News Release

Why Prisoners Nationwide are Striking


CBS News reports in “Why Prisoners Nationwide are Striking” that: “Prisons can’t run without inmates, in more ways than one. Prisoners wash floors, work in the laundries and kitchens and provide a large amount of the labor that keeps their facilities running. In return, they earn pennies per hour or even no pay at all.”

NOELLE HANRAHAN, globalaudiopi[at]
Hanrahan, P.I. is an investigative journalist, private investigator, and director of Prison Radio. She is the co-producer of the theatrically released feature documentary “Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu Jamal.”

She said today: “With 2.3 million people behind bars, mass incarceration has put the United States on the map as the world’s largest per capita incarcerator: the biggest jailor.

“One in 46 U.S. citizens will do time, and one in 99 are currently in prison. Racial bias plays heavily in the numbers as well. One in three African American men will spend time behind bars.

“Today all across America, in at least 24 states, prisoners have called for a work strike. It might not be obvious, but the fact is that prisons are actually run by prisoners. Prisoners do the vast majority of the work it takes to run the facilities. If they slow down or stop providing labor — the actual caging of humans would be impossible.

“Today prisoners all across the country will express their self determination with a historic show of ‘convict class solidarity’ in a nationwide coordinated work strike.

“In many cities, states, towns and parishes, thousands of prisoners are taking a stand, expressing their inherent human dignity by protesting modern-day slavery … extensive human rights violations, and illegal reprisals. The conditions in American prisons are cruel, indifferent and unconstitutional.

“The use of hunger strikes, workstoppages and prisoner actions has been growing — from Bensalem women’s ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] detention facilities outside of Philadelphia, to Wisconsin state prisons to Guantanamo Bay.

“In the wake of the massive hunger strikes [in 2013] with over 30,000 prisoners participating that shocked the California Department of Corrections, there have been dozens of additional hunger strikes.”