September 2, 1991 |
Twelve years ago, underground newspaper editor Wei Jingsheng, the most famous pro-democracy activist in China, was arrested and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment. Wei disappeared into China's secretive prison and labor-camp system. Over the intervening years, only the sketchiest of reports have surfaced about his whereabouts and physical condition. Human rights organizations protested the treatment of Wei, but he was largely forgotten in the West.
January 14, 1992 |
"Solitary Confinement," Rupert Holmes' newest thriller, is a duel of wits. On one level, the conflict is obvious in the show, which opened Sunday at the Spreckels Theatre: Richard Jannings, an eccentric billionaire businessman played by Stacy Keach, thinks he is secure in his electronically fortified castle in Albuquerque, N.M. Until someone threatens to kill him. The thrill of the show comes from how that person tries to get to Jannings and how Jannings retaliates.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2001 |
Escaped convict Kevin Jerome Pullum, who had a taste of freedom for 16 days before being captured Sunday afternoon, now faces up to a month of solitary confinement, no visitors or phone calls, and what Los Angeles County sheriff's officials euphemistically call "a modified diet."
June 20, 1995 |
The Supreme Court on Monday made it harder for prisoners to file lawsuits that challenge disciplinary measures, ruling that an inmate can be sent to solitary confinement without a full hearing. Speaking for the 5-4 majority, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist said that federal judges should not be involved "in the day-to-day management" of prisons and should give wardens more flexibility in handling "the ordinary incidents of prison life."
February 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Ramzi Yousef, inmate No. 03911 at a federal "supermax" penitentiary, is serving life with no parole plus 240 years in a 7-by-11-foot cell with no bars and one small high window, far from other inmates, prison staff and the world beyond the fortress deep in the Colorado Rockies. He has been there for 15 years, in nearly 24-hour solitary confinement at the prison they call the "Fortress in the Rockies. " Even his meals provide little relief, with the food trays shoved by unseen guards through a sally port between two steel doors.
September 18, 2013 |
It is cruel and inhumane to keep prison inmates in solitary confinement for indefinite periods or to put them there for arbitrary reasons. Studies indicate that inmates subjected to prolonged isolation are at risk for mental illness and suicide. That's led human rights groups and the United Nations' special rapporteur on torture, among others, to conclude that solitary confinement should be abolished, with very few exceptions. Yet its use is widespread, not only in state and federal prisons but in immigration detention facilities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 8, 2013 |
BERKELEY - Advocacy groups filed a class-action federal lawsuit against Contra Costa County and its juvenile hall, alleging that youths with disabilities had been denied educational and other services and held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day - in some cases for months. Los Angeles-based Public Counsel and Berkeley-based Disability Rights Advocates teamed with a private law firm to bring the suit, contending that although one-third of students at the juvenile hall were deemed by authorities to have disabilities requiring special education, many did not receive those services or related services.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Federal judges have extended until April 18 the deadline for Gov. Jerry Brown's administration to ease prison crowding, after asking the state to limit the time some mentally ill prisoners spend in solitary confinement. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton announced that he had accepted the state's offer of a 30-day isolation maximum for severely mentally ill inmates who have committed no rule violations. He then joined two other jurists in pushing back the overcrowding deadline and also in extending negotiations between the state and prisoners' lawyers until Jan. 10. In September, the judges ordered the state and the inmates' attorneys to negotiate long-term solutions to the crowding problem, including the early release of frail or elderly prisoners.
August 16, 2013 |
At least 300 inmates are now several weeks into a fast that could soon lead to organ failure and death for many of them. Events are moving rapidly, but as I write, nothing has been resolved. And, as California corrections chief Jeffrey Beard made clear recently in an Op-Ed for this newspaper, the sides are far apart. Beard, presumably reflecting Gov. Jerry Brown's views, paints the strike leaders as dangerous gang leaders who are pressuring inmates into a hunger strike to "restore their ability to terrorize fellow prisoners, prison staff and communities throughout California.
January 3, 2010 |
The Cave Man A Novel Xiaoda Xiao Two Dollar Radio: 184 pp., $15.50 paper When it comes to prison literature, China remains a great enigma. Whereas the Soviet Union gave us Alexander Solzhenitsyn -- whose books note the bizarre soul-searching and self-blame that went hand-in-hand with the totalitarian state -- China has, of yet, produced no such comparable international voice in the modern age. Xiaoda Xiao's "The Cave Man" is unlikely to change that, but it's a small start.