Between the California Prisoners Hunger Strike and battles over prison spending as part of the state budget there’s been an incredible amount going on in California these past few months and I want to hold my hands up by saying I’ve not done my part in bringing you timely updates. The battles in California are in some ways a bellwether for the country. Victories against California’s prison industrial complex indicate some movement toward fiscal and moral responsibility. More to come on this.
If you’ve been overwhelmed as I have, or if you want a refresher on where we are at now as regards public information this video made by Lucas Guilkey for the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity group gets straight to the point.
Guilkey’s video shows former prisoners — who were held in solitary — and family members making their pleas to politicians to end the psychological torture, telling of their family members slowly losing their minds, and themselves succumbing to emotion and sobbing through their words.
On September 4th, following a meeting between organisers and prison officials in a small prison law library, and after 60 days of striking and one death, prisoners suspended the strike, and California legislators committed to hold public hearings.
After all the words, news articles, claims and counter-claims, Guilkey’s video cuts to the heart of the matter. The use of solitary confinement is not about public safety; and the eradication of solitary confinement is all about decent human values.