Lockdown lifted at 3 jails after inmates' hunger strike

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Jails on lockdown due to inmate hunger strike

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UPDATE: May 22, the sheriff lifted the lockdown at the Maricopa County jails.

A hunger strike led to the lockdown to protect those inmates who were not participating in the strike.

Thursday night just a handful of inmates refused to eat.

Arpaio said, "If the hunger strike comes back and the threats resume, the lockdown will be re-instituted".

ORIGINAL: PHOENIX - Some inmates are mad as heck and they say they are not gonna take it!

Hundreds of inmates are on a hunger strike because they don't like the food they're being served. Because they won't eat, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has put several jails on lockdown.

3TV was there when it was dinner time at the 4th Avenue Jail. But over the past several days, the inmates have turned down more than 5,000 meals. They are protesting by not eating it all.

One inmate said, "I'm biting my lips because I'm so hungry."Another added, "The dogs that are being housed here down on the bottom floor are eating better than we are."

Martin Pacheco claims he even found this piece of wood in his slop.

The bad thing is the sheriff says inmates who take the food are being threatened. So far, six have had to be moved for protection.

Now the inmates are stuck in their cells in lockdown and as for the food, the sheriff says there is a dietician and constant inspections.

The sheriff tells 3TV this lockdown is in effect until all of this stops. In the meantime deputies tell 3TV the inmates have been buying food from the commissary and are eating things like sticky buns and candy bars.