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Pelican Bay Prison Inmates End Hunger Strike

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CRESCENT CITY, Calif. (CBS13) — Inmates in an isolation unit at Pelican Bay State Prison have ended a hunger strike intended to protest conditions that they describe as inhumane.

The Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Matthew Cate announced the end to the hunger strike on Thursday.

“Hunger strikes are a dangerous and ineffective way for prisoners to attempt to negotiate,” Secretary Cate said. “This strike was ordered by prison gang leaders, individuals responsible for terrible crimes against Californians, and so it was with significant and appropriate caution that CDCR worked to end the strike. We will now seek to stabilize operations for all inmates and continue our work to improve the safety and security of our prison system statewide.”

Several dozen inmates in the Security Housing Unit had been on the hunger strike since July 1.

The Security Housing Unit segregates prisoners from the general population who have been determined to be prison gang members or have committed a serious crime while in prison.

Secretary Cate says the inmates agreed to end the strike after he says they better understood the prison’s plans to make some policy changes. Cate says since January, the prison has begun providing cold-weather caps, wall calendars and some educational opportunities for SHU inmates.

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