California Prison hunger strike to…

California Prison hunger strike to resume

Hundreds of Security Housing Unit (SHU) Inmates in Prisons Across the State of California to Resume Hunger Strike on October 19, 2002.

Crescent City and Corcoran, Calif.-On October 19, 2002, the date of the annual “Prisoner Unity Day”, hundreds of inmates confined within the Security Housing Units at Pelican Bay and Corcoran State Prisons, and Valley State Prison for Women, will resume a hunger strike, initially begun on July 1, 2001, in protest of the unfair and arbitrary rules governing their SHU placement.

The strike had been put on hold pending the outcome of negotiations arranged by Sen. Richard Polanco, between the California Department of Corrections  (CDC) and the SHU inmates and their advocates. Currently, the CDC has since ended the negotiations and have failed to respond to repeated requests for cooperation and meaningful dialogue. The inmates pleas for fair and human treatment have gone unheeded, while even more abusive SHU regulations have been proposed. <via email from Criminal Justice Consortium>

SHU’s are the no-human-contact-allowed SuperMax prisons of California.  A convict can be put in a SHU simply by a guard saying they ‘might’ be a gang member. This can and does include being put in a SHU for nothing more than talking to a gang member in the yard. The only way out of a SHU is either when your prison term is completed or you inform. Thus, anyone released fronm a SHU back into the general population is assumed to have informed.

For hundreds of SHU prisoners to resume a hunger strike, and unquestionably face more abuse, shows just how vicious ugly and brutal their treatment is.