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Thread: Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

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    Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

    On May 22, close to 50 prisoners at Red Onion State Prison, in Wise County, Va., in at least two segregation pods, began a hunger strike protesting inhumane conditions and ongoing abuses by prison staff. For the men participating in the strike, this is their only recourse to get Red Onion warden, Randy Mathena, to officially recognize their grievances and make immediate changes to food, sanitation and basic living conditions at the prison. ROSP, built on a mountain 400 miles from Richmond, is considered the most isolated prison within the Virginia Department of Corrections.

    1. We demand fully cooked food, and access to a better quality of fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition, we demand increased portions on our trays, which allow us to meet our basic nutritional needs as defined by VDOC regulations.2. We demand that every prisoner at ROSP have unrestricted access to complaint and grievance forms and other paperwork we may request.3. We demand better communication between prisoners and higher?ranking guards. Presently, higher?ranking guards invariably take the lower?ranking guards’ side in disputes between guards and prisoners, forcing the prisoner to act out in order to be heard. We demand that higher?ranking guards take prisoner complaints and grievances into consideration without prejudice.4. We demand an end to torture in the form of indefinite segregation through the implementation of a fair and transparent process whereby prisoners can earn the right to be released from segregation. We demand that prison officials completely adhere to the security point system, ensuring that prisoners are transferred to institutions that correspond with their particular security level.5. We demand the right to an adequate standard of living, including access to quality materials that we may use to clean our own cells. Presently, we are forced to clean our entire cell, including the inside of our toilets, with a single sponge and our bare hands. This is unsanitary and promotes the spread of disease?carrying bacteria.6. We demand the right to have third party neutral observers visit and document the condition of the prisons to ensure an end to the corruption amongst prison officials and widespread human rights abuses of prisoners. Internal Affairs and Prison Administrator's monitoring of prison conditions have not alleviated the dangerous circumstances we are living under while in custody of the state, which include, but are not limited to: the threat of undue physical aggression by guards, sexual abuse and retaliatory measures, which violate prison policies and our human rights.7. We demand to be informed of any and all changes to VDOC/IOP [Internal Operating Procedure] policies as soon as these changes are made.8. We demand the right to adequate medical care. Our right to medical care is guaranteed under the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, and thus the deliberate indifference of prison officials to our medical needs constitutes a violation of our constitutional rights. In particular, the toothpaste we are forced to purchase in the prison is a danger to our dental health and causes widespread gum disease and associated illnesses.9. We demand our right as enumerated through VDOC policy, to a monthly haircut. Presently, we have been denied haircuts for nearly three months. We also demand to have our razors changed out on a weekly basis. The current practice of changing out the razors every three weeks leaves prisoners exposed to the risk of dangerous infections and injury.10. We demand that there be no reprisals for any of the participants in the Hunger Strike. We are simply organizing in the interest of more humane living conditions.


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    Intesting set of demands. I can get behind on this. If all of these things are true they defiantly deserve to be treated like human beings not some animals locked up in a cage. I certainly hope the whole prison industrial complex is not this low in quality and humanitarian standards.

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    Re: Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

    sounds like they are doing their part to keep public sector costs down
    Good for them

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    Re: Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

    If all that is true, then yeah they're overdue for some reform at the Onion.

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    Re: Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

    even prisoners have human rights.

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    Re: Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
    even prisoners have human rights.
    True, but had those criminals recognized the rights of their victims they wouldnt be in prison in the first place.

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    Re: Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
    True, but had those criminals recognized the rights of their victims they wouldnt be in prison in the first place.
    irrelevent.

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    Re: Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder View Post
    even prisoners have human rights.
    If they're murderers and child molesters I'm not gonna get to bent out of shape about it.
    "I reject your reality and substitute my own."

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    Re: Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
    True, but had those criminals recognized the rights of their victims they wouldnt be in prison in the first place.
    Since they ****ed up and did a inhuman act we should take their human rights? Do 2 wrongs make a right in this instance?


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    Re: Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
    True, but had those criminals recognized the rights of their victims they wouldnt be in prison in the first place.



    Yeah, but think about it a minute...


    There are tens of thousands of laws on the books... nobody knows them all, not even Scalia.

    It can be a federal felony to bring certain plants and animals into the country, even if you had no idea they were proscrbed and meant no harm you could do 10 years in the pen for it.

    You've probably committed a felony or two and didn't even know it. You can't depend on common sense anymore... IIRC taking and keeping Hawk feathers that you find on the ground is a felony, due to some Endangered Species legislation.

    Seriously, there are things that could get you hard time that you wouldn't even believe are crimes.

    Or, you could shoot some dude who was trying to kill you, and a bad eyewitness (or NO eyewitness, or an ill-considered word on your part) could see you doing time. It happens.

    It's easy to dismiss things like this when you beleive your ox will never be gored, but don't be so sure everyone in prison deserves to be there.

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    Re: Virginia prisoners go on hunger strike

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Since they ****ed up and did a inhuman act we should take their human rights? Do 2 wrongs make a right in this instance?
    If you notice the first word in my response was the word True. That was in response to the statement "that even prisoners have human rights." So I am not suggesting that prisoners have none. However, a prisoner, by his own actions, does surrender certain rights that you and I take for granted; the most obvious of which is individual liberty. They are in cages, after all. Imprisoning a man for actions that harm another is not an example of 2 wrongs somehow making a right. They are incarcerated as punishment for their behavior and to protect the rights of other members of society from their violent and criminal behavior. While they are there, they should not be subject to mistreatment or subhuman conditions--even if some of them have it coming.

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