By Marcus Day 19 February 2013http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/02/19/pris-f19.html
Nearly 50 prisoners launched a hunger strike on February 4 at Pontiac Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison in central Illinois. As of February 16, almost two weeks later, some 25 inmates remained on the strike.
The protest comes in the midst of increased overcrowding and growing violent confrontations. On January 29, Pontiac was reportedly placed on lockdown after a prison guard was injured by an inmate. A prison at Pickneyville, Illinois, reported an attack on a guard in January, and Menard Correctional Center, located 70 miles south of St. Louis, has seen at least two attacks on guards over the last month and a half, in addition to an inmate dying there under suspicious circumstances.
Among other complaints, the hunger strikers at Pontiac (which is the oldest prison in Illinois and the eighth-oldest in the country) have stated that…
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