California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Lawyers have an ethics code. Journalists have an ethics code. Architects do, too.

According to Ethical Standard 1.4 of the American Institute of Architects (AIA):  "Members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors." 

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Sitawa Natambu Jamaa has been incarcerated for 33 years at the Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City; 23 of them in the Security Housing Unit, also known as the SHU. He spends most of his time—up to 22 hours a day—in a small, windowless cell. His charge is murder, though his sister Marie Levin says he did not commit the crime.

Today is day 24 of the prison hunger strike in California. It started off with thousands of prisoners refusing meals, protesting the conditions in the Security Housing Unit, or what’s also been called solitary confinement. The number of strikers has now come down to several hundred, and last week one of them, inmate Billy Sell, died in the SHU at Corcoran State Prison. He had been there for 24 years. The CDCR has issued a statement that his death a suicide, but mediators are calling for an independent investigation to see if he had received proper care during his hunger strike.

On today's Your Call, We’ll have a conversation with investigative journalist and former hostage, Shane Bauer about California’s Pelican Bay State Special Housing Unit also known as SHU. Join us live at 10 or send an email to What are the long-term mental health effects of near total isolation? It’s Your Call, with Holly Kernan and you.