Prisoners in the United States declared a nationwide strike in demand for a better living condition in correctional institutions, voting rights, and parole pathways restoration.
Confinement rate in the US is highest in the world, which is over 2.2 million people stay behind the bars at the end of 2016. This was reported by the American Civil Liberties Union said, representing the one-fifth approx of the prisoner’s global population.
The strike is expected to continue till September 9, reports strike organizers. It was called in reply to a daily riot of April at a maximum security in South Carolina Prison, named as Lee Correctional Institution.
Leading the strike, the group of advocates of confined prison rights expressed that “Seven Comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology.”
In a Statement, the Jailhouse Lawyer Speak group said that “these men and women are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.”
The US Strike organizers advised engaging in hunger strikes, peaceful sit-ins, and work stoppages as well.
Prisoners were put to work at low remunerations at jobs like cleaning, cooking and several other works that can sometimes describe as ‘slavery’.
Leader of ACLU Campaign, Udi Ofer for Smart Justice, shown respects to the strikers and ready to accept their 10 demands, mainly the right to vote for prisoners and felons.
Felon enfranchisement verdict may depend on the state by state, but in most of the places, inmates the love voting rights for a time while confinement and sometimes after release.
In a statement, Ofer stated that “Our country is stronger when people most marginalized and directly impacted by unjust policies raise their voices in protest and demand a different future.” He continued, “The courageous people who are bringing focused attention to America’s system of mass incarceration through the Nationwide Prison Strike deserve our admiration,” and added, “We urge corrections officials not to respond with retaliation.”
Ofer further said that “Peaceful demonstrations challenging unjust conditions and practices do not merit placing participants into solitary confinement or adding time to their sentences.”
In the year 2016, Prisoners replied to a similar call to action with calling strikes in the United States, which includes Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Texas as well.