Inmates stage food protest at maximum-security Nevada prison

hungerstrik2From Las Vegas Sun

A group of inmates at Nevada’s maximum-security prison in Ely refused food for two days to call attention to claims they’re not getting enough to eat, according to Nevada corrections officials and a group that advocates for prisoner rehabilitation.

 Twenty-six inmates in one Ely State Prison unit refused meals Friday morning “as a result of their interpretation of reduced food portions,” the state Department of Corrections said in an unsigned statement responding to questions from the Associated Press.

Seventeen inmates continued the meal boycott Saturday morning, the statement said. Prison administrators met with each inmate “to listen to their issues,” and all inmates were taking meals by Saturday evening, officials said.

No one was injured, sickened, taken to a medical facility or force-fed, according to the statement.

The prison protest was publicized by a Las Vegas-based nonprofit group called Nevada Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants.

Nevada CURE official John Witherow, a former longtime Nevada prison inmate, said one man in an Ely segregation unit complained in a letter dated March 5 that he’d lost weight, wasn’t allowed to purchase items and was denied personal hygiene items like soap and toothpaste.

Ely State Prison is about 250 miles north of Las Vegas. It houses some 1,100 inmates, including more than 80 on death row.