State corrections officials yesterday threatened to discipline thousands of inmates who have resumed a hunger strike over conditions at California’s highest-security lockups.
A state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation memo distributed to all state inmates(pdf) said any prisoner participating in the strike would receive disciplinary action “in accordance with the California Code of Regulations.”
The memo warned that inmates “identified as leading the disturbance will be subject to removal from general population and placed in an Administrative Segregation Unit.” The department also said it would consider removing canteen items from inmates' cells, including any food.
The memo did not explain what action the department would take against the main strike leaders, all of whom are already locked in a special section of Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit, which is at the heart of the protest.
As many as 5,000 inmates in California prisons, including Calipatria and Pelican Bay, have refused state-issued meals since Monday, according to advocacy groups and internal corrections department reporting. That followed an appeal from strike leaders that was posted on an advocacy website earlier this month.