who patrol each unit, ensuring prisoners are in their cells. Each prisoner must be observed physically moving or showing skin. The frequency and method of these counts have already been challenged in a federal lawsuit, Ashker v. Brown. Experts claim the sleep deprivation caused by the counts violates prisoners’ Eighth Amendment rights. “Sleep deprivation has many significant psychological consequences, including irritability and impairment of the ability to make rational decisions,” says Dr. Terry Kupers, a clinical psychiatrist and an expert on forensic mental health. “Because of the harm it causes, sleep deprivation has been described as torture by organizations such as Amnesty International.”
The new policy has been ordered by Jeffrey Beard, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) newly appointed secretary whose Senate confirmation hearing is scheduled for June 19, 2013. The directive applies to over 1,100 prisoners who are in solitary confinement in Pelican Bay.
“Tensions were very high at Pelican Bay last week,” says Anne Weills, an attorney who is representing SHU prisoners at Pelican Bay. “The guards are on edge and upset about this new policy. Obviously the prisoners are on edge and suffering because of the sleep deprivation. But they remain resilient and deeply committed to peaceful actions to make necessary changes.”
In January, prisoners at Pelican Bay announced in an open letter to Gov. Brown that they would resume hunger strikes and include work actions to protest the conditions of their confinement. In 2011 over 12,000 prisoners in over a third of California’s 33 prisons participated in two waves of hunger strikes. The 2011 strike was called off when the CDCR promised new policies and other improvements that addressed five demands outlined by prisoners. Almost two years later, prisoners and advocates claim the CDCR’s promises have been empty, and prison conditions have worsened.
Less than a month before statewide hunger strikes are set to resume, the California Department of Corrections has instituted a new policy at Pelican Bay State Prison which has resulted in chronic sleep deprivation for prisoners in solitary confinement.

“This is torture,” says Azadeh Zohrabi of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition. “This intensified sleep deprivation adds to the long list of human rights violations endured by thousands of prisoners held in solitary for prolonged and indefinite terms, some for decades.”
Lawyers and advocates have also received demands from prisoners who plan to go on strike in San Quentin, High Desert and Corcoran State Prisons. Prisoners have been clear that the strike could be called off if Gov. Brown engaged in good faith negotiations. Brown’s office has not responded to their request.



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Originally Posted by azadeh View Post
Here is an important new development up at Pelican Bay. Concerned people should call CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard and/or their legislators to inquire into this outrageous new practice. We have written the following memo to some legislators:

Starting this week, correctional officers in the Security Housing Units at Pelican Bay State Prison have begun prisoner checks (counts) every half hour, 24 hours a day. Until now, the checks had occurred about once every three or four hours. This is an unprecedented escalation of prisoner checks, which is causing both prisoners and correctional officers extreme stress. Sleep deprivation was already a serious problem for SHU prisoners. They already rarely sleep well, with all the "normal" interruptions every 3 hours, with guards opening and clanging shut the doors and yelling at other guards when they do their rounds day and night.

This information comes to us from attorneys who conducted interviews with SHU prisoners on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those attorneys report that they were told about the frequent checks from prisoners and that correctional officers confirmed them. The attorneys were told by prison staff that the checks were ordered by CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard through the Office of Correctional Safety, and that the checks are to continue 24/7 until ordered to stop.

These checks are also disturbing to the officers. It disrupts their normal schedule and speeds up their days in ways that cause them to get angry and tense. Reportedly, the officers are in contact with their union about this speed-up.

The speed-ups have been confirmed by CDCR to one legislative aide, who contacted CDCR yesterday. It was described as a revised administrative segregation welfare check procedure to limit self-harm. While a 30 minute check may be appropriate for prisoners on “suicide watch,” it is wholly inappropriate for the approximately 1100 prisoners in the Pelican Bay SHU who are not on “suicide watch.” Over 500 of these prisoners have been in solitary confinement in the SHU for more than ten years. They have been placed in these solitary confinement cells based on an administrative decision by CDCR that they are affiliated with a prison gang, and not because of mental instability or the violation of a prison rule.

This practice serves no legitimate penological interest and has the potential for grave harm to prisoners and staff alike, in terms of mental suffering, stress and conflict.

Concerned people can contact Secretary Beard to ask about this new policy, express concern and seek its reversal. CDCR's Sacramento phone number is: (916) 445-7682: press "zero" to speak to an attendant.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:58 PM
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Sorry I'm just now seeing this. I want to clear up any confusion as to who I am since you're right, I don't post on here often. You are right to have those concerns and to question information coming from an unfamiliar source so I wanted to introduce myself.

I have family in the SHU at Corcoran and I am an activist. I recently graduated from law school and I am taking the bar exam in a couple of weeks. I wanted to become a lawyer because of all the injustices I witnessed in my 10+ years of visiting within CDCR. I am currently employed at Legal Services for Prisoners With Children. You can look up my bio on their website or do a simple google search of my name and a lot of my work will show.

I work exclusively on issues related to the SHU right now. In the past I have also advocated for women in prison and children in solitary confinement. I am also on the official Mediation Team that was assembled by the guys at Pelican Bay when they went on hunger strike in 2011 so sometimes I meet with CDCR officials at their headquarters in Sacramento on behalf of the prisoners. I am also involved in the class action lawsuit currently in federal court (Ashker v. Brown) which challenges the use of long term solitary confinement in the SHU. There are about 15 lawyers from all over the country working on this case. I also correspond with dozens of men in the SHU at Pelican Bay and Corcoran. Sometimes I'm a media spokesperson as well.

I was only posting updates on PTO because I think family members should be informed about whats going on inside and the solidarity efforts out here since we are the ones who are directly impacted. I also wanted to make myself available to answer questions if needed since I do get access to a lot of information both from the guys inside and from CDCR. Any information I ever post has been confirmed. It doesn't serve my work or my clients to post rumors. Anyway, I was just trying to be helpful. I hope this clears up the confusion.



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Originally Posted by JavisLady View Post
OK, I'm going to play "devil's advocate" here - if there are 1,100 men in PB SHU how is it physically possible to do a count every 30 minutes??? My math may be wrong but wouldn't that require 550 CO's per hour??

I do beleive we all need to take a look at "past history" of people posting in this forum. There could be a lot of "scaremongering" as July approaches.

On the other hand, maybe I'm just skeptical? All of a sudden this person is posting in these forums when there's only been a total of 4 postings by this person since last Nov?

I could be totally wrong here and if I am I apologize. Just be aware my friends, that is all I'm saying......

We see our "usuals" in these forums here. Just got to be careful.
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2013, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by azadeh View Post
Sorry I'm just now seeing this. I want to clear up any confusion as to who I am since you're right, I don't post on here often. You are right to have those concerns and to question information coming from an unfamiliar source so I wanted to introduce myself.

I have family in the SHU at Corcoran and I am an activist. I recently graduated from law school and I am taking the bar exam in a couple of weeks. I wanted to become a lawyer because of all the injustices I witnessed in my 10+ years of visiting within CDCR. I am currently employed at Legal Services for Prisoners With Children. You can look up my bio on their website or do a simple google search of my name and a lot of my work will show.

I work exclusively on issues related to the SHU right now. In the past I have also advocated for women in prison and children in solitary confinement. I am also on the official Mediation Team that was assembled by the guys at Pelican Bay when they went on hunger strike in 2011 so sometimes I meet with CDCR officials at their headquarters in Sacramento on behalf of the prisoners. I am also involved in the class action lawsuit currently in federal court (Ashker v. Brown) which challenges the use of long term solitary confinement in the SHU. There are about 15 lawyers from all over the country working on this case. I also correspond with dozens of men in the SHU at Pelican Bay and Corcoran. Sometimes I'm a media spokesperson as well.

I was only posting updates on PTO because I think family members should be informed about whats going on inside and the solidarity efforts out here since we are the ones who are directly impacted. I also wanted to make myself available to answer questions if needed since I do get access to a lot of information both from the guys inside and from CDCR. Any information I ever post has been confirmed. It doesn't serve my work or my clients to post rumors. Anyway, I was just trying to be helpful. I hope this clears up the confusion.
I understand water was shut off to a pod at Pelican Bay for a week and counting and guards commented that they just may not get water at all if they participate in the hunger strike.Since this was told to me second hand,can you look into this.If they did withhold water,it would be murder if inmate(s) should happen to die.
Thank you for your efforts!
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:08 AM
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I had received a letter from my man that the hot water was off so all they had was ice cold water, making bathing painful. I hadn't heard that they turned water off completely and would love to know if that is happening now. As for the hot water he was told that it was broken for several days and then it was suddenly fixed one morning when he woke up at 4am. He's suspicious that it was never broken and doesn't believe it could be repaired in the middle of the night. I had to write and tell him not to worry too much about why it was off now that it is back on. My last letter from him was written on the 9th
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for that info! I heard the same thing from other family members about D2. Can you tell me what pods they're in? We have legal visitors going up on Monday. I will have them ask they guys they visit as well and talk to the rest of the legal team about the best way to address the issue.

azadeh
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:24 PM
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I had received a letter from my man that the hot water was off so all they had was ice cold water, making bathing painful. I hadn't heard that they turned water off completely and would love to know if that is happening now. As for the hot water he was told that it was broken for several days and then it was suddenly fixed one morning when he woke up at 4am. He's suspicious that it was never broken and doesn't believe it could be repaired in the middle of the night. I had to write and tell him not to worry too much about why it was off now that it is back on. My last letter from him was written on the 9th
Same story here from the guy I have been writing. Cold water! (C pod)

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Old 07-13-2013, 04:24 PM
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Default Welfare checks

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Thanks for that info! I heard the same thing from other family members about D2. Can you tell me what pods they're in? We have legal visitors going up on Monday. I will have them ask they guys they visit as well and talk to the rest of the legal team about the best way to address the issue.

azadeh
I dont have a loved one in pelican bay, but why you that have LO's there don't call the THE HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE to go there and interview the inmates or the lawyers with the media.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:25 PM
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Thanks for that info! I heard the same thing from other family members about D2. Can you tell me what pods they're in? We have legal visitors going up on Monday. I will have them ask they guys they visit as well and talk to the rest of the legal team about the best way to address the issue.

azadeh
He is in C , and he speaks with the group from Prison Focus every time that they come pretty much. From what he told me it was off for about a week and all they had was ice cold water, so cold bathing and no hot water for coffee during all the sleep deprived nights either. It somehow got fixed in the middle of the night 4th of July weekend just before the strike started and he was suspicious what plumber they found to come a holiday weekend at those hours. He wakes up early, 4 or 5am, and it was back on Saturday the 6th when he got up. I just went back to check my letters to be sure of dates and such

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Old 07-14-2013, 10:01 PM
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Ladies... thanks for sharing all this info... my p/p doesn't tell me anything... only thing he mentioned is how they got pull up bars to workout weeks ago... I wanna ask him now but I'll wait till the strike is over
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:05 PM
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I dont have a loved one in pelican bay, but why you that have LO's there don't call the THE HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE to go there and interview the inmates or the lawyers with the media.

My man does speak with some advocacy groups and does not want his name published in the media. I have consulted with lawyers on his behalf and I have put him in contact with a few that he was unfamiliar with. So to answer your question many of us are already doing those things and are also utilizing PTO as a resource to share information with each other
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:38 PM
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My LO is at a different prison but is participating in the hunger strike.. I've been extremely worried about him no eating but did not realize how much harder the guys at Pelican Bay are good through. My prayers are with every one participating but special for the guys at Pelican Bay and their familys.Thank you very much for keeping us informed..
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:03 PM
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I live close to Pelican Bay and my local paper just did a 4 part story about what is going on there,until then I had never heard of SHU it hurts my heart. My daughter is in prison in Oregon. Someone escaped from Pelican Bay today he was just caught. It is inhuman to lock up people in solitary confinement for such long periods of time, I was shocked to learn this. Good luck to all who are trying to do something to right this wrong. This is America right?

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Old 07-16-2013, 07:33 AM
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I guess the guy who escaped was a minimum security inmate who was doing a 4 year sentence. That's so sad that he made that choice. My guess would be once he's found he will be doing a lot more time and living in the SHU.

I received a few letters yesterday. My man hasn't mentioned the checks or lack of hot water anymore. The most recent letter was dated the 11th though and at that point he was starting to get very drained feeling and lightheaded from not eating. He was still cracking jokes and being his usual self but I could tell how tired he is. The same energy just wasn't there. I really hope that this is over soon
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:50 AM
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I guess the guy who escaped was a minimum security inmate who was doing a 4 year sentence. That's so sad that he made that choice. My guess would be once he's found he will be doing a lot more time and living in the SHU.

I received a few letters yesterday. My man hasn't mentioned the checks or lack of hot water anymore. The most recent letter was dated the 11th though and at that point he was starting to get very drained feeling and lightheaded from not eating. He was still cracking jokes and being his usual self but I could tell how tired he is. The same energy just wasn't there. I really hope that this is over soon
We all do.I also hope it has a positive imapct.People I know are asking about what prison is like for the first time and it's me chance to educate them.
Corcoran shu is sweltering ,with recent outside temps reaching 111 and inside not only muggy but without air.
Our guys are suffering and I hate that.
I hope it's cooler at PB.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:21 AM
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Default Shu Hunger Strike

In a recent statement Bishop Richard Garcia called upon Governor Brown and Dr. Jeffrey Beard, California Secretary of Correction and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to end the overuse of solitary confinement and the various abuses committed against prisoners in the Secure Housing Units.



Bishop Richard Garcia at the recent conference of California Catholic Bishops stated that:
“We stand opposed to this treatment because it is not restorative. Placing humans in isolation in a Secure Housing Unit (SHU) has no restorative or rehabilitative purpose. International human rights standards consider more than 15 days in isolation to be torture. The world is watching California and the United States. No one affected by crime is helped when a human being is subjected to this inhumane form of punishment. It is time for change now.”
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