Solitary Confinement in California

SOURCE: Coleman v. Brown court filings

Articles:

5 things you should know about solitary confinement in California state prisons

1. There is no limit as to how long an inmate can be held in solitary confinement. Read more.

Analysis: Debriefing clause deters CA solitary confinement inmates from participating in step-down program

Inmates held in long-term solitary confinement in California are reportedly reluctant to participate in a new step-down program because they are required to “snitch” or inform investigators of any gang or criminal activities they know about when they are released back into the prison’s general population. Read more.

Analysis: CDCR’s pilot Secure Housing Unit (SHU) step-down program

In October 2012, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation launched a 2-year pilot program to test out reforms to the state’s solitary confinement policies in response to the July 2011 prison hunger strike. One of the key reforms proposed by CDCR is a step-down program to allow Secure Housing Unit (SHU) inmates to “earn their way” out of solitary confinement. Read more.

Analysis: CDCR’s revised gang validation or “Security Threat Group” classification system
In October 2012, CDCR launched a 2-year pilot program revamping the gang validation criteria in response to the hunger strikes.According to CDCR officials, the new policy would shift focus from an inmate’s alleged association or identification with a gang to whether the inmate’s actions have ties to gang activities. Read more.

50% of solitary confinement inmates reviewed under CDCR’s pilot program are recommended for release to general population

More than half of the solitary confinement inmates reviewed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since October have been recommended for release to the general population, raising concerns about the fairness of the state’s past gang validation policies and the practice of holding “gang associates” in isolation for years. Read more.

CA prison official offers muddled response on whether participation in a peaceful hunger strike would prolong detention of inmates in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay

Officials from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation offered muddled responses as to whether participation in a peaceful hunger strike would qualify as a “Security Threat Group” (STG) violation that would prolong the detention of inmates in solitary confinement. Read more.

Pelican Bay solitary confinement inmates threaten to resume hunger strike in July

Inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison are threatening to resume their hunger strike on July 8th unless California prison officials meet their demands to improve conditions in the Secure Housing Units [SHU], end indeterminate solitary confinement, and reform the gang validation process. Read more.

Transcripts: