25 Ohio Super Max Prisoners Start a Hunger Strike

CONTACT: Ben Turk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday April 30th. Today at least twenty five prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) began a hunger strike. They are demanding that the Warden meet and negotiate with them for improved conditions in Ohio’s super-max prison. These hunger strikers say they intend to continue to refuse food until their demands are met. Another, larger group of prisoners will show symbolic solidarity with the hunger strikers, and workers outside of prison by also refusing food on a one-day fast tomorrow, for May Day, the international day of worker solidarity and resistance.
Information about the hunger strike is limited at this time, because super-max prisoners have very constrained access to communication with the outside world. The hunger strikers are asking supporters of their cause to participate by calling Warden David Bobby (330 743-0700) and ODRC director Gary Mohr (614-752-1164). The hunger strikers are asking people to encourage Warden Bobby to meet with the prisoners and take their demands seriously.
This is the second hunger strike at OSP this year. The first occurred on Feb 20th-23rd in solidarity with the Occupy movement’s call for an “Occupy for Prisoners” day of action. That hunger strike ended with Warden Bobby, as well as officials from Central Office in Columbus, promising to increase recreation time to the court-mandated minimum as well as improve enrichment programming, food quality and commissary practices. At this time, it is unclear if that promise was kept and what relationship, if any, the current hunger strike has with February’s Occupy for Prisoners hunger strike.
Ohio State Penitentiary opened in 1998. It houses over 270 level 4 and 5 maximum security prisoners, and until recently also housed 116 of Ohio’s death row prisoners. OSP was built in response to the 1993 uprising at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

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4 thoughts on “25 Ohio Super Max Prisoners Start a Hunger Strike

  1. Hunger Striking,fasting is biblical in the Bible,book of Isaiah, chapter 58:6–7.Prayer will move God to grant the petitions,so pray,pray,pray! God help the captives! God bless them all!

    (verse 6) “Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
    to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
    (7) Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
    when you see the naked, to cover him,
    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”

    This passage makes it very clear that the acceptable fast is not merely abstinence from food or water, but a decision to fully obey God’s commands to care for the poor and oppressed. Zechariah, chapter 7:5–10, also repeats this message. The opening chapter of the Book of Daniel, vv. 8–16, describes a partial fast and its effects on the health of its observers.

    Benefits of fasting
    (verse 8) “Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
    then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
    (9) Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”
    (Isaiah 58:8–9)

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  3. http://www.redbirdprisonabolition.org/2012/05/osp-hunger-strike-ends.html
    Wednesday, May 9th, 2012, Youngstown OH- OSP Hunger Strike Ends. After long negotiations with Warden David Bobby on Monday, May 7th, the hunger-striking prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) began eating again. Two of the men held out through Tuesday, unsatisfied with the agreement. The warden met with them separately, and they agreed to come off the strike. Warden Bobby reported that “by lunch time today, everyone was eating.” This was confirmed by two prisoner sources.

    At this point, details on agreements are unclear, but sources inside say that the hunger strikers are satisfied and feel they achieved results. One source described the demands and the Warden’s response as “reasonable”. Without going into detail, the main concerns were in regards to commissary costs, state pay rates, phone costs, length of stay, and harsh penalties for petty conduct reports. The Warden said that he discussed “many things” at Monday’s meeting with strike representatives, “many things beyond the main demands” but he would not share any of the details.

    The strikers are resting and recovering, but have mailed detailed information to outside supporters at RedBird Prison Abolition, which will be released to the public as soon as possible. The Warden admitted that one of the hunger-strikers was transferred to disciplinary segregation for an unrelated rule infraction, but stated that there were no reprisals or punishments for participating. One prisoner source agreed with this statement.

    The hunger strike began on April 30th and was timed to align with May Day protests outside. Prisoners have stated an interest in “joining hands in struggle toward common goals” with protest and resistance movements like Occupy Wall Street.

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