Skip to comments.Exclusive: Inmates to strike in Alabama, declare prison is “running a slave empire”
Posted on 04/21/2014 8:34:06 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Inmates at an Alabama prison plan to stage a work stoppage this weekend and hope to spur an escalating strike wave, a leader of the effort told Salon in a Thursday phone call from his jail cell.
We decided that the only weapon or strategy that we have is our labor, because thats the only reason that were here, said Melvin Ray, an inmate at the St. Clair correctional facility and founder of the prison-based group Free Alabama Movement. Theyre incarcerating people for the free labor. Spokespeople for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and his Department of Corrections did not respond to midday inquiries Thursday. Jobs done by inmates include kitchen and laundry work, chemical and license plate production, and furniture-making. In 2011, Alabamas Department of Agriculture reportedly discussed using inmates to replace immigrants for agricultural work; in 2012, the state Senate passed a bill to let private businesses employ prison labor.
Inmates at St. Clair and two other prisons, Holman and Elmore, previously refused to work for several days in January. A Department of Corrections spokesperson told the Associated Press at the time that those protests were peaceful, and told AL.com that some of the inmates demands were outside the authority of the department to address. The state told the AP that a handful of inmates refused work, and others were prevented from working by safety or weather issues. In contrast, Ray told Salon the January effort drew the participation of all of St. Clairs roughly 1,300 inmates and nearly all of Holmans roughly 1,100. He predicted this weekends work stoppage would spread further and grow larger than that one, but also accused prison officials of hampering F.A.M.s organizing by wielding threats and sending him and other leaders to solitary confinement. Its a hellhole,(continued)
(Excerpt) Read more at salon.com ...
The warden should put them on a hunger strike to go along with their protest strike. They aren’t going to need the energy anyway.
It's called "Paying your debt to society."
Thug is in for murder. He needs to be treated much worse than anyone would a slave.
He means that many businesses have made partnerships with the prison system to have inmates make goods for almost nothing.
I support inmates having to pay society back for their crimes through acts that work for society’s good, but I don’t think I can support private enterprise taking advantage of those in captivity and require them to make saleable goods for almost no wage.
It creates an incentive for the prison system to be able to get as many people incarcerated as possible and have them work for companies for almost no wages, while the company sells those goods for a good profit.
Just to be clear, for those who think I am saying profit is a bad word. I am not saying that, but I am saying that there is a morality involved when deciding how a profit should be obtained. Creating a system where people are forced to labour for you, without benefitting for themselves, is not a moral way to make money no matter how you cut it.
If they didn’t want to be “slaves”, they should have thought about that before leading a life of crime.
All I could tell them is that they are damn lucky... lucky I’m not calling the shots. They haven’t SEEN hard labor
Working for a private company for close to no wages, so that they can profit off your behind, is not paying your debt to society, because society doesn’t see that money.
You gonna tell that to the people who get falsely convicted?
“You shouldn’t have been falsely convicted, so you deserve to be enslaved.”
Free labor? How much is their stay costing the tax payers of Alabama?
I have no problem with having prisoners labour for their time. However, let them do chores that serve the public. Let them pick up trash and sweep the streets or pick vegetables on state farms. Work them 14 hours a day this way.
Just don’t have a system that incentivises convictions.
I agree with your argument, Jonty30. Well said.
Convict labor and slavery have been recognized as two distinctly different institutions since the dawn of time. The former is punishment for conviction of a crime while the latter is the outright ownership of humans as chattel. This is an attempt to blur the two.
Did these juveniles deserve to be convicted, so they could labour for free?
Why have prisons in the first place, then? There's always a risk that people who are falsely convicted are going to be there. If they are found to be falsely convicted, then they can sue to get their proper wages.
“Theyre incarcerating people for the free labor. “
In Melvin’s case I think they have incarcerated him for being terminally stupid
Just exactly WHAT jobs are being done for private companies??? Making license plates in all the states I know of is done by the correctional facilities. The rest of the jobs were all pertinent to the running of the prison. Just because there was TALK of using inmates for ag labor did not make it happen.
Frankly if you are in PRISON (not jail for the less than scummy folks of the world) then you are doing well to get three hots and a cot. You apparently think that felons ought to be treated in a way that does not acknowledge the fact that they have violated society’s laws.
While I do know some felons ( long story not interesting) I will tell you straight out that most ordinary citizens know ZERO folks who have ever served time in prison. Obey the law or suffer the consequences. Do not complain to me about it
And tell us just exactly how many people is that???
Are you sure you belong here at FR
Obviously he’s not being beaten enough.