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Jun 29, 20

Prisoners at Lane County are Striking Due to Lack of Covid-19 Protections

Report on hunger strike in so-called Lane County in Oregon due to lack of COVID-19 protections.

EUGENE, OREGON, June 25, 2020 – Four pre-trial detainees have not eaten since last Sunday due to a lack of Covid-19 protections in Lane County Jail. At least one of the four detainees who is striking is Bryan MacDonald, who earlier this month along with four other detainees filed a lawsuit that claims that health and safety measures enacted within the jail are not in fact making detainees any safer. The measures inacted are preventing social visits, religious gatherings, and access to speedy trials, while the jail has not even implemented social distancing measures and new detainees are only quarantined for seven days upon entry to the Jail.

By hunger striking, these pre-trial detainees hope their actions will bring attention to the faults of the jail and those the lawsuit was filed against: Governor Kate Brown, Lane County Circuit Court Judge Charles Zennache, Lane County Sheriff Cliff Harrold and Lane County Jail Captain Clint Riley.

Since filing the lawsuit, detainee Bryan MacDonald has experienced threatening and occasionally violent behavior from law enforcement officials within the Jail and has been placed in solitary-confinement for 21 hours a day. Jail officials are aware of Bryan’s and the three other detainees hunger strike but are not checking their vitals.

Concerned community members can call the Jail at (541) 682-4263 to demand that they check striking detainees’ vitals, as well as release at-risk inmates, reduce the population of the jail to ensure social distancing can be followed, and return behind-glass social visits as per the demands of the recently filed motion.

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