Pelican Bay Two Years Later: Those Still Buried Alive Vowing Hunger Strike “Till the End”

Robert Luca, an inmate at Pelican Bay State Prison who was a gang member, looking out the grates of his cell, near Crescent City, Calif., Feb. 10, 2012. (Photo: Jim Wilson / The New York Times)
"A lot of people aren’t aware that thousands are buried alive in solitary confinement cells in this country’s prisons – for no legit reason," Todd Ashker reminded Truthout in a recent letter. Ashker should know – he has been locked in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison since 1990 after confidential informants claimed he was a gang member. In the SHU, which comprises half of Pelican Bay prison, people are locked into their cells for at least 22 hours a day.

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