Prisoners on hunger strike could be force-fed under order

Prisoners on hunger strike could be force-fed under order

prisonSACRAMENTO — California prison officials have obtained a federal court order to allow force feeding and other steps to keep hunger strikers alive, including those who have declared that they do not want such intervention.

The state argued in a Monday filing to U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson that there is a “risk that inmates may be or have been coerced into participating in the hunger strike” and signed such declarations against their will.

Henderson agreed, ordering that the state may feed all prisoners who signed a “do not resuscitate” directive just before the July 8 start of the protest or since then, including those it says were coerced.

The judge’s order also allows feeding of any prisoner who, according to a state doctor’s determination, “has become incompetent to give consent or make medical decisions.”

That includes inmates who may be unconscious, said Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the…

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