In 2013 there was another long hunger strike in California’s prisons denouncing the conditions of solitary confinement with basic demands for programming, adequate food and an end to group punishment, just to list a few. (see: prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com for more info).
This wave of hunger strikes which swept across California and beyond, ended with promises of real change by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), but things have stayed the same with no real concrete change for those incarcerated in Special Housing Units (known as SHUs) in California which keep men locked up in solitary confinement.
On this show we aired one of the speakers, Craig Haney, who presented testimony presented at the Joint Informational Hearing on CDCR’s Proposed New Policies on Inmate Segregation by the Assembly and Senate Public Safety Committee which took place at the California State Assembly on the 3rd of February. Craig Haney is a psychology professor from the University of California, in Santa Cruz. He spoke on the psychological affects of solitary confinement. It should be noted that Craig Haney was one of the researchers who was involved in the groundbreaking Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971.
Following this we reached Isaac Ontiveros from Critical Resistance, in Oakland California about the current situation of these prisoners from Pelican Bay State Prison and other prisoners under the same sort of confinement throughout California. Isaac speaks about the prisoners’ and their families organizing around solitary confinement as well as other issues.
Justice Action is a community-based advocacy group targeting abuse of authority based in Sydney, Australia. Justice Action is a watchdog function overlooking authorities with a focus on criminal justice and health systems, and assists those who suffer from abuses of the system and it’s independent from government, funding. Brett Collins, Coordinator of Justice Action, recently stated that “Nearly a thousand prisoners in the State of New South Wales are at risk of losing all of their possessions held in storage from the time of their arrest. They were given less than two weeks notice to get them out, or have them sold or trashed. This includes all their personal history – family photos, clothes, electrical items and personal papers everything except the clothes they wore. It is an outrage.” We aired a report on this matter.
Nicole Kish, also known as Nyki, is believed to be wrongfully convicted of the second degree murder of which she was convicted of in 2011 by her many supporters. She was found guilty in spite of the absence of incriminating DNA evidence or positive identification, and with the Toronto Police Department losing two surveillance videos. On today’s show we will be discussing her case, including her recent failed appeal, with her mother Christine Bivens.
You can download audio here
Note: This Prison Radio Show is longer than usual because during the original airing of the show we had technical difficulties and were not able to air the audio of Craig Haney. We have however included this audio on our blog’s version of our show.