Thirty thousand have begun refusing meals; a core group locked in long term solitary confinement is ready to die to win demands that amount to simple reforms in abusive conditions.
Watch the video and listen to the prisoners, their relatives and friends.
Or, if you prefer, listen to John McCain:
The quotation is from a New Yorker article by Dr. Atul Gawande in which he thoughtfully explored US penal practices.
California is a gross offender when it comes to prison overcrowding. That's not just my opinion. As recently as June, federal judges ordered the state to stop "foot dragging" in the face of orders to reduce prisoner populations and threatened the governor with contempt. But California authorities continue to insist that if they just stick enough inmates in the SHU (solitary lockdown), they can solve their discipline problems and ensure prisoner and guard safety.
Gawande writes that prisons could be organized so that solitary confinement was not the go-to response to problems.
Maybe prisoners willing to put their lives on the line non-violently can bring this state to its senses. Nothing else has.