Solitary Calif. Prisoners Turn to Hunger Strikes to Demand Reform

So far 30,000 inmates have begun refusing meals


For inmates in solitary confinement in California prisons, there are very few ways to send a message to the outside world. Phone calls are not allowed, and letters are read by prison officials before they're dropped in the mail. Internet access is banned.

So inmate leaders say they're launching a new hunger strike to protest conditions at lockups around the state.

The last time they organized such an effort was two years ago. The hunger strike eventually spread to thousands of inmates at one-third of the state's prisons.