Inmates at Nevada prison on hunger strike for better conditions

A total of 39 inmates at the Ely State Prison in the US state of Nevada started a hunger strike from December 1 and 27 of them have continued the protest, local media reported.

Return Strong, a group advocating better conditions inside prison, was quoted by the KLAS-TV as saying on Tuesday that those inmates asked for better conditions of their confinement, noting “while this group has decided to go on strike now, the conditions they are striking about are being seen across the state”, reports Xinhua news agency.

Return Strong requested an immediate intervention from the state in regards to correctional abuse and violence against prisoners, including extending use of solitary confinement, lockdowns, modified lockdowns and de facto solitary confinement, correctional abuse, group punishment and administrative abuse, among others.

The report said that throughout the past year, numerous inmates had reached out to local news outlets stating they had been placed on lockdown for consistent periods of time, their medical needs had been neglected, and they had been in fear for their safety.

Ely State Prison is a maximum-security prison in the country and holds some of the state’s death row inmates.

The Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) confirmed the hunger strike in a statement, saying “the strike began December 1, mostly in protest of the food portions being served but also includes conditions of confinement, property issues and disciplinary sanctions”.

“The NDOC is auditing portion sizes at all facilities throughout the state and reviewing the contract with the current food vendor. Additional complaints are also under review,” the statement read.

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