Right now, the Senate is deciding whether to vote on a bill called the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act – the most significant criminal justice reform legislation to be considered by Congress in the last five years. It will essentially ban juvenile solitary confinement in the federal system and retroactively reduce overly harsh drug sentences.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Advocates for inmates on a hunger strike to protest California’s solitary confinement program met with the state prisons chief on Friday as they pushed for an end to practices they say are inhumane.
Mediators who support the protesting inmates issued a statement after the hour-long meeting with Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard, saying they offered ideas for ending the hunger strike and improving prison conditions that include indeterminate sentences in isolation units.
“He received us well and listened to our concerns and those of the prisoners and their families,” the statement said.
Ron Ahnen, president of California Prison Focus, who was among those who met with Beard, declined to elaborate on the secretary’s response to their suggestions.
More than 300 inmates have refused all meals since the strike began on July 8. About 30,000 inmates initially participated.