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Monday, June 4, 2012

Statement from OSP Hunger Striker

On May 1st, 2012 over 50 prisoners went on hunger strike to peacefully protest the conditions of our confinement. We demanded that the administration start treating us like human beings and give us the tools we need to be rehabilitated. However, all OSP officials seem to do is exploit us for their own personal means and dehumanize us by treating us like little kids.

This May 1st hunger strike was suppose to have been a peaceful protest to tell the OSP administration that we wanted a change in the way we was being treated. However, Warden Bobby found a way to twist this hunger strike around to his favor by asking for more funding for programs and material that a level 5 prisoner will never see. 

To get prisoners to come off of the May 1st strike, Warden Bobby made a lot of promises that he never made good on, such as dropping high and outrageous commissary prices, giving us exercise equipment, showing better quality movies, adding more TV channels, taking handcuffs off of prisoners while we are visiting our loved ones, and giving us extra phone calls other than the one (1) per month we are currently receiving. 
Due to the breach of commitment by the warden, I am goin on a hunger strike by myself and I vow not to come off until everything pertaining to our issues are addressed and resolved. These issues are as follow:

*Commissary prices- prisoners at OSP are being extremely over-charged for hygiene, clothing items, food items, writing materials and electronics. It seem like every week the commissary items that prisoners buy the most of, such as soap, writing material, Muslim oil, peanut butter, coffee, sweets, batteries and electronics [go up in price]. The institution commissary is the only place we have to go to get the things we need so we are forced to pay outrageous prices of the things we need. This is clearly exploitation by the same people who is in charge of rehabilitating us. 

*Recreational programming- OSP recreation department fail to give level 5 prisoner recreational materials that they are funded to give us. The IE fund is a fund that is set up to buy recreational material for all prisoners housed at OSP. The issue isn't about whether money in the IE fund or not. We know the money is there. The problem is why Mr Resatar haven't been using that money for our recreational needs. What is being done with the IE fund is a mystery to us on level 5 because Resatar has failed to give us rec supplies. The last time Mr Resatar has did rounds in C-Block was 3 months ago.

*Movies- The movies that is picked out and shown to prisoners at OSP are of the lowest grade, and for some odd reason every movie that is shown to us contain a lot of male nudity. In my opinion as well as many of my fellow prisoners opinions OSP is promoting homosexuality by constantly displaying movies that show sexual body parts of men, such as penises and buttocks. This is clearly a tactic to disrespect and dehumanize prisoners thats not into homo erotica.

*TV channels- Prisoners at OSP are limited to only seven (7) TV stations when there is a lot more local channels that are free and available. Mr. Burrows is the staff member responsible for showing low grade and homo erotic movies to us Mr Burrows is also the one responsible for blocking out TV stations that is available for free on the local stations. 

*Phone calls- As it stands now, prisoners on level 5B gets one phone call per month and 5A get 2 per month. How is it right that prison officials are using an opportunity to bond with ones family as a privilege? Part of the rehabilitation process for prisoners is building strong bonds with family and friends. It is a proven fact that guys with a strong support system leaving prison have a greater chance not to reoffend verses guys with no support system. 
Just like maximum security prisoners, level 5 should have the opportunity to use the phone once each week. 

*Handcuffs on visits- It is not only unnecessary but also dehumanizing to force guys to wear handcuffs in front of their family while secured in a bullet-proof, non-destructable visiting booth.

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