Pelican Bay prisoners are beginning a hunger strike to protest the torturous SHU program in which prisoners are forced to spend 23 hours per day in solitary confinement, with only a small window on the cell door giving them contact with the rest of the world. Inmates are subjected to these barbaric conditions for simply saying hello to their fellow inmates. Prison officials say that the communication between prisoners shows gang activity. Inmates and others, including the Chicano-Mehicano Prison Project, deny this claim with strong evidence. This taxpayer-funded practice is clearly more an instrument of torture than of reform, which is not surprising considering that if prisoners are set free, profits will go down for the private corporations that increasingly own the prisons. Who is free and who is brave in this land?