DRAPER, Utah — Several days after 42 inmates in maximum security at the Utah State Prison announced they were on a hunger strike, 40 of the inmates have accepted meals once more.
According to a press release from the Utah Department of Corrections released Wednesday, 31 inmates accepted breakfast trays while the other 11, all housed in the Uinta 2 unit, refused to accept breakfast. According to a second press release sent later in the day, 40 of the 42 inmates agreed as of Wednesday evening to end the hunger strike.
Inmates had sent a letter earlier with six demands, including the relocation of inmates housed in maximum security. The ACLU of Utah states they have received letters from several inmates in the Uinta facility who complained of the conditions and psychological toil from spending 47 of 48 hours in a cell with one other person. Another complaint was a lack of access to rehabilitation and improvement programs.
The Department of Corrections moved 11 inmates to a different maximum security unit Tuesday after those inmates refused to submit to handcuffs to allow them to be brought to an interview room, and some inmates covered their doors with paper, refused to comply with orders and even broke sprinklers inside cells–causing flooding.Two inmates were involved in a fight, according to the press release.
The Department of Corrections also stated other inmates had their privileges reduced due to their behavior. They stated some inmates involved in the hunger strike have stockpiled food items available through the commissary.
Of those 11 inmates who were moved, all but one of them were among the 31 who accepted breakfast Wednesday. It was not clear if the inmate who was moved but didn’t accept breakfast was among the additional nine to end their strike later Wednesday.