2013 California prisoner hunger strike

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Aerial shot of Pelican Bay State Prison, taken 27-July-2009

== 2013 California Prisoner Hunger Strike ==

The 2013 California prisoner hunger strike was a large-scale protest initiated by inmates in the state of California's prison system. The strike began on July 8, 2013, and was primarily organized by prisoners held in solitary confinement at the Pelican Bay State Prison. The protest was aimed at drawing attention to the conditions of solitary confinement and the broader issues within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Background[edit | edit source]

The hunger strike was not the first of its kind in California. Previous strikes had occurred in 2011, with inmates demanding better conditions and an end to indefinite solitary confinement. The 2013 strike was a continuation of these efforts, highlighting ongoing grievances that had not been addressed by the CDCR.

Demands[edit | edit source]

The prisoners' demands included:

  • An end to long-term solitary confinement.
  • Improved living conditions within the Security Housing Unit (SHU).
  • Access to educational and rehabilitative programs.
  • Adequate and nutritious food.
  • Fair and unbiased review of SHU placements.

Participation[edit | edit source]

The strike saw participation from approximately 30,000 inmates across multiple facilities in California. It was one of the largest hunger strikes in the history of the United States prison system. The strike garnered significant attention from the media, human rights organizations, and the public.

Government Response[edit | edit source]

The CDCR initially responded by downplaying the strike, but as it gained momentum, officials began to engage in negotiations with the inmates. The strike lasted for 60 days, making it one of the longest hunger strikes in U.S. history. Eventually, the CDCR agreed to some of the inmates' demands, including policy changes regarding solitary confinement.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The 2013 hunger strike led to significant changes in the CDCR's policies. In 2015, a legal settlement was reached in the case of Ashker v. Governor of California, which resulted in the reduction of the use of solitary confinement and the implementation of new regulations for SHU placements.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

The 2013 California prisoner hunger strike is considered a pivotal moment in the movement for prison reform in the United States. It brought widespread attention to the issue of solitary confinement and contributed to ongoing discussions about the treatment of inmates and the conditions within the U.S. prison system.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]


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