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Videos Show Abuse of Mentally Ill in California Prisons

Solitary confinement at Corcoran SHU

Videos of California prison guards pumping pepper spray into the cells of prisoners – some of whom were naked and screaming, all of whom suffer from mental illness – and then forcibly extracting them from their cells were shown at trial in a federal court room in Sacramento on Tuesday. The trial, part of a federal case […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/28/13]

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The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. •  According to the tally kept by The Miami Herald, 68 of the 166 men held captive at Guantanamo are hunger-striking, with 44 being force-fed and three hospitalized. The Guardian reports on the Senate’s […]

California Prisoners Launch New Hunger Strike to Protest Solitary Confinement

A SHU cell at Pelican Bay State Prison.

Hundreds of people held in California prisons are expected to launch their third large-scale hunger strike in two years today. The current strike, announced by leaders at Pelican Bay State Prison on February 14th, is seen as a resumption of the large-scale strikes in June and September 2011, when thousands of prisoners across the state stopped eating […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4.27.13]

solitary

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports, and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. •  The Queens Chronicle reports on efforts by activists and New York City Council Members to increase transparency and and place stricter limits on the use of solitary confinement in […]

Voices from Solitary: Parts of My Mind Did Not Survive

California State Prison, Corcoran

The following was written by Chris Yingling, reflecting upon the  three years he spent in California State Prison, Corcoran’s Security Housing unit from 1994 to 1996. He was subsequently transferred to Pelican Bay State Prison “when the Feds set up shop at Corcoran because of the gladiator fights.” The “gladiator fights” were the subject of […]

Corcoran State Prison Inmate Commits Suicide in Solitary

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Solitary Watch has recently confirmed that on August 28th,  prisoner Armando Morales (CDCR number-P80673) committed suicide by hanging in his cell at California State Prison, Corcoran. The Kings County Coroner’s office confirmed that Mr. Morales was found unresponsive at 4:41 PM in his cell by prison staff. He was found on his cell floor with a […]

Solitary Confinement Policies in California Revised Again, As Inmate Leaders Promote End to Racial Hostilities

California Security Housing Unit Cell

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has recently circulated a memo regarding the most recent revised edition of its Step Down Program (SDP) and Security Threat Group (STG) Program proposal. The revised policies come one year after a series of statewide hunger strikes by inmates in the Security Housing Units (SHU) in Pelican Bay […]

Political or Gang Activity? “New Afrikan” Inmates in Solitary Confinement

Pelican Bay SHU

Three “New Afrikan”  inmates in California Security Housing Unit’s (Pelican Bay and Corcoran State Prison’s) have recently written to Solitary Watch criticizing their continued isolation for being members of the Black Guerilla Family, the only black prison gang in California that will lead to placement in the SHU. According to Mutope Duguma (legal name James […]

Inmates in Solitary Confinement in California Respond to Prison Policy Reforms

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Prisoners in California’s Security Housing Unit (SHU) have offered their opinions of the recent reforms of the California prison system’s controversial gang validation policies. In correspondences with Solitary Watch, SHU inmates in Pelican Bay and Corcoran prisons have consistently been critical of the reforms, which among other things reform the gang validation point system and introduce […]

Families of California Prisoners Respond to Controversial Reforms of Solitary Confinement

The following is a response by  California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement (CFASC), an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the use of solitary confinement in California prisons, to the recent revision of gang validation policies. Gang validation is the primary means by which the over three thousand inmates in Security Housing Units (SHU) are […]