High Desert State Prison Hunger Strike!

PARC has received an alert that the Z Unit at High Desert State Prison has begun a massive hunger strike in response to unsanitary food and other health conditions that violate the California Department of Corrections regulations:


MARCH 1,2009:  the residents of Z Unit estimated 150-170 convicts began a mass hunger strike to protest both treatment and conditions.  This hunger strike is a remarkable event in that it is rare for so many convicts to come together in protest.  All races are participating in this hunger strike.
FOOD:  Z Unit meals are prepared by PC’s aka SNY’s (Special Needs Yards).  These people are informants, rapists, child killers, etc., that general population will not allow to “walk the line”, in that they will be assaulted/killed.  Consequently PC’s have huge resentments towards general population convicts, and it is a known documented fact that when they are given the task of preparing general population’s meals they often put feces and/or other bodily fluids in the food.  Appeals have been made through the “602 process” to get Administration to remedy this situation to no avail, bringing about the staging of non-violent protest. THIS IS A HEALTH ISSUE.
TRANSFERS:  People get stuck in Z Unit for years waiting fir transfers to a SHU facility.  Prisoners that have been sentenced to SHU terms are not allowed SHU privileges.
LAUNDRY:  Z Unit inmates are not given full laundry exchange every week as is set forth as a regulation in the DOM.  (The “DOM” is the CDCR’s book that sets forth Rules & Regulations and Operating Procedure that dictates how, what, when, where and why inmates get or don’t get anything.  It also sets forth the rules governing the daily operations of the state prisons.  It is also known as “Departmental Operations Manual”.)  Often inmates get no laundry exchange for two to three weeks running.
TV/RADIOS:  It has been set forth in a California Court that administrative segregation environments pose a real threat to inmates’ mental health and so ordered CDC to allow all ad-seg inmates to possess either a TV or a radio.  This has also been set forth in the DOM  Z Unit is the only ad-seg in the State of California to not comply with this court order, and has claimed exemption due to the cost of furnishing cells in Z Unit with electrical outlets and in-cell fire extinguishers which are required by California Building Code.  Appeals have been made continuously for the past three years through the 602 process to get the High Desert Administration to comply with this court order, to no avail.  THIS IS A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE.
PROPERTY:  It has been set forth in the “DOM” that inmates being removed from mainline facilities be allowed to possess/collect from personal property all food that remains sealed in the original packages; also are allowed to retain cosmetics, soaps, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.  Z Unit refuses to comply with this DOM regulation, even though requested many times to comply. They refuse to even acknowledge that this rule exists.

Z Unit Staff has already begun retaliations over the peaceful protest; conducting cell searches in one section confiscating personal food purchased by inmates through the canteen.  This also is in violation of the DOM.  High Desert CDCR Staff has little or no regard for the Rules and Regulations set forth by legislation, the Courts, and legally promulgated by the CDCR itself, creating an atmosphere of lawlessness that is not only not discouraged but actively encouraged by HDSP Administration in their continued refusal to address these valid legal claims and their refusal to instruct these officers to comply with the Rules and Regulations set forth in the DOM.

PO BOX 3030

disclaimer: this report was not confirmed by any official CDC sources. Please contact the prison directly to learn more information and ask lots of questions.