Rolling Stone on California prison hunger strike

August 13, 2013

The hunger strike in California’s state prisons has been going on now for more than a month in protest of conditions in the state’s solitary confinement facilities.

Rolling Stone’s Ryan Devereaux takes a quick look today at the ongoing strike and the dispute over an inmate’s death at the California State Prison in Corcoran. It’s a short piece but it gives a decent overall look at what’s going on with the strike.

“Billy Sell, 32, was found dead in his ultra-restrictive Security Housing Unit (SHU) cell at Corcoran State Prison on July 22nd. The California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) initially denied his participation in the ongoing hunger strike, but later acknowledged that by July 11th Sell, who had reportedly been in solitary for five years, had missed the requisite nine meals needed to count as a hunger striker, and had only resumed eating a day before he died. Inmate advocates say Sell was heard screaming for medical attention in the days leading up to his death. Prison officials deny this claim.”

The article also includes an interview with UC Santa Cruz psychology professor Craig Haney, who studied 100 prisoners living in solitary housing units at Pelican Bay State Prison.



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