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Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Hunger Strike To Protest Loss Of Priviliges

Kirk Mitchell

A convicted killer serving a life prison sentence has been on a hunger strike for 10 days to protest reduced prison activities for inmates after authorities took away his drums.

Jonathan Kasper, 39, began the hunger strike with five other inmates at the Limon Correctional Facility on July 14, said Katherine Sanguinetti, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Kasper is the only Limon inmate continuing his fast, Sanguinetti said.

In a complaint letter Kasper sent to prison officials, he contended the prison has cut back on organized sports, weight lifting, music and photograph programs and recreation time on living pods.

His mother, Marjorie Kasper, 70, said the prison stopped allowing a prison band to play together. Her son was the drummer.

"They just keep cutting back and cutting back," Marjorie Kasper said. "I'm very concerned. Jonathan lost 32 pounds in the first week."

Before the hunger strike, the 6-foot-1- inch Kasper weighed 225 pounds, according to prison records.

Sanguinetti acknowledged the prison has tightened security and cut back on some prison activities after another convicted killer, Allen Thomas Jr., slit correctional officer Pam Kahanic's throat in September during a sewing workshop. Thomas raped and fatally stabbed 71-year- old Leah Mae Bratsch in 1991.

Kahanic survived the attack.

Limon is also where inmate Jeffrey Heird was fatally stabbed in 2004 by fellow inmates and convicted killer Edward Montour Jr. fatally beat correctional officer Eric Autobee with a large ladle in 2002.

In the past two months, the prison has quelled 10 major fights involving more than two inmates at a time, Sanguinetti said.

The prison is also operating with fewer staff members to provide security. During 2002 budget cuts, Limon lost staff positions that still haven't been restored, Sanguinetti said.

Kasper was placed in segregation May 24 after he was a ringleader in a cafeteria "disturbance," Sanguinetti said.

On segregation, Kasper has lost privileges, including music activities, Sanguinetti said.

Since 1993, Kasper has been serving life without parole for killing a woman to steal money for cocaine, according to prison records and Marjorie Kasper.


The Denver Post

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your in prison! Screw your damn activites! you have none! You lost your activites/freedom when you decided that you are above the law!

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