A hunger strike by tens of thousands of prisoners across the U. S. state of California in protest at what they have called tortuous jail conditions has entered its fifth day.Nearly 30,000 prisoners across California are participating in a hunger strike in protest against solitary confinement conditions, which include holding prisoners in isolation indefinitely, and other tortuous conditions.The hunger strike started on Monday and those participating have been threatened with solitary confinement.Prison officials recognize a hunger strike as official only after prisoners miss nine consecutive meals. Wednesday dinner was the ninth meal served since the hunger strike began on Monday.Some say California prisoners’ hunger strike can become the largest prison hunger strike in the state’s history and officials predict it will continue into the long term.“This could become a very serious situation over time, because it seems we have a substantial group of people who are prepared to see it to the end if they don’t get real change, ” said Jules Lobel, the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.The protesting inmates want a five - year limit to solitary confinement and are also asking for increased education and rehabilitation programs for those kept in isolation.In a phone interview with Press TV’s U. S. Desk on Thursday, Bill Jones, a White House correspondent, said the falling U. S economy and the failure of the White House leadership to reverse the current economic trend are the main reasons for the hunger strike at California prisons.Jones pointed out that there have been cuts in prisons’ budgets, which have finally worsened the situation at the prisons.