California Prisons

California prisoners suspend hunger strike

Twenty prisoner representatives of all the ethnic groups involved in the California prisoners’ hunger strike have decided to suspend the strike on the 60th day.

Tell California officials to resume meetings with prisoners

On Aug. 19, 2013, California prison officials won a court order saying they could force-feed dozens of inmates who have been on a hunger strike for six weeks over solitary confinement conditions. This order will not end the strike, or prevent other nonviolent demonstrations.

Religious leaders: End Calif. prisoners’ hunger strike, reform use of solitary confinement

Editor's note: The California prisoners suspended the hunger strike on Sept. 5, 2013. Please visit for the latest information.

Hunger strike: Calif. prisoners take charge for nonviolent change

Editor's note: The California prisoners suspended the hunger strike on Sept. 5, 2013. Please visit for the latest information.

California solitary confinement hearings bring home the human cost

Laura Magnani

Laura Magnani of AFSC’s San Francisco office is a nationally known expert on solitary confinement.

“I’ve never seen a hearing on prison issues like this before,” was the buzz in the California State Capitol following the second hearing of the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee on solitary confinement cells officially called “security housing units.”

What if prisoners refused to fight across racial lines?

Prisoners held in isolation in Pelican Bay, Ca., state prison have called for the cessation of all hostilities between racial groups in all California prisons and county jails, starting on Oct. 10, 2012. AFSC and other prisoner advocacy groups are sharing their handwritten statement with the public.

Governor vetoes media access bill in California

Editor's note: On Sept. 30, 2012, Gov. Brown vetoed the media access bill. AFSC’s Laura Magnani responded:

Update: After CDCR Prison Hunger Strikes, Implementing Solitary Confinement Changes

On December 28, AFSC Regional Director Laura Magnani and another member of the “mediation team” met with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Undersecretary Terri McDonald to discuss CDCR progress on changing policies and procedures for gang validation into the SHUs (security housing units).  In that meeting, Undersecretary McDonald stated the following points.

Hunger Strikes Resume in California Prison

[Updated] On September 26, thousands of California prisoners inside and outside the state resumed their hunger strike to protest the conditions of solitary confinement.   The strike was suspended after three weeks in July to give officials time they said they needed to respond to prisoner demands. 

CA Prisoners End Hunger Strike as Officials Vow Positive Changes

After nearly three weeks, the hunger strike over conditions in the solitary confinement unit at Pelican Bay State Prison has ended. Corrections officials have promised long-term, positive changes and made some immediate concessions on July 21, prompting the inmates to break their fasts.  Mediators for the prisoners say the men extend their deepest thanks to supporters outside.

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AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

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