Prisoners launch hunger strike at three NC facilities

According to a release from the Prison Books Collective in Chapel Hill today, an unknown number of prisoners at three different prisons in North Carolina began a hunger strike Monday until the demands listed below are met. The prisoners are located at Bertie CI in Windsor, Scotland CI in Laurinburg and Central Prison in Raleigh. They have called for supporters to contact prison officials like Director Robert Lewis, march in protest at Central Prison, boycott goods sold in prisons and contact the media. Here are their demands, as listed in the press release:

Law Libraries. We are tired of being railroaded by the courts, and having our rights violated by prison staff and officers. NC Prison Legal Services are inadequate and oftentimes do not help us at all. A law library is needed to enable us to legally defend ourselves.

An immediate end to the phsical and mental abuse inflicted by officers.
Improve food, in terms of quality and quantity.

A better way to communicate emergencies from cells; many emergency call buttons are broken and never replaced, and guards often do not show up for over an hour. At least one prisoner has died this way.

The canteens that serve lock up units need to make available vitamins and personal hygiene items.

An immediate stop to officers' tampering or throwing away prisoners' mail.

Education programs for prisoners on lock-up.

The immediate release of prisoners from solitary who have been held unjustly or for years without infractions; this includes the Strong 8, sent to solitary for the purpose of political intimidation.

The immediate end to the use of restraints as a form of torture.

The end of cell restriction. Sometimes prisoners are locked in their cell for weeks or more than a month, unable to come out for showers and recreation.

The theft of prisoners' property, including mattresses and clothes. When on property restriction, we are forced to sleep on the ground or steel bed frames naked, with no bedding.

Medical privacy and confidentiality. Guards should not be able to listen in on our medical problems when on sick call.

Change our cell windows to ones which we can see through. The current windows are covered with feces and grime. Not being able to see out is sensory deprivation, and makes us feel dissociated from everything that exists outside of prison.

An immediate repair of cell lights, sinks, toilets, and plumbing.

Toilet brushes should be handed out with cell cleaning items.

The levels of I-Con, M-Con, and H-Con need to be done away with altogether.

When one is placed on Intensive Control Status (I-Con), one is placed in the hole for six months and told to stay out of trouble. But even when we stay out of trouble, we are called back to the FCC and DCC only to be told to do another six months in the hold, infraction free.


Jordan Green said...

Who put out the press release?

simon said...

the story was initially posted on , a blog and clearinghouse for prison and prison resistance news set up by the ch prison books collective. Mainstream press is currently working on an article; the strike was initially confirmed via direct correspondence. New reports are saying that over 100 people started out on monday - news travels slowly through the walls so we ll see.

Eric Ginsburg said...

The post has been edited to reflect this. Who are you referring to when you say mainstream press? I'm always curious how people think we do or don't fit under that umbrella.