CSATF RESIDENT HONORS ADVOCATE, BARBARA BROOKS
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of Mrs. Barbara Brooks on April 19, 2023. Mrs. Brooks took on the struggle to free her son Jeff from the clutches of a three strikes sentence when she created the Social Justice Reform Act (SJRA), which with several other groups pushed for the creation of and eventual passage by the people of Props 36 and 47.
Her tireless work not only brought about Jeff’s freedom under prop guidelines, but also the early release and liberty of thousands of other inmates who met the requirements.
Jeff Brooks, a friend too many during his time at The Q will remember him as a catcher for the SQ Giants and co-founder of the Hope for Lifers group. Jeff is free living with his wife near Sacramento.
Rest in peace Mrs. Brooks you truly are an angel for truth and justice.
—Macro Davidson, Corcoran Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Corcoran, California
INDIANA READER ON THE INJUSTICE OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
In this country, people and the courts are still debating if the death penalty constitutes a legally prohibited “cruel and unusual punishment,” but less and less debate about torturous conditions of solitary confinement. All complaints that were filed to U.S. Courts agree that solitary confinement violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
Nevertheless, many death row inmates in this country spend 15, 20, or more years in torturous conditions of confinement without any legitimate penological purpose but that they were sentenced to death. This is a result of dysfunctional post-conviction system. Such a system is unconstitutional, inhumane, and requires that the death sentence be vacated.
The damage inflicted by solitary confinement cannot be undone or reversed, but a remedy for this form of torture must be provided.
I believe with your help we will get closer to abolishing solitary confinement and the death penalty in the U.S. Thank you for your help.
—Jurijus Kadamovas, U.S.P. Terre Haute, Terre Haute, Indiana
RESIDENT OF AVENAL WEIGHS IN ON CALIFORNIA MODEL
First of all to meet the rehabilitative needs of anyone, on any level of prison yard you have to create a truly clean rehabilitation atmosphere/ environment. What I mean by that is for people to thrive and flourish, you must separate those that are completely genuine in their disposition and dedication to positive change from those that are phony and half-hearted. There has to be a zero tolerance for drugs, alcohol, and mischievousness and people would not merely slip by, but be expected to be proactive participants.
When I think about this, what comes to mind is Delancey Street program. Sad but true I do not believe there should be any time taken off of your sentence, your payoff is absolutely your rehabilitation, but also like Delancey Street there are many dynamics to that rehabilitative payoff. In the way of supportive networks of many kinds, job skill, education, a new perspective about life and people. An unselfish will to help others and teach others that is very rewarding. A great sense of accomplishment, self-esteem, etc… If you even start to give milestones or rehabilitative achievement credits you will attract the wrong crowd. Time credits can only be applied to the completion of a long rigorous set of phases of progression with NO serious offenses.
—James Bagley, Avenal State Prison, Avenal, California
HOPE AND INSPIRATION FOUND IN WASCO, RECEPTION CENTER
I am currently at Wasco reception center with nothing to do but sit by myself. I was blessed by another inmate who went to a regular dorm. He left me the May 2023 issue of the paper. I enjoyed it very much; I read it cover to cover ten times. I really enjoyed the sports section, law and policy, and the crossword puzzle. You and your staff are awesome. My wife is working on getting me a subscription.
—Fernando Castro III, Wasco State Prison, Wasco, California
Thank you! Your message of hope serves to remind us here at SQNews why we do what we do. Inspiring rehabilitation is our mission, and we sincerely hope that our paper motivates you and all our readers to strive to be better. We ship our newspaper to Wasco each month: 750 copies to the library and 250 to the education department. We’re so pleased you got one!
SUPPORT AND LOVE MAILED IN FROM SOUTHERN AD-SEG
May the goodness accrued from your work in helping alleviate the suffering of all beings and enabling them to find eternal happiness. There is nothing more worthy than the virtue of selflessness. Selflessness unites people. It is a healing herb that unifies strangers and brings families together. It is the love for others that is higher than self-love; it is our only hope.
—Wayne El. Chick, Ad. Seg., R.J. Donovan State Prison, San Diego, California