Public Intervention Can Prevent A Prisoner's Death or Further Injury


Spread the Word:



A source with access to the medical condition of the hunger strikers, who asked to remain anonymous told lawyers with the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition that health of the prisoners on hunger strike is quickly and severely deteriorating, saying, “All of the medical staff has been ordered to work overtime to follow and treat the hunger strikers. Some [strikers] are in renal failure and have been unable to make urine for three days.  Some are having measured blood sugars in the 30 range, which can be fatal if not treated. The staff has taken them to the [prison hospital] and given them intravenous glucose when allowed by the prisoners. A few have tried to sip water but are so sick that they are vomiting it back up.” 
















On July 1st, 2011,  prisoners in the Secure Housing Unit in Pelican Bay State Prison, Crescent City, CA went on indefinite hunger strike to protest conditions that have been  characterized by the United Nations as "inhumane and degrading". Throughout the week they have been joined by thousands of prisoners in at least a third of the state's prisons. The actions of these California prisoners are part of a long international history of resistance to the use of prisons as a solution to social problems, most recently the prison strikes in both Georgia and Youngstown, OH.
  

  
What are the prisoner demands? 
1. An End to Group Punishment and Administrative Abuse 
2. Abolish the Debriefing* Policy, 
     and Modify Active/Inactive Gang Status Criteria  
3. Comply with Commission on Safety and Abuse 
     in America's Prisons 2006 Recommendations Regarding     

     an 
End to Long-Term Solitary Confinement  

4. Provide Adequate Food   
5. Expand and Provide Constructive Programming 
     and Privileges for Indefinite SHU Status Inmates.  
  
From the call by prisoners in Pelican Bay 
for a hunger strike: 
“The purpose of the Hunger Strike is to combat both the Ad-Seg/SHU psychological and physical torture, as well 
as the justifications used of support treatment of the type that lends to prisoners being subjected to a civil death. 
Those subjected to indeterminate SHU programs are neglected and deprived of the basic human necessities 
while withering away in a very isolated and hostile environment.”  - Mutope Duguma  
  
What is the Security Housing Unit (SHU)? 
The Security Housing Unit (SHU) is a prison-within-a-prison. SHU prisoners are kept in windowless, 6 by 10 foot 
cells, 231⁄2 hours a day, for years at a time and conditions in American SHUs are routinely the target of 
international human rights campaigns. The California Department of Corrections operates four Security Housing 
Units in its system. Pelican Bay, Corcoran, California Correctional Institution, and Valley State Prison for 

Women .  
  
Who is Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity? 
When the prisoners at Pelican Bay decided to go on hunger strike, they built into their organizing a call for the 
creation of a committee outside the prison walls with specific asks around messaging, actions and other kinds of 
support.  
  
[snip]

Visit our blog http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com to get more information about the strike, the 
demands and conditions inside the SHU as well as notices about upcoming events and action items. 

  
* The practice of “debriefing,” or offering up information about fellow prisoners particularly in regard to gang status, is often 
demanded in return for better food or even release from the SHU. Debriefing puts the safety of prisoners and their families 
at risk, because they are then viewed as “snitches.” 




The above is from 
"Pelican Bay Prisoners to Hunger Strike July 1st, 2011" 
view or download (PDF) or (HTML)





In may of this year the US Supreme Court (by no means liberal or lenient) -- ordered California to reduce its prison population -- so horrendous were the medical conditions, and so poor was the likelihood medical staff would be retained --
BROWN, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL. v. PLATA ET AL. 

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS FOR THE EASTERN AND NORTHERN DISTRICTS OF CALIFORNIA 
No. 09–1233. Argued November 30, 2010—Decided May 23, 2011 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--July 12, 2011 
  
Medical Conditions Reach Crisis in Pelican Bay Hunger Strike 
 Advocates Demand Access to Strike Leaders, Negotiations 

 Press Contact:  Isaac Ontiveros, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity    
Office:  510 444 0484    
Cell:     510 517 6612   
What: Press Conference  
When: Wednesday, July 13; 11:00am  
Where: San Francisco California State Building, at Van Ness Ave. and McAllister Street    

Oakland—According to advocates working on behalf of prisoners on hunger strike at Pelican Bay State 
Prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU), medical conditions for many strikers have deteriorated to critical 
levels, with fears some prisoner could start to die if immediate action isn’t taken.  Prisoners at Pelican Bay 
have been on hunger strike for nearly two weeks and have been joined by thousands of other prisoners 
throughout California’s vast prison system.  Some of their main demands revolve around health conditions in 
Pelican bay’s Security Housing Unit, while the entire California prison system is under federal receivership 
due to grave health conditions throughout its facilities.   

A source with access to the medical condition of the hunger strikers, who asked to remain anonymous told lawyers with the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition that health of the prisoners on hunger strike is quickly and severely deteriorating, saying, “All of the medical staff has been ordered to work overtime to follow and treat the hunger strikers. Some [strikers] are in renal failure and have been unable to make urine for three days.  Some are having measured blood sugars in the 30 range, which can be fatal if not treated. The staff has taken them to the [prison hospital] and given them intravenous glucose when allowed by the prisoners. A few have tried to sip water but are so sick that they are vomiting it back up.”     

Prisoners participation in the strike in other prisons in California have also reported that medications, 
including those for high blood pressure and other serious conditions, are being withheld from prisoners on 
strike.  Some prisoners have participated for limited periods of time or have joined other prisoners in 
“rolling” strikes, due to their already poor medical conditions.   

“This situation is grave and urgent,” says Carol Strickman, staff attorney for Legal Services for Prisoners 
with Children and a legal representative of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition. “We are fighting 
to prevent a lot of deaths at Pelican Bay. The CDCR [California Department of Corrections and 
Rehabilitation] needs to negotiate with these prisoners, and honor the request of the strike leaders to have 
access to outside mediators to ensure that any negotiations are in good faith.”   

The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition is urging journalists to do further investigation into the health conditions at Pelican Bay, while also pushing state politicians to visit the prison itself.  The coalition is also encouraging members of the public to pressure Gov. Brown and the CDCR to negotiate with the prisoners. Taeva Shefler of the Prison Activist Resource Center, another member of the solidarity coalition says, “The question for the CDCR is: will they continue to jeopardize prisoners’ health and safety rather than sit at the same table and talk?”  

Hunger strike supporters will hold an emergency press conference Wednesday at 11:00 am outside the State 
Building in San Francisco. Supporters, including family members of those held at Pelican Bay, will also 
continue to hold rallies and other events in the coming weeks.    

For information on upcoming events, visit www.prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com  




No comments:

Post a Comment