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Politics

30K California Prison Inmates Refuse Meals In Protest

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Inmates at Chino State Prison exercise in the yard December 10, 2010 in Chino, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Inmates at Chino State Prison exercise in the yard December 10, 2010 in Chino, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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PELICAN BAY (CBS/AP) – Corrections officials say more than 30,000 of California’s nearly 133,000 inmates have refused at least one meal as part of a protest over inmates held in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison.

Inmates announced what they say is the third extended hunger strike in two years to protest conditions for the more than 4,500 held in what are known as Security Housing Units. The isolation units at Pelican Bay near the Oregon border and three other maximum security prisons house mostly gang members and their associates.

Corrections department spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Tuesday that inmates refused breakfast Monday at two-thirds of the state’s 33 prisons and at all four private prisons for California inmates in other states.

About 2,300 inmates also refused to go to their jobs or classes.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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