We speak with Terry Thorton, spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (the California Prison System) about the hunger strike launched on July 1st by Pelican Bay State Prisoners housed in the prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU).
In a statement published under the byline SHU Short Corridor Inmates, Pelican Bay Prison, in the summer 2011 edition of California-based Prison Focus, the following demands were listed as goals of the hunger strike:
–Abolish the Debriefing Policy, Modify Active/Inactive Gang Status Criteria.
–Comply with the U.S. commission 2006 Recommendations Regarding an End to Long-Term Solitary Confinement
–Provide Adequate Food
–Expand and Provide Constructive Programming and Privileges for Indefinite SHU Status Inmates
Prison Focus, Summer 2011.
Thorton responds to the demands and recent reports on the deteriorating health of hunger strikers.
We speak with Taeva Shefler of the Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition about recent developments in the hunger strike that was launched on July 1st by prisoners confined to the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison in California. The following five conditions have been listed as the core demands of strikers in statements made by Pelican Bay SHU prisoners explaining the goals of the strike:
1) Eliminate group punishments
2) Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria
3) Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons
(2006) regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement
4) Provide adequate food
5) Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates.”
–from the Human Rights Coalition PA Prison Report.
She discusses reports of the spread of the strike into the general population at Pelican Bay
and into other prisons in California and how women in California’s prisons have responded to the hunger strike.