Monday, April 29, 2013

Solitary Confinement is Human-Rights abuse, according to international law

Message from Verbena of People's ARC of Eureka, CA:
Greetings and Thank You for whatever efforts you put toward ENDING Long Term Solitary Confinement. 
Talking about it with more and more people is one important step, being that people entombed behind thick concrete walls need us to recognize their humanity and answer their desperate cries for help from inside U.S. torture chambers. Their struggle is our struggle - more than many people realize.

Below are a few articles, including from the LA Times and the New York Times. 
Also, a news report, videos, a link to the entire transcript of the Legislative Hearing on Solitary Confinement from October 9, 2013, audio from the visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, and MORE!!

~Here is a VIDEO from November 8, 2013:
 Azadeh Zohrabi on CA Hunger Strikers, Solitary Confinement, and Herman Wallace

"From prison isolation to a sense of doom", published on LA TIMES front page [,0,1314281.htmlstory]
Steven Czifra, a former prisoner of Pelican Bay's isolation wing, lives with memory loss, anxiety and fear.

“Lessons From European Prisons” New York Times editorial

Here is a link to the VIDEO of the  Oct 9, 2013 Legislative Hearing on Solitary Confinement:  []

Here are links to the entire TRANSCRIPT of the Oct 9, 2013 Hearing on Solitary Confinement and some Highlights (there were many) or "take away notes" from the hearing:
* Transcript: []
* Take Away Notes: []

Here is a link to the November 2013 issue of “ROCK! Working to Extend Democracy For All”: []

Here is the audio from October 18, 2013 at UC Berkeley of Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, who came in an act of Solidarity with prisoners being tortured in CA:  There is an intro, then some powerful speakers.  At 24:25, the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike reps' statement to Mr. Mendez is read and he begins speaking. []

Statement from Hunger Strike Reps in Pelican Bay SHU to Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture: []

New Report Criticizes Use of Solitary Confinement in New Mexico Prisons and Jails: []

If you haven't already, please check out this article in British GQ magazine! It's lengthy but engaging & worthwhile!! []

and on a related topic...
“A Living Death - Life without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses”
2013-11-12 from “ACLU” []

“Jailed for Life for Stealing a $159 Jacket? 3,278 Serving Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Crimes”
2013-11-15 from “Democracy Now!” []

“8 Shocking Facts From the ACLU’s Report on Life Without Parole”
2013-11-14 from “Time” weekly newsmagazine []:
The cases documented in A Living Death are not necessarily typical, and many are the result of mandatory minimum sentencing laws, not the discretion of a judge or jury. But some of the stories of the 3,278 people the ACLU counts serving life without parole in federal prisons and the nine states that provided them with data are nonetheless shocking.
The number of U.S. prisoners who received life sentences without parole quadrupled between 1992 and 2012.
More than 18 percent of nonviolent offenders serving life without parole in the federal system are in for their first offense.
Lance Saltzman, of Florida, removed a gun from his home that belonged to an abusive stepfather who had used the weapon to threaten his mother repeatedly, he said. He was convicted of armed burglary and, due to a previous burglary conviction when he was 16, sentenced to mandatory life without parole.
In the state of Illinois, a black person is 33.25 times more likely than a white person to be sentenced to life without parole for a non-violent crime.
Clarence Aaron, a college student with no prior criminal record, was given three life-without-parole sentences for his minor role in two planned large drug deals, one of which never took place. He received longer sentences than his co-conspirators and has spent the past 20 years in prison.
Black prisoners comprise 91.4 percent of the non-violent life-without-parole population in the state of Louisiana.
Vincent Winslow was homeless when he acted as a go-between in the sale of two $10 bags of marijuana to an undercover cop. The seller was not arrested. Based on decade old drug possession conviction and unarmed burglaries committed 14 and 24 years earlier, Winslow was sentenced to life without parole.
The crimes for which people have been sentenced to life without parole (when combined with prior convictions) include stealing: small change from a parked car, a pair of socks, nine children’s videotapes, a pair of work gloves from a department store, a leaf blower, three golf clubs, chocolate chip cookies and a slice of pizza.

"Life in the Hole: Inside a Solitary Cell; A guided tour of the seven-by-eleven-foot space where inmates spend 23 hours a day"
2012-10 by Shane Bauer, Tasneem Raja, and Ben Breedlove  []:
Former hostage Shane Bauer visited this cell during his reporting trip to California's Pelican Bay State Prison. Read his investigation of solitary confinement here. Click the dots on the image below to take a tour of the cell (not reproduced here on "Political & Conscious Prisoners" website).

(Graphic by  RBG Communiversity)

"Solitary Confinement is Torture, Plain and Simple" interview with Leonard Peltier in Solitary Confinement, from "The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee" [] []:
Uploaded on Aug 10, 2011. New interview with a former guard with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Bruce Smith, produced and directed by Preston Randolph, Cactus Productions, LLC. Also visit http://[].

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