top
Police State
Police State
Indybay
Indybay
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Indybay
Regions
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
Topics
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Sat Apr 3 2004
Human Rights Violations In California's Youth Prisons
California Youth Authority (CYA) Abuses
4/3/2004:The California Youth Authority (CYA) has long been known to be a disaster of violence and abuse of authority. Several recent events have created a public outcry that could force changes to this 63 year old institution.
In January, two 18 year olds were found hanged in their cells. The families of the two teenagers filed suit against the state for "denying mental health care and treatment and education to its wards." A state study then revealed that CYA "inmates are often locked in cages (Photo) as punishment, and those with mental problems are frequently drugged and improperly cared for."
As the news media focused long needed attention on the CYA, questions were raised and many counties took action. San Mateo County was the first county that announced it would stop sending children and teenagers to the CYA. On February 19th, Santa Clara County joined in and on the 23rd Santa Cruz County officially joined the ban. On February 24th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution "urging the San Francisco Trial Courts, District Attorney, Juvenile Probation Department and Public Defender not to sentence or cause to be sentenced, any person to the California Youth Authority (CYA) unless a CYA commitment is required by law". But these actions paid no more than lip service to the problem with many existing wards still stuck in the system.
By March 14th, Santa Cruz District Attorney Bob Lee was already claiming that "changes have been made at CYA facilities" and calling for new teenagers to be sent into the system. On March 17th, San Mateo County also quietly rescind its moratorium on youth referrals. On March 25, supporters of Loreto Arizpe, a youth who was scheduled to be committed to the CYA, rallied in front of the Santa Cruz County Courthouse to demand that Lee stop sending children into the CYA. Photos | Audio
Any hint that the CYA had changed was quickly contradicted by a video (realmedia | mpeg ) released by a state senator on April 1st showing an incident in January in which "one youthful inmate at a facility in Stockton is repeatedly pummeled by a correctional officer and another is kicked, after they were subdued and on the ground". Reports then came in that the CYA tried to cover up the beatings and dozens of prison employees have openly refused to cooperate in "probes of inmates who bled to death or were beaten as they lay prone on the floor".
4/8/2004: Activists and community members from Books Not Bars and Let's Get Free rallied on April 6th (video | 2) to demand that California Attorney General Bill Lockyer file criminal charges against the guards in the videotape. They are continuing a spring campaign calling for the closure of the CYA with an Alameda County town hall meeting on April 14th. So far, Lockyer and local prosecutors continue passing the responsibility for prosecuting anyone in this case and the teenagers beaten in the video have had to file civil rather than criminal suits against the guards that brutalized them.
Vigils are being planned statewide for April 28th against abuse in the CYA system and in remembrance of Durrell Feaster and Deon Whitfield.
Books Not Bars | Center on Jouvenile & Criminal Justice | Former Inmate: CYA Is No Mystery To Me
06/03/20 Bay Area George Floyd Protests Met with Police Tear Gas, Projectiles, and Curfews Front Page | Police State & Prisons | Racial Justice | Health, Housing & Public Services | Global Justice & Anti-Capitalism | Central Valley | San Francisco | South Bay | East Bay | Peninsula | U.S. | Santa Cruz Indymedia06/02/20 Bay Area George Floyd Demonstrators Say Racism is Health Threat so Dire They Must Protest Police State & Prisons | Racial Justice | Health, Housing & Public Services | Central Valley | San Francisco | South Bay | East Bay | Peninsula | Santa Cruz Indymedia05/31/20 Anti-War Message to Sen. Feinstein and Help to San Jose Homeless Front Page | Health, Housing & Public Services | Anti-War | San Francisco | South Bay05/24/20 Stanford Health Care Imposes Wage Cuts on Frontline Workers During Pandemic Front Page | Health, Housing & Public Services | Labor & Workers | Peninsula05/23/20 Life Model Art Rally Among Protests Against Arts Campus Closure and CCSF Cuts Front Page | Education & Student Activism | San Francisco05/14/20 Protesters Demand End to "Covid-19 Death Camps" Front Page | Police State & Prisons | Racial Justice | North Bay / Marin | California | Immigrant Rights05/06/20 SFPD Wore "Thin Blue Line" Flag Masks While Responding to May Day Protests Front Page | Police State & Prisons | Racial Justice | San Francisco05/02/20 Labor and Human Rights Groups Demand Rent and Mortgage Strike, Others to "Reopen" Front Page | Health, Housing & Public Services | Labor & Workers | Global Justice & Anti-Capitalism | San Francisco | Government & Elections | Immigrant Rights05/01/20 Two Homeless Women Move into Investor-Owned San Francisco Property Front Page | Police State & Prisons | Health, Housing & Public Services | Global Justice & Anti-Capitalism | San Francisco04/26/20 No Vacancy California: Fill Hotels Not Graves Front Page | Health, Housing & Public Services | East Bay | California04/25/20 Cancel Rent, Homes For All, and a Debt Free Future Front Page | Health, Housing & Public Services | Labor & Workers | Global Justice & Anti-Capitalism | San Francisco
Related Categories: Police State & Prisons
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

donate now

$ 883.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.

Publish

Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network