Support Prisoners on Hunger Strike at Three North Carolina Prisons!

Prisoners Begin Hunger Strike at Three Facilities In NC

On Monday July 16th 2012, prisoners at Central Prison in Raleigh, Bertie CI in Windsor, and Scotland CI in Laurinburg all began a coordinated hunger strike. The men have issued a series of demands revolving around food, healthcare, abuse by guards, and in particular for a return of prison law libraries, and are encouraging other prisoners to join in with their own actions and demands. They are also calling for the release of those on I-Con status and the abolition of separate control statuses. The prisoners have vowed not to eat until their demands are met. [see prisoners' demands below]

Correspondence with the prisoners has confirmed the strike at several facilities, and that at least at Central Prison over 100 prisoners began the strike on Monday. Prisoners have encouraged supporters to call or fax the administrations of these different facilities as well as Director Robert Lewis (see information below), to “march or protest in front of Central Prison and others,” “boycott all products being sold in these prisons,” and to “contact media outlets and let them know what we are doing.” 

The prisoners have listed the following demands (listed at the bottom), though they are also encouraging others to include any other grievances specific to their conditions. It is still unclear how many prisoners are currently participating, but correspondence with those on the inside has made it clear that the strike has spread to three at least three different facilities.

Constant attention and pressure on administrations can help make this strike a success, and protect those who are putting their lives on the line. Prisoners have asked folks on the outside to call everyday to check on fasting prisoners and pressure administration. You can contact officials at:

Robert C. Lewis, Director of Prisons
phone: 919.838.4000
fax: 919.733.8272

Central Prison Warden Ken Lassiter
phone: 919.733.0800
fax: 919.715.2645

Bertie CI Warden Renoice Stancil (The Receptionist Says Stancil Is Replaced With A Man Named Anderson)
Phone: 252-794-8600
Fax: 252-794-4608

Scotland CI Warden Sorrell Saunders
Phone: (910) 844-3078
Fax: (910) 844-3786

PRISONERS’ DEMANDS

  1. 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.

  2. An immediate end to the physical and mental abuse inflicted by officers.

  3. Improve food, in terms of quality and quantity.

  4. 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.

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

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

  7. Education programs for prisoners on lock-up.

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.

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

  15. Toilet brushes should be handed out with cell cleaning items.

  16. 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.

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