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California prisoners say videos show ‘gladiator fights’ at Soledad State Prison

California prisoners released video recordings of two prisoner fights they say were set up by officials at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, California. It is now the second facility to report so-called “gladiator fights” after prisoners spoke out about similar incidents at the state prison in Corcoran.

Condemned to valley fever

J. Clark Kelso, the federal medical receiver, appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson to oversee the California state prison health care system, ordered Jerry Brown and the CDCR to immediately transfer 3,300 prisoners at high risk of infection or death from valley fever. Jerry Brown rejected this April 29 directive to save lives and instead opted to play politics with morbid consequences.

Advocates question California’s new prisons chief

Tomorrow the Senate Rules Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for acting California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Jeffery Beard. Advocates, experts and family members of prisoners plan to attend the hearing and raise their concerns about Beard’s track record on prison expansion and overcrowding in Pennsylvania.

12,000 California prisoners on hunger strike

As the renewed prisoner hunger strike enters its second week, the federal receiver’s office reports that at least 12,000 prisoners were participating during the first week. Family members of striking SHU prisoners reported that their visits this weekend were denied by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which is threatening participants with disciplinary action and banning two lawyers who represent the strikers. “Historically, prison officials have used extreme measures, including physical violence to break strikes,” says Dorsey Nunn, a member of the mediation team working on behalf of the strikers.

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