Shouting from Lancaster County prison on Sunday came from prisoners upset about sandwiches they were served, according to County Commissioner Scott Martin.
Lancaster residents reported hearing inmates shouting complaints from Lancaster County Prison over the weekend, according to WGAL.
A video taken by WGAL outside the 625 E. King St. facility includes shouts of "We're hungry!" and "We're locked down 23 hours a day. They treat us like animals!" coming through the windows.
A sergeant at the prison told LNP on Monday morning that he could not comment on the issue. He said an official who could comment would be available Tuesday.
Martin, who serves as chairman of the prison board, said by phone Monday afternoon that the shouting prisoners were upset about being served sandwiches without a slice of cheese. They were also upset that the sandwiches had one 3-oz. slice of meat instead of the usual two 1.5-oz slices of meat, he said.
Complaints of starvation were "gravely exaggerated" by inmates who were "trying to stir the pot," Martin said. He did not know how many prisoners were involved in the screams.
Regarding the lock-down complaint, Martin said that state law requires prisoners to be allowed one hour outside of their cells per day.
No shouts could be heard outside the facility on Monday between noon and 12:30 p.m.
Prison policy is to close cell windows of inmates who shout out of them, according to Martin.
Jean Bickmire, president of Have a Heart for Persons in the Criminal Justice System, said Monday her organization would be asking questions about the matter on Tuesday.
“We will be looking into it, most definitely,” she said. “I’ll follow up on it as soon as I can.”
The cries from prisoners were “pretty disconcerting,” she said.
Bickmire also said she is worried that prison officials will follow through with the policy to close windows “because it’s getting hot, and there isn’t any ventilation.”