Protestors to Rally in Support of Prisoner Rights

Scott Weber | July 31, 2011

Organizers who say California prisoners are “tortured” in solitary confinement are planning a rally Monday to show support of inmates who spent much of July on a hunger strike over poor living conditions.

The July 1-22 strike among prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison in the San Francisco area, along with those at the Corcoran, Tehachapi and Calipatria prisons were designed to call attention to “systematic abuse and torture” in Security Housing Units at the facilities.

Chief among the strikers’ five-point list of demands was a call for an end to so-called “debriefings,” lengthy interviews prison officials used to determine an inmates’ gang status. Prisoners complained the process often resulted in inmates being labeled snitches and being targeted for violence by rivals.

They also called for an end to group punishment and administrative abuse, an end to long term solitary confinement, more nutritious food and improved recreational privileges.

“Nobody should be tortured,” said Keith James, one of the rally organizers. “They’re entombed in these boxes– window less cells, no sunlight, no music, no fresh are, maximum sensory deprivation.”

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Photo credit: SFBayview

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