By Cheyenne Galloway
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Senate this week passed the California Mandela Act, otherwise known as AB 280, with a supermajority vote after the bill was approved by the California Assembly earlier this year, announced the CA Mandela Campaign.
It’s the second year the bill received resounding support from the California legislature, solidifying the sentiment that the Golden State is on its way to ending prolonged solitary confinement, said the CA Mandela Campaign.
AB 280 has garnered momentum in the last two years; however, solitary survivors and advocates with the CA Mandela Campaign (CMC) express concern surrounding the Newsom administration’s attempts to dismiss the act.
The CMC encompasses various organizations, including but not limited to California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice, California Families Against Solitary Confinement, Disability Rights California, Haitian Bridge Alliance, NextGen California and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
To ensure “good faith negotiations” with Gov. Newsom, encouraging him to sign the proposition into law, the California Mandela Act will become a two-year legislation, reported CMC.
Advocate with CMC and undergraduate with UC Berkeley Underground Scholars, Hakim Owen, said, “Solitary confinement is torture, and it must end. The governor has repeatedly attempted to undermine or gut the Mandela Act, in order to continue to torture thousands of people in California prisons and other detention sites while worsening safety for everyone.”
“But our growing campaign, led by people who have lived through solitary or had family members inside, has continued to thwart his efforts to marginalize our movement,” Owen continued.
“Now the Assembly and Senate have once again passed the Mandela Act. The people have spoken. The vast majority of legislators have spoken. And now, the Governor needs to join his own party on the right side of history. Whenever the legislature sends the bill to his desk, the governor must sign the Mandela Act into law, to stop torture, save lives, and make everyone safer,” Owen added.