Sunday, 4 June
Folsom State Prison
Folsom Prison Road
***We will gather at E Natoma & Prison Road. There is a stoplight and the large FSP sign on the corner.
***There is street parking very close to the rally location! You can park your car in neighborhoods across the street and walk right over. Street names for those parking areas are: E Natoma & Cimmaron Circle or E Natoma & Fargo Way.
On May 25th, prisoners in Folsom State Prison B4 ASU (Administrative Segregated Unit) began a hunger strike to peacefully protest the inhumane conditions of their confinement in the administrative segregated unit. Prisoners have exhausted all reasonable remedies and have attempted to open lines of communication with administrative officials, and have been met with only resistance and silence.
We are a group of individuals representing various organizations who have come together to support the strike in any way we can. We cannot say exactly how many people are refusing meals, but we know that there are roughly thirty people in the unit that announced the strike.
– Saturday 6/3: We know that CDCR has contacted organizers on the outside to claim that the hunger strike has ended. We ALSO know that we cannot trust CDCR—they will do whatever is in their power to put an end to prisoners’ resistance and outside support. The prisoners have nine demands that are legitimate and could be easily implemented. The prison system does not like having this sort of attention.
CDCR has transferred hunger strikers to other prisons without notice, threatened to label them “gang leaders” for organizing a peaceful protest, and refuses to allow phone calls—so until we hear from the prisoners directly or we learn that their demands have been met, we will continue organizing and supporting their struggle.
We learned from a visit today that at least nine men inside were committed to staying on strike for 21 days, unless their demands were met in full. Others had committed to at least 10 days—and tomorrow is day number ten.
It is more important than ever to amplify their voices and push to have their demands met. When the strike ends, the struggle to implement change and hold CDCR accountable for their unacceptable retaliation will continue.
– Sunday 5/28: One of the men participating in & organizing the strike is transferred to DVI Tracy without notice to loved ones as retaliation. The strike continues at FSP.
– Saturday 5/27: We receive phone call relaying message that the Warden Ron Rackley & Ombudsman Sara Smith met w/ hunger striker organizer to threaten to take away visits, move him to another prison, give him a 115 to revalidate him as a STG (Security Threat Group) gang leader for his role in organizing the strike.
PRISONERS’ MEDIA RELEASE:
As CDCR made drastic changes throughout its prisons to put prisoners on roads of rehabilitation and more humane living conditions, Folsom officials reject the ideals and continue the injustice of the past. To those reading who may find it hard to believe, just a few years ago many will recall this same fight took place within the SHU (Security Housing Unit). The direction, message, and programs CDCR implemented for long term isolation to rehabilitate are ignored, shut out, and rejected here in Folsom ASU.
Some might assume the impact of the struggle men endured within the SHU to gain fair, dignified living conditions would have a long-lasting effect—yet men stand again, just as unified and ready to sacrifice their bodies, health, and life to achieve what has already been hard fought for and accomplished. Why must California prisoners continue to sacrifice health and life, involve lawyers and courts, in order to be treated like human beings? We will continue to remind CDCR officials they will be held accountable for this type of treatment.
Prisoners in B4 ASU are forced to sit or stand idle in their cells or yard cages without meaningful exercise, education, or rehabilitative programs. We are already forced to endure atypical and significant hardships due to being in segregated housing and solitary confined. When taken together, these conditions constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the US Constitution.
We are being deprived of basic human needs, including normal human contact, environmental and sensory stimulation, mental and physical health, entertainment, physical exercise, sleep, access to courts, and meaningful activity. Prolonged exposure to these deprivations has caused and will cause serious physical and psychological harm.
FSP (Folsom State Prison) is deliberately indifferent to prisoners suffering. They are aware that prolonged social isolation, and lack of environmental stimuli causes “serious psychological pain and suffering and permanent psychological pain and suffering, and permanent psychological and physical injury.”
CDCR is aware (Madrid-Ashker-Coleman) that the conditions of extreme isolation will likely inflict some degree of psychological trauma, these injuries include: chronic insomnia, severe concentration and memory problems, anxiety and other ailments. This is why all SHUs and most ASUs within CDCR have provided prisoners with the opportunity to have TVs, pull up bars, education, social and rehabilitative programs. However, FSP continues to put lack of money as an excuse to not fall in line with CDCR’s stated goals, and are content to ignore the suffering of men in its care. We continue to be confined alone in our cells with only misery for company.
Unfortunately our voice in here can be drowned out by administration but those out there can help by making their voice heard in concern with our treatment. We urge you to call and email all officials and ask questions on the conditions here, and make sure procedures are met for those hunger striking.
“Hello, my name is ____________and I’m a resident of CA. I am calling in support of the hunger strike currently happening at Folsom State Prison. We are deeply concerned about the inhumane conditions of confinement that have brought this on, and strongly urge you to act upon the prisoners’ demands, which are reasonable and amount to basic human rights.”
The following are officials to contact:
Chief Deputy Inspector General – Roy Wesley – (916) 255-1102
Ombudsman Sara L. Smith (the person who is supposed to check on welfare, investigate complaints, etc.) – (916) 324-5458 // firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary Scott Kernan – email@example.com
Undersecretary Ralph M. Diaz – firstname.lastname@example.org
Governor Jerry Brown – (916) 445-2481
Chief Office of the Ombudsman – Sara Malone – email@example.com
Public Information Office of Folsom – Jack Huey – (916) 985-2561 // firstname.lastname@example.org (press #1 for English, #3 for Admin, and #1 again)
Folsom Warden – Ron Rackley – email@example.com
Folsom Hunger Strikers Issue Demands & Grievances:
CA’s Folsom State Prisoners Launch Hunger Strike Against Solitary Confinement:
It’s Going Down: