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Over 40 US inmates on hunger strike at maximum security jail

5 August 2015 13:33

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Over 40 American prisoners are on hunger strike, demanding better conditions at their maximum security jail.

Since July 31, 42 inmates at Utah State Prison have refused to eat, said the Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in a Monday statement, Sputnik news reported Tuesday.

“The ACLU of Utah supports the striking prisoners in their requests for relief from specific conditions they and their fellow prisoners face,” the ACLU said.

The inmates are being kept at a section for the Special Threat Group (STG) and spend 47 of every 48 hours in their cells.

“Most of these folks are going to be coming out and released into society again,” said John Mejia, with the Utah ACLU. “If you are sending someone back into the community after years of isolation and no programming and a lot of difficult conditions, it feels in a lot of ways that you’re not setting up that person for success.”

Branded violent, the inmates are denied access to any rehabilitative or educational programs.

In a letter sent to ACLU, one STG prisoner said, “We have nothing in here … how are we supposed to better ourselves when we can’t get any programming?”

According to authorities at the prison, some of the conditions demanded by the inmates were being considered.

In a letter handed over to prison officials on Friday, the inmates detailed their six demands, which include the relocation of a number of gang members within the prison.

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