August 20, 2013
California authorities won court approval on Monday to force-feed
some prisoners on a hunger strike after officials voiced concerns that
inmates may have been coerced into refusing food in a protest against
the state’s solitary confinement policies.
U.S. District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson, responding to a
request by state authorities, ruled that California prison doctors may
force-feed select inmates near death, even if they had previously signed
orders asking not to be resuscitated.
Some 136 California inmates are currently taking part in a hunger
strike that began July 8 in prisons statewide to demand an end to a
policy of housing inmates believed to be associated with gangs in
near-isolation for years. Some 69 of the striking inmates have refused
food continuously since the strike began.
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