Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 11: California Bans Inmates' Rights Lawyer from Prisons

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Marilyn McMahon, executive director of California Prison Focus, on Wednesday said she was sent a fax informing her that her access to inmates participating in a statewide hunger strike — as well as inmates anywhere else in the state — has been cut off. In addition to advocating on behalf of inmates, McMahon is a member of the mediation team assembled to work as a go-between state corrections officials and protest leaders.

The letter, bearing Tuesday's date and the signature of corrections Undersecretary Martin Hoshino, cites a pending investigation into an unspecified “threat” created by a retired paralegal who worked as a volunteer for McMahon and had last visited Pelican Bay inmates in May.

In a copy of the letter provided to The Times, a check mark appears next to the words "The person's presence in the institution/facility presents a serious threat to security." No details are provided.

California corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said late Wednesday that she was unaware of the action against McMahon and had no comment. Thornton said 2,300 inmates in 15 prisons continued to refuse state meals Wednesday, the 10th day of the protest.

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