Pressure Continues at Alabama Capitol for Change as Prison Strike that has Led to Deaths Hits 18 Days

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By The Vanguard Staff

MONTGOMERY, AL—The State Capital here Friday was the target by prisoner advocates, formerly incarcerated Alabamans and family members of people currently incarcerated in the “state’s troubled prison system” who have been labor striking nearly three weeks – reportedly, several incarcerated have died during the prison strike.

The Break Every Chain rally was organized by Both Sides of the Wall, The Ordinary People Society, Opportunities Peoples Justice Leaders, Alabama Justice Initiative, National Coalition for Human Rights of Incarcerated Citizens, Abolish Slavery National Network, Anti-Violence Safety and Accountability Project, March On and other prisoner advocates and supporters.

Participants said the strike follows “years of inhumane conditions within Alabama prisons. In 2019, the Department of Justice released a report finding ‘flagrant disregard’ for the right of prisoners to be free of cruel and unusual punishment, with chronic understaffing and massive overcrowding contributing to rampant violence and gruesome conditions.”

Sponsors said, “Thousands of prisoners in all of Alabama’s 13 state prisons began striking on Sept. 26, refusing to work for no pay within the facilities or as part of work release programs in protest of what one incarcerated person called ‘a humanitarian crisis.’”

“Multiple incarcerated people have died and workers have experienced retaliation in the form of reduced meals, but continue to strike over demands like a fair and transparent parole process, the repeal of the Habitual Felony Offender Act and creating a state-wide conviction integrity unity. They are also calling on voters to support a proposed recompilation of the Alabama Constitution that would abolish slavery,” said rally sponsors.

Demonstrators are urging the Alabama Department of Corrections Governor Kay Ivey and state legislators to ”come to the table to address the strikers’ demands.”

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