California May Force-Feed Hunger-Striking Prisoners

Officials will focus on those who signed "do not resuscitate" orders


SACRAMENTO — California prison officials have obtained a federal court order to allow force feeding and other steps to keep hunger strikers alive, including those who have declared that they do not want such intervention.

The state argued in a Monday filing to U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson that there is a "risk that inmates may be or have been coerced into participating in the hunger strike" and signed such declarations against their will.

Henderson agreed, ordering that the state may feed all prisoners who signed a "do not resuscitate" directive just before the July 8 start of the protest or since then, including those it says were coerced.