The Five Demands Of California’s 30,000 Hunger Striking Prisoners

prisonersVia Prison Photography, the Pelican Bay State Prison SHU Short Corridor Collective’s statement on the demands of the protest on behalf of which many California prisoners are willing to risk death (with ending long-term solitary confinement being the most significant issue):

1. Eliminate group punishments. Instead, practice individual accountability. When an individual prisoner breaks a rule, the prison often punishes a whole group of prisoners of the same race.

2. Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. Prisoners are accused of being active or inactive participants of prison gangs using false or highly dubious evidence, and are then sent to longterm isolation (SHU).

3. Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons regarding an end to longterm solitary confinement. Some prisoners have been kept in isolation for more than thirty years.

4. Provide adequate food. Prisoners report unsanitary conditions and small quantities of food that do not conform to prison regulations.

5. Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates. The hunger strikers are pressing for opportunities “to engage in self-help treatment, education, religious and other productive activities…” Currently these opportunities are routinely denied, even if the prisoners want to pay for correspondence courses themselves. Examples of privileges the prisoners want are: one phone call per week, and permission to have sweatsuits and watch caps. (Often warm clothing is denied, though the cells can be bitterly cold.)

26 Comments on "The Five Demands Of California’s 30,000 Hunger Striking Prisoners"

  1. Jon Norris | Jul 22, 2013 at 11:25 am |

    All these demands sound reasonable to me especially considering in this country we will lock you up more often and for longer times than any other country in the world

    • Tchoutoye | Jul 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm |

      I’m afraid the demands constitute too much reason for a (state) government to handle.

      • Most of the Jails in Cali are Privatized….

        • Jin The Ninja | Jul 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm |

          but all come under the jurisdiction of US law, and the dept of corrections. interesting to also note that pelican bay is run by the california dept of corrections.

  2. um they already have it pretty good. they broke the law, they lost their rights. Maybe they shouldn’t be in gangs? I have no sympathy for criminals.

    • John Ormond | Jul 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm |

      The entire world (perhaps not within the USA) looks back at the Gulags as a massive stain on humanity, right? Well the USA has more in prison than the gulags! What about if it became illegal for people to not use monikers when commenting on the internet (not a crazy though considering events), then you’d be locked up on retrospetive violations, with no rights. shame!

      • What if, what if what if. What if you hadn’t read my post? Why would it be illegal to use a moniker or nickname? there’s areason why we have so many prisons. It’s called big business.You want lead a criminal lifetstyle, enjoy your stay, but don’t complain. US jails are gravy compared to gulags.. Bad reference on your part. SHAME!

        • John Ormond | Jul 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm |

          Read the other reply on this thread. There are bills in circulation right now trying to make monikers illegal. If you have no idea of history, and are some kind of twisted moral evangelist, then good luck not landing yourself a troll of a set of acquaintances

      • USUKBIGBLAKDIX | Jul 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

        already happening mate.,,they are currently trying to pass laws making it an offense to use anything but your real birth name on facebook,,lol,,what a bunch of cunts,,they need to get a life,,one that doesnt involve dictating to others.

    • USUKBIGBLAKDIX | Jul 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm |

      broke “the law” ,, are you a muppet?? what,,they smoke weed,, ,,that deserves solitary confinement,,bashings and little and bad food?? america has the biggest imprisioned population of any country,,you imprision ppl for almost nothing,, and then treat them like dogs?? and nthen release them,, to what,,be good citizens?? lol,, only special cases of extremely evil ppl,, should be treated babdly,,and then,,just kill those assholes,,mass murders and stuff,,but let ppl smoke their weecd or whatever drug they want,,we have laws in place to punish bad behaviour,,we dont need laws to punish personal private habbits,,thats a nanny state and a dictatorship.

    • Wow! Your self-righteousness appalls me. Are you a robot? Maybe try and learn some compassion (a basic human feeling)!

  3. InfvoCuernos | Jul 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm |

    Its so odd to me that simple concepts like treating people like humans is easy for the individual, but nearly impossible for large groups like governments. Its like we lose our common sense when we congregate. Treat people like animals and don’t be surprised when they snap and bite you first chance they get.

    • Yea, those people in Jail sure did treat others like humans when they raped, murdered, etc.

      • InfvoCuernos | Jul 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm |

        sure, and they are all guilty, and we could never find ourselves or anyone we love falsely imprisoned. Our government is so infallible that we can trust that they will always do right. In a perfect world I would be all for treating the scum as they deserve, but I have known way too many people that did not deserve the treatment that they received. Anyone that thinks prison is a club med vacation hasn’t got the first clue of what its like in there.

      • Jin The Ninja | Jul 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm |

        california is a 3-strike state, how many non-violent drug offenders are you including in your dehumanising, apologist rhetoric? the US has the largest prison pop’n on earth- and like Infvocuernos said when you de-humanise people by treating them like animals do not be surprised when they act like animals. the prison system is the biggest circus of them all.

        • Thank you. People happily forget that only a small minority of prisoners represent those incarcerated for violence against humans or property. The vast herd of state/local/federal prisoners are people who have been convicted of non violent offenses…they were not a threat to another person’s life or property…but they become lumped alongside murderers and rapists as if there were no moral difference between a series of bad checks and homicide, or as if possession of an ounce of green bud was equivalent to child molestation. This is purest horseshit…and our media outlets put in overtime sensationalizing crime to keep people forgetful of the basic truth: most of the people we enslave and imprison were never a threat to anyone…they are in prison because it is profitable to keep them there.

      • Your right, the hell with those rapists/murderers who just got caught with a joint. Once they are in jail they are guilty of whatever we want them to be guilty of, as long as we don’t have to think about anything for more than thirty seconds, right?

    • I wouldn’t exactly be innovating if I said it’s the nature of hierarchical power structures; the qualities we associate with psychopathy serve extremely well to someone interested in rising within a chain of command.

    • It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention. To paraphrase, in my opinion, expediency has been the father of all evils.

  4. emperorreagan | Jul 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm |

    The private prison industry is on a bribery binge and demands the following:

    1. Lower paid prison guards.
    2. A reduction in prison guard benefits.
    3. Guaranteed occupancy rates of 97.5%.
    4. Lowered caloric requirements for prisoners.
    5. A reduction in the requirement for space per prisoner.
    6. A reduction in environmental standards for prisons.
    7. Longer prison terms.
    8. An overall reduction in oversight.

    • InfvoCuernos | Jul 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm |

      Scary to think that private prison corporations feel they can dictate occupancy rates and length of sentences. It doesn’t get more bleak than that(unless they privatize executions, then I guess that would be worse).

  5. BuzzCoastin | Jul 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm |

    prison is a business in Der Homeland
    all of these “reforms” would eat into Prison Inc profits

    Der Homeland of the Free
    imprisons more people than ANY kuntery in the whirled
    the majority of which are minorities
    and as long as this only effects dark skinned people of the underclass
    nothing will change

  6. Helen Marie Daff | Jul 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm |

    These “demands” should be a given in an intelligent society. They shouldn’t have to go without food in order to be treated right. Thirty years in solitary confinement ! It’s not to reform people, its to lock them up for profit. The Stanford prison experiment said it all.

  7. ManwithnoCountry | Jul 23, 2013 at 3:58 am |

    Neat that it’s during Ramadan.

  8. Wait, wait! This is the wonder of the Free Market of Milton Friedman, the market will police itself! Since these are no doubt the privately owned, for profit lockups they are talking about we do not need to worry. This problem will fix itself.

    The Corporations that are running these prisons will soon just magically start correcting these problems, or at least they will correct their reports to make it look like they did. Why? Because Milton won the Nobel Prize, or some shit, and cannot be wrong.

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