Ohio inmate enters second week of hunger strike

Inmates at the state’s highest-security prison have entered the second week of a hunger strike protesting recreation and programming restrictions that include a ban on religious gatherings for some of them.

Nine inmates at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown refused their meals on Friday in a protest that began March 19, a prisons department spokeswoman said.

The prison houses Ohio’s super-maximum security lockdown and a few high-security death row inmates, including members of the Lucasville 5, who were convicted of having roles in a deadly 1993 prison riot.

Most inmates have been prohibited from roaming their enclosed housing units freely in a practice called range recreation, and group programming has been halted for the highest-security inmates, prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.

“The recreation and programming changes were made as a result of a series of incidents, including a serious assault on staff,” she said.

The crackdown means long-term inmates with no connection to the assault also are being punished, inmate Siddique Hasan, a strike participant and Lucasville 5 member, told reporters in an earlier conference call.

“They’re running this place like a concentration camp http://kron4.com/2015/03/27/ohio-inmate-enters-second-week-of-hunge...

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