Sal Rodriguez

sal-rodriguezSal Rodriquez is Associate Editor and West Coast Correspondent at Solitary Watch.
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After California Prisons Release “Gang Affiliates” From Solitary Confinement, Costs and Violence Levels Drop

Significant reductions in California’s use of solitary confinement in state prisons are expected to save the state millions of dollars, perhaps even more if state lawmakers heed the advice of the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). Contrary to warnings by Governor Jerry Brown and others, the reductions in isolation also appear to be coinciding with a measurable reduction in violence in California’s prisons. With the state prison system’s use of segregation units down by … [Read more...]

Prisoner Abuse Mars California’s Integrity

Holding government accountable is hard enough, but it’s even harder when prisons are involved. A report released last week by the Office of the Inspector General reveals some disturbing, though perhaps unsurprising, patterns of abuse by prison guards at High Desert State Prison in Susanville, and a code of silence fostered in large part and supported by the powerful prison guards union. The 113-page report discusses how inmate appeals have “been read and destroyed,” a “culture of racism and … [Read more...]

Hundreds Still on Hunger Strike As Situation Becomes Dire

Nearly one year ago, J. Heshima Denham, who is being held in solitary confinement at Corcoran State Prison’s Security Housing Unit, told Solitary Watch: “The reality is there is a significant number of us for whom death holds no real fear, in fact, in some ways—as an alternative to another few decades of this—it holds some appeal. If it becomes necessary to take up peaceful protest again—and it’s unfortunately looking that way—you may be writing a lot more Christian Gomez articles,” he wrote, … [Read more...]

One Thousand California Hunger Strikers At Two Weeks

Nearly one thousand California prisoners have been on hunger strike for two weeks. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released updated hunger strike figures on Monday, July 24th, reporting  986 strikers at 11 prisons across the state. In addition, 42 others at an unnamed facility are continuing to engage in a work stoppage. All hunger strikers at this point, according to California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) policy, are to have received “written … [Read more...]

California Prison Officials Retaliating Against Hunger Strikers

California prison hunger strikers are entering their twelfth day of refusing state-issued meals in protest of long-term solitary confinement, the controversial gang validation process that has put 3,000 in indefinite isolation, and related issues. According to the latest figures from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), 1,457 individuals in 15 prisons across the state are still officially considered to be on hunger strike, as of Thursday. CDCR’s press release … [Read more...]