30 000 in California prisons hunger strike
10 July 2013, 13:03
Los Angeles - Some 30 000 inmates at California prisons have launched a hunger strike to protest policies that keep prisoners in isolation if they are suspected of ties to prison gangs, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday.
The report said that more than 2 000 other prisoners skipped class or work to protest the policy, which has left some inmates held in solitary confinement for decades. The protest covered two-thirds of the state's 33 lock-ups.
Prisoners are demanding a five-year limit on isolation, access to education and rehabilitation programs and the right to make monthly phone calls, the report said.
The hunger strike began on Monday. The California Department of Corrections does not consider any protest a hunger strike until inmates have missed at least nine consecutive meals.