UN investigating torture allegations in California prisons

October 21, 2013

CMCshadowThe United Nations’ lead torture investigator has agreed to look into allegations that some California prisoners are not treated humanely.

Juan Mendez is seeking access to California lockups to ensure that prisoner’s rights are being protected.

“We should have more justification” for putting prisoners in isolation,” Mendez told the Los Angeles Times.

In July, inmates at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo County joined a three-week statewide hunger strike to protest long-term, solitary lockup of inmates in security housing units.

Prisoners are confined in these isolation cells usually after some infraction in the prison. They are kept locked in sound proof cells for up to 23 hours a day. Inmates claim the only way to get out is to admit gang involvement or to provide incriminating information on gang members, which puts them at risk.

Some news reports claim that California prison authorities abuse the practice of isolating inmates and have kept some inmates in isolation for decades.

The United Nations torture investigator said solitary confinement should be used as discipline for only the most serious infractions and also that mentally ill prisoners should not be isolated.

 


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24 Comments

  1. WiserGuy says:

    Where are the statements from prison officials stating that the allegations are not true? Is there ANYONE employed at CMC who will personally and publicly make that claim?

    The lack of third party over-sight in California’s prisons is shameful. The news media in general has little real say so or power over being able to investigate the truth of what goes on. Theose rights have been eroded greatly over the past couple decades.

    Citizens of San Luis Obispo County should be welcoming inspection by United Nations ambassadors. Our prisons should be models for the rest of the world, not shameful places where truth is locked up in holes smaller than the solitary cells built to drive men and women insane and remain cauldrons of rage and injustice that can’t help but channel and explode beyond the prison walls in our lifetime or another.

    Torture in any form should never be sanctioned or tolerated by the United States, it’s citizens or the government. When we do not follow that prohibition, we sow violence and injustice into our soil for years and years to come. We reap what we sow and that prison is part of our community whether we like it or not. We do not want it to be known far and wide as a well financed castle of torture, degradation and corruption. We are better than that.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Boris says:

    I’ve got a great idea. Stay out of prison, and then there is no way for them to step on your rights. I haven’t been locked up for more than 12 years now, and they don’t mess with my rights, liberty or anything else, at all.

    Wiseguy, I don’t know your background, but you generally don’t get locked up in the SHU for giving too many cookies at chow time. They put you in there for being an extra large asshole. As for human rights, how many of these guys that are being segregated, gave half a shit for anyone else’s rights when they were outside? Very, very, few.

    As for the shotcaller thing, that’s probably, for the most part, true. Many of the shotcallers are put in the SHU because they are in charge of the Norteno’s, Sureno’s, or whoever. They order people hurt or killed, they continue their criminal behavior while locked up in prison.

    As far as I’m concerned, they forfitted their rights when they chose the lifestyle they live. At least the guards aren’t cutting anyone’s head off.

    (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
    • WiserGuy says:

      Sorry, Boris, but you do NOT know why every prisoner that is sent to SHU is sent there, but in any case, torture is illegal. An eye for an eye punishment is NOT what most Americans expect from our justice system.

      When law enforcement disregards human rights and breaks the law, that is NOT a sound method for decreasing crime in America. Quite the opposite, in fact.

      Sadistic prison guards, torture and law breaking is NOT what is expected from law enforcement in the United States, nor should it be tolerated.

      CMC employees are being accused of heinous crimes and YOU and others seem to be commending them for that. THAT is what is wrong with this picture. You will reap what you sow. Sad.

      (-4) 4 Total Votes - 0 up - 4 down

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