More than 500 inmates in five prisons across the state are engaging in a hunger strike to protest living conditions. We find out about the inmates’ demands, and get a response from a state prison official to the strike, which started at Pelican Bay State Prison two weeks ago.

California Prison Hunger Strike 15 July,2011forum

Charles Carbone, attorney with California Prison Focus
Terry Thornton, spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Michael Montgomery, reporter for KQED News and California Watch

  • Rick

    Wouldn’t it be a good thing if some of the prisoners died? They won’t be in prison, and won’t be on the street. I don’t see the hunger strike being a good motivation for reform.

  • Srihari21

    I think the key question here is “What is the function of the prison system?”  If it is rehabilitation, then we are failing spectacularly, and these SHU’s clearly have no rehabilitation value.  If we have, on the the other hand, decided that the function is punitive, then why bother with a SHU?  Why not, at that point, lower the bar for the death penalty and simply execute those who would be isolated, as isolation is clearly cruel, psychiatrically damaging, and has no real purpose that would not be better (and more economically served) by a more liberally applied death penalty.  I’m an opponent of the death penalty and believe in a rehabilitation based prison system, but I think we should call a spade a spade here, and admit that the SHU is simply our cowardly way of not having the guts to more broadly apply the death penalty, and instead apply it in function, effectively, without having it on our collective consciences..

  • Mialexa

    I have a heartless heart. I was actually chuckling heartily, (oh wait, to chuckle heartily means I must have a heart) through most of this segment, epecially when Mr. Carbone was stuttering (me thinks he was conscious of how ridiculous he sounded) and whining about the awful conditions and supposed cruelties perpetrated upon the poor inmates of Pelican Bay. It’s good that Mr Carbone cares about the poor fellows, because I certainly don’t! Also, San Franciscans care about them, because when the felons get out of prison they will be able to rent apartments right next to little ol’ grannies, no questions asked.

  • Freestyle690

    What you people dont realize is that this hunger strike is a ploy no inmate is going without food they have tons of canteen items to eat ramen tuna and everything else sodas water toilet paper and access to showers all they are doing is refusing the meal the state provides them.

    • Leece

      That is absolutely false.  The CO’s removed all food on 6/30/11 from cells so they could monitor what inmates are eating. I know because i have two brothers there, and just visited them last weekend.

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