Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, November 18, 2011

Advocates Link Inmate Suicides to Recent Hunger Strike

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Inmate suicides
  • Inmate suicides

Advocates for prisoners involved in the recent hunger strikes are linking three inmate suicides to the unsavory prison conditions that prisoners had been protesting when they refused to eat state-issued meals for several weeks.

The group, Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity, says Johnny Owens Vick and Alex Machado were both confined in the Pelican Bay Security Housing Unit, while Hozel Alanzo Blanchard was confined in the Calipatria Administrative Segregation Unit. All three men recently committed suicide, and the group claims they were all being retaliated against for participating in the hunger strike.
 
However, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation brushed off the allegations, stating that none of the three inmates even participated in either hunger strike -- one that ended in July and the second that ended in September. Vick committed suicide 10 days before the second hunger strike started, according to Terry Thornton, spokeswoman with the CDCR.

"It is troubling that this group, which professes to care about inmates, would fabricate information, label it 'news,' and discredit the men and women who work for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation," Thornton said. "Their claim that CDCR is withholding information is outlandish and irresponsible."

Thousands of inmates went on hunger strike for 20 days in July, claiming prison conditions had become inhumane. They wanted better treatment, more access to sunlight, and demanded the CDCR revise its policies on gang identification. Inmates went on strike again in September until the CDCR issued a memo explaining that it was working on meeting prisoners' demands.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"