Just received: the latest “annual” photo of Michael Zaharibu Dorrough:
Also they routinely get NO YARDTIME.
Email of the Ombudsman: firstname.lastname@example.org and cc it to: email@example.com.
Here is what Zaharibu wrote:
“We routinely get beat out of everything that we have coming:
– Personal property items that we are allowed to have (there is a new property matrix out since January and Zaharibu was denied boxer shorts sent in by his parents via a vendor!).
– We are fed on paper trays almost daily.
I have personally spoken to an associate warden here, and the guy who is in charge of implementing the SDP (step down program), both agree that we should get everything that we are entitled to, but neither of them will do anything, nothing at all, to enforce policy and ensure that we are issued those items that we have coming: receive our yard, and receive our full portion of food (something that is not possible on paper trays).”
(from a letter dated Feb 13, 2014).
To the extent that it is possible, we have been following the legislative hearings and we are hopeful – cautiously optimistic – that something meaningful and permanent will result from them.
We are all mindful of the promises made by some legislators in 2000 that efforts would be made to change the inhumanities that are inherent in the SHUs and exacerbated by the state, the pitting of prisoners against one another, isolating prisoners away from their families and loved ones and housing us in areas that are hostile to us (the complete illness). But we are also mindful that this time the legislative hearings are being held as a result of struggle and sacrifice.
It is what Frederick Douglass meant by “If there is no struggle there is no progress … Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” He also said, “Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow.”
And it was magnificent [during the hunger strike] to see inside the walls, to actually struggle together, people from different cultures and spaces. (The hospital here was overwhelmed nightly.)
And it’s really important that we separate ourselves from the state-created gang narrative that has been responsible for so much discourse [and discord] amongst us for so long.
This coming together to reclaim our humanity required political maturity on everyone’s part, young and old alike, throughout the system and the organizing efforts of the many, many progressives out there were and are equally magnificent. It serves as a basis for our hope.
And more than anything I wanted to write to say, from all of us here, thank you (and that is such an understatement) to you, the Bay View and everyone throughout the nation and globe for your courage, leadership, faith and friendship, support and inspiration and love.
There is still so much work to do and freedom to win and we look forward to the struggle ahead with you all. Until we win or don’t lose.
Send our brother some love and light: Michael Zaharibu Dorrough, D-83611, Cor SHU, 4B-1L-43, P.O. Box 3481, Corcoran, CA 93212.
Statement suspending the third hunger strike
The PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective Representatives hereby serve notice upon all concerned parties of interest that after nine weeks we have collectively decided to suspend our third hunger strike action on Sept. 5, 2013.
To be clear, our peaceful protest of resistance to our continuous subjection to decades of systemic state sanctioned torture via the system’s solitary confinement units is far from over. Our decision to suspend our third hunger strike in two years does not come lightly.
From our perspective, we’ve gained a lot of positive ground towards achieving our goals. However, there’s still much to be done. Our resistance will continue to build and grow until we have won our human rights.
- Todd Ashker, C58191, D1-119
- Arturo Castellanos, C17275, D1-121
- Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (Dewberry), C35671, D1-117
- Antonio Guillen, P81948, D2-106
- And the Representatives Body:
- Danny Troxell, B76578, D1-120
- George Franco, D46556, D4-217
- Ronnie Yandell, V27927, D4-215
- Paul Redd, B72683, D2-117
- James Baridi Williamson, D-34288. D4-107
- Alfred Sandoval, D61000, D4-214
- Louis Powell, B59864, D1-104
- Alex Yrigollen, H32421, D2-204
- Gabriel Huerta, C80766, D3-222
- Frank Clement, D07919, D3-116
- Raymond Chavo Perez, K12922, D1-219
- James Mario Perez, B48186, D3-124
Family members’ statement on suspension of hunger strike
- Irene Huerta, CFASC, wife of Gabriel Huerta, PB Short Corridor Representative
- Dolores Canales, CFASC, mother of PB SHU prisoner
Legislative leaders welcome end to hunger strike, re-affirm commitment to hearings on prisoner concerns
What you can do
Since July 8th, 30,000 prisoners have started a hunger strike in California protesting the solitary confinement policies which can lead to people being kept in the SHU (Secure Housing Unit) for years, decades even.
Michael Zaharibu Dorrough has been in the SHU for 24+ years.
Since the hunger strike began, the prison authorities of CSP-Corcoran have moved Zaharibu and his cellmate who are both on hunger strike to another unit: 4A 3R. This is a unit used for “debriefers”, which means prisoners who have informed the prison officials and gang investigators (IGI) on other prisoners concerning gang membership.
Here is a letter from Zaharibu, which he wrote to a friend outside on July 14th:
Zaharibu Dorrough: we are being isolated in Corcoran-SHU! No medical checkups! Stripped of property!
From a letter by Zaharibu Dorrough to a friend:
Zaharibu, or Michael Reed Dorrough, is held a prisoner at the California State Prison – Corcoran Secure Housing Unit (SHU). He was falsely arrested in 1985. He has spent more than 24 years in solitary confinement.
With this website we, Friends of Zaharibu, show our support for his case for innocence.
Also, we want to highlight the torturous conditions inside California’s solitary confinement units: locked in a very small cell for 24 hours a day, with only yardtime a few hours a week; no telephone calls ever; one hour visits behind glass; never being able to touch one’s family/loved ones; one photo a year they had to fight for to get; inadequate food and clothing, etc. Zaharibu needs to be heard and released.
We have also created a Facebook profile page for Zaharibu that we manage to keep in contact more easily with his family and friends, supporters.
Note: “Being validated” does not mean a lot, it is the terminology of the California dept. of Corrections (CDCR). The term is being used not only for gang members but also to lock-in solitary people who adhere to authors, political programs, etc. that are classified by CDCR as undesirable in their views. Making these prisoners political or politicised prisoners.
Michael Dorrough, an inmate at California State Prison, Corcoran, who has spent 24 years in the SHU after being validated as a member of the Black Guerilla Family in 1988, is skeptical of any talk of reforms:
It is virtually impossible to figure out or believe anything you might hear regarding the step down program. It’s supposed to be revised again. This will be the sixth revision. In all honesty I would not want to be included in it. Aside from those privileges that have been outlined in each of the draft proposals, you have no idea what the expectations are. And it is stated that there are expectations. There is a contract that you must sign stipulating that you agree with whatever the expectations are. No one knows what the contract looks like and that’s usually the best indication that something is wrong.
Dorrough, who has been held in all three of California’s SHUs, writes of psychological struggles as a result of his prolonged isolation:
I know that, psychologically, damage has been done. I don’t just talk to myself, I curse myself out. Sometimes I’ll drop something, a piece of paper, a spoon, and I’ll get mad at whatever I’ve dropped. I’ll snatch it off the floor with the intention of harming it.
You can actually feel yourself disconnecting. And I ask myself from what? You really have been cut off from everything. This is it.
And here we are only allowed out to the yard cages once, maybe twice a week. We are confined to the cells 24 hours a day, five or six days a week. I have developed a condition in which I bite down on my back teeth constantly. It’s been happening for a couple of years. And the only thing I have been told is that it’s all in my mind.
“Isolation can really crush your spirit,” he writes.
Michael Zaharibu Dorrough
P.O. Box 3481,
Corcoran, CA 93212
(Zaharibu was forcibly removed from 4B to 4A during the July 2013 hunger strike)