The strike began Easter weekend and involves complaints of the quality of food being served.
WALLA WALLA (AP) — Prison officials say they are continuing to work on both short and long-term resolutions to end a hunger strike at Washington State Penitentiary.
Allison Window, penitentiary spokeswoman, said Saturday that officials “are very encouraged by the growing numbers of inmates taking part in mealtimes.” But officials could not say the strike is over.
“We don’t have enough information at this time to say with certainty the strike has ended,” Window said. “This didn’t happen overnight and it’s not going to resolve itself overnight.”
The hunger strike began Easter Sunday and prison officials said Thursday that about 1,315 inmates in six housing units in the penitentiary’s West Complex were refusing their meals.
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Prisoners in the facility’s minimum-security East Complex and inmates who are elderly or infirm have continued to eat as scheduled.
According to the Department of Corrections, the Penitentiary has a capacity of 2,439 inmates, all adult males.
Inmates involved in the strike are protesting the quality of the food, which consists mainly of meals prepared at food processing centers in Spokane and Connell run by Correctional Industries, a division of the Department of Corrections.