Mediators are making an official inquiry into the cause of Sell’s death to the federal body that oversees California prisons.

Meanwhile, prisoners face retaliation for participating in the hunger strikes, including undergoing further isolation, having their cells filled with freezing air, and facing destructive cell searches and denial of media and communications access.

California Governor Jerry Brown has remained completely silent as the hunger strikes have swept California prisons.

Launched July 8 in Pelican Bay State Prison, this is the third major prisoner hunger strike in the state since 2011. In addition to demanding an end to solitary confinement, prisoners are calling for a halt to collective punishments, harsh crackdowns under the auspices of ‘stopping gang activities,’ and access to education, healthcare, and healthy food.

While CDCR consistently under-counts the number of strikers, supporters say prisoners across California continue to put their bodies on the line to transform their inhumane conditions.

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Sell’s friends, who describe him as “strong, a good person,” say his death could have been prevented if the California Department of Corrections had been willing to negotiate with the prisoners.


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