California Inmate Hunger Strike Hits 40th Day

Source: Sharon Bernstein / Reuters / NBC News

California prison officials are grappling with starvation-related ailments among hunger-striking prisoners who have refused to eat for nearly six weeks to protest the state’s solitary confinement policies.

As the hunger strike enters its 40th day on Friday, dozens of inmates have been sent to hospitals or prison infirmaries, and officials are bracing for more illness among the 118 prisoners who have not eaten since the strike began.

They are also expecting to have to deal with serious medical conditions plaguing those whose systems are weakened after fasting for weeks and who are now seeking to begin eating again.

The hunger strike is the latest difficulty to plague the state’s prison system, which is under orders by a federal court to reduce crowding by the end of the year, possibly by releasing up to 10,000 inmates early.

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