Alabama inmates plan strike against prison labor
Inmates in at least one Alabama correctional facility are planning a prison-wide work stoppage that threatens to bring production to a halt over pay and court conditions, according to an inmate who spoke to reporters from his cell.
The strike was organized inside St. Clair County Correctional Facility in Springville, Alabama by members of the Free Alabama Movement. The group – loosely made up of inmates at St. Clair and other Alabama penitentiaries – alleges that prison jobs initially designed to help fill convicts’ days and give them a sense of pride behind bars have effectively been turned into a kind of slave labor for Alabama officials.
“We decided that the only weapon or strategy…that we have is our labor, because that’s the only reason that we’re here,” Melvin Ray, a St. Clair inmate and the founder of the Free Alabama Movement, toldSalon. “They’ve incarcerated people for the free labor.”