The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 

Another Supermax hunger strike

Dungeon Watch
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  September 2, 2009

Protesting that nothing had been done by prison authorities to relieve the torture of prolonged solitary confinement, on August 17 inmates of the Maine State Prison’s 100-man Special Management Unit or “Supermax” reprised a hunger strike that had been abandoned last May after officials made promises, according to the inmates, to “work with” them to meet demands for radios or televisions.

Michel D’Angelo, a striker, wrote the Phoenix that the latest protest involved nine prisoners. “We are quite literally going crazy” from solitary confinement, he said. (Many Supermax inmates have mental illnesses to begin with. They often are put there as punishment for breaking the Warren prison’s rules.)

D’Angelo said Supermax prisoners are not allowed to participate in educational, social, or religious programs. He will be released soon, he said: “I’m scared. I know if I don’t clear my mind and get some help I will be a very real liability to society.”

Another Supermax inmate, Jesse Baum, who was not striking himself but acting as the strikers’ spokesman, echoed D’Angelo’s comments in another letter. When he’s let out of prison in November, he said, “I will have spent 17 months in solitary confinement,” and he feared being released “with no readjustment period.”

After conditions failed to improve following the May strike, Baum said, “Many inmates made suicide attempts.” He told of one prisoner who “started writing Bible scriptures in blood” on his cell walls.

Deputy state Corrections commissioner Denise Lord said on September 1 that the newest strike was “on again, off again.” She said “no more than four” prisoners skip a meal on any given day. She also said the prison had no “current intention” to provide radios or TVs to Supermax prisoners.

Related: Limiting Supermax solitary, Corrections disobeys another federal court order, Suspect speaks; victim’s family begins $1-million-plus lawsuit, More more >
  Topics: News Features , Criminal Sentencing and Punishment, Prisons, Protests and Demonstrations,  More more >
| More


ARTICLES BY LANCE TAPLEY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SUBVERSIVE SUMMER  |  June 18, 2014
    Prisons, pot festivals, and Orgonon: Here are some different views of summertime Maine — seen through my personal political lens.
  •   LEFT-RIGHT CONVERGENCE - REALLY?  |  June 06, 2014
    “Unstoppable: A Gathering on Left-Right Convergence,” sponsored by consumer advocate Ralph Nader, featured 26 prominent liberal and conservative leaders discussing issues on which they shared positions. One was the minimum wage.
  •   STATE OF POLARIZATION  |  April 30, 2014
    As the campaign season begins, leading the charge on one side is a rural- and northern-Maine-based Trickle-Down Tea Party governor who sees government’s chief role as helping the rich (which he says indirectly helps working people), while he vetoes every bill in sight directly helping the poor and the struggling middle class, including Medicaid expansion, the issue that most occupied the Legislature this year and last.
  •   MICHAEL JAMES SENT BACK TO PRISON  |  April 16, 2014
    The hearing’s topic was whether James’s “antisocial personality disorder” was enough of a mental disease to keep him from being sent to prison.
  •   LOCKING UP THE MENTALLY ILL  |  April 03, 2014
    The merger of the prison and mental-health systems continues

 See all articles by: LANCE TAPLEY



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2014 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group