30,000 California prisoners began a hunger strike on July 9, 2013.
The priority on their list of demands is that inmates should spend a maximum of only five years in isolation. Currently, 4,527 prisoners are officially interned in Segregated Housing Units (SHUs). In fact, their actual number is closer to 10,000. A dozen of them have been kept in solitary confinement for over 20 years.
In addition, the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed, on July 7, that from 2006 to 2010, 148 prisoners were forcibly sterilized in California.
Since 1982, marking the beginning of the war on drugs, the number of California state prisoners soared by 500%. It currently stands at 475 per 100 000 inhabitants, including Federal, state and local inmates.