Politically active prisoner James Graham recently finished a sixteen-day hunger strike at Lanesboro CI in Polkton, NC. Graham was participated in and publicized everything hunger strikes to yard occupations in various facilities over the last several years.
This latest hunger strike targeted a number of basic living conditions in solitary confinement at Lanesboro, including better ventilation, improved sanitation, and adequate bedding and clothing. A letter from Graham states,
I recently came off a sixteen-day hunger strike against these repulsive conditions. These are the issues I protested against and the results:
- Unsanitary living conditions. I was placed in a cell where the ventilation registers/vents were clogged with lint, dust, dirt, and grime, the flooor was covered with dust and dirt, the toilet had feces on the lid and it had black mold in the toilet. They refised to sanitize the cell before I moved in it and refused to give me cleaning supplies to sanitize it myself. Results? When I went on my hunger strike they passed out cleaning supplies to all prisoners on the SHU [segregated housing unit].
- Sanitary bedding: When I moved in this cell, the mattress was contaminated with green mold. I couldn’t get my mattress exchanged even though I showed the officials here. Results? When I went on the hunger strike, my moldy mattress was exchanged for a clean one.
- Adequate clothing: When I moved up here they had this policy where they were giving out inadequate clothing and if your refused to turn in one item (whether you needed it or not) you didn’t get anything. Results? Since the hunger strike they started giving every prisoner adequate clothing according to their size.
- Religious equality: The Chaplain said he didn’t have any reading material for moors but he had them for other religions. That’s religious discrimination. If you have it for one you suppose to have it for all. Results? I received a request form from him on 2/21/14 saying he has books in the library, just not that many. Before the strike he didn’t have any, now all of a sudden he has some just not that many…
- Writing materials for legal matters: They wasn’t giving us paper, pens, or envelopes for legal matters before the strike. Results? They’ve been passing them out to the prisoners more consistently.
The single immediate issue that Lanesboro administration has refused to budge on is Graham’s request to be sent to an STG Program at Foothills CI. Graham has been on STG [Security Threat Group] status for years, in part as a possible deterrence against further political activity, which makes nearly impossible to get out of solitary confinement. The program at Foothills is possibly the only way to change his status.
For this reason, Graham has called on supporters, solitary confinement activists, and anti-prison folks in general to participate in a call-in day on Monday, March 24th. The numbers and names of officials to call are below; supporters are encouraged to state their opposition to Graham’s solitary confinement and their support of Graham’s participation in the STG Program at Foothills.
Officials to Contact:
STG Specialist Sergeant Lemon, STG Specialist Captain Mims @ (704) 695-1013
Security Specialist Larry Dunston @ (919)838-4000