Three California Department of Corrections inmates involved in the prison hunger strike have committed suicide. CDCR is making it very difficult for family members and advocates to get any information on these recent deaths.
Official reports are claiming that these deaths are unrelated to the recent hunger strikes in these prisons. Many people believe that these recent deaths are a direct result of the cruel and unusual punishment that these prisoners are protesting against. One cannot ignore the fact that inmates housed in the many forms of solitary confinement have a much higher rate of suicide than their fellow inmates in general population.
The hunger strike participants are demanding an end to group punishment, long-term solitary confinement, and gang validation and debriefing. These men have claimed that their participation in this strike is being retaliated against through disciplinary actions and threats. Other prisoners who were present when these men died claim that in two of the deaths guard failed to respond to cries for help from the deceased as well as other inmates.
Title: “Three Prisoners Die in Hunger Strike Related Incidents: CDCR Withholds information from Family Members, Fails to Report Deaths”
Source: Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity November 18, 2011
Author: Isaac Ontiveros
Student Researcher: Max Ivey, Sonoma State University
Faculty Advisor: Barbara Bloom, Sonoma State University