Prison protests center on isolation, food, family visits
California officials don’t plan until Tuesday afternoon to update the situation in prisons throughout the state, where 30,000 inmates on Monday began refusing meals.
The mass protest was called for months ago by a group of inmate leaders in isolation at Pelican Bay State Prison over conditions in solitary confinement, where inmates may be held indefinitely without access to phone calls or rehabilitation programs, or outdoor exercise beyond a concrete pen.
But inmates in at least five other prisons have provided their own lists of demands. They seek such things as warmer clothing, cleaning supplies, and better food, as well as changes in how suspected gang activity is investigated and punished.
Lawyers for a group of Pelican Bay hunger strike leaders, who also are suing in federal court over what they contend are inhumane conditions, are to meet with their clients Tuesday.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will not officially recognize the protest as a hunger strike until inmates have missed nine consecutive meals, a point that will not be reached until late Wednesday.
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