July 23, 2011
California inmates end hunger strike (after success?)
As detailed in this article from the San Francisco Chronicle, it appears that inmates "have ended a three-week hunger strike in the high-security Pelican Bay State Prison in Del Norte County to protest conditions in isolation units at the facility and what they said were oppressive gang-security measures by prison officials." Here is more:
Advocates for the prisoners said they got confirmation late Thursday from the inmates themselves. Meanwhile, some inmates in three other state prisons who were refusing to eat in solidarity with those in Pelican Bay were continuing their strike until they could also receive confirmation, state officials said.
"Most inmates at Pelican Bay started eating again last night, and as of 1 p.m. today they were all eating," Terry Thornton, spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said Thursday....
The hunger strike began at Pelican Bay near the Oregon border on July 1 and, at its peak, had spread to 6,600 inmates in at least 13 of California's prisons, according to the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition in Oakland, which is speaking for the prisoners....
The strike began winding down after inmates spoke with prison system staff and "better understood" plans to review and change some policies, officials said.
Among five key demands, the Pelican Bay strikers had called for more lenient treatment in strict isolation units and the abolishment of "debriefings" - lengthy interviews that prison officials use to determine inmates' gang member status. The prisoners said the debriefing process can result in an inmate being incorrectly labeled a snitch, making him a target for violence.
Thornton said the measures the Department of Corrections is considering include easing restrictions in isolation units so inmates can make phone calls and get calendars and cold-weather caps, as well as expanded educational opportunities.
Recent related posts concerning this hunger strike in California prisons:
- Can a hunger strike by state prisoners in SHU have an impact?
- Hunger strike among California prisoners growing
- "Barbarous Confinement"
- Are there First Amendment problems with California officials blocking media access to all hunger-striking prisoners?
July 23, 2011 at 07:48 AM | Permalink
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference California inmates end hunger strike (after success?):