Prison hunger strike now in its third day

Posted May 06, 2009, at 8:30 p.m.

WARREN, Maine — A hunger strike that initially involved eight inmates in the special management unit at Maine State Prison in Warren is now in its third day.

The protest centers on inmate demands for radios in their cells. One striker, Jesse Baum, was quoted on The Portland Phoenix Web site as saying most states recognize the need to have a TV or radio in order “to keep sane” in solitary confinement.

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Associate Commissioner Denise Lord of the Department of Corrections said the strike began Sunday night or Monday morning and one of the eight is eating again. She said the medical staff is monitoring the strikers.

The eight inmates are in the prison’s special management unit, which holds prisoners who are separated from the general population because of mental health or disciplinary issues.

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