U.N.I.O.N. Stands Up Against Lockdowns
Panel Confirms Nominee for Prisons Director
May 16 2002
SACRAMENTO -- The man chosen by the governor to run California's massive prison system won unanimous confirmation by a key Senate committee Wednesday at a hearing notable for its friendly, bipartisan tone.
The 4-0 vote by the Rules Committee means Department of Corrections Director Edward S. Alameida is all but certain to win the endorsement of the full Senate in the next few months.
Alameida, 52, is a former warden and 29-year corrections veteran. He has been running the 47,000-employee department since his appointment by Gov. Gray Davis in September. The Rules Committee chairman, Sen. John Burton (D-San Francisco), was remarkably upbeat about Alameida, saying, "We want to help you do the job." Frequently, legislative hearings involving the penal system put its leaders on the hot seat for the problems plaguing state prisons. But on Wednesday, Alameida faced only a handful of questions from senators and opposition from only two witnesses--with nine testifying in support.
"This attitude of punishment instead of healing permeates every layer of the California Department of Corrections," said Cayenne Bird, founder of an inmate advocacy group. Burton's inquiry focused largely on the department's efforts to prepare inmates for release and, it hopes, prevent them from landing back in prison. Statistics show that 56% of California's parolees return to prison within two years. Burton said the elimination of many programs because of budget cuts in recent years is partly to blame. Alameida agreed. Alameida's confirmation comes at a time of challenges for the department, which houses 157,000 inmates in 33 prisons and 41 conservation camps on an annual budget of $4.8 billion.
A father of three, Alameida began his corrections career as an
accountant at Folsom State Prison. In 1996, he became warden at Deuel, a
4,000-inmate prison in Tracy.
May 24, 2002
We can tell from the systemwide abuse of the mentally ill by CDC that they just don't get it that the way to cut back violence is to treat people as if they were human beings.
Even the mentally ill will respond violently to mistreatment. We know that they can't follow the rules, that's what makes them "mentally ill."
Cage up any animal and leave them there confined in a small space with another person who might be mentally ill or incompatible with them, and when it gets out, it will bite the nearest person.
Cage up a cat and dog and leave them there for months at a time. If one emerges alive, and that's a big IF, that animal is going to be broken, depressed, angry.
These are human beings that we're dealing with, people who need help more than anyone else in our society. We as taxpayers don't want our government returning people sicker to their communities than before they were incarcerated.
Lockdown may be easier for the guards, who are not trained in basic first aid, let alone techniques for handling the mentally ill. But it is not a solution and will no longer be tolerated without a noisy bevy of writers, picketers and voters who fed up with this non-solution.
There are too many people in prison. Retribution style justice isn't working, nor are there any statistics to support that prisons, harsh laws are a solution to crime. These are practices from the dark ages.
The mentally ill need to be taken out of the prisons and put into a healing atmosphere. Then we will all be much safer and people will get better. Treat a person as an animal and they will respond in kind every time.
Removing people from society should only be for very serious
offenses. What we're doing now is just wrong. It is a
violation of every Christian ethic and there is no religion that supports
There's excrement smeared on the walls and floors of isolation units throughout the State. It certainly smells evil from where I'm sitting.
What are the families doing about the fact that every sentence to
prison, no matter how minor is a potential death sentence. There is no
justice in the courts, so your only recourse is to build the
Until this gets done right, on a large enough scale, you're stuck.
So it's up to you. CDC, CCPOA uses "divide and conquer" methods, pits the races against one another.
But in the UNION, red and yellow, black and white work side by side
without this idiotic
How much is recidivism costing the taxpayers? Does the psychological torture of continuous lockdown really save money? Quite the opposite when the full cycle is considered.
Let's get creative since we have more medical people in the UNION than CDC has in all its prisons and discuss ways to reduce violence and riots. Sending in UNION newsletters would be one way, this gives inmates hope that someone is fighting for them at least. And I would never support the divide and conquer racism mentality which is the only reason these reforms have yet to be achieved.
Do you think that it ever occurs to the decision makers that the reason
they have a 66% nursing vacancy is that humanitarians cannot bear to
witness the atrocities taking place in the prisons
This figure of 66% is an extreme threat to all the prisons and we need to demand that nonviolent inmates be either put in hospitals where they belong, or receive alternative sentencing or simply sent home.
Making the human bondage industry our number one State product was an act against the people, against God and we have only one solution to put an end to it. Don't agonize, organize and vote the bums responsible out of office. We're down to that, our forefathers gave us that tool just for such dire circumstances as these.
You can do more than you think. It all starts with the people hurt. People will only dish out as much oppression as you're willing to tolerate.
B. Cayenne Bird
PS I am disturbed that the legislators feel there is nothing they can do about the physical toxic conditions at Chino Institute for Women and will come back to this after our present 3X campaign, which must be our high priority. There is always something that can be done when we, the voters, insist in enough numbers.