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Inmate hunger strike wanes, but thousands continue refusing meals

SACRAMENTO — The number of inmates refusing meals as part of a statewide hunger strike has continued to drop, falling to 2,572 on Monday.

There were 4,487 inmates participating in the hunger strike Sunday, according to officials at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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Officials consider inmates to be on a hunger strike if they refuse nine consecutive meals.

In addition, 258 inmates did not attend prison classes or report for work assignments on Monday, less than half of Sunday's total.

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The statewide protest began July 9, when 30,000 inmates refused meals. They are demanding improvements in prison conditions and limits on how long inmates can be held in solitary confinement.

Although prison officials refer to the hunger strike as a "mass disturbance," they say there has not been any reports of violence connected to the protest.

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Twitter: @chrismegerian

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