California has won court approval to force-feed some prisoners on a hunger strike after officials voiced concerns that inmates may have been coerced into refusing food in a protest against the state’s solitary confinement policies. reports the Christian Science Monitor. U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson ruled that prison doctors may force-feed select inmates near death, even if they had previously signed orders asking not to be resuscitated. Some 136 inmates are taking part in a hunger strike that began July 8 to demand an end to a policy of housing inmates believed to be associated with gangs in near-isolation for years. Some 69 of the striking inmates have refused food continuously since the strike began. Dozens of inmates have been sent to hospitals. About 4,500 prisoners were housed in the units when the strike began. Officials say the units are needed to stem the influence of prison gangs. Administrators have repeatedly characterized the hunger strike as a power grab by gang leaders.