Inmates at another California prison launch hunger strike

From: LA Times
Oct 13th 2012

A mass hunger strike is underway among solitary confinement inmates at one California prison, while a second protest at another facility has stopped.

Corrections officials said they do not know why about 500 inmates started refusing food Wednesday, the same day a prison “end to hostilities” was called by inmate activists who had orchestrated last year’s mass hunger strikes.

The fasting began at opposite ends of the state. Several hundred inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison near the Oregon border refused meals from Wednesday through Friday, but  began eating again Friday night, said Terry Thornton, spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. About 300 prisoners at California Correctional Institute in Tehachapi, north of Los Angeles, also began refusing meals Wednesday. About 200 of them continued to refuse food Saturday, Thornton said.  

Those fasting are housed in Tehachapi’s high-security segregation unit which, along with Pelican Bay, is the subject of a class-action lawsuit alleging inhumane treatment and subjective policies for holding inmates in severe detention for decades. Conditions in the austere cells, where inmates spend 22 1/2 hours a day with limited options for exercise or rehabilitation, were the root of two much larger hunger strikes last year involving as many as 6,500 inmates. Prisoners this week so far have not aired their grievances or made demands, Thornton said.

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