On Dec. 9, students from St. Lawrence University staged a hunger strike in protest of the use of solitary confinement and its effects on prisoners.
First of all, prisoners are not sent to solitary confinement. They are segregated from the rest of the prison population because of violent conduct or repeated negative behavior. Prisoners are not arbitrarily locked away, especially when it comes to minor infractions such as smoking in unauthorized areas or littering.
These students have made broad statements but have failed to substantiate any of their grossly inane assumptions regarding the way correctional facilities in this country are run. If their carefully worded statement is made that inmates spend years or decades in solitary confinement for something as benign as smoking or littering, and it is presented in the context that it was so as to make people believe that these inmates are in fact locked away in solitary confinement for such small infractions, then this is an incredible misrepresentation of the facts.
A word of advice would be before you go on a hunger strike: take a vow of silence, or stick a petition in front of anyone wholl represent your case factually so that everyone you want for your cause can be accurately informed.