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Prison officials: Hunger strike is over

July 21, 2011 | 12:16 pm

Delores Canales, left, and other demonstrators gather July 18 outside the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Los Angeles in support of the California prisoners participating in a hunger strike.

Dozens of inmates at California's highest security prison have ended a hunger strike that began on July 1, according to a statement released Thursday morning by Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate.

The prisoners, whose demands included an end to a policy that requires them to inform on gang members in order to be released from solitary confinement, agreed to start eating again in exchange for "cold weather caps, wall calendars and some educational opportunities," Cate's statement said.

While the strike began at Pelican Bay, California's highest security prison, it spread to other institutions. As of Wednesday night, a spokeswoman for the receiver in charge of prison healthcare said the medical staff was monitoring more than 700 hunger strikers at four institutions.

Prison administrators -- who have refused to allow media access to the protesting inmates -– would not say on Thursday morning whether the strike continued at the other lockups.

Jay Donahue, a spokesman for prison rights advocates supporting the strikers, said he had no "indication or confirmation" that the strike was over.

RELATED:

Prisoners' hunger strike in its third week 

Editorial: California's hidden hunger strike

Californians would rather ease penalties than pay more for prisons

-- Jack Dolan

Photo: Delores Canales, left, and other demonstrators gather Monday outside the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Los Angeles in support of the California prisoners participating in a hunger strike. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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