California prison officials have put 14 inmate leaders of a protest over solitary confinement conditions into yet deeper isolation, reports the Los Angeles Times. The protest is in its 10th day, with 2,312 inmates refusing meals and 271 refusing to go to work or attend classes. Lawyers for inmates in the Secure Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison arrived to find their clients had been moved to administrative segregation, used to punish inmates who have violated rules.
The 14 inmates had been identified as leaders of the prison protests, including signing a manifesto earlier this year calling for unity among prison ethnic groups against the state corrections system. A prison spokeswoman said the transfers not only cut off protest leaders’ communication with participants, but prevented them from monitoring events. “They don’t have access to radio or television,” she said.