All posts in tag: SHU

Jonathan Simon Abandoning a failed penal experiment: New York’s historic advantage

The State of New York has made it share of bad penal policy choices. Remember the “Rockefeller Drug Laws” — mandatory life sentences for persons arrested with large quantities of dangerous drugs, which helped set the nation on the path toward indiscriminate use of incarceration?

But the Empire State has also … More >

Jonathan Simon Beard must go: California needs a fresh start in corrections, not a cover-up for business as usual

When Governor Brown appointed Jeffrey Beard to be the new Secretary of Corrections in California last year, it was supposed to signal a new era.  After decades of Correctional leaders who were insiders, brought up in a system that had normalized a state of permanent crisis and systemic inhumanity, Mr. … More >

Jonathan Simon Hunger

Today, July 8, 2013, prisoners in California’s supermax “SHU” units (for Secured Housing Units), are commencing a hunger strike and work stoppage, their second in two years (read the solidarity statement here).

This is tragic. Hunger strikes are an extraordinary act of self deprivation by people who have almost nothing.  They … More >

Jonathan Simon From House of Fear to Home of Care: The future of imprisonment

The future of imprisonment in California, and likely much of the nation, was described in some detail this morning (Aug. 2, 2012) on KQED’s California Report. The California Report’s Julie Small toured the construction site for the new California Health Care Facility near Stockton, where contractors are building a specialized … More >

Jonathan Simon Hunger for hope: Solitary confinement and administrative detention in California and Israel

Cross-national comparisons in penology are notoriously tricky, all the more so when the practices involved are the highly problematic one of holding prisoners in solitary confinement, especially under “administrative” rather than legal judgment (meaning it is up to prison officials if or when the prisoner will be released). Comparing California … More >

Jonathan Simon California penal policy: Realignment and beyond

“Earlier this year, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill (AB) 109 and AB 117, historic legislation that will enable California to close the revolving door of low-level inmates cycling in and out of state prisons. It is the cornerstone of California’s solution for reducing … More >

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