NJ — An inmate who stopped eating in protest of punishment over a drug test has prison officials worried about his health.
William Lecuyer went from 230 pounds to 120 pounds over the course of one year, according to NJ.com. The State Attorney General’s Office, fearful of the inmate’s organs shutting down, went to court to ask if state officials could force feed Lecuyer.
The court sided with the inmate, stating that the he had a First Amendment right to refuse food.
Lecuyer is demanding to see a log book that would prove he didn’t break prison regulations by failing to give a urine sample 18 months ago.
A drug-sniffing dog detected something in Lecuyer's cell, prompting a drug test. Lecuyer claims that officers didn't administer the test within the required two hours, and that since he was forced to wait, he used the bathroom.
When told to give a sample, Lecuyer asked for more time since he had just urinated, according to NJ.com. The officer on duty initially agreed, but then later changed his mind and charged Lecuyer with failing to produce a sample.
He was punished with four months in ad-seg. But officials are refusing to bend.
“The prison administration cannot allow itself to be coerced by an inmate,” Martin Horn, former New York City corrections commissioner and secretary of commissions in Pennsylvania, said.
“The point of prison is, when you’ve exhausted your legal options and you don’t get what you want, you have to do what you’re told.”
Even his lawyer, Jean Ross, has pleaded with him to end his hunger strike. But Lecuyer says it’s a matter of principle, and refuses to give in.