SALINAS, Calif.—Monterey County officials say 166 inmates housed in a special area for Norteno gang members are on a hunger strike because of a new policy that limits their toiletries.
Sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Richards says the Monterey County Jail strike began Wednesday after a policy limited convicts to one bar of soap, one bottle of shampoo and one tube of toothpaste per week.
Richards says the decision was made in part because inmates can barter with soap, use soap in socks as a weapon, soap floors to cause jail overseers to slip and hide contraband in bars of soap. Richards said one inmate had more than 40 bars in his jail cell.
Officials say they will provide medical treatment to the inmates if it becomes necessary.