Mass prison hunger strike ends
With as little fanfare as when it started, a mass hunger strike that popped up in California prisons a week ago is now over.
Corrections officials said that by Thursday only two inmates continued to refuse food at Corcoran State Prison, one of three prisons where at least 674 inmates at one point or another stopped eating prison meals for more than two days.
The strike itself began Oct. 10 at Pelican Bay State Prison and at the California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi, on opposite ends of the state. It was the same day a group of Pelican Bay inmate activists called for an "end to hostilities" between prison races, taken by correction officials to mean race-based prison gangs. Even as it died out at those prisons, the protest spread Saturday to Corcoran State Prison before it ended there as well.
Inmate advocacy groups said they were unaware of the causes of the protest, and corrections officials said inmate complaints were varied, but tended to center on new policies for identifying and segregating suspected prison gang members from the main population. Those new policies are to go into effect shortly.
Meanwhile, prison officials in Sacramento said a 51-year-old inmate was murdered in his cell Wednesday, allegedly by his cellmate.
-- Paige St. John in Sacramento