Treat PTSD from the torture of solitary

From the March-April 2018 issue of News & Letters

Below are excerpts of a call from the representatives of the Prisoner Human Rights Movement to help treat the damage done by decades of illegal solitary confinement. For a full text, see prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com.

In the 1970s, the California Department of Correction’s and rehabilitation (CDCr) report to (then) Governor Ronald Reagan on “Revolutionary Organizations and Gangs” resulted in Reagan ordering the CDCr Director to lock up all radicals, militants, revolutionaries, and jailhouse lawyers that were considered ‘’trouble-makers.” …Conscious prisoners began to “demand” their human, constitutional and civil rights… The 1986 CDCr task force report recommended that CDCr build “Supermax” prisons for this politicized class of prisoners…

California…built its solitary confinement torture sites (in the late 1980s) designed with the malice and intent to destroy the human lives of California prisoners through…mass validation—group punishment—indeterminate Secure Housing Units (SHU) classification and enhanced “debriefing” in- terrogation….

Solitary confinement still exists in Pennsylvania

We, as California prisoners and citizens of this state, deserve to be treated for the intentional cruelty caused by state-sanctioned torture….

[J]oin us in writing, emailing, or calling Governor Brown and Secretary of CDCr Scott Kernan and Senator Holly Mitchell (oversee- ing CDCr) and demand the following government actions be taken to remedy the decades of damage done to us:

1. That CDCr provide state-wide men’s and women’s post-traumatic stress disorder from solitary confinement (PTSDSC) support groups modeled after the “Men’s’ Group” program we prepared at Salinas Valley State Prison facility C;

2. That CDCr allow all PTSDSC prisoners to go through this six-month relief program, at their respective GP locations;

3. That CDCr provide effective education and training of staff in fairly and respectfully dealing with PTSDSC class members, including in appeals, disciplinary, medical, etc. matters;

4. That CDCr adopt all recommendations in the 2017 report of the Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Lab at Stanford University, detailing the ongoing negative health consequences that Ashker class members have suffered following their release from long-term solitary confinement into the general population:

* Provide peer-facilitated support groups for all PTSDSC class members; and

* Provide independent psychiatric care for all PTSDSC class members to receive PTSDSC mental and emotional health and psychological services.

5. That Governor Brown and the California legislature order the Board of Parole Hearings to stop denying our PTSDSC class members who are serving life sentences a fair opportunity to be released home, thereby doubly punishing and torturing us because we were unlawfully kept in solitary confine- ment without Due Process and exercised our constitutionally protected right to peacefully protest/ hunger-strike to be released and refused to debrief and become their snitches. In struggle!

—Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa and Baridi J. Williamson
For Prisoner Human Rights Movement
© Dec. 1, 2017


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