With 12,000 Participants Last Week, Prisoner Hunger Strike Begins 8th Day

October 3, 2011

CDCR Bars Family Member Visits

Press Contact: Jay Donahue

Oakland – As the renewed prisoner hunger strike enters it’s second week, the federal receiver’s office released information that at least 12,000 prisoners were participating during the first week. Prisoners are continuing a hunger strike that they temporarily suspend in July. Originating from Security Housing Units (SHUs) and Administrative Segregation Units (Ad-Seg) across the California, prisoners held at Pelican Bay State Prison, Calipatria, Centinela, Corcoran, Ironwood, Kern Valley, North Kern, Salinas Valley, California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, Pleasant Valley State Prison, San Quentin as well as West Valley Detention Center in San Bernadino County are currently participating. Over 3,000 California prisoners held in  out-of-state facilities in Arizona, Mississippi and Oklahoma have also refused food.

“This is the largest prisoner strike of any kind in recent US history,” says Ron Ahnen of California Prison Focus, “The fact that so many prisoners are participating highlights the extreme conditions in all of California’s prisons as well as the historic opportunity the state has been given to make substantial changes to SHU and Ad-Seg policies.”

Family members of striking SHU prisoners reported that their visits this weekend were denied by the Califonia Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) who cited security concerns. “A number of family members received notice that they were not going to be allowed to see their loved ones as long as the strike continues,” says Dolores Canales who has a son in the Pelican Bay SHU, “Denying visits only heightens the isolation that the prisoners and family members experience, especially at this critical time.” Continue reading