Strong 8 Given Six More Months of Solitary, “As an Example”
A few days ago, several members of the Strong 8, eight men sentenced to I-Con for staging a work protest in Central Prison’s kitchens in December 2011, were sentenced to six more months of solitary confinement by the Warden himself.
At a July 25th hearing, these men, who have had no infractions or write-ups for the past six months, were recommended for general population. This ruling was just directly overruled, however, by Warden Lassiter, who, in the words of one of the Strong 8, “told the DCA board to keep us on I-CON as an example.” The men are now stuck in isolation for no apparent reason, at least according to policy.
This comes after the conclusion of a two week long hunger strike which apparently began on Unit 1 at Central Prison, and garnered media attention, call-in days, and solidarity protests in at least four cities. Unit One also happens to be the unit that houses several of the Strong 8.
That strike sent a message, both to the outside world as well as to other prisoners, that organization, unity, and even rebellion is possible. The administration is now clearly trying to send its own message, that collective protest will be met with isolation and force.