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Inmates renew hunger strike over high-security units

September 29, 2011 |  3:45 pm

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Corrections officials confirmed Thursday that more than 4,200 prison inmates across California have launched a new hunger strike to protest conditions in high-security units.

The strike began Monday. As of Thursday, the inmates in eight facilities from Pelican Bay to the Tehachapis had missed eight meals, the Department of Corrections said in a statement. It comes two months after a three-week strike in July, which concluded once prison officials promised to consider improvements in living conditions.

In its statement, the department said it warned strikers it "will not condone organized inmate disturbances." It also noted that in May, it began a review of conditions in its Special Housing Unit, where suspected gang members are often confined for years at a time. It said it will allow the sale of "watch caps, sweat pants, hobby craft items and wall calendars" to high-security inmates and authorized annual photographs for Special Housing Unit prisoners with no disciplinary problems.

-Nicholas Riccardi

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Photo: Pelican Bay State Prison Photo Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

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