Op-Ed: Here in San Quentin, I see why solitary confinement must end
I read the news this week that San Quentin, California, has begun the process to end some of its most egregious practices. The prison has begun the process to make the prison a lot more like a college campus.
San Quentin has struggled with drug addiction and violence for decades. While much of the state’s “treatment” for its drug crimes is not actually treatment, they have largely failed. At this point, it’s time to be serious.
For decades, San Quentin has been at the epicenter of the opioid epidemic, as well as the other problems associated with prison.
According to the latest count from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California has the highest rate of drug use in the nation – and the world. By some accounts, 80 percent of Californians have used drugs.
According to CDCR, the state’s drug use is at the root of a growing crisis in California prisons.
Last week, the governor of California signed the legislation, allowing people sentenced under state drug laws — not limited to those who used drugs — to be released from prison. It is the first such move in the country.
This will come as good news to those of us who have suffered, experienced, or been confronted with the effects of drug use and addiction for decades. It will be good news to those of us suffering from the effects of this trauma, and we are grateful.
It will also be good news to those of us who have been locked away for years, and we would like to see it come soon.
We are not going to do anything like we used to, because that would be doing something no human being should be doing. All of these people are suffering.
In 2015, we reported that CDCR’s own data revealed that California is home to the most violent criminals in the world. More than 2,000 people are killed by drug dealers every year in California.
What’s more, we reported on the fact that over one-third of California prisoners