Inmates at Green Hill School in Chehalis are planning to strike on July 8 in conjunction with prisoners in California and Guantanamo Bay in the form of a work stoppage or possibly a hunger strike, according to the California-based prison newsletters The Rock and Prison Focus.
The Green Hill inmates have also issued a list of their own demands about the conditions of the prison and treatment of former inmates outside of the school. The full list of demands was published in The Rock and Prison Focus along with the announcement that they would strike.
Green Hill Superintendent Marybeth Queral said she has talked with some of the inmates about their concerns and does not expect a strike on July 8.
“I don’t think it has any traction,” Queral said. “I’m not sure where it originated and how our youth have been involved.”
Ed Mead, the editor of The Rock and Prison Focus, would not say how he got the list of demands or heard about the strike, but said it did not come from any Green Hill inmates or family members.
“I’m not in direct contact with the Green Hill School,” Mead said.
Mead’s newsletters also mention that Green Hill inmates already held a hunger strike and plan to initiate one on July 8.
Queral said about a month ago a couple boys in one living unit held a hunger strike and tried to engage others to join.
“I talked to the counselor in the living unit and she said they got hungry,” Queral said. “I don’t know if it even lasted a day. They may have made it through one meal.”
On the list of demands is a call for more educational opportunities, better legal access, input on food and other concerns.
Queral said she believes the school already offers the inmates the items that are on the list.
“We’ve been looking at our goals and the expansion of educational and vocational opportunities is on there,” Queral said. “We do really watch those things.”
Queral said Green Hill School has not seen a full strike before and is watching for signs of one forming next month.
“Instead of a strike I would hope we would be able to have the opportunity to sit down with our youth,” Queral said.