Sal Rodriguez: How California Prison Hunger Strikes Sparked Solitary Confinement Reforms

How California Prison Hunger Strikes Sparked Solitary Confinement Reforms
Sal Rodriguez, Counterpunch, September 3, 2015

Contrary to the state’s official narrative, it was prisoner activism, along with a class-action lawsuit, that set in motion the sweeping changes to the state’s solitary confinement policies that were announced this week.

Years of hunger strikes and litigation culminated on Tuesday with the announcement that California prison officials had reached a settlement with attorneys representing prisoners held in long-term solitary confinement.

“Today is a historic day,” declared Jules Lobel, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, chief counsel the plaintiffs in Ashker v. Brown, a federal class-action lawsuit seeking to end the prolonged isolation of California prisoners.

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