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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

CA State Prisoners going on hunger strike

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Paul Sakuma/AP

Demonstrators rallied in front of the State Building in San Francisco two summers ago to support prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison. A new strike started Monday to protest the continued isolation of many prisoners.
Inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison launched a hunger strike Monday to protest the use of Security Housing Units as a way to break the power of prison gangs.

Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said 30,000 inmates refused their morning meal Monday. The department will only recognize a hunger strike when an inmate has refused nine consecutive meals. Also on Monday, 2,300 inmates declined to work or attend class.

California isolates 4,500 inmates from the general prison population in Security Housing Units at four prisons, but those at Pelican Bay face the most severe form of confinement. The super max's so-called "short corridor" restricts prisoner to their cells 22 1/2 hours a day. Inmates leave their cell only for exercise in a high-walled concrete yard, to shower, or for medical appointments. They are allowed no phone calls and can only visit with family separated by a glass partition.

Pelican Bay SHU prisoners led two mass hungers strikes in the summer of 2011 that spread to 6,600 inmates at 13 prisons. The hunger strikes each lasted less than a month and ended when the corrections department announced it would loosen some restrictions on inmates in the isolation units and review department policies for determining who to send there and for how long.

Prison officials separate inmates confirmed as gang leaders or members in isolation units indefinitely. CDCR has confined more than 500 prisoners in those units for more than five years, and dozens for more than 20 years.

Until last year the only way for SHU prisoners to return to the general population was to "debrief" — a process prison officials describe as renouncing gang membership, but which inmates describe as "snitching."

The CDCR made changes to gang management policies in 2012 that allow inmates to earn their way out of the SHU through good behavior.

But in a statement distributed by advocates for prisoners , the leaders of the hunger strike faulted CDCR's "failure to honor their word" and said the department had "acted in bad faith."

They say CDCR has actually broadened the isolation program, and still validates gang members on flimsy evidence.

"We believe that our pilot program addresses inmates concerns" said spokeswoman Terry Thornton. "It has been revised and reformed, it incorporates additional elements of due process, and we’ve created a step alternative for inmates to demonstrate their willingness to leave the gang."

Thornton said the department has reviewed the cases of 382 SHU prisoners statewide, released 208 of them to the general prison population and placed another 115 in various stages of the step-down program.

"People are leaving the SHU," Thornton said.






by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Replies (101-107):
furbabymum
by on Jul. 10, 2013 at 10:31 AM

 I'm not sure what kind of chance a meth/fetal alcohol syndrome baby is really going to have in this world. I've listened to woman brag about being high on meth while smoking a blunt and searching for alcohol, all while pregs. Those kids are going to be so physically and mentally screwed up before they are even born!  I've heard mothers give their little girls to drug dealers to have sex with so they could get a free fix. Boys whose fathers had them dealing in school. I'm not saying they don't have a choice, we all do, but they are so young and defenseless and their parents are warping them beyond repair.

Quoting Arroree:

 

 

Quoting furbabymum:

I've worked here for 4 years and I believe only 4 of our clients didn't come from broken homes. Almost all of them created broken homes as well for MANY MANY children. Also, when the children are old enough they are brought into the fold so to speak. Just seems that crime and misery are passed down. I feel for them. They don't know anything else. They probably never will either.

I and many i know grew up in those same situations in those same neighborhoods surrounded by and being raised by those same people. The difference is that many of us wanted better for our lives and our futures so rather than just be a mindless follower we moved on with our lives and bettered ourselves.  No it isn't easy, but as they say "nothing worth doing is easy" and it's true.

The reason so many fall into that life isn't because it's "passed down" it's because it's the easy choice. They don't have to even think about it, just tell themselves "this is just how it is" and accept it. Many who choose that path actually revel in it.

I have no sympathy for them. We all had that same choice, they chose wrong and now they should pay the price for that choice.

 

 

Aamy
by Silver Member on Jul. 10, 2013 at 10:33 AM
Oh well. If they don't want to be isolated guess they shouldn't if done things to be put in jail.
MamaJess9
by Bronze Member on Jul. 10, 2013 at 10:36 AM
OK, setting aside whether their grievances are valid or not, why on earth would anyone ever care or give in to a hunger strike? That is just stupid. It's equivalent to a child holding their breath. If you want to be stupid and chose to no eat, that's on you. They aren't starving them, they're providing food. I'd laugh if I was in a position of authority and anyone ever tried that on me. "Um... go for it." Lol
viv212
by Gold Member on Jul. 10, 2013 at 1:22 PM
Yeah they do need to come up with a better idea.

Quoting MamaJess9:

OK, setting aside whether their grievances are valid or not, why on earth would anyone ever care or give in to a hunger strike? That is just stupid. It's equivalent to a child holding their breath. If you want to be stupid and chose to no eat, that's on you. They aren't starving them, they're providing food. I'd laugh if I was in a position of authority and anyone ever tried that on me. "Um... go for it." Lol
MamaJess9
by Bronze Member on Jul. 10, 2013 at 1:27 PM
And yet it has apparently worked before, according to the article. I can't wrap my head around that.

Quoting viv212:

Yeah they do need to come up with a better idea.



Quoting MamaJess9:

OK, setting aside whether their grievances are valid or not, why on earth would anyone ever care or give in to a hunger strike? That is just stupid. It's equivalent to a child holding their breath. If you want to be stupid and chose to no eat, that's on you. They aren't starving them, they're providing food. I'd laugh if I was in a position of authority and anyone ever tried that on me. "Um... go for it." Lol
OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM

There's a reason why gang members are isolated.  I am not sympathetic to their cause.

viv212
by Gold Member on Jul. 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM
Last time they did that, the prison officials said they will basically not use the SHU for years at a time. They never kept their word so the inmates are doing a hunger strike again.

Quoting MamaJess9:

And yet it has apparently worked before, according to the article. I can't wrap my head around that.



Quoting viv212:

Yeah they do need to come up with a better idea.





Quoting MamaJess9:

OK, setting aside whether their grievances are valid or not, why on earth would anyone ever care or give in to a hunger strike? That is just stupid. It's equivalent to a child holding their breath. If you want to be stupid and chose to no eat, that's on you. They aren't starving them, they're providing food. I'd laugh if I was in a position of authority and anyone ever tried that on me. "Um... go for it." Lol
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