Transcript: Part II of public comments on CDCR’s proposed new policies on solitary confinement – Feb. 11, 2014

Part II of V: Partial transcript of public comments CDCR’s proposed new policies on solitary confinement and prison gang or “security threat group” management. The joint informational hearing was held on Feb. 11, 2014:

Commenter #11 (17-year-old woman):
…I just want to say that I oppose of this because hearing my father say he was in the hole for six months and then the next 88 days is just really hard and all the hardship that he had to face. I just want to say I oppose.

Commenter #12 (woman):
My son’s in solitary confinement since 2009. He was reviewed to be able to have a cellmate. But the person that reviewed him said that he should have never been in there in the first place so that they agreed to give him a cellmate…There’s absolutely no reason that we as family members should not be able to have contact with our loved ones. That would be the first step of rehabilitation.

Commenter #13 (woman):
The SHU program violates the Fifth Amendment inhumane rights. Problem easily solved. Coordinate CDCR implement intense therapy programs instead of 23-hours lockdown and step-down program. Can’t do it? Contract a consultant to implement the strategies. AB 109 needs to be implemented in LA County because they’re just implementing in 9% of the cases. In Orange County, it’s a success in 60% of the cases…Instead of building jails, we should be sending that money for education and rehabilitation.

Commenter #14 (woman):
Right after the hunger strike, the Supreme Court and other courts here in California told that they should immediately start releasing prisoners from the largest industrial prison complex in the world, which also is a Wall Street and world stock enterprise. So, on Feb. 10th, which was yesterday, I read on my tablet that they went against the legislature of the Supreme Court [sic] and other courts here to say that it would be two more years. And you can look and find this on the websites. That it’ll be two more years before any more prisoners will be released and this program will be put into effect, and that’s been said to us, in the future. And we wonder how more two more years that we have to go. And my son’s been at Pelican Bay for eight years because someone else validated and put his name and said he did something when he was Tehachapi. And the person didn’t even know my son.

Commenter #15 (woman):
Thank you for having us here. I just want to say something. I remember when Governor Brown was during his campaign he say “Family visits are very important for rehabilitation and for family re-integration.” So why does CDCR ships our loved ones from one state to another state in the USA?

Commenter #16 (man):
Thank you for being the moral conscience and legal oversight committee of the CDCR torture policies. There’s been three hunger strikes to date. Two prisoners that were Mexican-American Chicanos have died as a result from medical neglect and complications from the hunger strike. All prisoners are protected by human rights law, by the Covenant Against Torture, Cruel and Demeaning Punishment and Treatment. And Mexican-Americans and African Americans both as national minorities are further protected by the United Nations Article 27 Covenant on the Civil and Political Rights of Recognized Oppressed National Minorities. And lastly, Mexican-Americans are also further protected by the 1848 treaty Guadalupe Hidalgo. President Obama has exhorted us not to talk about international law because he doesn’t want us talking about it but not to do so is form of American exceptionalism in its worst form.

Commenter #17 (woman):
Kim McGill of the Youth Justice Coalition. We wanted to remind you that the majority of the people in the SHU in Pelican, throughout the California system and at the county level in our juvenile hall and camps are young people under the age of 25. So we have several young people here who have experienced solitary confinement to talk about the impact it has on even days or weeks in solitary confinement, let alone ridiculous three years as being proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Commenter #18 (man):
Hi I’m Jesus [last name not audible]. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to hear my voice and I want to share a little experience of what I went through. I started feeling lonely. I had short visits. Shower less than three times a week. I’d fall asleep, hungry, freezing to crickets on me. No restroom. Have to use restroom on their time. Even though I’m a human being, I felt like a dog just sitting there hopelessly, waiting for the Lord to answer my prayers. No one’s perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. There’s always a solution for a problem. Thank you.

Commenter #19 (woman):
My name is Karla Fuentes. I’m with the Youth Justice Coalition, and I want to say thank you for letting me speak. A weekend to juvenile hall, I got jumped by seven girls. The outcome of that incident occurred, I was immediately thrown in solitary confinement for my “safety”. But in reality, it was a punishment for my acts of self defense. I got my menstrual cycle came out of emotional stress and I asked for sanitary tissues and received none. After three days of bleeding, I finally received my shower. That was only for 30 seconds. I took advantage of those 30 seconds. And those days just feel so far away. I had only two days left. I just wanted to wrap it up with saying I spent five days in solitary confinement, which felt like two weeks of hell, and I just want to tell you how these conditions are like.

Commenter #20 (man):
Hello, my name is Juan [last name not audible], and I’m with the Youth Justice Coalition…My friend at the age of 12, he got solitary confinement for two years because of his crime.

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