Prisonerz in multiple statez call for strikez to protest forced labor


Moorbey'z Blog

by Alice Speri

Prison inmates around the country have called for a series of strikes against forced labor, demanding reforms of parole systems and prison policies, as well as more humane living conditions, a reduced use of solitary confinement and better health care.

Prisoners are “driven” to the fields by a guard on horseback in a scene reminiscent of plantation slavery on a Texas plantation-turned-prison known as the Ellis Unit, the photo taken in 1978. – Photo courtesy of the Marshall Project

Inmates at up to five Texas prisons pledged to refuse to leave their cells today. The strike’s organizers remain anonymous but have circulated fliers listing a series of grievances and demands and a letter articulating the reasons for the strike. The Texas strikers’ demands range from the specific, such as a “good-time” credit toward sentence reduction and an end to $100 medical co-pays, to the systemic, namely a drastic downsizing of the state’s incarcerated population.

“Texas’s prisoners are the slaves of today, and that slavery affects our society economically, morally and politically,” reads the five-page letter announcing the strike. “Beginning on April 4, 2016, all inmates around…

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