Greenhut on chickens and inmates

Greenhut on chickens and inmates

Steven Greenhut, the founder of, has begun his new column with the UT San Diego. It will be appearing Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Bookmark the location:

prison - california department of corrections photoHe’ll be writing from Sacramento on state policy.

His first column is on the prison strike, “Do you value chickens over inmates?” Excerpt:

“But the vast majority of the hunger-striking prisoners are there for indeterminate sentences — not as the result of a disciplinary action, but because prison authorities say that they have gang affiliations. Mainly, prison authorities keep the prisoners there until they are “debriefed,” i.e., turn in other prisoners as fellow gang-bangers. Few inmates are likely to do so given the severe consequences in the prison yard, so they languish in these cells for years. The ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties believes prison authorities may rely on these cells because of so much overcrowding throughout the prisons.

“According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, more than 500 prisoners at Pelican Bay have been in such cells for more than a decade, and 78 for more than two decades. Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, told me that “indefinite days of solitary confinement are cruel and unusual punishment.” It’s hard not to agree, even though these prisoners are unsympathetic characters.”

Tags assigned to this article:
John SeilerprisonsSteven Greenhuthunger strike

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