Monday, August 20, 2018


Inmates across the country will go on strike by refusing to eat and work to protest 'prison slavery' and poor conditions

By Keith Griffith

Daily Mail
August 19, 2018

Prison inmates across the country are preparing to go on strike by refusing to eat or work, as a way to protest what they call 'prison slavery' and poor conditions.

Though the extent of the planned strike is not known, prisoners in at least 17 states say they will be taking part in coordinated action, which will begin on Tuesday and last through September 9.

Organizers say the strike is partly in response to the April riot in South Carolina's Lee Correctional Institution, where seven inmates were killed by other prisoners when gang tensions boiled over.

The masterminds of the strike have issued a list of 10 'demands', including an improvement of prison conditions, an end to life imprisonment, and an end to low-paid jobs behind bars.

Currently, hundreds of thousands of inmates work behind bars, in jobs ranging from GED tutors to custodial and other work that helps prisons run. The average pay runs about 20 cents an hour.

In California, more than 1,000 minimum-security inmates have been deployed at trained firefighters to combat the wildfires blazing across the state. They are paid $2 a day plus $1 an hour.

Now, prisoner advocates say that the low-paid work amounts to 'slavery' and demanding that taxpayers pay inmates higher wages for their work behind bars.

'Prisoners do like having the opportunity to earn, because they do have to support themselves financially in a lot of ways,' Amani Sawari, a spokesperson for the protests, told Vox.

'They have to buy food if they want to eat outside the three times a day most prisons serve.... Any little thing they need, they have to buy that. So they want to be able to.'

Prison officials say that prison jobs provide inmates with valuable skills, and that there is no money to pay them higher wages, with incarceration already costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a year per inmate to feed, clothe and house the prisoners.

Although the 13th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited slavery, it added the caveat 'except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted'.

Sawari said that the prisoners will protest by sitting the the common areas or their cells and refusing to go to the cafeteria or perform their work duties.

The strike is being timed to coincide with 47th anniversary of the death of Black Guerrilla Family gang founder George Jackson on August 21, and the 47th anniversary of the Attica Prison riot on September 9.


1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.

2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.

3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.

4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.

5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.

6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.

7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.

8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.

9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.

10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It ain’t supposed to be Club Med!

Those demands look like they were composed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

1 comment:

bob walsh said...

If I remember correctly the Brits actually let a couple of IRA prisoners starve themselves to death some years ago.