California corrections officials have barred a prominent legal advocate from visiting prison inmates, saying they are investigating unspecified threats created by one of her volunteers, reports the Los Angeles Times. Marilyn McMahon, executive director of California Prison Focus, said she was informed this week by fax that her access to inmates participating in a statewide hunger strike — as well as inmates anywhere else in the state — has been cut off.
McMahon is a member of the mediation team working between state corrections officials and protest leaders. The fax, signed by corrections Undersecretary Martin Hoshino, cites a pending investigation into an unspecified “threat” created by a retired paralegal who worked as a volunteer for McMahon and had last visited Pelican Bay inmates in May. It cited “a serious threat to security.” A prison spokesman said 2,300 inmates in 15 prisons continued to refuse state meals Wednesday, the 10th day of the protest.