AP — California corrections officials say more than 12,400 prison inmates have skipped at least nine consecutive meals, meaning they are considered to be on an extended hunger strike.
That's down from the more than 30,000 inmates who started refusing meals this week. They are protesting conditions for gang members who are held in confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison near Eureka.
Additionally, more than 1,300 inmates are refusing to go to work or classes, down from about 2,300 on Monday.
The department said Thursday that those who participate in the protest could face disciplinary action. Corrections officials also threatened to confiscate food items that some inmates have stockpiled in their cells.
Two separate prison hunger strikes in 2011 involved between 4,000 and 6,500 inmates.