AL inmate cites 'cruel and unusual punishment’ for hunger strike

AL inmate cites 'cruel and unusual punishment’ for hunger strike
Robert Earl Council

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - An inmate in one of Alabama’s prisons is on a hunger strike, protesting what he says is the Alabama Department of Corrections’ violation of his rights and “cruel and unusual punishment,” according to a news release from his attorney, David Gespass, and his advocate, Kenneth Glasgow.

Robert Earl Council, an inmate at Holman Correctional Facility, has reportedly been on a hunger strike since Thursday, according to his representatives. He has been refusing all foods and liquids after being placed in solitary housing “without any altercation, investigation or disciplinary infraction from ADOC,” the release said.

At this time, it is unclear why Council was moved from general population into solitary housing.

We reached out to ADOC about Council’s strike and received the following statement:

“The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) does not publicly disclose a person’s level of confinement during incarceration because of security reasons. In addition, an inmate’s medical condition is safeguarded through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA); therefore, ADOC cannot release the inmate’s current health information as protected by federal law.”

According to Council’s representatives, he will continue the hunger strike until he is released into general population and ADOC is held accountable. A protest is also scheduled to take place March 15 outside of the facility if his request is not met.

Council is serving a life sentence after being convicted of murder in Coffee County in 1995.

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