We applaud the hunger strikers for their courage and determination in demanding that their rights be upheld and that they be treated with dignity. Despite the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s stubborn refusal to engage with the prisoners, its retaliation against them, and its efforts to break the strike, this peaceful protest has secured legislative hearings that will examine the disgraceful and inhumane conditions that thousands of prisoners in solitary confinement have endured for many years. While thankfully the promise to hold hearings led the prisoners to suspend their strike before anyone died, the unconstitutional conditions that sparked the strike remain. CCR pledges its ongoing solidarity with the prisoners until prolonged solitary confinement is abolished once and for all.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is counsel in Ashker v. Brown, a federal class action lawsuit challenging long-term solitary confinement at the Pelican Bay State Prison in California as a violation of due process and of the Eight Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.