[Ppnews] Prisoners in Corcoran Ad-Seg Continue Hunger Strike

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 10 17:00:39 EST 2012

Prisoners in Corcoran Ad-Seg Continue Hunger Strike
CDCR Lags On Gang Validation Revisions

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

Oakland – Although media coverage of the event 
has been scarce, prisoners in the Administrative 
Segregation Unit (ASU) at Corcoran State Prison 
continue a hunger strike that has lasted over a 
month. In a statement released in late December, 
representatives of the strikers listed 11 demands 
that include access to educational and 
rehabilitative programming, adequate and timely 
medical care, and timely hearings on their cases 
and petitions. As of February 9, the California 
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 
(CDCR), disclosed that 30 men were still striking 
and a representative in the office said that 
prisoners had been intermittently striking for 
the last month. Unlike the California prisoner 
hunger strikes of July and September, little 
attention has been given to the ongoing strike at Corcoran.

Family members and advocates fear strikers may be 
experiencing serious medical issues and even 
death.   A prisoner at Corcoran, who remains 
unnamed due to fear of reprisal, stated in a 
letter received on February 5th, “On or about 
February 2nd or 3rd, 2012, an inmate has passed 
away due to not eating that has been going on 
over here in Corcoran ASU. Inmates are passing 
out and having other medical problems and it 
seems that this is not being taken seriously. 
There will be more casualties if this isn’t addressed or brought to light.”

While this death is unconfirmed, it raises 
concerns that the CDCR is failing to deal with 
this hunger strike in an appropriate manner. "The 
prisoners are making very reasonable and 
legitimate demands regarding basic human rights," 
says Carol Strickman, a lawyer working on behalf 
of some hunger strikers in California, "For those 
of us on the outside, the slow pace of reform is 
frustrating.  For those people enduring barbarous 
conditions, the lack of meaningful improvement is unbearable."

The demands of the Corcoran strikers are somewhat 
different than those of the strikes sparked in 
Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit 
(SHU) this past summer and fall, which at one 
point included 12,000 prisoners in 13 prisons 
across California. Administrative Segregation 
Units are often used as holding places for 
prisoners in route to SHU facilities, or who are 
waiting release back into general population. 
Many prisoners in the various ASUs in California 
have been validated as gang members by CDCR and 
languish, sometimes for years, awaiting transfer 
to facilities such as Pelican Bay, where some 
prisoners have spent more than 20 years in solitary confinement.

Following the September hunger strike and 
significant pressure from the public and 
legislators in Sacramento, the CDCR announced 
that it would make changes to its gang validation 
procedure and would release a draft for review by 
stakeholders sometime in January. “The CDCR is 
clearly behind on their timeline. Meanwhile, 
prisoners continue to be validated largely due to 
association and baseless allegations effectively 
dooming them to indefinite SHU sentences without 
any means of challenging their cases,” says 
Azadeh Zohrabi, of the Prisoner Hunger Strike 
Solidarity coalition . The stakeholders’ review 
will reportedly involve the California 
Correctional and Peace Officers Association 
(CCPOA), state legislators and prison advocates.

Lawyers, families, and advocates will continue to 
monitor the situation at Corcoran. For updates 
and further information please visit 

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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