N.J. inmate’s yearlong hunger strike has authorities concerned about his health

According to the article, the inmate is upset about “an unfair punishment over a drug test.”  He has reportedly refused all solid foods in the past year and has dropped over 100 pounds.  His primary demand is a logbook that he feels will prove his innocence.  Prison officials refuse to respond to his demand, fearing that giving in will encourage other inmates to also go on hunger strike.

The prison system has a valid argument.  In Ohio, inmates go on hunger strike all the time at the supermax prison, as past history has shown that the pressure on prison staff can and will result in concessions for inmate privileges.  You almost can’t even blame the inmates – hey, if it works!

On the other hand, isn’t this a bit much?  He was apparently sanctioned with four months in administrative segregation – yet due to his hunger strike, he’s spent the entire past year in seg.  Does the charge negatively affect early release and maybe that’s why?  I can understand the fight for justice, but it seems like an awful lot to go through…

Read the article here.

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