Lane County Jail Inmates on 24th Day of Hunger Strike

Jul 15, 2020

Wednesday marks the 24th day of a hunger strike by protestors at the Lane County Jail, and inmates say they have not yet seen any progress towards their demands which include better conditions and health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Sign outside of Lane County Jail, where some inmates have participated in a hunger strike for 24 days
Credit Rachael McDonald

Protests within Lane County Jail have come at great cost to some inmates. Ruby Jernigan, organizer for Lane County Mutual Aid, which has advocated for fair treatment for inmates during COVID, has kept a close tab on one striker, Bryan MacDonald.


Jernigan said MacDonald’s health is deteriorating at a rapid rate. However, MacDonald is willing to continue in order to have his demands met.


“What the strikers want is for adequate protections from COVID-19,” says Jernigan, “their right to a fair and speedy trial, and of course to release pre-trial detainees and those who are medically vulnerable.”


Jernigan says MacDonald’s refusal to eat has resulted in his kidneys and liver beginning to fail, extreme weight loss, and incontinence, as well as the potential to be on dialysis for life. A spokesperson for the Lane County Jail says the strikers are being closely monitored by medical staff.


Copyright KLCC, 2020.