Hunger strikes don’t usually last long and this one is not only the second one of the year but has reached the 5th day which is a benchmark of sorts. Having said that, there is a tremendous amount of inmate organization in these high security prisons.
By that I mean gangs are well organized and the discipline is tight. If the leaders are acting in concert and able to maintain the ranks then it has a good chance of succeeding. Most likely the next couple of days well tell. This will be a good test of Governor Brown. To date most of his (Governor Brown Takes Action to Protect Public Safety) actions are administrative in nature and have precious little substance or indicate any willingness to step out front and be a leader.
If all the prison gangs are a part of it, then there is a potential for it to spread outside the state. My bet is that almost all the states where treatment of inmates is is questionable are watching this like hawks. Mail rooms, phone lines recordings and visitor parks will be on high alert for the next week or so. Bear in mind that we have a prison population of over 2 million men and women. Many of whom have precious little to loose by joining the ranks of such an event.
The fact that the hunger strike made it into the New York Times will not only fuel the strikers but put pressure on the administration.
Prisoner Protest Restarts in California
By ERICA GOODE
Published: September 29, 2011
More than 4,200 inmates at eight prisons have been refusing state-issued meals since Monday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The hunger strike, the second this year, is the latest problem to face state prison officials, who are under a Supreme Court order to reduce the state’s prison population by more than 30,000 people.