They United Across 15 Prisons To Strike For Three Weeks

aerial view of the donaldson correctional facility
Zain Murdock
November 12, 2022

Here are the facts: the Alabama prison incarceration rate is one of the highest in the country, with a mortality rate almost 2x the national average. There are 15 state prisons. 

On September 26, 2022, over 15,000 incarcerated Alabamians, paid literal pennies for cooking, cleaning, and manufacturing, decided they had absolutely enough.

The Justice Department already sued the state for prison overcrowding and extreme rapes and deaths in 2020. 

When the 2022 strike began, video evidence surfaced of retaliation - guards beating a handcuffed incarcerated man, trash strewn everywhere,  starvation, visitation restrictions, and  increased solitary confinement. 

Why?

The strikers demanded reducing the 30-year sentence minimum for young people, creation of a review board, and stronger access to parole, among other needs. Governor Kay Ivey called it “unreasonable.”

Even though the strike paused after three weeks, the push for humane living conditions isn’t over

Besides, these courageous strikers didn’t just expose the hell they experience daily. They showed us their range of self-sufficiency and self-determination. They inspire us all.

“We’re more enthusiastic than we ever have been here,” said incarcerated striker Kinetik Justice. “We are prepared to go on strike back-to-back, over and over again, every day, every month. We’re no longer going to sit here and accept being treated as less than human beings.”

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