Fwd:Take Action against prolonged solitary confinement

From: “Annette Warren Dickerson, CCR” <alerts@ccrjustice.org>
Date: July 8, 2013 2:21:03 PM EDT

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CCR Action Alert!

California Prisoners Begin Hunger Strike to Protest Prolonged Solitary Confinement

Today, prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison and other prisons throughout California began a hunger strike and work stoppage to protest conditions and confinement in Security Housing Units (SHUs). In the Pelican Bay SHU and other California SHUs, prisoners are isolated in small, windowless cells for between 22 ½  and 24 hours a day, denied telephone calls, contact visits, and vocational, recreational, and educational programs. The strike was launched after the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) failed to fulfill its promise to meet the prisoners’ core demands, including an end to indefinite, prolonged solitary confinement.

Join us to demand that the CDCR meet the demands of the Pelican Bay prisoners! Take action here.

For our supporters in California, consider joining a state-wide mobilization to Corcoran State Prison on July 13. Click here to learn more and join the mobilization. Please save the date for August 22nd for oral argument on class certification in Ashker v. Brown, our federal lawsuit on behalf of prisoners in the Pelican Bay SHU.

CCR and several advocacy and legal organizations in California filed the case last year, following two previous hunger strikes, on behalf of prisoners who have spent between 10 and 28 years in solitary confinement. In May, we moved for class certification which, if granted, will allow all SHU prisoners to benefit from the outcome of the lawsuit.

Finally, this case could not have been brought without the support of thousands of individual donors who give to CCR. Join the fight – say NO to years of arbitrary and brutal solitary confinement! Sign the petition, forward this email to friends, and make a donation today.

New York City Council Passes Landmark Community Safety Act

In late June, the New York City Council voted to pass the Community Safety Act (CSA), a landmark piece of legislation that will increase the accountability of the New York Police Department (NYPD), and strengthen protections from profiling by NYPD officers.  Since these bills were introduced over a year ago, CCR and our allies have worked hard to build up support for them and to convince the New York City Council to enact the CSA.

The two bills that passed expand the categories of communities protected from discriminatory policing tactics; establish an enforceable ban on profiling and discrimination by the NYPD; and establish an inspector general to review and report on the policies and practices of the NYPD—a common-sense and urgently needed oversight mechanism that currently exists in all major New York City agencies, as well as other large law enforcement agencies around the country, including the LAPD, the FBI, and the CIA.

Just before the vote, CCR’s Nahal Zamani wrote in the Huffington Post about the significance of this moment.  Then, with other CCR staff and allies in the Communities United for Police Reform campaign, Nahal watched in City Hall as a veto-proof majority of Council members stood up, passionately advocated for the bills, and voted to pass them.

But we’re not done yet. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will likely veto the CSA and, along with NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the police union, continue to pressure City Council members to waver. CCR will continue our work to ensure majority support for the bills and to secure enough votes to override the Mayor’s veto. New Yorkers are ready for real community safety.

Given the breadth and gravity of discriminatory policing in New York, CCR maintains our call for multiple layers of oversight. We will continue to advocate for an independent court-appointed monitor in our class action stop-and-frisk lawsuit, Floyd v. City of New York, to oversee court-ordered reforms. We see this as a necessary and complimentary role to that of the inspector general.

Thank you for your continued support.

Annette Warren Dickerson
Director of Education and Outreach


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