Butte County Sheriff’s Officials say they’ve uncovered a plot by inmates in security lockdown, to stage a phony hunger strike. It was supposed to start tomorrow.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, the inmates are all members or associates of the Norteno street gang and have been placed in security lockdown because of an ongoing pattern of disruptive behavior and violent assaults against African Americans … as well of some of their own gang members who violate their “code of conduct.”
In addition to the phony hunger strike, information has been uncovered about plans for a protest involving friends and supporters of the gang members.
A news release issued today cites 14 different violent incidents with this group since July. While the suspects are on security lockdown, they still receive access to the day room one hour every day, as well as one hour of yard time five days a week.
Jail officials say security lockdown was a last resort when other corrective action didn’t work. They call the planned “hunger strike” “phony” because stockpiles of commissary food items were discovered … a tactic that’s reportedly common in state prisons by inmates who don’t eat food provided, while claiming they’re being mistreated.
Undersheriff Kory Honea says it’s an indicator of the changing environment in the Butte County Jail since the passage of AB-109 … with more “criminally sophisticated” inmates.
That’s why he says the Sheriff’s Office is pursuing funding to expand and renovate the jail.
Honea said while engaged in this “phony” hunger strike … the inmates will be monitored by medical staff, and their “stash” of food will be monitored to ensure no one actually goes hungry. Staff will continue to offer them food three times a day. ###