Via TiPS-Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety
A number of inmates at Pelican Bay have announced a planned hunger strike for July 1, 2011, to protest conditions in the SHU. California Prison Focus has disseminated information concerning the protest. TiPS does not support, oppose, or criticize the hunger strike as this is a matter of personal conscience for both the inmates and their supporters.
However, when a similar hunger strike took place in Georgia, because of the ability of inmates to communicate both through visitors and via cellular telephones, the hunger strike spread to the entire prison system. In Georgia, the strike did not achieve its goal.
Based upon early indications, it appears that the hunger strike scheduled for July 1, will occur at more than one institution.
Another early indication is that at one or more institutions, some inmates will not be reporting for their work assignments. If this in fact occurs, those prisons will be placed on lockdown until the inmates are prepared to return to work.
Unfortunately, there is also the possibility that individuals will take advantage of what is supposed to be a peaceful demonstration and make it violent. Should this occur, the prisons where violence occurs will be placed on lockdown.
Should the violence at any one institution become as significant as it did at CIM in August of 2009, the entire statewide prison system will likely go on lockdown, and the lockdown would remain in effect for the entire holiday weekend. If there is a lockdown, thhis will mean that all visiting will be cancelled for the entire holiday weekend system wide, especially if inmates at more than one institution continue the hunger strike and/or refuse to report for work.
TiPS wants its members to be aware of the potential for prison lockdowns as many members have to travel long distances and incur significant expense for food, housing and travel. TiPS hopes for a peaceful holiday weekend in California’s prisons and encourages people to call into the visiting phone line prior to traveling to the institution.
Let us all hope for a peaceful and joyous 4th of July weekend.