The hunger strike that began at the Pelican Bay supermax and spread to other California prisons continues, although it is difficult to know the extent of the strike from the outside. Yesterday, I received a notice from several prisoners’ rights advocacy groups that 200 prisoners were experiencing deteriorating health conditions, including severe dehydration and renal failure. The activist group California Prison Focus also reports a number of alarming updates from friends and relatives of the strikers.
However, a California prison spokesperson says advocates’ claims are “highly exaggerated,” KPCC reports today. Prison officials also say the total number of strikers is now about 795 at six prisons, down from a high of 6,600 strikers at 13 prisons. KPCC reporters requested to visit Pelican Bay but were denied permission by corrections officials.