Group of Maine inmates end hunger strike over conditions

November 18, 2021 GMT

WARREN, Maine (AP) — Inmates in solitary confinement at Maine State Prison ended a hunger strike to protest living conditions, officials said Thursday.

As many as five inmates started refusing meals Monday, and three had abandoned the effort on Wednesday, the Maine Department of Corrections told the Portland Press Herald. Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition publicized the strike and has been in touch with some of the prisoners, the newspaper said.

Inmate Nicholas Gladu told the coalition in text messages that the inmates in solitary confinement are locked in for at least 22 hours per day and lack adequate medical and mental health treatment and access to religious services. Gladu is serving a 38-year sentence for crimes including gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact against a child.

Several inmates ended their hunger strikes on Wednesday and the remainder joined them Thursday, officials said.

Some in the unit have spent months or years there, Jan Collins, a Wilton-based prisoner advocate, told the newspaper. It’s unclear if prison officials answered any of the demands.