Prison Cap Rally Tomorrow Lawmakers' decisions are murdering prisoners
Dr. B. Cayenne Bird

Dr. B. Cayenne Bird is an ordained minister and a 37-year veteran op-ed journalist and publisher. She volunteers her time as founder and director of United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect UNION since 1998. The UNION is active in prison reform and criminal justice issues. She is a mother and grandmother and focuses on human rights and restorative justice. She is also the host of television series "Cayenne Common Sense" and publishes a daily online newsletter to subscribers.

May 29, 2008

I am so outraged at the lawless fools sitting in elected office who are murdering people in prison by medical neglect due to the overcrowding crisis that I have obtained a permit so that we can rally with protest signs outside the federal building where the finale of Judge Henderson's hearing will be decided tomorrow,

Friday May 30 

10:30 am, 

450 Golden Gate Ave,

BART comes within three blocks, civic center exit

The rally flyer is here: 

more info at this link 

That very bad decision to deny releases brought about by pressure from law enforcements' puppets in office after tremendous noise from the punisher crowd will cost about $2 billion. Never mind that these 22,000 people will be out in 20 months anyway. The education lobby is coming into the crisis in the middle of the drama, but they should be outraged over that one.

The prisoners are the cash cows that run the entire bureaucracy, including the legislature, so any cut back on the prison population will cost them revenues. 

The poor and uneducated are the ones whose loved ones are being used as human livestock and they have little ability to write simple letters to editors or show up to protest where needed. It is very easy to take their loved ones and capitalize off the suffering of the mentally ill instead of making any effort to heal them.

I have said many times that no matter how hard anyone tries, it is impossible to punish the sickness out of people, but they can be healed.

Last October 15, 2007 the Governor signed AB1539 into law. It should be a no-brained that terminally ill and permanently incapacitated prisoners should be released to their families who want them. Some are even able to pay their expenses, but at the very least SSI, which is federal money, would pay a big portion.

One of our UNION mothers, who will be at the rally tomorrow, was told by CDCr doctors that if they signed a compassionate release, they would be fired. For what reason did the Governor sign AB 1539 if this unspoken oppression was to be the outcome? To appease Judge Henderson who would have no way of knowing whether this was happening or not except by reading the families' stories or appointing investigators?

There are three million potential voters who have the power to take the punishers out of power at the ballot box. What they each need to do is register 20 poor people and students to vote and on election day, make sure that these people actually make it to the polls.

In these times, we cannot just enlighten ourselves but need to enlighten others, especially those who can barely read and write.

Educated people are impossible to oppress. They would simply organize and put the bullies out of power and do initiative campaigns to reverse these terrible, unconstitutional and unreasonably harsh laws. But the poor and uneducated don't understand this process, so it is easy to use their loved ones as human livestock. 

The latest "reform" plan definitely has some good points to it, but it provides no immediate relief. What we need is for the three judge panel to impose a prison cap and do it now. The death toll continues to mount, there is still no place for family members to go to get help for their loved one.

Nobody is factoring in the wrongful death lawsuits in the past and the ones that will surely come in the future. Even though the cronyism and corruption in the courts is stacked against anyone who sues, there is still a cost to litigate these lawsuits. The only accountability that ever happens is when a family member sues. 

The Inspector General's office is run by former DA Prosecutors who are Republican punishers and not at all an effective place for the prisoners to get help, which would prevent deaths and disabilities. Only by filing lawsuits can these abuses and callousness be exposed.

Everyone should be writing to editors, demanding releases and a prison cap instead of a huge expansion of a failed industry.

The mentally ill should be taken completely out of the criminal justice system and put into healing environments. Their families are often too dysfunctional to organize an initiative to make this happen, but it would be a smart move.

We are spending billions on a failed "public safety" program. Leading criminologists are telling the lawmakers that these methods of incarceration are making everything worse, but the cash cow is such a producer that they don't want to stop.

Fresh humans are needed and to be used, not to be released. The people who love chickens were able to get an overcrowding initiative on the ballot. They got together, spent billions on it and gathered enough signatures to change the laws. Good for them. The same people who are cruel to animals are the ones that torment prisoners. But is it right to care about people any less than chickens who are basically raised for food? There are tens of thousands of mentally ill and non violent prisoners who could be released right now and that is what needs to happen, regardless of the murderous lawmakers.

They could be building industries off technology, environmental programs, alternative fuel instead of human bondage. This is what those affected need to be writing, protesting and organizing to demand. Three million taxpayers are connected to a state inmate and at any point that they are willing to do the work required could end the whole mess.

Here's some books by leading criminologists who tell us that prisons are doing more harm than good.

go to  or any other major bookseller

enter the titles into the searchbox for more info and some great comments by leading legal authorities in many cases. 

Imprisoning Communities

How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse

Professor Todd R. Clear 

Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration (Hardcover)

by Mary Pattillo (Editor), David F. Weiman (Editor), Bruce Western (Editor) 

Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration 

Devah Pager 

University of Chicago Press

Prison State: The Challenge of Mass Incarceration (Cambridge Studies in Criminology) 

by Bert Useem (Author), Anne Morrison Piehl (Author) 

We need intelligent leaders who will listen to data, instead of doing the bidding for a bunch of bullies who have no track record of success. And we need to use the money on the front end to fund education which is the greatest deterrent to crime.

I vote we start teaching civics in the 6th grade so that everyone learns that they have a responsibility as US citizens to attending important hearings, write to editors and register others to vote. 

If the poor all voted, the world would be a different place.

Please email me at  and tell me how many people you are bringing to our rally tomorrow. The families who have sued CDCr need support right now as it is the actions of lawsuits and initiative campaigns that matter. These are the only language that CDCr and the lawmakers understand.

We should put every legislator who allows the murder by medical neglect to continue on trial for crimes against humanity. They are far worse than most of the people they have locked away in cages for ridiculous sentences.

If you have a loved one who should have already been released under AB 1539, it is especially important that you are there tomorrow. Most of the problems we have are due to apathy and too much silence, which is a bad decision to make when our side of the argument needs to be heard. Only the powers of numbers gives us a voice and a prayer in Hades of getting relief. Obviously the lawmakers are lawbreakers themselves and this "reform" is a prison expansion of a failed agency, which gives no immediate relief.

We are each the public outcry that is needed now. Post everywhere beneath the news articles and show up to rally with us tomorrow.

subscribe to the UNION newsletter so you can become an activist for change and stay abreast of the issues. You can't win at campaigns without doing a little work and spending a little money, this is the first time I have called everyone to action since Sept 7, 2007. It's of life and death importance and whatever happens here will change everything.

Sign up forms are here 

Rev. B. Cayenne Bird 

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