Inmates at a Nevada state prison are on a hunger strike for a protest they say stems from the poor conditions inside the facility.
About 40 inmates first went on a hunger strike at Nevada’s Ely State Penitentiary on December 1, accusing prison staff of improperly using solitary confinement, physically assaulting inmates, and failing to provide inmates with proper access to appeal and complaint forms. KVVU-TV reported.
“By bringing together a group of stakeholders represented by prisoner rights and human rights organizations, as well as affected persons-advisory committees, legal professionals, medical professionals and other community stakeholders, we call for urgent government response to remedial abuse and violence against prisoners. ALL “To provide emergency oversight of conditions in Nevada prisons, correctional centers and camps,” Return Strong NV, a grassroots organization that says it is “determined to demolish the prison industrial complex,” said in a statement.
In a press release, the Nevada Department of Corrections said 39 offenders began taking part in the strike, mostly because of objections to “served portions of food”, as well as “conditions of imprisonment, property issues, and disciplinary sanctions.”
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The ministry says that as of December 5, 27 criminals refused to eat, but the total number fluctuated daily as some criminals took food one day and went on hunger strike the next.
“Food is offered daily to all participants,” the ministry said, adding that the ministry “takes seriously the health and well-being of detainees and is working to resolve this issue.”
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“NDOC is auditing portion sizes at all facilities across the state and is reviewing existing food vendor contract,” the statement added. “Additional complaints are also being investigated.”
Opened in 1989, Ely State Penitentiary has a total capacity of 1,183 inmates and 406 employees.
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Ely State Penitentiary is also where death row inmates are housed in the state of Nevada before they are executed.