Uplifting Prisoners' Rights to Preserve Human Rights


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Struggle to End Long Term Solitary

Confinement Enters Next Phase

Representatives of the human rights movement at Pelican Bay State Prison have reviewed their relative success in obtaining real and positive reforms over the past three years with respect to the historic hunger strikes and subsequent changes in CDCR policies.  While they celebrate, on the one hand, that over 800 men who had been housed in endless solitary confinement have been released to general population to date, they are critical of the new "Security Threat Group" policy and the Step Down Program that does little to offer real rehabilitation (most of it is journaling) nor real incentives to move through the steps.  In addition, some of their key core demands and most of their supplemental demands remain unmet.  Thus, they are examining ways to promote the End of Hostilities Agreement that reaches across racial and geographical boundaries to create solidarity among all people locked in prisons.  They also seek to expand their peaceful protest movement based on nothing less than basic human rights for all people.  Read their full letter here.

On July 8, 2013, more than 30,000 prisoners went on a hunger strike in support of the five core demands of prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison.  This was the third hunger strike since July 1, 2011 in support of their efforts to end long term solitary confinement.  Their demands prompted key legislators--Assembly Public Safety Chairperson Tom Ammiano and Senate Public Safety Committee Chair Loni Hancock to propose legislation to partially meet those demands, but the bills were gutted by Governor Brown's office and failed to pass.

For further updates and background information on the hunger strikes of 2011 and 2013:  Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Blog and our Hunger Strike page. Read why prisoners participated in this protest and understand their demands.

Please sign the online petition and continue to contact state officials to demand oversight of CDCR to assure that all core prisoner demands are met. 

Our message is clear and consistent:  End long term isolation!  Meet the core demands!

Prison Focus #47 Read our latest special edition newsletter!

Inmate medical inquiry line: (916) 691-1404

Our Mission

  • California Prison Focus works to abolish the California prison system in its present condition.
  • We investigate and expose human rights abuses with the goal of ending long term isolation, medical neglect, and all forms of discrimination.
  • We are community activists, prisoners, and their families educating and inspiring the public to demand change.

What CPF does

  • We stand up strong against the cruel and torturous conditions of the California prison system, especially advocating for the immediate shut down of all SHU (Security Housing Units) cells and similar conditions of solitary confinement.
  • We publish a quarterly magazine, Prison Focus, distributed free to SHU prisoners, $6 a year to other prisoners, and $20 a year to former prisoners, their family members, activists, and friends of CPF.
  • We travel regularly to Pelican Bay and Corcoran state prisons to uncover and disseminate information on the current conditions prisoners must endure.
  • We welcome new dedicated activists and volunteers to help us continue our mission.  If you are interested in joining this important struggle, please contact us now.

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Please sign this petition

This petition urges US Secretary of State John Kerry to extend a formal invitation to Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, so that he can investigate and report on the conditions of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails.