59 Days Later, California Prisoners End Hunger Strike
40 had been striking since July 8
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 5, 2013 11:36 AM CDT
The strike began July 8.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – California inmates have ended a nearly two-month hunger strike to protest the prison system's isolation policies, prison officials said today. More than 30,000 inmates, who said gang leaders are often held for decades in isolation units, had been refusing meals when the strike began July 8. By this week, just 100 people were on hunger strike, including 40 who had been on strike continuously since the beginning. Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard said in a statement that all inmates began accepting prison-issued meals today.

The strike ended after two Democratic state legislators promised to hold hearings this year on inmates' concerns. A federal judge had given authorities permission to force-feed inmates if necessary to save their lives, but Beard in a statement said that the strike ended "before any inmates became seriously ill." (Even the hard-core strikers had been accepting vitamins and electrolyte drinks.) Supporters and advocates did not immediately confirm that the strike had ended but cited a positive response to the inmates' demands.

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Sep 5, 2013 6:39 PM CDT
Keeping prisoners in isolation for years and years will make them more sociable . . . for when they are eventually released among the rest of us.
Sep 5, 2013 6:33 PM CDT
Upon inspection by prison officials it was discovered that during the 59 day hunger strike that no prisoners had lost any noticable weight, in fact it was determined that five of the prisoners had actually gained twenty pounds!
Sep 5, 2013 4:06 PM CDT
At least the temporary starvation keeps them docile, they're probably all too weak too pick up a shank let alone yard weights.