Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pelican Bay State Prison Hunger Strike: Response from the California Prison System.

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:

--Individual accountability.

--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.


  1. Why do people say they are being kept in the SHU for decades, and the CDRC calls it bad behavior? How can their be such a reality divide?

  2. Thousands of inmates in at least 13 prisons across California's troubled prison system have been on hunger strike for almost two weeks. Many are protesting in in solidarity with inmates held in Pelican Bay State Prison, California's first super-maximum security prison, over what prisoners say are cruel and unusual conditions in "Secure Housing Units." Democracy Now! airs an audio statement from one of the Pelican Bay prisoners~

  3. Corrections officials accede to pressure, begin negotiating with hunger strikers as their health deteriorates

  4. Prisoners have rejected the corrections "offer" and continued the hunger strike. it has spread to other prisons. thornton is lying. prisoners in CA SHUs are there because of their resistance and organizing or because somebody hung a gang jacket on them, and they can only get out by "debriefing" -- that is hanging a gang jacket on someone else. Even in TX, prisoners can get out of SHUs without "naming names".

  5. A- CDCr doesnt tell the truth....there are MANY SHU prisoners that have been in extreme isolation for more than 16 years...some over 3 decades. Thorton is flat out lying...this was not started by gangs and no one has been 'ordered' to strike. What CDCr is doing -other SuperMax prisons do not do! How can we be concerned with other countries and human rights, when we are defiling our own?