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Atmore prisoners go on hunger strike

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — Some inmates at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore are protesting dorm conditions and a recent lockdown by refusing to eat, prison officials said.

Brian Corbett, a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Corrections, said the July 30 lockdown came after a fight
between two prisoners left a corrections officer with cuts and scrapes on both of his forearms.

He said the prison was locked down as a security measure because the fight involved a weapon and it is protocol to do a full search for more.

The injured officer was treated and released at a local hospital, Corbett said Tuesday.

Inmate privileges are restricted and the movement throughout the prison is limited during a lockdown.

Holman gradually has been coming off the lockdown status, with visitors being allowed over the weekend and prisoners are being taken to meals and the exercise yard one dorm at a time.

Corbett said the hunger strike began Sunday and inmates were upset that they had all been punished because of the fight. In response, some inmates who work in the kitchen refused to go to work and other inmates did not come to breakfast, he said.

"As far as them not eating, there's nothing we can do about it," Corbett said. "That's a personal choice. Most of the inmates today are eating."

The inmates are also protesting ongoing conditions and plumbing problems including "stopped-up showers," Corbett said. He said the prison needs $1.4 million in repairs, and the plumbing was being addressed before the protest.

It was unclear how many of the prison's approximately 1,000 inmates participated in the strike.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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