By Pat Maurer
A hunger strike reportedly protesting the food at the Clare County Jail that started last Thursday only lasted a day and a half according to officials at the facility.
Undersheriff Dwayne Miedzianowski reported that the “hunger strike,” which involved the inmates of one cell at the jail, began September 1st at lunchtime, was “pretty much over” by Saturday September 3rd, when the inmates who were involved accepted their breakfast trays, making the “strike” last through just five meals.
Miedzianowski said the strike was instigated by one inmate in one of the jail’s cells, which housed 23 total inmates. “Other cells and inmates in them didn’t refuse any meals and had no complaints.” He said by Saturday, the number in the cell where the hunger strike of going on, was down to 21, as two of the inmates did not want to participate and had requested they be moved. They were relocated to another cell, the administrator said.
He said he didn’t understand the reason for the strike. “We have used the same food vendor for years and our menus have the recommended number of calories required by the State and are supervised by a dietician.” He said they are also inspected annually by the state and that none of the inmates in other cells had complained about the food or refused to accept the meals.
Medical staff and officers are always monitoring, he said. “Medical officers and officials monitor the food service and there are never any sanctions where inmates are refused food.
Miedzianowski said inmates are also able to order from a commissary online to buy food and other items, and that their friends or family members can make an order for them as well. “An inmate can order up to $50 from the commissary per week and someone outside can order up to $50 per week for an available total of $100 per week.” The Jail administrator said this is in addition to the three meals provided by the jail. “They are always, three times a day, offered every meal,” he said. He said inmates from only that one cell were refusing the food and one had even thrown it, tray and all, away.
The administrator said 18 inmates from the protesting cell ordered from the commissary on August 25th and on September 1st, 12 inmates had ordered from the commissary, which is available once a week to all inmates. “All inmates were offer their 3 normal meals daily during this hunger strike,” he noted.
By Pat Maurer