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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

State Launches Investigation of Bay Area Lawyers Involved in Hunger Strike Negotiations

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Pelican Bay State Prison
  • Pelican Bay State Prison

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has barred two Bay Area attorneys from entering Pelican Bay State Prison as a hunger strike drags on at the facility, asserting that it is investigating them for alleged illegal activity that compromised prison security.

The attorneys are Carol Strickman of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, based in San Francisco; and Marilyn McMahon, executive director of Oakland-based California Prison Focus, according to California Watch. Neither Strickman or McMahon immediately returned our calls for comment.

According to California Watch, a temporary exclusion order from Pelican Bay issued against Strickman and McMahon states -- rather vaguely -- that the investigation is being conducted because the two lawyers might have "violated the laws and policies governing the safe operations of institutions within the CDCR."

The hunger strike is taking place to protest restrictive conditions at Pelican Bay's notorious Security Housing Unit (SHU). After an earlier hunger strike was ended through negotiations with state corrections officials, the protest began again last week.

CLARIFICATION, 5:14 P.M.: An earlier version of this post suggested that a San Francisco Bay Area Journalists forum taking place tomorrow to discuss the media's role in covering the Pelican Bay State Prison hunger strike is open to the public. The event is only open to journalists, who must preregister here.

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Peter Jamison

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