Monday, August 27, 2007

Coalinga Strike Update: 8/27/2007

Now in the third week of a non-violent strike, Civil Detainees in California's $388 Million Coalinga State Hospital point to a staff shakeup and a facility-wide shutdown as evidence of the strike's effectiveness and the administration's desperation in containing the revolt. Detainees, refusing to participate in most programs during the strike, have effectively shut down all Sex Offender Treatment.
More than 600 Former Department of Corrections prisoners, now being held as Civil Detainees by D.M.H. (Dept. of Mental Health) under California's stringent sex offender laws at Coalinga State Hospital, have been on strike since August 6 to demand the restoration of their civil rights. Having previously served their entire sentences in prison, they insist conditions under which they are being held are unconstitutional and inhumane and go far beyond the narrow constraints under which the laws were enacted. The U.S. Supreme Court, while having upheld the constitutionality of laws detaining sex offenders beyond their prison terms to protect society and treat offenders, requires that further detention not have the effect of punishing offenders twice for the same crime. However, the Hospital's Director, Clinical Administrator, Chief Medical Officer, and Police Lieutenant have all recently informed Detainees "you have no civil rights."

No comments: