California holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other state or country on earth. In 2012 over 300 prisoners submitted a petition to the United Nations – alleging that their conditions of confinement amount to torture. Juan Mendez – the UN special rapporteur on torture has requested authorization from the state department to visit prisons in California, which is still pending. He came to Immanuel today to meet with religious leaders and family members of prisoners to learn more about the situation and to share his views on how solitary confinement may violate international human rights obligations of the US.
~Rev. Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder