Friday, August 26, 2011

Hamburg protest for Leonard Peltier

On Thursday, August 25, some forty persons from diverse regions of the world gathered in front of the US Consulate in Hamburg, Germany, to protest against Leonard Peltier being placed in solitary confinement and being denied the neccessary medical care. During the hour long action the political activists held a banner with the wording "Yes you can Set him free" and distributed flyers. Speakers highlighted the case of Leonard and his more than 35 years of unjust incarceration, but also spoke about the situation of Mumia Abu-Jamal and the general plight of political prisoners in US dungeons.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting It Right

Getting it Right

Click on the tabs below to learn more about the central causes of wrongful convictions and suggested reforms to prevent future injustice.

Getting it Right is a joint project of the Innocence Project and Brandon Garrett, author of "Convicting the Innocent." The project was supported in part by a grant from the Foundation to Promote Open Society.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Solitary confinement should be a last resort

Solitary confinement should be a last resort
By Editorial, Published: August 21
The Washington Post

DOZENS OF INMATES at California’s Pelican Bay facility went on hunger strikes for several weeks this summer for what seemed like pitifully modest demands: “Allow one photo per year. Allow one phone call per week. Allow wall calendars.”

What would prompt such drastic measures in the quest for such modest goals? Answer: The protest was an exasperated and understandable reaction to the invisible brutality that is solitary confinement. Some of the Pelican Bay inmates have been held in “security housing units” for years; those tagged as gang members can expect to stay there for six years, with no certainty that they will be reintegrated into the general population even if they renounce gang membership.

When an inmate is holed up alone in a cell for up to 23 hours a day with no meaningful human contact, a photograph of a loved one or a weekly telephone call can help to forge a connection with the outside world. With little or no exposure to natural light, a calendar can help forestall losing all track of time, all sense of reality. These simple privileges, in short, can help ward off insanity.

California prison officials accepted some of the inmates’ demands. But the concessions are minor. Elimination of the prolonged use of this tool is the better option.

At any given time, 25,000 to 100,000 inmates are held in solitary confinement throughout the nation. Contrary to popular belief, these inmates are often not the “worst of the worst”; some are in solitary confinement to separate them from fellow gang members. While in solitary, most are kept from participating in group educational programs or counseling sessions.

Short periods of isolation are unlikely to cause serious or permanent damage. But stays of months or years can trigger psychosis and debilitating depression. Inmates kept in solitary confinement for long periods also display higher levels of hostility than those in the general prison population and tend to carry this hostility with them after they are returned to the prison population at large or released back into the community.

There may be times when segregating an inmate is necessary for the safety of others or to protect the inmate. Keeping an inmate away from the general population may at times be appropriate discipline. Such an approach may be required in extraordinary cases to prevent convicted terrorists or gang leaders from devising plots or communicating with comrades.

But solitary confinement costs roughly twice as much as housing in less restrictive conditions — an expense that California and other fiscally challenged states can’t afford. Subjecting the average prisoner to the trauma of prolonged solitary confinement is inhumane. It comes perilously close to the “lock ’em up and throw away the key” mentality that has been long discredited as a legitimate prison management tool.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Peltier Committee News

Supporters should know that Mr. Peltier has recently decided on a legal strategy that best suits his needs and that is a departure from the strategy presented by Attorney Robert R. Bryan some months ago. Consequently, Robert Bryan will no longer be representing Leonard Peltier. Mr. Peltier enjoys the support of other attorneys who will continue to represent him. Please do what you can to support their efforts to free Leonard Peltier.

As a reminder, the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC) is the center of communication between Leonard Peltier and his program coordinators, the general public, government officials, political and tribal leaders, the media, and his supporters worldwide.

The international headquarters of the LPDOC is located in Fargo, North Dakota. Our contact information is as follows.

PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106
Phone: 701/235-2206

Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns.

Donations should be sent to the above address. Alternatively, you may contribute securely online. Only our authorized partners and credentialed support chapters (listed at our Web site at under the "Chapters" tab) are authorized to conduct direct fundraising in your community. If you have questions about fundraising or wish to report suspected abuses, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights

The "Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights" will kick off on December 18, 2011, at Alcatraz Island. For more information contact LPDOC Board members Dorothy Ninham at 920-713-8114 or Gina Buenrostro at 920-713-2205. Details coming soon.

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Torture in the US Prison System: The Endless Punishment of Leonard Peltier

Torture in the US Prison System: The Endless Punishment of Leonard Peltier
Saturday 13 August 2011
by: Preston Randolph and Dan Battaglia, Truthout Op-Ed

Your visit to one of America's prisons may last only a few hours, but once you pass the first steel threshold, your perception of humanity is altered. The slammed doors, metal detectors and body frisks introduce you to life on the inside, but the glaring hatred from the guards and officials make it a reality. When you creep back into your own world afterward, you wonder what is really happening to the people who permanently languish behind bars.

In June 2006, the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons released "Confronting Confinement," a 126-page report summarizing its 12-month inquiry into the prison systems. The commission follows up the analysis based on its findings with a list of recommendations. Topping the list of needed improvements is better enforcement of inmates' right to proper health care and limitations on solitary confinement. Five years after the report's release and despite its detailed and well-researched studies, inmate abuse continues. More recently, news reports from California's Pelican Bay Prison amplified the need for change, but after the three-week inmate hunger strike ended, the torture of solitary confinement continues nationwide.

More than 20,000 inmates are caged in isolation in the United States at any one time. Originally designed as a temporary disciplinary action, solitary confinement has drifted into use as a long-term punishment. This act of inhumanity is a clear contradiction of the Eighth Amendment. During the Pelican Bay hunger strike that rippled into prisons across the country, a 66-year-old man with extreme medical needs, Leonard Peltier, was forced into "the hole" at Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania.

Nightmarish as it is, what follows is fact.

In 1977, American Indian activist Leonard Peltier was convicted of murdering two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Peltier has now served more than 35 years in federal prison. His trial remains one of the most controversial in the history of the American judicial system.

Since Peltier's conviction, overwhelming information has been released confirming extreme misconduct by the FBI and the government prosecution's withholding of evidence and use of coerced testimonies. It is obvious that Peltier, despite overwhelming reasonable doubt, was considered guilty before the trial began. It is now well known that during the time of Peltier's involvement with the American Indian Movement (AIM), the FBI's Cointelpro programs were running secret, illegal tactics to eliminate political organizations of dissent, including the strategic assassination and imprisonment of activists. Cointelpro was officially abolished in 1971, but the illegal tactics it used continue. The political agenda formulated against Peltier did not end with his trial, but persists as he serves his prison sentence. In 1992, Amnesty International deemed Peltier a political prisoner and stated that, "FBI misconduct prejudiced the fairness of his trial."

Former Bureau of Prisons (BOP) official Bruce Smith served nearly 20 years at Leavenworth State Penitentiary in Kansas. Smith experienced firsthand the wrongdoings and mistreatment toward Peltier during the decades Peltier spent at Leavenworth.

"It's obvious they [the FBI and the BOP] have an agenda out against Leonard. What has happened to him is wrong. See, they have the tendency to know where they want to go in a case, and then build their evidence to that point, and that's exactly what happened to Leonard," said Smith.

The FBI's "blood for blood" agenda to railroad Peltier has merged its way into the prison system, where, it is noted, he has received inadequate and abusive treatment. Since his incarceration, Peltier has endured several hardships at the hands of the BOP, some of which have been labeled inhumane and immoral.

Currently Peltier is facing serious health issues, including diabetes, hypertension and, recently, symptoms of cancer. Many of these issues have been directly caused by lack of medical treatment and poor nutrition during his imprisonment. But this does not appear to have prevented the BOP from mistreating - or, more specifically, torturing - Peltier.

Since 2009, we have been producing a documentary film exposing the Peltier case.

As filmmakers, we are personally committed to exposing the truth and having an impact in serving real justice. We have accessed archives across the country pertaining to this case and have been in communication with key players on both sides of the story. Our intention is to tell the truth, much of which will be shocking to audiences. The more information we uncover, the more obvious it is that Peltier is an innocent activist, placed in hell because of extreme and illegal FBI actions. What is really shocking is how the mistreatment of Peltier behind prison walls continues even into his old age and as his health declines.

On June 27, the day after the 36th anniversary of the FBI agents' deaths on Pine Ridge, Peltier was abruptly moved from a cell among the general prison population into solitary confinement. The reasoning for the move was hidden from his legal team and supporters for days, and concern for his well-being grew. Nearly a week after, the entire fiasco as to why the prison guards at Lewisburg decided that a 66-year-old man was a major risk to the security of the supermax prison was revealed.

The BOP incident reports linked immediately above do not tell the whole story.

The first charge indicated Peltier received a letter the previous day from a supporter in Scotland that contained a 20-pound note. Peltier had asked the mailroom to send back the enclosed money, but this request was not followed up. He then addressed a letter, including the 20-pound note, to a friend, with the intent to send it out of the prison, knowing that possession of unauthorized money was a violation of prison rules. This violation can only bring up the question: why did the BOP allow the 20-pound note into the prison in the first place, and why did the mailroom not take action when Peltier brought it to their attention?

The second charge relates to dangling wires found within Peltier's cell. The incident report claims that an officer was inspecting the cell when he observed two exposed wires above the top bunk. The guard then pulled on the wires and was shocked with a jolt of electricity. (Who in his right mind would pull on exposed electrical wires?) Even though Peltier was not in the cell at the time, the BOP classified the incident as an "assault." The report concludes by saying that Peltier was the only occupant in the cell. The BOP did not explain that a cellmate was recently transferred out of Peltier's cell. This inmate was occupying the top bunk, which Peltier cannot access. Nonetheless, he was the one punished.

These miniscule infractions are excuses to punish Peltier, who is now set to serve six months of solitary confinement in a small cement hellhole for 23 to 24 hours a day. The conditions to which he is subjected are horrific. Lewisburg Prison is a notoriously old penitentiary, and the solitary confinement cells are not properly ventilated or air-conditioned. This raises further concerns about Peltier's health as a major heat wave passes through the Eastern United States. Recently, another inmate was moved into the small, isolated cell that Peltier inhabits. The inmates who are forced into solitary confinement are not allowed personal visits or personal items of any kind. In the scorching heat, Peltier has sweated profusely, has been unable to sleep and has lost his appetite. It has been acknowledged that solitary confinement creates new health problems in inmates and can exacerbate pre-existing conditions.

This is torture, especially when used as punishment for such minor and questionable infractions.

According to Smith: "What's happening is wrong. Their goal is to make Leonard miserable. They are out for blood because of the deaths of the agents, and they will not be satisfied until they get it."

It seems that, since Smith's retirement in the 2000's, this agenda has not changed. Peltier continues to be harassed, mistreated and denied proper health care and living conditions. Once the facts are presented, it's quite obvious that from the government's perspective, Peltier is meant to die in prison.

In the United States, where our Constitution opposes "cruel and unusual punishment," we must ask ourselves what has happened. The imprisonment and harassment of an activist whose guilt is still in question is an outrage to our justice system. Everything pointing to Peltier's guilt has been debunked, to the point that the prosecutors themselves have admitted that they couldn't prove who killed the agents. Now, after 35 years of a wrongful imprisonment, Peltier, an ailing, 66-year-old man, continues to be harassed and tortured in prison. A six month-sentence to solitary confinement could very well be a death sentence. Immediate action is needed before it is too late. This case is contrary to everything America claims to stand for, and until Peltier is freed, this atrocity stains the hands of all of us who stand by and watch it happen.

More information on the Peltier case, his current situation and how to take action can be found here.

For more information about the film can be found at

Source URl:

This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Leonard Peltier in Solitary Confinement

Leonard Peltier: Indian Martyr

Leonard Peltier: Indian Martyr
By Dan Skye

On August 6-7, a host of international activists gathered near the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, PA for an evening candlelight vigil and morning rally in support of Leonard Peltier. Peltier, who has been behind bars for over 35 years, was convicted in 1977 of the murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota. His case stands as one of the worst miscarriages of justice ever perpetrated upon an American citizen.

During the 1970s, Pine Ridge, SD had the highest murder rate per capita in the nation, the result of strife between AIM activists and corrupt tribal police. The FBI had been complicit in the harassment of AIM sympathizers and so-called “traditionals.”

In June 1975, a firefight broke out on a rural ranch between two FBI agents and a group of AIM Indians. Both agents were killed at close range. In the tense, war-like conditions of Pine Ridge, the shooting began before the FBI agents could identify themselves.

Despite the presence of multiple police agencies, the Indians – which included women and children – were able to escape. Peltier was later captured the following year. In his ensuing trial, it was clear that evidence had been fabricated and witnesses were coerced. Both murders were pinned on Peltier despite the fact that two other Indians – who were present at the shooting scene – had already been acquitted. Peltier was sentenced to two life terms.

The government has conceded that it cannot be certain Peltier was responsible. Unfortunately, his court appeals have failed. Sadly, he has been denied clemency by the past three Presidents. Many believe President Obama may grant him clemency if he fails to be reelected. It remains to be seen; the FBI continues to vigorously oppose such a notion.

Behind bars Peltier has become an outstanding artist, what “keeps me alive,” he says. However, at present Peltier is unable to paint, in a 23-hour lockdown for 60 days for possession of currency not authorized by the penitentiary.

While in prison, Peltier has become a leading spokesperson for Native rights and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize six times. His case has gained international interest.

Among the vigil attendees were supporters from across the nation and from as far away as Germany. Peltier’s sister, Betty, arrived from North Dakota. She has been prevented from visiting her brother and worries about his health; Peltier, 67, suffers from a heart condition. Attorney Michael Kuzma was also in attendance. He called the process of defending Peltier “extremely difficult,” as the federal government has incarcerated him with continuing malice.

To learn more about Leonard Peltier, visit or watch Incident at Oglala, the excellent documentary narrated by Robert Redford, which chronicles the government conspiracy to make Peltier the scapegoat for a tragedy. Also visit to purchase his artwork. All proceeds go to his defense fund.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Freedom -- from Solitary, from Prison -- for Leonard Peltier

Download Flyer

WHAT: Candlelight Vigil and Rally

WHEN: Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7, 2011

WHERE: Corner of Route 15 (N. Derr Drive) and William Penn Drive in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Join us at 7:00 p.m. on August 6th for a candlelight vigil to protest the use of solitary confinement in the U.S., and in solidarity with prisoners at the federal penitentiary at Lewisburg -- in support of Leonard Peltier, in particular.

Gather at 10:00 a.m. on August 7th for a Free Peltier Rally. Native American activist and political prisoner Leonard Peltier is currently being held in solitary confinement at USP-Lewisburg. Rally for his freedom -- from solitary, from prison. Demand clemency for Leonard Peltier!

Assemble both days at the corner of Route 15 (N. Derr Drive) and William Penn Drive in Lewisburg, PA.

Bring posters and banners, drums, candles, water, food-snacks, etc.

Sponsored by the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee and coordinated by LPDOC Chapters in PA.

US authorities urged to improve prison conditions for Leonard Peltier

Amnesty InternationalImage via Wikipedia AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Index: AMR 51/070/2011

03 August 2011

US authorities urged to improve prison conditions for Leonard Peltier

Amnesty International has written to Warden Bledsoe at the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg to express concern at reports that Leonard Peltier has been placed in isolation as a disciplinary measure which could continue for six months.

According to reports, Peltier was moved at the end of June following two minor infractions, one of which included tampering with the wires to the lighting in his cell, which he vehemently denies. He is reportedly locked in his cell for most of the day.

Amnesty International is concerned that Peltier may have been unfairly punished for an offence he did not commit, and that confinement to a cell for a prolonged period with inadequate exercise and other deprivations could be detrimental to his health, particularly in view of the poor state of his physical health and existing medical conditions.

Amnesty International has urged Warden Bledsoe to review Peltier’s confinement to isolation, and to ensure that he has an opportunity to fairly contest any charges against him. It has also urged him not to confine Peltier in conditions which may be detrimental to his health, and to give him access to appropriate medical treatment he may need.

In addition, Amnesty International has urged Warden Bledsoe to review conditions for all prisoners held in isolation following reports that they receive no alleviation from the heat and sleep on the floor at night in order to get some respite from the very high temperatures, which have reportedly recently reached 100 degrees farenheit in the locality.

Background Information

Leonard Peltier is a prominent member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), who was convicted of the murders of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents during a confrontation involving AIM members on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1975. Peltier, who has always denied shooting the agents, was sentenced to two sentences of life imprisonment in 1977. Amnesty International has ongoing concerns about the fairness of the process leading to his conviction.


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Activists rally for freedom for Leonard Peltier

03 August 2011

Contact: Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106, USA; Telephone: 1-701-235-2206;

Activists rally for freedom for Leonard Peltier

Indigenous and human rights activists will gather in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, on August 7 to call for the freedom of Leonard Peltier. A rally is scheduled for Sunday at the corner of Route 15 and William Penn Drive beginning at 10:00 a.m.

An innocent man, Native American activist Leonard Peltier was wrongfully convicted in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1977. Imprisoned for over 35 years—currently at the federal prison in Lewisburg,—Peltier has been designated a political prisoner by Amnesty International. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, 55 Members of Congress and others—including a judge who sat as a member of the court in two of Peltier’s appeals—have all called for his immediate release. Widely recognized for his humanitarian works and a six-time Nobel Prize nominee, Peltier also is an accomplished author and painter.

Peltier supporters worldwide believe freedom is long overdue for Peltier.

"With no evidence whatsoever, the FBI decided to ‘lock Peltier into the case’. Government officials presented false statements to a Canadian court to extradite Peltier to the U.S. Meanwhile, in a separate trial, Mr. Peltier's co-defendants were acquitted by reason of self defense. Unhappy with the outcome of that trial, prosecutors went judge shopping and venue hopping to secure a conviction. FBI documents prove that they went so far as to manufacture the so-called murder weapon," said a spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee in Fargo, North Dakota.

According to court records, the United States Attorney who prosecuted the case has admitted on several occasions that no one knows who fired the fatal shots.

The Peltier case has been examined by renowned author Peter Matthiessen ("In the Spirit of Crazy Horse") and by a documentary film produced and narrated by Robert Redford ("Incident at Oglala").

Author Jim Messerschmidt ("The Trial of Leonard Peltier") is convinced Peltier was convicted because the prosecution enjoyed free rein to manipulate highly inconsistent and contradictory circumstantial evidence.

Although the courts have acknowledged evidence of government misconduct—including the coercion of witnesses, the intentional use of false testimonies, and the concealment of ballistics evidence reflecting his innocence—Peltier has been denied a new trial on a legal technicality.

The power to commute Peltier's sentence of two life terms rests with President Obama.

"Obama has said that freedom and justice for all must begin with freedom and justice in the lives of individual human beings. Why not Leonard Peltier?"

To learn more about the Peltier case, visit Also view "US Versus Leonard Peltier: Evidence of a Wrongful Conviction. From the files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation" at


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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Activists urge closure of 'torture chamber' at U.S. penitentiary

01 August 2011

Contact: Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106, USA; Telephone: 1-701-235-2206;

Activists urge closure of 'torture chamber' at U.S. penitentiary

It is estimated that a minimum of 20,000 prisoners in the United States are kept in solitary confinement. Experts say that number is growing.

"At what cost? Solitary units cost almost three times more to build. Housing prisoners in solitary often costs twice as much annually. In addition, prisoners deprived of normal human contact can't properly reintegrate into society. Ultimately, that means higher crime rates. The use of solitary costs taxpayers more and it doesn't keep communities safe."

Hosted by the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC), human rights and religious activists will gather in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, this week to protest the use of solitary at the federal penitentiary there. A candlelight vigil is scheduled for the evening of August 6 at the corner of Route 15 and William Penn Drive.

"The increasing use of isolation units as a means of control is alarming. The goal of solitary confinement is clearly to disable prisoners through spiritual, psychological and/or physical breakdown. It's torture and a recipe for disaster," said a LPDOC spokesperson.

Since 2008, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons, Lewisburg penitentiary has been the nation’s repository for especially difficult and aggressive prisoners. Accordingly, less emphasis is placed on inmate programs at Lewisburg compared to other institutions in the federal correctional system.

A significant number of the prisoners at Lewisburg are "locked down," confined in small cells 23 hours a day with little or no human contact. Reading materials, television, radios and other property is restricted or denied. There are severe limits on visitation and prisoners are unable to participate in group activities. Almost all human contact occurs while the prisoner is in restraints and/or behind some sort of barrier.

According to experts, people placed in solitary exhibit a variety of negative psychological reactions, including severe and chronic depression, decreased brain function, and hallucinations. Self-mutilation and suicide are not uncommon.

Studies have found that a majority of the persons in solitary are mentally ill or cognitively disabled. Other low-risk "nuisance prisoners" also are housed in solitary because they have broken minor rules or filed grievances or lawsuits.

"If solitary confinement were used solely to house predators, most of these units would stand virtually empty."

Advocates say there are better alternatives to solitary.

"We don't have to sacrifice fairness or cost-effectiveness for the sake of safety. Mississippi's correctional system did away with solitary, reduced the rate of violence by 70 percent, and saves the State roughly $8 million per year. We think the federal Bureau of Prisons should follow Mississippi's example."


Cruel Isolation

New York Times Editorial
August 1, 2011

For many decades, the civilized world has recognized prolonged isolation of prisoners in cruel conditions to be inhumane, even torture. The Geneva Conventions forbid it. Even at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, where prisoners were sexually humiliated and physically abused systematically and with official sanction, the jailers had to get permission of their commanding general to keep someone in isolation for more than 30 days.

So Americans should be disgusted and outraged that prolonged solitary confinement, sometimes for months or even years, has become a routine form of prison management. It is inflicting unnecessary, indecent and inhumane suffering on tens of thousands of prisoners.

The issue came to the fore most recently because of a three-week hunger strike by inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison in California near the Oregon border that began on July 1 in the Orwellian Security Housing Unit, where inmates are held in wretched isolation in small windowless cells for more than 22 hours a day, some for many years.

Possessions, reading material, exercise and exposure to natural light and the outside are severely restricted. Meals are served through slots in steel cell doors. There is little in the way of human interaction. Returning to the general prison population is often conditioned on inmates divulging information on other gang members, putting themselves in jeopardy.

How inmates in these circumstances communicated to organize the protest is unclear, but it quickly spread to other California prisons. About 6,600 inmates participated at its peak. California’s huge prison system is dysfunctional in so many ways. In May, the Supreme Court found conditions at the overcrowded prisons so egregious that they violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment and ordered the state to cut its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates. The case did not address the issue of long-term solitary confinement.

With their health deteriorating, those inmates continuing to fast resumed eating after state prison officials met a few modest demands. Inmates in Pelican Bay’s isolation unit will get wool caps for cold weather, wall calendars to mark the passing time and some educational programming. Prison officials said current isolation and gang management policies are under review. But the protest has raised awareness about the national shame of extended solitary confinement at Pelican Bay and at high-security, “supermax” prisons all around the country.

Once used occasionally as a short-term punishment for violating prison rules, solitary confinement’s prevalent use as a long-term prison management strategy is a fairly recent development, Colin Dayan, a professor at Vanderbilt University, said in a recent Op-Ed article in The Times. Nationally, more than 20,000 inmates are confined in “supermax” facilities in horrid conditions.

Prison officials claim the treatment is necessary for combating gang activity and other threats to prison order. It is possible to maintain physical separation of prisoners without ultraharsh levels of deprivation and isolation. Mississippi, which once set the low bar for terrible prison practices, saw a steep reduction of prison violence and ample monetary savings when it dramatically cut back on long-term solitary several years ago.

Holding prisoners in solitary also is very expensive, and several other states have begun to make reductions. In any case, decency requires limits. Resorting to a dehumanizing form of punishment well known to induce suffering and drive people into mental illness is beyond them.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Continue the Struggle for Leonard Peltier

'free LEONARD PELTIER' / Trumbullplex (Anarchi...Image via Wikipedia

Greetings, Supporters.

First, thank you for your hard work on Leonard Peltier's behalf during this difficult time. Leonard's situation is unchanged. He remains in the control unit and his conditions of confinement are brutal. Please continue writing letters, sending e-mails, and making phone calls. For information and contact information, click here.

As a reminder, the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee (LPDOC) is the center of communication between Leonard Peltier and his attorneys, program coordinators, the general public, government officials, political and tribal leaders, the media, and his supporters worldwide. For accurate information, please visit our Web site at We also post updates on our blog ( and via pages on various social networks (MySpace, Facebook and Twitter), or through our mailing list. You may subscribe to the mailing list from our home page.

To be effective in advocating for Leonard during his crisis, we ask that you follow our instructions when we issue specific calls to action. Please refrain from contacting Leonard's attorneys. All inquiries can be directed to the LPDOC. Donations should be sent to the LPDOC, too.

We appreciate your support and thank you in advance for staying true to Leonard's struggle.

As Leonard would say, In the spirit of Crazy Horse and Geronimo...


Launched into cyberspace by the
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106

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