About U.N.I.O.N.

The United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect is the largest Communication System and Interactive Daily Newsletter written by and for Prison Activists in California.

We are the bridge to the journalists reporting all deaths, riots, diseases and other abuses to prisoners since the media is banned. For active subscribers only since 1998

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United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect

P.O. Box 340371

Sacramento, Ca. 95834

Hagar Hearing Image
This photo was taken July 12, 2006, the day we turned out in San Francisco at a hearing held by Special Master John Hagar to welcome Robert Sillen as the federal receiver. After a decade of fighting desperate life and death battles which often resulted in death or permanent disability, we were thrilled at having a real place to go for help. Note the pink roses everyone is wearing to symbolize "hope" and "trust" of Sillen's role as the Receiver. As of May, 2007 only one of the approximately 60 UNION families present that day has actually received any help from Sillen or his staff with their prisoner's emergency.

The U.N.I.O.N. is currently the largest communication system between prison reformers and citizens concerned with human rights in the State of California. We are a coalition of 5,000 plus individuals, human rights groups and churches. We work by issuing calls to action to our subscribed members in a daily online newsletter. You subscribe to the newsletter to learn how and WHEN to fight back to prevent or cause important changes in the law. Timing is everything. When the emergency arrives, we cannot have too many trained people on standby alert ready to go. We are limited only by the number of people who respond to the Calls to Action and actively join the UNION to write simple letters, show up to hearings and rallies, recruit others to write and show up, get out the vote. For a decade the UNION, ACLU and Friends Committee on Legislation were all or singularly the only voices for prisoners as no one else showed up at most of the the legislative hearings except our dedicated workers. As we enter our 9th year, we have only included campaigns from the past few years on this page. There were hundreds more- one right after another -while others sat on the sidelines and complained, we were there in action.






Click on each photo for a direct link to more information about the UNION Campaign behind it, each one represents thousands of hours of work in bringing prison abuses to the attention of the public and the legislature. The many years of sacrifice by committed UNION members (especially our 28 lawsuits in progress) is why prison reform is now on the front burner. The job is far from over.

Darrel Dietle

Nancy Mendoza, the heartbroken mother of Daniel Provencio was courageous in her battle on behalf of her son and all prison inmates.

It was the UNION's work that brought international attention to the shooting of Daniel Provencio by a guard at CSP Wasco. It required us crashing a Little Hoover Hearing, doing press releases and conferences for SEVEN different rounds of news articles to get Danny released from shackles and paroled even though he was brain dead. Our work resulted in international press coverage, his parole was granted just before he died, a policy change resulted after a senate hearing and numerous investigations of what happened took place. CDC denied all responsibility as usual. A lawsuit was filed by his family for Provencio's wrongful death which we support.

George Jacobs was beaten nearly to death at CSP-Lancaster, Corcoran and Tehachapi prisons, then to cover up, the guards accused him of being the assaulter. He unjustly received a life sentence as a cover up to the beatings. One of Jacobs' grieving family members tried desperately to bring attention to what was happening at our protest in CSP-LAC protest.

Darrel Dietle (above) was brutally beaten, nearly to death, by rogue jail guards at Shasta County Jail. A UNION paralegal tracked a number of abuses at the jail, writing letters and filing legal documents. We won the first reversal of a three strikes case at the appellate level which Shasta County ignored. They released Jerry Wayne Morgan without his $200 gate money and did not parole him since he was free to go according to an appellate court ruling. Nobody in Shasta County is following the law, our UNION volunteers have tried very hard to educate the community on getting out the vote and organizing. It is very difficult dealing with the poor and uneducated. Photos of Dietle were taken by his attorney

Nancy Mendoza    NProvenio16b_d.jpe
crowd image August 27 Protest
Danny Provencio Funeral
UNION - NAMI crowd
Nora Weber at the age of 67 years old has filed two lawsuits over the slow torture of her son Mark Grangetto at CSP Corcoran and CSATF. The UNION families have attended the SHU - AD Seg hearing held by CDC Sept 7, 2005, a protest and press conference at Rod Hickman's office Dec 2, 2005, one leg of the trial in Hanford court and plan to bring attendees to the trial when it resumes in late June or July, 2007. The outcome of this lawsuit will affect every California inmate. Nora Weber's courageous fight has been an inspiration to us all. She fights back by writing, protesting, filing lawsuits, a wonderful fighting spirit.
Ware Family Image For nearly a decade, we were the only prison reformers to picket the Capitol. We held protests there several times a year and attended every hearing for prisoners possible. After the lawsuits filed by Prison Law Office won, we felt that reasoning with the legislators elected by law enforcement labor unions to do their bidding was mostly a waste of time. We are waiting for enforcement of those major rulings and working on our own lawsuits Eddie Arraiga dead

Press Conference - Stockton - October 23, 2004

The UNION coordinated this press conference to announce the filing of a lawsuit for the wrongful death of Ersel Ware at Solano Prison. He was an older man who left behind 13 children. He died because he was ignored for more than a half an hour after falling down to the pavement on a hot day.

Scott Smith of the Stockton Record and Don Thompson of Associated Press wrote the news stories.

Swisher Press Conference


There was heavy police presence at our August 27, 2006 rally at Salinas Valley Prison. It's difficult to arrest a bunch of well behaved seniors but they were waiting for any wrong move. This was the first successful protest ever to be held at SVSP, but they attempted to initimidate us. It didn't work. We stayed.

August 27 Protest These are the children of Donald Swisher who died of simple pneumonia at CMF Vacaville at the age of 34 years. He was a brain-damaged prisoner whose pleas were ignored. The Reporter in Vacaville covered our press conference at the courthouse in Fairfield.  
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Shumake Family
UNION Director B. Cayenne Bird interviews Ciarra Brown for our television show, Cayenne Common Sense during a press conference coordinated by the UNION. The pregnant daughter of Anthony Kirk Brown, who was pepper-sprayed to death under a spit mask by prison guards because he grabbed a blanket out of a guard's hand who wasn't complying with the two blanket rule at CMC, San Luis Obispo. This UNION press conference was held in Los Angeles at the Federal Building the day the lawsuit was filed and was attended by about 100 UNION members from every walk of life on short notice.
The family of Rev. Andre Shumake the day we served Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger with a lawsuit for the wrongful death of his nephew Anthony, who died from neglect of a tooth infection at Solano Prison. Dr. Bird is on the right end.
The UNION is published daily to keep people informed because media is banned from prisons. The UNION Daily newsletter is read by our subscribed journalists, legislators, human rights organization directors, members of the clergy, attorneys, and paid subscribers.

Our committed readers participate by submitting to the newsletter to anonymously inform the journalists of riots, murders, beatings and disease outbreaks.

We detail the issues, include examples of how to write letters to the editors on current topics. We do much more than just pass email back and forth. UNION members who never knew that could write have been published thousands of times since 1998. Before the UNION, there was very little news coverage of prison issues. What goes on in the dark is deadly and we have fought against the media ban for nine years and counting.


Dedication is protesting out front of CDC offices in Sacramento on crutches. Dec 2, Protest over Ad Seg and Shu abuses upheld by Rod Hickman. He resigned two weeks later. Hickman is named as a responsible party in several wrongful death and abuse lawsuits filed by UNION families

The people of the UNION have often been the only voice for prisoners and their families on a number of issues.

Aug 28 Protest Salinas Valley

Tommy ClinkenbeardSacramento Public Defender Tommie Clinkenbeard speaks at one of our Capitol Rallies in 2003

Prisoner child
  More than 200 people joined the protest in the middle of no where out front of Soledad SVSP and CTF Prisons on Aug 27 2006. A problem prison guard named K. Nuckles was removed from the visiting room after her abuse of Dr. Bird was covered by the Salinas Californian and Associated Press.

There is no prison reform group in California with enough funds and volunteers to be able to do initiative campaigns properly or hire enough lawyers. We cannot get involved in every case but the ones we support represent the interest of EVERY California inmate. The California media attended our press conferences which we held statewide. The UNION families have filed 28 lawsuits for medical neglect and wrongful death with more on the horizon. You can see the photographs of a number of these press conferences at:


The above photo of the 5 year old son of a prisoner was taken during the CSP Lancaster protest after five prisoners died there from suspicious deaths in a three month period. It was the day the Pope died but the news media still came to the middle of no where and filmed us. Over the course of the day more than people traveled to join our outcry.
jessicaasbpictures009.jpg Aug 12 Rally Reverends August 27 Protest
By protesting since 1998 at the Capitol in Sacramento where the war is located, in front of CDC offices, out in front of several prisons, when the crowd was large enough, as it is often is, we were able to bring press coverage and attention to our issues. After the families filed lawsuits, we began to more often fill up courtrooms. We can never have enough volunteers willing to simply help us show our numbers. At our August 12 rally, church leaders came together to help fight medical neglect and abuses in prisons. Fr. Bruce Bramlett representing the Episcopalians, Rev. Andre Shumake representing the Baptists and Bob Discroll on behalf of Catholics shake hands. The theme of the rally was "It's Time to Get Smart on Crime" a term which the legislators use frequently today. The term "It's Time to Get Smart on Crime" was on our original home page in 1998
Salinas Valley Protest Aug 27, 2006 centered around visiting abuses at prisons statewide. Sign says "THEY KILLED OUR BROTHER" - family was denied visiting their loved one who died at Mule Creek of Medical neglect in June 2006. We were able to get this large family extensive press coverage.
August 27 protest   Ware Press Conf Other Dead Inmates Surface
Salinas Californian Reporter Sunita Vidayan interviews Dr. B. Cayenne Bird about the reasons for the August 27 protest in front of SVSP. Click on the photo to read the news story April 2 Rally Lancaster
Every person in the above photo lost a loved one to medical neglect in one of California's State Prisons. They attended the UNION press conference in Stockton around the filing of the Ersel Ware lawsuit to tell their nightmare neglect stories to the media.

UNION Members have filed a total of 28 lawsuits in the courts for medical neglect, wrongful deaths and other abuses. We ask for support of these lawsuits in everyway possible as each one comes to court. Writing letters to editors, showing up to court or sending someone, offering testimony where you have information. These are but a few of the ways you can help yourself and others. All reform comes from lawsuits and initiative campaigns.

There are approximately 350 guards, wardens, prison doctors and bureaucrats who were callous to our appeals currently being sued by one of our UNION family members for wrongful death, medical neglect and counting as new lawsuits are in the works. There is still no place to go in an emergency and still no accountability of callous individuals who allow prisoners to die of medical neglect.

Dec 2 Protest

This was an awards luncheon taken after one of our protests. UNION people who had written letters to editors, showed up when called to important hearings or protests and brought in new workers were honored. The UNION is not supported by private foundations as they have rules against doing lobby work due to tax laws.

The members themselves come together to raise the nickels and dimes to buy supplies, pay for postage, coordinate these protests. It is arduous work and no one gets a salary for doing it.



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