A hunger strike amongst inmates of a north Texas prison started on Sunday when forty-five inmates started to refuse their meals. The prison is located at the Allred Unit in Iowa Park.
Texas Department of Justice spokesman Mr Robert Hurst: "Most of the offenders have items purchased in the commissary in their cells."
"The department is closely monitoring their food intake and will take appropriate action as needed."
An organization for the wellbeing of Texas prisoners tried to determine whether this action could have been started as a response to poor prison conditions or something else, but for the moment the cause remains unclear. Ms Jennifer Erschabek of Texas Inmate Families Association said "Is it a food issue or a lack of heat in their cells? I don't know."
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">48 men held in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/solitary?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#solitary</a> confinement at a Texas prison are on hunger strike to protest their conditions - State confirms some Allred Unit prisoners refusing meals - <a href="https://t.co/FslaDnaKL0">https://t.co/FslaDnaKL0</a></p>— Solitary Watch (@solitarywatch) <a href="https://twitter.com/solitarywatch/status/947637941505060864?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 1, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The prison just south of the Oklahoma border, which houses some 3,700 people, normally has one of the largest populations of punitive solitary confinement.
The latest statistics show that as of late July, some 600 prisoner were held in administrative segregation.
Hunger strikes in US prisons are nothing new. The most famous one of the past few years took place in California in 2013 when some 29,000 prisoners protested the state’s use of solitary confinement. Given that the strike held for two months at that time and got great attention because of the great number of participants, lawmakers held public hearings on the issue afterwards.
It is unclear so far whether the Texas hunger strikers have any political motives.