From Truth Out/ By Victoria Law
Two years have passed since people confined in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison initiated a 60-day hunger strike to protest the conditions associated with the prison’s “security housing unit,” or SHU.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) continues to claim that “there is no ‘solitary confinement’ in California’s prisons and the SHU is not ‘solitary confinement,'” but people inside the Pelican Bay State Prison’s security housing unit say they remain locked in for at least 23 hours per day.
Meanwhile, in June 2015, the CDCR released proposed new regulations around its use of the security housing unit and administrative segregation – regulations that may, in part, curb participation in future strikes and other prison protests.
Among the proposed changes is a new subsection increasing the penalty for active participation in acts like a mass hunger strike. Noting that disturbances have “become an increasingly serious problem, often resulting in the serious injury of others,” the new regulations increase security housing unit sentences: Active participation in a disturbance, strike or riot, which currently carries two to six months in the security housing unit, will increase to three to nine months. (The penalty for leading a disturbance, strike or riot remains six to 18 months.) (more…)