Solitary Confinement in California Prisons: What Pelican Bay Prisoners Weren’t Allowed to Say to Legislators

By: Friday February 14, 2014 2:32 pm

California permits long-term solitary confinement of prisoners. It is one of at least eight states with prison systems where a practice that is known to cause significant psychological and physical effects is acceptable.

There has been an ongoing push to end solitary confinement in the state.

 

Herman Wallace, Held in Solitary Confinement for 41 Years, Dies After Three Days of Freedom

By: Friday October 4, 2013 2:07 pm

The movement for human rights and justice mourns the loss of Herman Wallace, a former prisoner of the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola prison) who was held in solitary confinement for forty-one years before having his conviction and sentence for murder vacated by a judge this week.

Wallace was released from prison because his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law had been violated when he was convicted by a jury that no women. The judge immediately moved to have Wallace released. Only after the district court judge threatened to hold the state in contempt of court if they did not obey him and let him go free did the prison allow him to be put into an ambulance that would take him to a hospital.

Four Decades of Cruel, Degrading & Inhuman Treatment – But Herman Wallace Is Now Free

By: Wednesday October 2, 2013 5:16 pm

For over four decades, Herman Wallace (one of the Angola 3) was held in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. The facility, also known as Angola prison, denied him the right to have the reasons for his cruel confinement conditions reviewed. This took place on top of the fact that there was significant corruption in the state’s case that led to his conviction for the murder of an Angola prison guard. But now, Wallace has been set free.

Torture by Design: Saying No to the Architecture of Solitary Confinement

By: Saturday August 17, 2013 5:20 pm

Friday, August 16 marked the 40th consecutive day of a multi-ethnic statewide prisoner hunger strike initiated from inside the Security Housing Unit (SHU) of California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. When the strike first began on July 8, the ‘California Department of Corrections and Reform’ (CDCR) reported 30,000 participants statewide, which the Los Angeles Times reported “could be the largest prison protest in state history.”

Oakland Protest Supporting CA Prisoner Hunger Strike (featuring Danny Murillo, Janetta Louise Johnson and Paige Kumm)

By: Thursday August 1, 2013 7:00 pm

At lunchtime on Wednesday July 31, Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oakland hosted a protest rally in support of the CA prisoner hunger strike that began on July 8.

California Prison Officials Demonize Prisoners by Claiming Hunger Strike a Part of Gang Conspiracy

By: Tuesday July 23, 2013 3:25 pm

“We’re learning more about the large hunger strike going on behind bars of several California prisons,” a local radio station in Fresno, California reported yesterday. “State prison officials say the whole thing was orchestrated by prison gangs in order to sell drugs and make money.”

Opening the Box: Sarah Shourd on Herman Wallace, California Hunger Strikers and the Horror of Solitary Confinement

By: Sunday July 21, 2013 4:00 pm

Last month, we were devastated to learn that the Angola 3’s Herman Wallace had been diagnosed with liver cancer, and that he was continuing to be held in isolation in a locked room at Hunt Correctional Center’s prison infirmary. Reflecting on his confinement while battling cancer, Herman said: “My own body has now become a tool of torture against me.”

Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC on Compassionate Release for Herman Wallace of the Angola 3

By: Sunday July 7, 2013 5:20 pm

Yesterday Herman Wallace’s lawyer, Nick Trenticosta, was a guest on Melissa Harris-Perry’s MSNBC TV show, where he explained the seriousness of Herman Wallace’s diagnosis with liver cancer: “He’s lost about 55 pounds in four months, and he is being treated completely negligently. I would say he’s being killed through intentional neglect.”

Why Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz Must Be Released From Solitary Confinement

By: Wednesday April 24, 2013 2:00 pm

–An interview with Theresa Shoatz and Matt Meyer

This month, a 30-day action campaign was launched demanding the release of Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz from solitary confinement, where he has been held for over 23 consecutive years, and 28 of the last 30 years, in Pennsylvania prisons. On April 8, when the campaign began, Maroon’s legal team sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC), demanding his release from solitary confinement and promising litigation against the PA DOC if he is not transferred to general population by May 8.

The action campaign describes Maroon as “a former leader of the Black Panthers and the Black freedom movement, born in Philadelphia in 1943 and originally imprisoned in January 1972 for actions relating to his political involvement. With an extraordinary thirty-plus years spent in solitary confinement…Maroon’s case is one of the most shocking examples of U.S. torture of political prisoners, and one of the most egregious examples of human rights violations regarding prison conditions anywhere in the world. His ‘Maroon’ nickname is, in part, due to his continued resistance—which twice led him to escape confinement; it is also based on his continued clear analysis, including recent writings on ecology and matriarchy.”

Climate Justice Activist Tim DeChristopher on Going to Prison for Disrupting Land Auction

By: Monday April 22, 2013 3:45 pm

Climate justice activist Tim DeChristopher, who was given a two-year sentence in prison for making fake bids in a Utah public land auction that later was found to be corrupt, is finally free. He appeared on “Democracy Now!” this morning to give his first interview since being released Sunday from the halfway house where he was finishing his sentence.

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