On today’s show:
After failing to make it through the legislative process this past fall, California State Assemblymember Chris Holden has reintroduced the Mandela Act – a legislative act that would severely limit California’s prison system from using solitary confinement as punishment. Holden represents Southern California’s District 41. It’s worth noting that if passed, the Mandela Act would not only impact the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prisons, but also immigrant detention centers, where rules around punishment are even less regulated than in CDCR. This act, essentially exactly the same, has gone through the state assembly and state senate previously, including in this past fall, but Governor Newsom rejected the bill. In addition to Assemblymember Holden, we are joined by Jack Morris, who spent 40 years in prison in California, the majority of that time in Security Housing Units – which is the technical term our state’s prison system uses for solitary confinement. He was a part of the historic prisoner hunger strikes in 2013 that led to a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of prisoners held in solitary confinement at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. The case charges that prolonged solitary confinement violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and that the absence of meaningful review for SHU placement violates the prisoners’ rights to due process. He’s now advocating alongside State Assemblymember Holden for the Mandela Act.
Then we speak with two members of Moms 4 Housing – Dominique Walker and Sharena Thomas – who are back on the front lines fighting for the continuance of eviction protections.