Human Rights abuse in itty-bitty Santa Cruz [link]
"My Experiences in Solitary Confinement"
by Steven Argue of the Revolutionary Tendency:
I myself spent about 5 months out of my 9 month sentence in the Santa Cruz County Jail in solitary confinement. I was in jail for coming to the defense of a woman and small child who were being brutalized by the police at a protest against the U.S. bombing of Yugoslavia. In jail, I was immediately put in solitary confinement, being told, "Mr. Argue, I have put you in administrative segregation because I deem you a threat in potentially organizing against authority".
In solitary I wrote a lot and what I was writing was getting published on the outside. I was threatened by guards that they would hurt my wrist if I kept writing. I kept writing. The guards then one day handcuffed me and then brutally beat me, hurting my wrist so bad that I couldn't write for months.
Protests outside the jail against my beating then got me out of solitary confinement for a while, but I was put back in after getting caught with an extra blanket another prisoner had gotten to me to fight excessive cold of the nights. (As an additional punishment, they turn up the air conditioning at night and deny additional bedding or clothing to inmates.)
The next time I got out of solitary I started petitions against the privatization of the commissary and the increase in price for materials needed to contact the outside world.
Everyone in my cell block signed the petition and it was published on the outside. Prices for some materials were brought down, and I was put in the hole (i.e. solitary confinement without reading or writing materials) for the rest of my stay.