U.N.I.O.N.
(United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect)
Sacramento Capitol Protest
March 13, 2003
About U.N.I.O.N. Subscribe to daily
online newsletter
How to fight back Mission Alerts &
Calls to Action

   










 Three Strikes

 
 


 
 
 
 
 

 




Methods used by the state to control inmate behaviors, often referred to as the "Carrot and Stick Approach," are used by lightly trained guards who have not been helped to understand the responsibilities and ethics connected to the psychology of Behavior Modification as applied to humans. 

This creates a climate of fear which runs rampant and unchecked throughout our correctional system. 

Further examples of Cruel and Unusual Punishment in the form of psychological torture include: lockdowns which last months and sometimes years at a time; deliberate destruction or "loss" of inmate legal papers; 

denial of access to law books and prison libraries and therefore the ability to file papers under certain court mandated deadlines; 

blockage of mail which is a violation of federal law; retaliation by prison staff for the filing of grievances as permitted by state guidelines (Title 15); 

interference with familial love and bonding by denying thousands of prisoners the right to visit with their own minor children, even behind glass; 

denial of quarterly packages from home which meet prisoner minimum needs. 

Beatings and the setting up by guards of prison rape as a form of torture and control is commonplace. 

Also common, is the trafficking of drugs by guards who line their pockets and exploit prisoners on the one hand and beat or punish them with the other. 

Guard Infractions are not dealt with squarely and honestly but allowed to continue through the unwritten practice of denial and cover up. 

The mentally ill, the terminally ill, and the elderly are abused and punished as they have few advocates and many no longer have the ability to advocate for themselves. 

Compassionate releases for the terminally ill are legally permitted at 6 months before death, yet these releases are routinely denied until the last two (2) days before they die. 

Many inmates do not make it out at all but die handcuffed to their hospital bed. Their companion at death is a guard standing nearby making overtime pay. 

Particularly horrendous are those individuals who are isolated for months and years at a time in SHU (Security Housing Units) where time and reality take on a different dimension and where sane men are not only broken in spirit but driven mad. 

Those who were not sick when they were incarcerated are often sick upon their release and, as a result of our shortsightedness, we have created an otherwise needless threat to public safety. 

As a remedy we should STOP the abuse and extreme punishment for thousands of our inmates including those who are mentally ill and who cry out for healing. 

We need to reexamine our harsh parole laws. We need to STOP the return of prior offenders "conveyor-belt-style" back to our prisons for minor and even minuscule infractions. 

We need to examine the very real injustice(s) we are seeing in the courts often from first arrest through parole. 

We need to MODIFY California's Three (3) Strikes law which has been abused and misused by overly zealous prosecutors advancing their own careers. 

Our state legislators and leaders need to STOP the passage of punishing new bills as a way of demonstrating that they are "tough on crime" and begin to consider first the economic fallout and emotional turmoil these laws will bring to California families. 

Sixty UNION subscribers pleaded for the life of Beverly Dias, a young mother incarcerated at Valley State Prison who will die without a transplant, by walking the halls of the legislature together.  Mr. Zimmerman in Senator Jeff Denham's office was specifically asked to intervene to either give her a transplant or release Beverly Dias.  Two appeals were made at the microphone.  One by B. Cayenne Bird, Director and the other by Francis Courser. 

It is time to be "smart on crime" and in that way we remain citizens United For No Injustice, Oppression, or Neglect. 


Photos by Jo Ann Fawcett
Publisher of Ecobyte Newspaper
and Nova Albion Magazine 

Thursday, March 13, 2003, Sacramento Capitol
rightor1@aol.com

At great sacrifice and expense, families of prisoners, many of whom are also people in the helping professions, traveled for hundreds of miles to protest inhumane conditions in California's prisons. Only large, funded voting machines are recognized as having any clout by the California legislature. We had 150 people sign in this day. When we can bring 1000 to a rally, we will be able to win more battles. Still, it was a good crowd of wonderful people standing up for their loved ones. Doctors, teachers, nurses, social workers, journalists, and families of prisoners from almost every occupation turned out to show they care in the middle of the week. Itwas very impressive.






We formed a large circle on the North Side of the Capitol, held hands and prayed for our loved ones who are living in a violent, unsanitary and inhumane conditions at 33 prisons statewide


Children and young mothers left to rear them alone, the real victims of 3 Strikes and other harsh laws. The father and husband of this family has a life sentence for a non violent crime. Is this what the public wants? NO!
by Jo Ann Fawcett 


Unseen victims of harsh sentencing laws. These three children have lost their father for life
over a ridiculous, minor violation .

 

 U.N.I.O.N.  Director, B. Cayenne Bird
was mistress of ceremonies
and event coordinator. Her speech
emphasized "6500 people willing to do
a little work, organize properly,
and can change any law.


B. Cayenne Bird Speech
 
 

Sarah Chappell
Sarah Chappell Speech

 


Fred


Tommy Clinkenbeard, Esq. Speech,
spoke about the injustice and 
inhumanity of Capital Punishment
 


Robert Driscoll Speech


 
 


John Videen, M.D. Speech
 
 


CharlesWesley Speech


 
 
 


Frank Courser Speech
 

Photos by Jo Ann Fawcett
 


1
 Beverly Diaz Press Release
 
 U.N.I.O.N.