Saturday, 30 May 2020

Paul Redd is free!!

We are so pleased to tell you that, finally, after 44 years, of which 30 years in solitary confinement, Paul Redd was released from prison!
In his letter of May 17th, 2020, Paul wrote:

"On May 15th the Court recalled my sentence. Vacated my first degree murder conviction and ordered I be immediately released."

Read the article in the SF Chronicle of May 29th, 2020:

Welcome home Paul! 

Monday, 2 May 2016

Paul is in the Medical Facility

Since some months, Paul has been housed in the California Medical Facility (CMF).

His latest address is (without the cellnr which we do not know right now):

Paul A. Redd Jr B-72683
California Medical Facility (CMF)
P.O. Box 2000
Vacaville, CA 95696-2000

Monday, 1 June 2015

Please send Paul a card, he is in hospital

Paul is in hospital right now, please send him a card and let him know people are wishing him well:

Paul A. Redd Jr B-72683
SATF / CTC Hospital Rm 39
P.O. Box 5248
Corcoran, CA 93212

Thank you!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Paul Redd was moved out of Pelican Bay SHU finally!

Paul wrote to say he was being transferred out of Pelican Bay SHU finally!

Paul A. Redd Jr B-72683
P.O. Box 5248
Corcoran, CA 93212

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Down in the hole

This article was written by Andrew Purcell for the Sydney Morning Herald, and contains information from Paul:

Feb. 19th, 2014

Victorian courts have been told of young offenders being held in 22-hour lockdown. What's it really like in isolation? Andrew Purcell looks at the situation in California where prisoners are kept in solitary for years at a time.

''Listen to me. Put away your preconceptions.'' Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, is explaining that reporters often make the same basic mistake. ''We don't have solitary confinement in California state prisons.''

She then describes a penal system in which almost 4000 men are locked up indefinitely in cells the size of a city bathroom. ''There's no sensory deprivation. They go to the yard every day.''

This is for 1½ hours, alone, in a lot with no view. ''There are skylights in all of the Security Housing Unit pods,'' she says. But there are no windows in the cells, so inmates cannot see outside.
A guard keeps an eye on the solitary confinement cells in Pelican Bay prison.

''They have television sets, cassette players and reading materials,'' Thornton says. But phone calls are not permitted.

''They talk among themselves.'' But they must shout to be heard by the men in neighbouring cells.

''This notion that they have no contact with people has no basis in fact,'' Thornton concludes.
Tyrell Muhammad, a former solitary confinement detainee at Pelican Bay prison.

Tyrell Muhammad, a former solitary confinement detainee at Pelican Bay prison.

The perforated steel doors of their cells are remote controlled. Twice a day, a guard pushes a meal through the slot.

''Part of the problem is: what is solitary confinement?'' she says. ''You ask 10 different people, you'll get 10 different answers.''

There is no internationally recognised definition of solitary confinement. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, has suggested that the term should apply wherever prisoners spend 22 hours or more in their cell each day.

''The only standard that is clear is that pain and suffering that crosses a line into a certain severity is prohibited because it's cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,'' Mendez says. ''If it crosses another line and becomes intentional, it's torture.''

In his 2011 report, he proposed that spells in solitary should be restricted to 15 days. Hundreds of the prisoners in California's SHUs have been there for more than five years.

The US is home to about 5 per cent of the world's population and 25 per cent of the world's prisoners. Per head, it locks up five times as many men and women as Australia and 10 times as many as Norway. Young African-American men who fail to complete high school are more likely to go to jail than they are to get a job.

The first supermax - a prison designed to hold inmates in isolation - was built in 1989 at Pelican Bay in northern California. By the end of the 1990s, there were 60 such prisons across the country. ''Under President Clinton there were federal incentives to reduce parole, pass longer sentences,'' says Jean Casella, of Solitary Watch. ''A lot of states used that money to build supermaxes.''

Nobody knows how many people are being held in US segregation units. The most recent federal estimate is about 80,000 inmates, not including county jails, immigration detention centres, mental wards or juvenile detention.

''One of the biggest misconceptions about solitary is that its use is limited to incorrigible murderers and serial rapists,'' Casella says. ''The vast majority have never committed a violent act in prison.''

In July 2013, about 30,000 inmates refused food in protest against the use of indefinite segregation in California prisons. The hunger strike soon dwindled to several hundred, then a few, mostly prisoners with life terms being held in the SHU at Pelican Bay, some of whom lasted two months without eating.

Officially, they are some of the most dangerous prison gang leaders in the state. ''From my perspective, they are terrorists,'' says Terri McDonald, a senior CDCR official.

Three months ago, I started writing to these prisoners. In the letters that arrived by return of post with the censor's stamp on every page, the men described a system in which wardens act with impunity, punishing inmates they don't like by keeping them in solitary. They all described the conditions they live in as torture.

Paul Redd, a jailhouse lawyer, employed language from the US Bill of Rights. ''When you cage another human being under these barbaric structural conditions designed to inflict physical and psychological, cruel and unusual pain, it's torture,'' he argued. He has spent 34 of his 37 years in prison in solitary confinement.

''When prisoners are going crazy and/or killing themselves in isolation because of the harshness of their conditions, what further proof is needed?'' asks John Martinez, a 12-year veteran of the SHU. ''To me, that is overwhelming evidence that isolation is harmful, that the US knows it is harmful but nevertheless continues to use it.''

In 2003, a psychology professor from the University of California, Craig Haney, studied 100 inmates at the Pelican Bay SHU. Forty-one reported hallucinations, 27 had had suicidal thoughts and ''chronic apathy, lethargy, depression and despair'' were commonplace.

CDCR data shows that between 2007 and 2010, inmates held in isolation were eight times more likely to commit suicide than prisoners in the general population.

Casella cautions that corresponding with inmates in the SHUs can create a false impression: ''Those people come from a pool of maybe a third of the people in solitary. Another third are so mentally ill that they can't communicate and another third are illiterate.''

''If someone's a pain in the ass, odds are good that they're going to end up in solitary,'' says David Fathi, of the American Civil Liberties Union's prison project. ''Some of these people are activists, they stand up to staff. More common are people who are mentally ill and act out in ways that annoy the guards.''

Access to SHUs is tightly controlled. The Red Cross may visit, but may not report what it finds. Lawyers suing the prison system have right of entry. On the rare occasions journalists are allowed in, they get the approved tour.

When Shane Bauer (who spent two years as a hostage in Iran) reported from Pelican Bay for Mother Jones magazine, he was allowed to speak with one inmate at a pod for men in transition to the general population.

The Correctional Association of New York is one of the few organisations with a mandate to inspect prison conditions. Tyrell Muhammad, a project assistant, regularly visits the SHUs at Clinton, Attica and Sing Sing prisons. He spent 26 years in prison himself, serving time for a hold-up at an after-hours club that went wrong. His friend killed the manager and Muhammad got 20 years to life for second degree murder. He was 19.

His first stint in ''the box'' was for ''disobeying a direct order'' by arriving late for lock-up. That got him four months. Each time he complained: about the deranged prisoner next door that kicked the wall all night, about rough treatment or missing meals, the guards wrote him another ticket.

''You're always at the whim of the officer,'' he says. Four months became two years, in a cell four metres by two. At night, he would often wake to find his arm draped in the toilet at the side of his bed. One of his neighbours hanged himself with his shoelaces and a sheet.

In total, Muhammad spent seven years in solitary. When he got out of prison when he was 45, he wasn't confident enough to walk to the corner of his street without someone with him. He wore sunglasses all the time, so people wouldn't be put off by his habit of staring too hard for too long.

In California, there are two ways to end up in the hole: prisoners who break the rules or commit acts of violence get a finite sentence of up to five years. This accounts for about 7000 of the 11,000 men and women on lockdown. The rest are held in isolation because they have been validated as an associate of a prison gang, such as the Aryan Brotherhood, the Black Guerrilla Family or the Mexican Mafia. Their ''sentence within a sentence'' can last indefinitely.

In 1980, Redd was validated as a member of the BGF, after his name was found in a coded roster of gang members in another man's cell. ''I have never been charged with any criminal, gang-related activity, yet I remain in the SHU for decades, called the worst of the worst … a violent, dangerous prisoner,'' he wrote in a letter to me.

In October 2012, the CDCR switched to a ''behaviour-based'' policy that requires evidence of gang activity to hold inmates in the SHU. It also started a case-by-case review of prisoners serving indefinite terms. Of the 632 reviewed so far, 408 men have been released to the general prison population.

''It is a gruesome admission that so many are going back to mainlines,'' says Charles Carbone, a prisoner-rights attorney. ''That shows that two-thirds of the men did not deserve to be there and posed no security risk to other inmates or to staff.''

Read more:

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Retaliation against Prisoner Representatives of the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike - take action plz! New photo of Paul

Prisoner Hunger Strike Representatives in Pelican Bay State Prison, of which Paul is one, were retaliated against harshly. Read below what you can do to support Paul and his brothers. We need massive support for them all. Here is also the latest picture of Paul, taken on June 14th 2013.

Thank you for your support of the hunger strikers. As you may have heard, the hunger strike began on July 8 with California 30,000 imprisoned people refusing to eat. Hundreds of media outlets have been covering this historic event.

The California Department of Corrections and ‘Rehabilitation’ (CDCr) has begun to retaliate against the vocal spokespeople for the hunger strikers, who are located in Pelican Bay and Corcoran State Prisons. Our Pledge of Resistance Alert today will focus on the extreme brutality of prison authorities against the Representatives of the hunger strikers, who are in Pelican Bay State Prison.

The CDCr is also trying to undermine legal and community support of the hunger strikers. They have just issued ‘banning’ orders to Marilyn McMahon, an attorney for many of the Reps in Pelican Bay, denying her access to her clients.

Most likely, prison officials will not be thrilled to get your phone calls and emails, so please be determined and polite in trying to send your phone and email messages. Whether you get a voice or a voice mail, they will know you are watching them, and want them to Stop the Torture.


On July 11, PBSP prison authorities removed 14 prisoner Representatives from their solitary confinement (SHU) cells and placed them in Administrative Segregation (Ad Seg) cells which are even worse than the SHU. The hunger strikers, many of whom are elder men and have severe chronic illnesses, are dressed in summer clothing, but the CDC has turned on air conditioning full blast, leaving some of the men sick and freezing.

Meanwhile, the prison officials have raided their SHU cells and confiscated their legal materials, including attorney-client protected documents pertaining to their highly publicized federal class action lawsuit against the state of California (Ruiz v. Brown).


“On July 11, 2013, we were placed in Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg), where we are subjected to more tortuous conditions than in the SHU. Despite this diabolical act on the part of CDCR intended to break our resolve and hasten our deaths, we remain strong and united! We are 100% committed to our cause and will end our peaceful action when the CDCR signs a legally binding agreement meeting our demands.”


Governor Brown has been completely silent on the hunger strike while it has gained
international news attention. He is now taking a vacation in Europe, visiting, among
other places, Dachau concentration camp in Germany, and promoting California’s environmental advancements to selected European audiences.


Tell the PBSP prison authorities to return the 14 prisoner Representatives to their cells. See below for their names.

  • Return all their property, especially the legal documents guards have confiscated.

  • Lift the ban on their attorney, Marilyn McMahon, so that she can again access her clients.

  • Medically monitor the men to ensure that the prison has not destroyed their health!

1. Contact Pelican Bay Warden Gregory Lewis:
phone: 707-465-1000 x5001

2. Copy to Dr. Jeffrey Beard, Secretary of CDCR
phone: 916-323-6001 (alternatively 916-445-5073)
fax: 916-442-2637
letter: Dr. Jeffrey Beard, Secretary CDCR, 1515 S Street, 5th Floor; Sacramento, California 94283

3. Copy to Assistant Warden at Pelican Bay, Rawland Swift
phone: 465-1000 x6254

4. Back up: Public Information Officer at PBSP Christopher Acosta
office phone: 707-465-9040
cell phone: 707-951-0350


1. Todd Ashker C58191 2. Arturo Castellanos C17275
3. Sitawa/ R.N Dewberry C35671 4. Antonio Guillen P81948
5. Danny Troxell B76578 6. George Franco D46556
7. Ronnie Yandell V27927 8. Paul Redd, Jr. B72683
9. James Baridi Williamson D34288 10. Alfred Sandoval D61000
11. Louis Powell B59864 12. Alex Yrigollen H32421
13. Gabriel Huerta C80766 14. Frank Clement D07919

Please write to the Reps.
Include one sheet of paper, one envelope and one loose stamp so they can write someone outside the walls. You can address your letter with the person’s name & prison number; Pelican Bay State Prison/SHU;
PO Box 7500. Crescent City, 95532.

Mr. Arturo Castellanos may not be able to receive your letter. He’s on ‘restricted mail,’ by the prison authorities.

Thank you so much for your solidarity,

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition: Pledge of Resistance work group
(for more info,

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Pelican Bay Prison Hunger-Strikers: Paul Redd

From: Truth-Out, July 13th 2013

By Paul Redd, Truthout | Op-Ed 

Prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison's Security Housing Unit (SHU) are isolated for at least twenty-two and a half hours a day in cramped, concrete, windowless cells. They are denied telephone calls, contact visits, any kind of programming, adequate food and, often, medical care. Nearly 750 of these men have been held under these conditions for more than a decade, dozens for over 20 years. This treatment has inflicted profound psychological suffering and caused or exacerbated debilitating physical ailments. 
Ostensibly, these men are in the SHU because they associate with gang members and isolating them is necessary to prevent gang activity and racially motivated violence. But in the summer and fall of 2011, these men, joined by other SHU prisoners throughout California, showed this claim to be the lie that it is. Organizing across racial lines, more than 6,000 SHU prisoners went on hunger strike for several weeks to protest their conditions. That's right - men who have been isolated for over a decade and deprived of basic human rights because they are allegedly connected to racially divided gangs worked together to demand basic rights and constitutional protections for themselves and one another. Now they have resumed their hunger strike, demanding that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation meet their demands.
Here is the sixth in our series of their stories and those of their families.

Paul Redd, plaintiff in the Center for Constitutional Rights lawsuit challenging long-term solitary confinement

In 1980, [I] was part of a major lawsuit to improve prison conditions. I rallied to get other prisoners involved so Folsom Prison could be added to the lawsuit. I helped to bring blacks and Mexicans together to talk, ending years of racial violence. I attempted to help black correctional officers form a black union. I provided legal assistance to all races, challenging everything from their convictions and sentences to losses of good time, lack of medical care and other matters. For that, I am called the worst of the worst.
Hunger Strikers.Drawing by Kevin "Rashid" Johnson. Johnson is currently incarcerated in Texas.When we arrived here, late, on the prison bus, pulling through the many prison gates, a guard stepped aboard to give us his speech: "This is your new home, Pelican Bay State Prison. Look to your right, left and behind you. See them trees in the hills? This will be the last time you'll see a tree. Look at the ground. See the dirt? This will be the last time you see dirt of this earth."

Read the rest here: