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Inmate’s Strike Takes New Twist in California: Rights Lawyer Banned from Prisons
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Marilyn McMahon, the executive director of California Prison Focus, and the rights lawyer fighting for the prison inmates who are on hunger strike received a letter from the corrections Undersecretary Martin Hoshino on Wednesday.

The letter informed Marilyn McMahon that she was barred from meeting the inmates on a statewide hunger strike, as well as from meeting prison inmates anywhere else in the state. Besides representing the cause of the plaintiffs in court, McMahon is also a member of the mediation team working as a go-between between protest leaders and correction officials.

  
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A copy of the letter provided to the LA Times has a check mark next to the words “The person’s presence in the institution/facility presents a serious threat to security,” without providing any details.

As it seems right now, anything may be done on part of the government to prevent something once labeled as a “threat to security,” possibly California correction officials have been quick to pick up the trend.

According to California corrections spokeswoman, Terry Thornton, she had no knowledge of the letter. The letter received by McMahon, however, bore Tuesday’s date and the signature of Martin Hoshino, the corrections Undersecretary.

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As of now, at least 2,300 inmates in 15 prisons of California are on hunger strike with Wednesday being the 10th day of the protest.

McMahon said, “I am a target because I do help them communicate with the outside world … We are a way of prisoners breaking through the black box.”



LA Times reports that previously in 2011, McMahon and another civil rights attorney had been banned from California prisons during the hunger strikes in 2011. The bans were later lifted without any findings about any wrongdoing about the lawyers.

The strikes across California prisons are being waged to improve inhuman conditions and allegations that prison gangs determine solitary confinement.



 

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