Inmates at Pelican Bay state prison are renewing their hunger strike after a short hiatus of eating prison food to protest the "inhumane" conditions, especially when it comes to solitary confinement.
According to the hunger strikers, 513 of the 1,111 prisoners held at Pelican Bay have been in solitary confinement for 10 or more years, and 78 have been held for more than 20 years without access to light or open space for prolonged periods of time.
"What other avenues do prisoners have?" says Laura Magnani, a member of the prisoners' mediation team. "We call on the state of California to move quickly to address the problems of solitary confinement in the state's prisons.
The first strike lasted the month of July, spreading across the state with more than 6,000 inmates participating. Prisoners grew sick and health conditions deteriorated to critical conditions.
The strike has resumed since the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has substantially met the changes outlines in their demands.
Inmates are also claiming that the CDCR is creating a "sham" process to identify gang members to torture them. "Holding people in tiny cells for years on end ... without natural sunlight or human contact, is a clear violation of human rights," says Dolores Canales, the mother of one of the hunger strikers.
It is not yet known how big the strike will be.
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