About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

23 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 151 (2007)
What They Can Do about It: Prison Administrators' Authority to Force-Feed Hunger-Striking Inmates

handle is hein.journals/wajlp23 and id is 155 raw text is: What They Can Do About It: Prison Administrators'
Authority to Force-Feed Hunger-Striking Inmates
Tracey M. Ohm*
Prison inmates throughout history have employed hunger strikes
as a means of opposition to authority.' Inmates engage in hunger
strikes for a variety of reasons, often in an attempt to gain leverage
against prison officials2 or garner attention for the inmate's plight or
cause.3 Suicide is a motivating factor for some inmates.4 When a
* J.D. Candidate (2007), Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. The author
wishes to thank Professor Margo Schlanger for her guidance and expertise.
1. This Note examines hunger strikes undertaken by competent prison inmates. Analysis
of hunger strikes by incompetent individuals or nonprisoners invokes different considerations.
For more information about these differences, see Julie Levinsohn Milner, Dignity or Death
Row: Are Death Row Rights to Die Diminished? A Comparison of the Right to Die for the
Terminally III and the Terminally Sentenced?, 24 NEW ENG. J. ON CRIM. & CIV. CONFINEMENT
279 (1998).
rel. I11. Dep't of Corr. v. Millard, 782 N.E.2d 966, 968 (Ill. App. Ct. 2003) (listing motivating
reasons for an inmate's hunger strike as protest of a transfer, protest of treatment while in
prison, and protest of continued imprisonment with an intent to continue strike until he was
transferred back, released, or dead); Georgian Prisoners End Hunger Strike, RUSS. & CIS GEN.
NEWSWIRE, Jan. 12, 2006, available at http://www.lexis.com (reporting prison hunger strikes
had been organized by heads of criminal groups who were trying to exert control over inmates).
3. 1 MICHAEL B. MUSHLIN, RIGHTS OF PRISONERS 224-25 (3d ed. 2002); see also Zant
v. Prevatte, 286 S.E.2d 715, 716 (Ga. 1982) (stating reason for prisoner's hunger strike was his
desire to be transferred to North Carolina due to fear for his life inside the Georgia prison
system); Mason Stockstill, Four Inmates Claim Hunger Strike for Poor Conditions, SUN (San
Bernardino, Cal.), Dec. 29, 2005, available at http://www.lexis.com (featuring prison
administrators explaining that prisoners sometimes declare themselves to be on hunger strikes
despite the fact that they are still eating).
4. MUSHLIN, supra note 3, at 224-25; see also Laurie v. Senecal, 666 A.2d 806, 809
(R.I. 1995) (In respect to an incarcerated prisoner, we believe that there is no right under either
the State or the Federal Constitution to override the compelling interest of the state in the
preservation of his or her life and the prevention of suicide.); cf Steven C. Bennett, Note, The
Privacy and Procedural Due Process Rights of Hunger Striking Prisoners, 58 N.Y.U. L. REV.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most