Sunday, May 27, 2012

Response from VA DOC

Solidarity for Virginia Prison Hunger Strikers received the following letter from Harold Clarke, Director of the Virginia Department of Corrections.


Dear ----

On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, I received a list of “ten Demands of Red Onion State Prison Hunger Strikers.” Red Onion State Prison (ROSP) houses the highest security level offenders in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Department of Corrections is committed to maintaining stringent security measures at this facility to ensure the safety of staff, offenders and the public. However, all offenders are housed in a safe and humane manner that maintains the offenders’ constitutional rights.

Offenders at ROSP live in seventeen (17) segregation pods, three (3) general population pods and two (2) structured living pods. The general population pods and structured living pods are less restrictive and assignment to them is awarded to offenders as an incentive based on participation in programs, accountability and positive behavior.

Many of the “demands” outlined in your correspondence are already in practice at ROSP. However, a few of the “demands” are misrepresentations which do not accurately depict the operational process or practice. The facility is operated consistently with other facilities of this nature including those of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. ROSP is accredited by the American Correctional Association and has been recognized for meeting national correctional standards. ROSP will continue to operate its facility in a constitutional and proper manner while achieving the mission of the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Our responsibility as the legally appointed custodians of those sentenced, by the judicial system, is to provide for their proper, constitutionally required, supervision, while ensuring the safety of staff, the offenders and the citizens of the Commonwealth. We are diligently pursing our responsibility and our mission, every day, at every facility.

Harold Clarke


Virginia Department of Corrections

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