A hunger strike by the three Ohio prison riot leaders has ended with state officials conceding to nearly all of the strikers' demands, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Warden David Bobby of the Ohio State Penitentiary at Youngstown outlined six policy changes being made for inmates under the prison's “administrative maximum security” designation, the most restricted section of Death Row, which houses about 120 prisoners.
Inmates will be allowed “semi-contact” visits with family members, additional recreation time, access to computer-based legal research, phone privileges up to one hour per day and the opportunity to purchase more items from the commissary, including food and clothing. The three inmates began a liquid-only hunger strike Jan. 3. The inmates complained that they were being singled out for unfair restrictions compared with others on Death Row because of their actions during the April 1993 riot. In audio messages distributed via the Internet, Hasan complained they had no outdoor recreation or contact visits with family members, can't buy winter-weight clothing and lack access to LexisNexis, a legal and news Internet search engine. The riot at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville cost 10 lives, including a corrections officer. Said an attorney for the inmates: “This is a big deal for them to be able to touch a loved one after 18 years.”