OAKLAND (KCBS)— A federal lawsuit is moving forward in the latest legal turn over solitary confinement at a California prison with attorneys asking to expand their lawsuit.
Attorneys representing 10 prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison took steps on Thursday, asking a judge at a federal court in Oakland to certify their case as a class-action lawsuit. The lawyers are making their case, but haven’t quite locked down everything they want yet.
Three weeks ago, prisoners – which at one point numbered 30,000 – ended a 60-day hunger strike in protest of conditions in solitary confinement, which can go on for decades in California prisons.
“This is not just an issue that confronts one person. Conditions at Pelican Bay confronts everybody and it confronts everybody in a similar way,” said Attorney Julees Lobel.
Marie Levin’s brother is in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay and was one of the hunger strikers.
“We know and we believe that change is going to come,” she said.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken did not rule on the class action request, but is considering it in a case that won’t be settled anytime soon with court dates stretching into 2014.
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