Target: Governor of California Jerry Brown
Goal: End policy of solitary confinement in California prisons
Recently, California prison officials have qualified a mass protest of prisoners as a hunger strike. On Monday July 8, 2013, 30,000 prisoners began refusing meals, with 12,400 missing nine consecutive meals by Friday of that week. Nine meals is the benchmark that forces officials to admit a hunger strike is in effect. Many prisoners are also refusing work assignments and scheduled classes.
The prisoners are protesting the cruel and inhumane punishment of solitary confinement, a practice in which a prisoner is put into a small cell by him or herself with little to no human contact for a specified period of time. Some of these sentences can last decades, and the psychological effects are akin to torture. Many victims of solitary confinement carry the effects of this abuse with them for the rest of their lives. There are currently 4,527 prisoners in solitary confinement in California.
A hunger strike is a desperate bid by people with no other options. We must take protests of this kind extremely seriously. These prisoners are risking their health and their lives to stand up against this deplorable treatment. It is an insult to the tenants of democracy to treat citizens in this heinous manner.
Please sign this petition to stand with prisoners in California against the use of solitary confinement in prisons.
Dear Governor Brown,
The practice of solitary confinement is not in line with California state prison’s mission to rehabilitate prisoners. Solitary confinement can lead to severe psychological damage for victims and the effects are akin to torture.
At the moment nearly 12,500 prisoners are hunger striking in solidarity with the 4,527 prisoners currently under solitary confinement. When so many protesters take such drastic and painful measures to raise awareness for a cause, it is essential that we, as human beings, listen carefully. This practice is inhumane and akin to torture.
Please end the barbaric practice of solitary confinement in California prisons immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jason Braun via Flickr