Voices from Solitary: "There Must Never Be A Time When We Fail To Protest"

The following is a series of excerpts from letters written by a prisoner who has been in solitary confinement in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison for nearly two decades. He participated in the July hunger strike for changes to  conditions in and policies governing California’s SHUs, and resumed during the second phase of the strike in September. The […]

UN Torture Investigator Calls on Nations to End Solitary Confinement

The UN’s torture investigator, Juan Mendez, yesterday called on UN members nations to ban nearly all uses of solitary confinement in prisons, warning that is causes serious mental and physical harm and often amounts to torture. Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment, presented a written report on solitary confinement to the UN General Assembly’s […]

New Video: Charlie and Pauline Sullivan of C.U.R.E.

CURE–Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants–is an international organization that was founded in Texas in 1972, and became a national organization in 1985. Now nearly 40 years old, CURE has remained loyal to its original ideals, even as the politics of punishment brought about a shift in ideology and resources away from rehabilitation and toward retribution. […]

Voices from Solitary: "We Will Not Stop Until We Are Heard"

Yesterday, mediators who met with representatives of hunger striking prisoners in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison confirmed that the prisoners in the unit have decided to end their three-week-old strike. According to the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition, “The prisoners have cited a memo from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation […]

Federal Judge Rules 28 Years in Solitary Confinement Not "Extreme," Dismisses Silverstein Case

Thomas Silverstein, plaintiff in a potentially groundbreaking case challenging his more than 28 years of extreme solitary confinement under a “no human contact” order, has had his case dismissed by a Federal District Court judge in Denver. Silverstein’s student attorney’s at the University of Denver law school had argued that their client’s decades of utter isolation in […]

California Department of Corrections Threatens Prison Hunger Strikers, Bans Lawyers

In response to a renewed inmate hunger strike to protest conditions in the California prison system, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has taken a hard line, threatening participants with disciplinary action and banning two lawyers who represent the strikers. According to the Contra Costa Times: Prison officials are investigating the two lawyers for “alleged misconduct,” said Terry […]