Bristol County House of Corrections, Dartmouth, Massachusetts
July 17-26, 2018

Approximately 60 immigrant detainees went on hunger strike on July 17 in protest of conditions in the part of the jail operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). When prisoners in the general population unit of the same jail heard of the hunger strike on the news, 250 joined the protest in solidarity. Reports of exact dates and numbers of strikers vary between sources.

According to a statement from the immigrant advocacy group Families for Freedom,

“Guys are getting sick because the shower has mold and the food is 3 to 4 days old and yellow, like yellow mashed potatoes,” the statement quoted an inmate as saying. “If you are sick you have to wait 1 to 2 weeks before you get attention. There’s a guy in here who has gone three weeks with a broken hand and no medical care. People are getting seizures and no medical care, people are denied medicine for their conditions. People get food poisoning from the food and are told to just drink water.”

On July 27, activists with Bristol County for Correctional Justice held a rally in the parking lot of the UMass Dartmouth Law School to raise awareness about the hunger strike. On September 30, approximately 30 activists held a rally outside the jail.

 

Citations:

60 went on hunger strike in ICE detention in Dartmouth“, Sun Coast Today, July 20, 2018.

Prisoners In Bristol County Launch Hunger Strike In Solidarity With ICE Detainees, Refusing Prepared Meals“, WGBH, July 25, 2018.

Migrants in ICE jails launch hunger strikes“, Worker’s World, July 25, 2018.

Inmates refused to eat prepared meals at Bristol County House of Corrections“, The Herald News, July 26, 2018.

Inmates protest at Bristol County House of Corrections“, Dartmouth Week, July 26, 2018.

Protest in Dartmouth Over Treatment of Bristol County Inmates“, WBSM, July 27, 2018.

Hunger strikes by Bristol County detainees spark Friday night rally“, Boston Globe, July 28, 2018.

Activists in solidarity with Prison Strike speak out against Bristol County Jail and sheriff,Liberation, September 12, 2018.

 

Background:

Bristol Sheriff offers inmates to build Trump’s Mexico wall“, Boston Globe, January 5, 2017.

Mentally ill inmates sue Bristol sheriff over solitary confinement“, Boston Globe, January 9, 2018.

Bristol County Report On Inmate Suicides Leaves Out Key Details“, WGBH, March 18, 2018.

Lawsuit challenges the high cost of calling from jail“, Boston Globe, May 3, 2018.

‘They left him everything to hang himself’“, Boston Globe, May 6, 2018.

Hodgson Blasts AG Healey Over Allegations of Inmate Safety Risks“, WBSM, June 21, 2018.