California to Force-Feed Prisoners Who Are Waging Hunger Strike Against Cruel Treatment
Hundreds of California prisoners have been starving themselves since July 8 in protest of inhumane policies and treatment in the solitary confinement spaces called Security Housing Units (SHU). The prisoners want an end to what they call cruel collective punishments and crackdowns that they say occur under the facade of “stopping gang activities.”
Solitary confinement in California prisons can last for decades, and protest organizers argue that the practice targets certain groups for unjust, disproportionate reasons. The prisoners are also demanding access to education, healthcare and more nutritious food.
Rather than address the demands of the hunger strikers, California prison officials have decided to override basic human rights and begin force-feeding the inmates.
During negotiations from July to October 2011 with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Gov. Jerry Brown, CDCR acknowledged that the prisoners’ five core demands were reasonable. Prisoners agreed to suspend the current hunger strike in order to give the CDCR time to implement “timely and meaningful changes of real substance.”