July 8, 2013, New York – Today, in response to the resumption of a hunger strike by prisoners in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison in California, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
We wholeheartedly support the prisoners’ peaceful protest against their long-term isolation in physically and psychologically devastating conditions. As our lawsuit notes, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Torture has found that more than 15 days of solitary confinement violates human rights standards, yet hundreds of prisoners have been trapped in the Pelican Bay SHU for decades, denied physical contact and social interaction, with effectively no way out. This is undeniably cruel and unusual punishment. As we continue to litigate these issues in court, we applaud the empowering protest undertaken by the prisoners and urge the California Department of Corrections to act swiftly to meet the prisoners’ demands and bring an end to this torture.
Learn more about the human impact of inhumane conditions. Read the hunger strikers's personal stories.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.