Menard hunger strikers refusing water until face-to-face hearings begin

by Attorney Alice Lynd

The Menard hunger strikers have apparently decided to go without liquid as well as food, and their physical condition could deteriorate rapidly.

Hunger-Strike, Menard hunger strikers refusing water until face-to-face hearings begin, Abolition Now! According to Illinois Department of Corrections Director of Communications Tom Shear’s Feb. 7, 2014, update, nine offenders remain on hunger strike. “They apparently stopped taking in water yesterday [Feb. 6] and it takes 36-48 hours for THAT to evidence itself, which is pretty quick. So, we’ll admit them to the infirmary as a precaution.”

Before the end of January, the Menard hunger strikers presented a proposal to the warden (reproduced in the third update from Menard). These are the main points:

  • Begin giving the inmates in Administrative Detention informal face-to-face 90-day review hearings and issue them a written disposition stating the basis for whatever decision is reached.
  • Within 30 days, pass out an orientation manual for inmates who are in Administrative Detention or Segregation status.
  • Implement a Behavior Incentive Program that allows inmates who are housed in high security the opportunity to earn the privilege of buying limited food items and coffee.
  • Continue to work on resolving grievances, including weekly rounds by the major and/or warden to prevent issues from piling up.

“Once the informal face-to-face hearings begin, we will take your word that the other issues are going to be addressed and we will ALL come off our hunger strike.”

Supporters can urge IDOC Director Godinez and Warden Harrington to accept the hunger strikers’ proposal immediately. Contact:

  • Illinois Department of Corrections Director Salvador Godinez, (217) 558-2200, ext. 2008, Illinois Department of Corrections, P.O. Box 19277, Springfield IL 62794-9277 or
  • Warden Rick Harrington, (618) 826-5071, P.O. Box 711, Menard IL 62259

Attorney Alice Lynd can be reached at