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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Celebrities join prison hunger strikers in protesting isolation

LA TimesGloria Steinem, Jesse Jackson, Bonnie Raitt and Jay Leno have joined prison hunger strikers
in calling for an end to California's use of solitary confinement to control prison gang violence.

The civil rights crusaders, singer and late-night comedian are among those who signed a letter sent Monday to Gov. Jerry Brown. The letter calls isolation units "extensions of the same inhumanity practiced at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay."

The letter to Brown, to be followed by a demonstration Tuesday at the Capitol, was arranged by the National Religion Campaign Against Torture and local supporters of the prison protesters.

The organization, based in Washington, is pushing to close solitary confinement units at prisons in 13 states, viewing such isolation as torture, said Executive Director Rev. Richard Killmer.

Brown's spokesman referred a request for comment to the corrections department.

Isolation units "serve a vital role in state prisons, keeping staff and other inmates safe from the same violent gangs leading the hunger strike and terrorizing communities across California," corrections spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman said.

Other notables who signed the letter to Brown include political critic Noam Chomsky, Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman and actor Peter Coyote. continue reading...

7 comments:

jeffery eberhart said...

These people who sympathize with criminals need to work around them. They wouldn't be sympathetic anymore.

San Quentin Blog said...

LOL.. that is the funniest thing Mr. Leno said in a while.. haha. He is a funny guy.
Sean B.

inmates are scum said...

Only if they knew what these bastards have done. They rape babies, terrorize comunities,continue criminal activity behind bars. So for all that signed that petition you are scum just as the inmates are.

scott moore said...

All these pussy footing celebrities should step inside a prison yard and see what its like..

Samuel Balderas said...

I think these celebrities should go interview these inmates in their cells, WITHOUT SECURITY ESCORTS. The SHU program was put in place for a reason. Let the inmates show them the reason.

boycott Hollywood said...

These turds need to do there jobs. Which is to entertain us. There opinions do not matter. It is time to boycott Hollywood and all of the kooks who think that there uneducated opinion has any merit.

Jeff Trechter said...

All these people are right about how we shouldn't sympathize with criminals, in fact, I think solitary is too kind. Instead we should kill them in small pieces, starting with toe and finger nails, then cutting of fingers, then hands, then skinning them and hanging their bodies from poles in the prison yard, after all, they're brutal, we should be too.
Alternatively we could accept that extreme isolation is, as has been well proven, torture. It serves no purpose other than to mentally break down and hurt those people who are determined to need discipline while in prison. Instead of focusing on how horrid these people's crimes are, and how deserving of brutal punishment they are, we should instead consider both the ethics of officially sanctioning torture for ANY reason, and the practical questions of why we have such high criminality and recidivism rates in this country. SHU is not the answer to our prison problems, it's just torture.