William C. Holman Correctional Facility, Escambia County, Alabama
March 18, 2019

Eight prisoners began a hunger strike in response to being placed in solitary confinement without due cause. According to the Alabama DOC, the men were placed in solitary due to “safety and security concerns” after being transferred to Holman from St. Clair Correctional Facility. Rather than being placed in solitary as a disciplinary measure, the inmates, along with 22 others transferred from St. Clair Correctional Facility, were placed in solitary as a “preventative measure.” Many of the individuals transferred are known organizers with prison justice movements including Convicts Against Violence and the Free Alabama Movement.

A letter from the Alabama DOC explaining the use of solitary (Source: Unheard Voices O.T.C.J.)

According to the group Unheard Voices O.T.C.J. the hunger strikers stated they would “remain on hunger strike until they are placed back into general population, so that they can continue normal institutional programs and privileges as do their peers.” One of the hunger strikers also released a statement to Unheard Voices, saying:

“I am on a peaceful hunger strike. I am not suicidal… but I’m doing this because I’m being held in Holman correctional facility segregation without any justifiable reasons why. I was taken from St. Clair correctional facility, general population, on February 28th 2019, without any incident, nor disciplinary infractions. I’ve not been involved in any Riots or escapes. … I feel as if my U.S. constitutional rights are being violated and I’m being deprived of my liberties, being placed in segregation without any due process of law.”

Three inmates were still on hunger strike Thursday morning when the DOC retaliated against the hunger strikers by shutting off water to their cells, thereby making the toilets inoperable. The DOC claimed this was in order to monitor liquid intake by the hunger strikers. By Thursday night, the DOC reported all inmates had ended their hunger strikes.

The strike comes just a week after a separate hunger strike by another inmate transferred to Holman from St.Clair.

(Updated 3/23/19)

Citations

8 Prisoners Launch Hunger Strike at Holman CF In Protest of Unwarranted Solitary Confinement“, Unheard Voices O.T.C.J., March 18, 2019.

Eight Alabama inmates go on hunger strike to protest alleged solitary confinement without cause“, Newsweek, March 18, 2019.

8 Holman inmates on hunger strike after ‘preventative’ placement in solitary confinement“, Montgomery Advertiser, March 18, 2019.

Urgent Communications Zap: Support Holman CF Hunger Strikers“, Fight Toxic Prisons, March 18, 2019.

Alabama inmates protest being forced into solitary confinement“, WHNT 19, March 18, 2019.

Holman hunger strike: ADOC shuts off water to striking inmates” Montgomery Advertiser, March 21, 2019.

Background:

Holman prison inmate on hunger strike to protest solitary confinement“, AL.com, March 11, 2019.