Thousands of California inmates join hunger strike

By REUTERS
October 5, 2011 06:08

 
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LOS ANGELES - Thousands of inmates in several California prisons have taken part in a 9-day-old hunger strike, demanding an end to what they call inhumane conditions, prison officials and an inmate advocacy group said on Tuesday.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation counted 1,186 inmates in four prisons as participating in the hunger strike as of Tuesday, down from more than 4,200 inmates at eight prisons on Sept. 29.

But a prisoner rights group put the number of hunger strike participants higher, saying as many as 12,000 inmates at eight California state prisons have taken part in refusing to eat.

The protest comes as California has begun carrying out a state-mandated plan to ease prison overcrowding by shifting responsibility for thousands of inmates and ex-convicts to county authorities.

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