Torture: Out of sight, out of mind?

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One thing that strikes me as I look at arial photos of the Pelican Bay complex, is the isolation... a prison camp placed in the northernmost corner of the state, surrounded by forest. 

Government forces and the media have done a good job at concealing what goes on within these walls... until now. And once the cat is out of the bag it's going to be tough for California prison administrators to return to "business as usual". Prisoners involved in the hunger strikes are counting on us to keep up the pressure to discontinue the hated "debriefing" system and the brutal practice of arbitrary solitary confinement. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its own demands for humane treatment.

People of conscience everywhere across this country and beyond have been speaking out against the appalling conditions exposed by the courageous actions of prisoners themselves, united across racial and alleged gang affiliation. It is time for us, the public at large, to join those voices.

Diverse communities and organizations are looking for alternatives to the American incarceration system, including proposals for "restorative justice" (Deborah Dupre takes a well-researched look at that here). But the bottom line for me is that violence begets ever more violence, and the so-called "Corrections and Rehabilitation" institution accomplishes neither of their proclaimed goals. 

This issue will not go away, nor are we. Join with the Call for an International Day of Protest and Solidarity, August 1st.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on July 27, 2011 10:55 PM.

August 1, 2011: ninth anniversary of the Torture Memos was the previous entry in this blog.

"Nice guys" don't condone torture: no accounting for Governor's Supreme Court nominee is the next entry in this blog.

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