August 23, 2011
CHIP FITZGERALD IS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE SHU HUNGER STRIKE! HE IS IN SPIRIT WITH US IN SACRAMENTO ON AUGUST 23, 2011!!
State corrections officials are moving forward with a major policy initiative that could improve conditions and reduce the length of time some inmates spend in controversial isolation units. The changes are being proposed amid threats of another hunger strike by inmates who spearheaded one last month at Pelican Bay State Prison.
The policy changes, which still are being worked out, are in line with proposals highlighted in an internal study completed in 2007 by a panel of experts appointed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, according to interviews and documents. The panel’s recommendations included:
Moving to a conduct-based model that punishes inmates for tangible offenses, rather than for mere affiliation with a gang. This approach is widely used in other states and by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Ending the practice of indefinite detention of alleged prison gang members and associates in the Security Housing Units
Ending the practice of automatically sending validated prison gang members and associates to the Security Housing Units
Creating a “step-down” program inside the Security Housing Units to encourage positive behavior by offering incentives, such as special programs
Ending the distinction between prison gangs and other threat groups to give the department more flexibility in determining inmate placement in the Security Housing Units