Search by tag: 2011




Protest at Central Prison, North Carolina

December 16, 2011: Fifteen prisoners working in the kitchen sat down on the job in protest of the hours, lack of gain time, and working conditions.

According to the Prison Books Collective: “Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, guards soon came and threatened the men into returning to work. Eight of the men, however, continued to refuse to work until their questions were asked. These men were charged with ‘disobeying a direct order’ and ‘work refusal,’ and placed in solitary cells.”

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Attack on Guards at Gus Harrison Correctional Facility, Michigan

October 21, 2011: After guards confronted a prisoner who they say was not supposed to be in the day room at the time, the prisoner punched a guard and a group of prisoners faced down guards together, shouting threats and, according to a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Corrections, “positioned themselves to resist.”

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Unrest at North Fork Correctional Facility, Oklahoma

October 11, 2011: Prisoners take the facility after several fights break out. Cause and duration is unclear. Guards set up a morgue on the yard using a tent, though there are no fatalities. Twelve prisoners are airlifted to a hospital for severe injuries, while more than 30 suffer injuries are treated on-site.

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California Hunger Strike Resumes

September 26-October 15, 2011: After months of meetings and frustration with California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (CDCR) delays, prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) resume the hunger strike they’d suspended on July 20th. The call to action spreads across the California system, with participation from thousands of prisoners. On October 14th, the PBSP prisoners agree to again suspend the strike pending cooperation from California officials. In the summer of 2013, they will resume the strike again, with over 30,000 prisoners participating.

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Uprising by Vermont Prisoners at Franklin County Jail, Massachusetts

July 7, 2011: At least 15 Vermont prisoners housed in the Massachusetts jail refuse to lock down in their cells and destroy prison infrastructure and throw furniture, blankets and other debris “over the railing” on to the tier below. The riot lasts approximately 3 hours before it is subdued by prison guards.

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Pelican Bay Hunger Strike, California

July 1, 2011: Pelican Bay SHU prisoners issue five demands and begin a hunger strike. At least 6,600 prisoners across the state of California join in solidarity. After nearly four weeks without food, prisoners enter negotiations with the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) and cease the hunger strike on July 20th, giving CDCR a few weeks to implement changes. The changes do not come.

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Youth Uprising at Finger Lakes Residential Center, New York

July 17, 2011: Staff “lose control” of the youth detention facility in what staff later call a “full-blown riot” that leads to multiple injuries. The state Office of Children and Family Services, the state agency that oversees the FLRC, admits that a “disturbance” took place only after receiving media inquiries and later a Freedom of Information Act request seeking more information is denied.

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Escape Attempt at State Penitentiary, South Dakota

April 11, 2011: Two prisoners attacked a guard in the prison’s factory area, killing him and using his uniform to attempt to escape the prison. They were caught and charged with murder. They pled not guilty and lost at trial, were sentenced to death and executed in October 2012 and 2018.

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Dorm Takeover at Holman Correctional Facility, Alabama

April 5, 2011: After a guard reportedly found a contraband cell phone, prisoners take control over the A-dorm. The standoff lasts about 4 hours until the correctional emergency response team enters the dorm and quells the uprising. Five prisoners were injured and sent to the hospital.

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Assault on Officer at Fayette CDC, Kentucky

June 6, 2011- A group of detainees in the jail protested being required to remove shower shoes and being denied access to basketball courts. When guards attempted to subdue the disturbance, using rubber bullets and bean bag guns, one detainee threw a large metal prison phone at them.

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