August 20, 2013
California authorities won court approval on Monday to force-feed some prisoners on a hunger strike after officials voiced concerns that inmates may have been coerced into refusing food in a protest against the state’s solitary confinement policies.
U.S. District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson, responding to a request by state authorities, ruled that California prison doctors may force-feed select inmates near death, even if they had previously signed orders asking not to be resuscitated.
Some 136 California inmates are currently taking part in a hunger strike that began July 8 in prisons statewide to demand an end to a policy of housing inmates believed to be associated with gangs in near-isolation for years. Some 69 of the striking inmates have refused food continuously since the strike began.