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Aug 30, 22

Lillington, NC: 16-Person Hunger Strike Announced at Harnett Correctional

Report on hunger-strike kicking off in Lillington, NC. The following is a statement from sixteen of the participants in the strike.

On August 30th, sixteen prisoners housed in the SC-S 24 building of Harnett Correctional, in Lillington, NC went on an indefinite hunger strike. A supporter received the following statement, signed by all sixteen participants, with the request that it posted and spread online to make their grievances known. Stay tuned for future calls to action!

In the meantime, supporters can call the Warden of Harnett CI, Cathy Judge, at 910-893-2751 to express their support and concern for the hunger strike.

To Whom It May Concern,

On August, 30th 2022, those of us housed in SC-S 24 building will partake in a hunger strike due to our current living conditions. Inhumane conditions here consist of black mold, asbestos, and bug infestations. Presently there’s no air conditioning, running hot water, sprinklers, emergency call buttons, or safety instruction to notify where exits are located. The cell doors are 1900s outdated manual doors that lack any type of emergency release, if the door is disabled. Due to their being no rec cages, offenders spend their one-hour rec time in full restraints.

Some offenders are housed behind a four-inch thick metal door without the proper necessities to correspond with family and loved ones. Offenders are being targeted, assaulted, and tortured. Staff are using mental health offenders that are under the influence of substances as confidential informants (CIs) to target us, affecting our release dates. These same mental health offenders are allowed to file false PREA [Prison Rape Elimination Act] allegations against other offenders, and remain in population while the accused are placed in restrictive housing until an investigation is completed. Yet staff continues to the use the same CIs after proving the allegations are false. However, if that same offender were to accuse an officer of a PREA they’ll place the offender in restricted housing while the officer remains on his post.

Case managers have no say in anything concerning offenders. They side with officers and other staff members in every situation. Case managers don’t honor the point system, set in place to determine an offender’s custody level. The FCC never disagrees with any recommendation against any offender. For example, SRG officer Lt. Palaez uses FCC to have offenders demoted when she can not validate allegations against them, due to new policy and procedures put in place that prevent SRG staff from labeling someone a security threat without merit. Offenders coming from close custody facilities are always targeted, and most receive infractions within their first 90 days of arrival at Harnett CI.

These are some of the many issues we would like to highlight and bring awareness to outside sources and family members of those being housed at Harnett CI in Lillington, NC. I am here at Harnett and can honestly say and state I’ve witnessed, heard, and experienced these issues and claims, which is why I’m participating in this hunger strike. During this course of actions I will not be indulging in any acts of violence or actions that pose a threat to the facility or any staff. May my signature serve as my participation in this hunger strike for awareness purposes and demonstrate that I was not threatened, coerced, or bribed into signing.

[sixteen signatures alongside DPS number]

photo: Milad Fakurian via Unsplash

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