Inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison in Northern California are on a hunger strike, protesting conditions in the prison’s security housing units, where hundreds of men are held in isolation, in some cases for decades. The strikers are seeking limits on isolation and an easing of restrictions. California corrections officials say the units are humane, and inmates in security housing units are affiliated with prison gangs that run criminal networks behind bars and on the streets.
But an investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting has found that not all the men held in these units for years were sent there for violent gang behavior. Some have been confined under a policy that allows tattoos, drawings and books as evidence of a gang affiliation.
Reporter: Michael Montgomery
Producer/Editor: Adithya Sambamurthy
Camera/Sound: Singeli Agnew, Adithya Sambamurthy, Roberto Daza, Owen Wesson
Graphics: Sam Ward, David Ritsher
Still Photographs: Adithya Sambamurthy
Senior Producer: Stephen Talbot
Executive Producer: Susanne Reber