Yesterday, prisoners in Westville, Indiana began refusing nasty lunches served by an notorious, private, prison food provider. The rebellion is spreading.
Aramark, the private company that won the contract for food at Westville
Correctional Facility (a prison in northern Indiana), has enacted drastic
cut-backs over the past several months. As a result, hot lunch trays have been replaced with cold, nutritionally deficient sack lunches. One prisoner reports dropping from 215 to 150 pounds during his stint in
Westville. Prisoners began refusing these humiliating lunches in
collective protest on January 13th, and now their struggle is expanding.
Westville’s Control Unit is divided into four pods, each containing four
sections. As the collective protest spreads, it’s expected to involve
majorities in all eight sections of A and B pods before the end of the
week. Prisoners report that many within the Control Unit are setting
aside petty differences in order to support each other and share food.
In response to the start of the protest and the mass call-in day on 1/14,
prison bureaucrats are foisting responsibility for the malnourishing
lunches onto Aramark. However, we know that the two are acting in
collusion; the DOC could act to force the contractor to bring back hot
lunches. Prisoners have been inspired by the massive response to the
call-in day from around the United States. They are determined to
continue until they win.
Now is the time to multiply solidarity actions and pressure against the
Indiana DOC and Aramark. Continue calling IDOC Commissioner Bruce
Lemmon at (317) 232-5711 and Aramark Correctional Services at (800)
777-7090 (though we’ve heard that they have sometimes stopped picking up
in response to the flood of calls they’ve received so far).
Appalling contracts and practices such as the DOC and Aramark’s are
common; spread word of the protest to prisoners in other facilities.
Step up resistance to prisons and a society that profits from
confinement and control.
For updates, see Rififi.