SACRAMENTO — Officials said 30,000 California inmates refused meals Monday at the start of a prison strike involving two-thirds of the state's 33 lockups, as well as four out-of-state facilities.
Participants refused breakfast and lunch, said corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton. In addition, 2,300 prisoners skipped work or classes, some saying they were sick.
The protest was organized by a small group of inmates held in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison near the Oregon border. Their complaints focus on policies that put inmates in isolation indefinitely, some for decades, if they are suspected of having ties to prison gangs.
They want a five-year limit on such isolation. They also seek education and rehabilitation programs and the right to make monthly phone calls.