I’m sure we have all heard about the world’s largest prison strike in history...occurring right now! Yes, right now while you’re eating your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This strike began on September 9th, the 45 th anniversary of New York’s Attica prison riot where hundreds of inmates took over the prison, which resulted in a bloodbath between those inmates and correction officers. Now if you're clueless, the riot began due to America’s prison conditions—severe overcrowding, starvation, as well as the lack of medical care and attention for inmates.
In celebration of such a harsh atrocity posed against inmates, inmates today have established their own personal strike…for the same reasons. With the ongoing oppressed relationship between inmates and correction officers, correction officers are downplaying the riot and how much of an impact it really poses on the prison industrial complex. The strike originally began at the Holman prison in Alabama, where inmates decided not to show up to work. Now if we are all familiar, it has been known for years that inmates voluntarily and involuntarily provide the service of free labor…sometimes labor for minimal financial means. Now that is no surprise, right?
Now, what the world hates—world meaning every government official involved in benefitting from putting inmates behinds bars and maintaining their incarceration—is the fact that inmates have come together...from all over the United States…to successfully establish such a strike that is now receiving global attention. It is estimated that there are currently at least 24,000 inmates in at least 12 different states that are prominent volunteers of the protest. See, the irony here is that most people view inmates—or in THEIR other terms, criminals—are incapable of acquiring a mind that collectively perceives information and produce ideas. Too bad inmates are human, and despite what the world thinks…some of them are actually articulate. Don’t believe me…IT’S FINE!
The prison industrial complex lacks major attention in particular areas more than others. We ALWAYS hear and see about an inmate “acting up” while incarcerated, butttttttt. We never get to see how correction officers and other workers treat those inmates if their medical needs are adhered to, and so on. Am I wrong? When you answer this…focus on the facts. An inmate inside of the Holman prison stated: “…we decided we would use our labor as our leverage…These systems are only here because of the money they’re making. The money we produce.”
You see, if you don’t know now, the media produces what it chooses to reveal to the world…things they only find ‘worth it.’ The whole point of this strike is to make changes, effective changes. Despite being incarcerated and as I stated previously, inmates are humans like all of us reading this article, and humans have basic needs inside or outside of prison walls. Basic needs that should not be excluded from any human being include better access to educational attainment, medical attention, working conditions, and overall inhumane conditions. Not reporting to work sends a big message and I’m guessing that message is: ‘You treat us better. Then maybe we’ll come back to work.’ Most prisoners acquire jobs while incarcerated, and are constantly being mistreated simply because they are behind bars. Isn’t that something? I think I make myself clear when I say that I support this strike.