11/13/2015 12:08 EST | Updated 11/13/2015 12:59 EST

Calgary Inmates Launch Hunger Strike Over Alleged Mistreatment

As of Thursday, as many as 30 inmates were involved in the strike.

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CALGARY — A hunger strike is underway at the Calgary Remand Centre as inmates are attempting to bring attention to their concerns with alleged mistreatment and unhygienic practices.

Inmates are complaining that clothing changes are permitted only about once a week and food portions they are served are small and lack protein.

They also say some inmates are unfairly being classified as gang members and having their privileges restricted.

As of Thursday afternoon, as many as 30 inmates were involved in the hunger strike.

Dan Laville of Alberta Justice has confirmed the hunger strike involving inmates from the maximum-security area.

He says they are carrying out standard procedure, which is to agree to discuss the issues "when the inmates observe the behaviour expected of offenders held in custody.''

Defence lawyer Hersh Wolch represents one of the striking inmates.

"The one thing to be kept in mind is that you have people here who are presumed innocent,'' explains Wolch. "People who have been convicted and are guilty are in better facilities.''

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