Re "The real story behind hunger strike" (Dan Morain, Aug. 11): I appreciate Bee senior columnist Dan Morain and his work on mental health but I don't see eye to eye with him on his article the "real story behind the hunger strike."
Ashker has another side to his story that Morain has not presented. He went to prison as a youth for burglary and was addicted to drugs.
What efforts did the system make besides the sanctioned use of torture to rehabilitate him? Did he have access to any self-help groups or education? Did he receive any counseling? What was the support system like for Ashker when he initially went into prison?
The answers to these questions will give us a clue to his continued path of escalating crime. Of all the states, California is the worst in its use of indefinite solitary confinement. We torture people, furthering their mental damage and then cry "irredeemable criminal." We can do better!
-- Gail Erlandson, Sacramento