Solitary Confinement is a Form of Torture: Support the California Hunger Strikers
This is the fast I have chosen:
to unlock the shackles of injustice,
to loosen the ropes of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to tear every yoke apart!
As we prepare to fast for Yom Kippur, our hearts are with the California inmates who have undertaken a hunger strike to bring attention to inhumane confinement conditions and prolonged use of solitary confinement.
Across the United States today, thousands of prisoners are held for years in solitary confinement. Prolonged solitary confinement is recognized as a form of torture in many countries because of its destructive physical and psychological effects. It destabilizes prisoners, making it harder for them to be rehabilitated over the course of their sentences. How can a prisoner achieve teshuvah if their confinement destroys their human dignity and self-worth?
Since last Monday, prisoners in at least eight prisons have been refusing meals to hold prison officials to an agreement, made at the end of a hunger strike this summer, to review the inmates' five major demands. The hunger strike is the last resort of prisoners protesting deplorable conditions. It goes against both American and Jewish values to degrade fellow human beings this way.
Let Governor Jerry Brown know that we must end this form of torture on our own shores! Add your name to the petition below supporting the hunger strikers and asking that their concerns be addressed.
We write to you as rabbis who support the California prison hunger strikers in their efforts to end solitary confinement and other inhumane confinement conditions.
We urge you to grant the five core demands of the thousands of prisoner hunger strikers in full without delay.
In just a few days, we and our communities will celebrate Yom Kippur, a day devoted to fasting and teshuvah (repentence). In our own fast, we will keep the hunger strikers in our hearts and minds. And as we do our own teshuvah, we pray that our prisons become places that facilitate rehabilitation and repentance, and not sites of punitive and degrading punishment that borders on torture.
We believe that every human being is a creation in the divine image, and that every human being—regardless of his or her past actions— deserves to be treated with dignity. We ask you to end prolonged solitary confinement and other conditions that compromise the dignity of prisoners.
|34||Thu Oct 06 15:05:40 EDT 2011||Claudia Prestel||Great Glen, ot|
|33||Wed Oct 05 17:37:55 EDT 2011||Peg Kershenbaum||New City, NY|
|32||Wed Oct 05 17:26:58 EDT 2011||Elliot Skiddell||Hewlett, NY|
|31||Wed Oct 05 09:51:35 EDT 2011||Aryeh Cohen||LOS ANGELES, CA|
|30||Wed Oct 05 08:09:35 EDT 2011||Mia Simring||New York, NY|
|29||Wed Oct 05 06:03:16 EDT 2011||Yochanan ben Avraham Aveinu||Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K., ot|
|28||Wed Oct 05 05:30:46 EDT 2011||Phd Lombard-Des Gouttes-Cr+�Mieux||paris, ot|
|27||Wed Oct 05 02:58:16 EDT 2011||Louis Frankenthaler||Jerusalem, NJ|
|26||Tue Oct 04 23:25:19 EDT 2011||James Rosenberg||Providence, RI|
|25||Tue Oct 04 22:18:44 EDT 2011||Jill Jacobs||New York, NY|
|24||Tue Oct 04 20:26:54 EDT 2011||Laurence Edwards||Chicago, IL|
|23||Tue Oct 04 19:38:18 EDT 2011||Stephen Oren||Chicago, IL|
|22||Tue Oct 04 19:11:38 EDT 2011||H. Bruce Ehrmann||Randolph, MA|
|21||Tue Oct 04 18:07:14 EDT 2011||Andrew Gold||Santa Fe, NM|
|20||Tue Oct 04 17:28:20 EDT 2011||Camille Angel||San Francisco, CA|
|19||Tue Oct 04 17:24:46 EDT 2011||Andy Shugerman||Miami, FL|
|18||Tue Oct 04 16:31:55 EDT 2011||Amy Eilberg||Mendota Heights, MN|
|17||Tue Oct 04 16:09:10 EDT 2011||Arthur Waskow & Phyllis Berman||philadelphia, PA|
|16||Tue Oct 04 15:34:30 EDT 2011||Daniel Grossman||Lawrenceville, NJ|
|15||Tue Oct 04 15:31:53 EDT 2011||Eliot Baskin||Greenwood Village, CO|
|14||Tue Oct 04 15:18:28 EDT 2011||Michael Iltis||Madison, WI|
|13||Tue Oct 04 15:14:44 EDT 2011||Binyamin Biber||Washington, DC|
|12||Tue Oct 04 15:05:15 EDT 2011||Shoshanah Devorah||Ukiah, CA|
|11||Tue Oct 04 14:56:16 EDT 2011||Yitzhak Nates||Narberth, PA|
|10||Tue Oct 04 14:46:49 EDT 2011||Elizabeth Bolton||Baltimore, MD|