Opportunity to co-sign letter recommending changes to Hancock's SB 892 (solitary confinement)

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California Families Against Solitary Confinement and Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law

    Dear Friends and Colleagues,

    Please join California Families Against Solitary Confinement and others by co-signing a letter addressed to the California Legislature expressing concerns with Senator Loni Hancock's SB 892 regarding solitary confinement and suggesting ways in which the bill should be amended to win the support of prisoners and their family members and advocates. For the first time in California history, the proposed legislation would adopt into state law the harsh and unusual solitary confinement policy of the California Department of Corrections of placing prisoners in long-term solitary confinement for mere alleged gang membership with no accompanying rule violations or illegal activity. You may sign-on using this form anytime tomorrow, Friday August 22, 2014. If you're not listed and want to be, please complete the sign-on form. If for some reason you're listed and want off the list, please immediately email Marchela Iahdjian marchela@centerforhumanrights.org. Senator Hancock's bill passed the Senate and is now being considered in the Assembly. Several positive parts of the bill have been watered down in the Assembly (treatment of prisoners with mental illnesses, etc.) Our primary concerns are that Senator Hancock's bill essentially incorporates into state law the Department of Corrections' policies that result in large numbers of prisoners being placed in solitary confinement based upon mere alleged gang membership with no accompanying serious misconduct, makes exempt from public disclosure decisions about CDCR's "gang validation" decisions and other CDCR data on solitary confinement, fails to abolish the use of confidential informant statements to place prisoners in solitary confinement, creates a five-stage "step down" program that leaves successful completion of each step largely in the discretion of CDCR officials, and fails to allow prisoners to have even pro-bono attorneys when undergoing a hearing to decide if they should be placed in solitary confinement. As we acknowledge in the attached sign-on letter, there are also positive parts of the Hancock bill that prisoners and advocates support. To review a recent letter signed by the original four hunger strikers at Pelican Bay expressing opposition to SB 892, please select this link: http://goo.gl/Lb7zsq If you you wish to join the sign-on letter, please use this form by tomorrow, Friday August 22, 2014. The letter will be forwarded to members of the California legislature and their key aides via email on Saturday August 23, 2014. Thank you, Peter Schey President and Executive Director Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law
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