Prisoners Strike Over Subhuman Conditions at Multiple Facilities
Alabama is being sued by the Justice Department over prison conditions.
Former POTUS Trump’s administration filed suit in 2020.
A DOJ report indicates the horrific treatment of inmates at the facilities.
Prison workers are now on strike.
(NewsReady.com) – It should go without saying prison is not the most pleasant place to live, which is kind of the whole point. Inmates are sent there to serve out punishments for, in some cases, horrific crimes. That said, there are standards facilities have to meet in order to house human beings. Especially considering that cruel and unusual punishment is unconstitutional.
Inmates at a prison in Alabama are currently on strike because of alleged deplorable living conditions.
On Monday, October 3, thousands of inmates who work at the Ventress Correctional Facility went on strike. They are protesting poor conditions at correctional facilities across the state. Both Sides of the Wall, an advocacy group, told The New York Times it is coordinating the strike across the state. They believe about 80% of the 25,000 inmates are going to give up their jobs as cleaners and cooks to participate in the protest.
The state doesn’t pay inmates for working; only one of seven states that don’t. While there are issues in other prisons around the country, Alabama is allegedly unique in that the scope of the problems is so widespread, and little has been done to fix anything. For example, it’s very easy for inmates to get their hands on contraband.
Reports indicate Alabama has long had a problem with its facilities being understaffed, dangerous, and overcrowded. In 2020, under former President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sued the state and its Department of Corrections. A press release at the time accused the Cotton State of failing to provide enough security to keep inmates from being attacked and raped. Also, the federal government claimed prison staff often used excessive force and didn’t provide safe and sanitary conditions.
The DOJ released a report in 2019 outlining some of the issues. For instance, a prisoner was dead for so long that when he was found, his face was flat. The report stated the people who killed the prisoner appeared to have urinated on him and carved numbers into his ribcage. Another time, an inmate was tied, tortured, and raped with a broom for days before staff noticed.
The government and state are going to trial over the allegations. In the meantime, the strike continues.
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