On Monday, May 19th, 7 prisoners at Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, NC began a hunger strike in protest of a range of indignities and grievances. According to prisoners in the facility, additional men started joining the strike after the first day. The strike was initiated in part by prisoners who were transferred out of Central Prison, following a class action lawsuit against the facility for abuse by guards in various “blind spots” around Unit One. That lawsuit has already forced the administration’s hand in videotaping any cell extractions by guards.
A demands and grievances list was sent by the prisoners to comrades on the outside. It included complaints around filthy food and ventilation units, no way to clean the cells, a law library, functional emergency call buttons, the use of “nutra-loaf” as punishment, inadequate mental health care for mentally ill prisoners, the censorship of political and religious texts, and keeping prisoners with no new infractions on solitary for years on end. (more…)