"God's Own Warden": Inside Angola Prison

Editor’s Note: The latest issue of Mother Jones magazine includes James Ridgeway’s long article on Burl Cain, warden of the nation’s largest prison, and possibly its most notorious. The former slave plantation is known for the fact that 90 percent of its more than 5,000 prisoners will die behind bars, and also for holding two […]

As Prisoners End Hunger Strike at Pelican Bay, Their Cause Continues

Reports from California Prison Focus, among other groups supporting prisoners on hunger strike in Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU), confirm that the strikers last night agreed to begin eating. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reportedly made small concessions having to do with prisoners’ possessions and educational programming, and also promised a comprehensive review […]

Statements from Human Rights and Civil Rights Groups Support Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers

After three weeks, hundreds of California inmates are still participating in a hunger strike that at one point spanned thirteen prisons and 6,600 prisoners. The most resolute participants appear to be concentrated in the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison, where the hunger strike began, and in the SHUs at Corcoran and Tehachapi. Many hunger strikers are weakening […]

Update: Pelican Bay Prisoners Reject State Proposal, Continue Hunger Strike

The Pelican Bay Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition yesterday provided the following information, based on reports from the mediation team chosen by the prisoners: This afternoon leaders of the Pelican Bay hunger strike unanimously rejected a proposal from the CDCR to end the strike. In response to the prisoners’ five, straightforward demands, the CDCR distributed a […]

Starving in Solitary: California Prison Hunger Strikers' Health Declines, But State Will Not Negotiate

Photo: Laura Sullivan, NPR It’s been two weeks since a group of inmates in Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit stopped eating. Their hunger strike was launched to protest conditions in solitary confinement in California’s oldest and largest supermax, where they spend at least 22 1/2 hours a day locked down in their cells, […]

Voices from Solitary: Letter from a Pelican Bay Hunger Striker

The following letter was written by John R. Martinez, one of the inmates in the Security Housing Unit at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison who began a hunger strike on July 1 to protest conditions in solitary confinement. Written just before the strike commenced, the letter is  addressed to Governor Jerry Brown, Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation Matthew Cate, […]