Target: California’s Pelican Bay State Prison Facility.
Goal: Demand that the prison change the conditions of solitary confinement and bring an end to its harmful, and sometimes fatal, impact on the inmates.
A recent hunger strike has broken out in the Pelican State Bay Prison located in California. The strike is an effort to end the awful conditions prisoners experience in solitary confinement. Such a movement should not be ignored, especially considering the success of this strike even though the prisoners have essentially no way to communicate with one another.
In addition to the inmates of the solitary confinement regions of Pelican Bay, the rest of the prisoners are showing their support by participating in the hunger strike. This is bringing attention to the unimaginable conditions these individuals experience, and should force California to question the impact such conditions have on the inmates.
The ACLU provides alarming statistics that illustrate the effects such conditions have on the prisoners. “In California, for example, while about 5 percent of the state’s prison population was held in solitary confinement in 2005, those units accounted for almost 70 percent of inmate suicides.” This information is incredibly concerning and should demand that California take another look into life in solitary confinement.
Solitary confinement at prisons like Pelican Bay can mean being confined to a single room for 24 hours a day, being allowed little to no human interaction, no windows or light, no stimulating activities such as reading, and no visitation. The ACLU adds that the time an inmate is constraint to solitary confinement “can last for years or decades”.
Dear Warden Greg Lewis of Pelican Bay State Prison,
I am very concerned about the conditions of solitary confinement at your state prison. The recent hunger strike throughout the entire facility illustrates the seriousness of the prisoners as well as the immediate need for change.
The idea that inmates are starving themselves to death in order to bring attention to their cause is a clear sign that the conditions of this prison must change. Also alarming is the suicide rate of those constraint to life in solitary confinement. The impact such experiences have on the prisoners is clearly harmful and unfortunately fatal.
There should be no place in this country that is so awful that the people are resulting to suicide. The extreme conditions of solitary confinement, including no natural light, no human interaction, and no brain stimulation including reading, is unacceptable. I support the inmates at Pelican Bay State prison and ask that you do something to end the horrible conditions they are forced to endure.
[Your Name Goes Here]