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Prison hunger strike raises issue of force feeding on U.S. soil

More than 12,400 inmates across California have been fasting since Monday, to protest solitary confinement and call for improved prison conditions. The strike, involving roughly two-thirds of the state’s prisons, is one of the largest in California history.

So far no prisoners have been force-fed, and the Corrections Department says they have no current plans to do so. “Hopefully no one will get to that point,” said a spokesperson for California’s corrections department. During a similar strike in 2011, the chief of the state’s prison system said he planned to seek court permission to force-feed inmates. (The strike ended before he did so.)

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