The 5 Demands of Hunger Strikers at Sterling Correction Facility
STERLING, CO — August 20, 2018
Inmates are on Hunger Strike at Sterling Correctional Facility, CO since August 7, according to information from a prisoner inside. They will continue their hunger strike, with more joining, until their 5 demands are met, prisoners said.
“Right now as I write you this myself, as well as 38 other men here in Sterling’s ‘MCC’ (another name for Ad-Seg) are on 24 hour lockdown for 2 weeks and counting. Some have been on this lockdown for 3 months and counting. At the moment there are 10 engaged in a hunger strike and by the time you receive this letter that number will have doubled.” – one of the prisoners said in his letter to Denver ABC 2 weeks ago, stating that prisoners started a hunger strike. “This is our final hope at some sort of relief. It is powerful to witness men deprive themselves of the basic nutrients needed for survival in order to fight oppression, especially when most of us are routinely labeled ‘most violent'”.
Administrative segregation (Ad Seg) is when a prisoner is housed separately from the main prison population. In most prisons, Ad Seg is another term for solitary confinement.
Typically, prisoners get "put in the hole" if they violate prison rules, start fights, make threats, disregard officers, disobey direct orders, or make an attempt on anyone's life. In Ad Seg or solitary confinement a person is usually placed in a very tiny cell by themselves, often without a bed. Sometimes a mattress or blanket is provided. There is no radio or TV and no windows – only a slot in the door where food trays are placed.
Prisoners stay in the cell 23 hours a day. They are taken out to shower and sometimes to exercise in a small pen, but otherwise they see no other human beings while they are in solitary.
The 5 demands/points of hunger strike at Sterling Correctional Facility:
1. End of group punishments. Especially the “off the record” policy known as “redtag” used at Sterling. This is in reference to Colorado’s prisons locking down entire groups for one person’s actions. And it is almost exclusively used to lockdown groups of Hispanic inmates, which can force anywhere between 20-100 Hispanic inmates to be held indefinitely in solitary (for no action of their own) for months at a time. At any given moment.
2. Abolish solitary confinement, but especially as a punishment to retaliate against inmates who refuse to attend/participate in intel/ICC interviews.
3. C.D.O.C must comply with all parts of the settlement reached in Decoteau v.Raemisch as well as adhere to the statements made by Rick Raemisch himself in a Oct. 2017 New York Times article and statements where he stated “solitary confinement and extended restrictive housing have been abolished in Colorado. No inmate will be held in RH [restrictive housing] longer than 15 days.”
4. Refund all inmates; money for outstanding subscription and GTL Linkunit accounts due to tablets being recalled.
5. Expand educational programs to include some correspondence courses and programs to help build and strengthen family unity between inmates and their families in the outside world.