For prisoners, days are filled with activities dedicated to getting your immediate needs met and, the occasional fantasy planning for a future outside of the box that you’re living in.
As a result, when prisoners do demand better conditions, they tend to focus on different food in the commissary or thicker sweatshirts, prioritizing short-term satisfaction over lasting change.
But this time is different. This national prison strike will run from now until Sept. 9 and the list of 10 demands created by various inmate organizers could change American prison systems for the better.
Prisoners in as many as seven states went on strike last week, some refusing food and others refusing to work or boycotting purchases from prison commissaries, reports The Guardian.
There’s been a confirmed case of a hunger strike in Folsom state prison in California. A 26-year-old inmate, Heriberto Garcia managed to reach the outside world with a smartphone. He recorded of himself refusing food and then posted the video on Twitter.
The 19-day strike is the first nationwide action in the US in two years, The Guardian reported, the strike “was triggered by April’s rioting in [the] Lee correctional institution in South Carolina in which seven inmates were killed.”
One of the intentions of the organizers of the current strike is to bring to public attention the number of deaths in custody, which in some states has reached epidemic proportions, reports The Guardian. According to the Clarion Ledger, 10 inmates in Mississippi have died in their cells in the past three weeks alone, with no firm causes of death reported.
The strikers, led by a network of incarcerated activists who call themselves Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, have put together 10 demands. High on the list is an end to forced or underpaid labor that the protesters call a form of modern slavery, reports The Guardian.
These are the national demands of the men and women in federal, immigration,
and state prisons:
1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that
recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention
under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or
territory for their labor.
3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a
proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.
4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so
that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human shall
be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of
5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of
Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the
victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.
6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown
7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place
of detention because of their label as a violent offender.
8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.
9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.
10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial
detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded. All
1. Remy Ma1 of 36
2. Bobby Shmurda2 of 36
3. Apollo Nida was just sentenced to 8 years in prison for fraud.3 of 36
4. Darren Sharper is currently on trial for rape in several states.4 of 36
5. Justin Bieber has had some trouble with the law in the past for marijuana possession, drag racing and a number of other crimes.5 of 36
6. Ja Rule spent two years in prison for gun possession and tax evasion.6 of 36
7. Joseline Hernandez has spent some time in jail for prostitution prior to her Love & Hip Hop fame.7 of 36
8. Nene Leakes was charged with shoplifting in her early 20's.8 of 36
9. Chris Brown is currently in jail for violating his probation.9 of 36
10. Lindsay Lohan10 of 36
11. Wesley Snipes was convicted and spent some time in the big house.11 of 36
12. Ron Isley spent time in jail for tax evasion.12 of 36
13. Foxy Brown's numerous probation violations landed her in the slammer for a year (76 days in solitary confinement).(AP)13 of 36
14. A drunk Shia Labeouf was arrested for trespassing at a Walgreens. The store was closing and he refused to leave. (AP)14 of 36
15. OJ Simpson15 of 36
16. 50 Cent was arrested on drug charges and spent 6 months in an incarceration boot camp and earned his GED while there. AP16 of 36
17. Lil' Wayne served a year at Rikers for illegal gun possession & performed suicide watch with at-risk inmates. (AP)17 of 36
18. Ozzy Osbourne was arrested for peeing on the Alamo in San Antonio. He bragged about it & got a 20 yr. ban from the city. AP18 of 36
19. T.I. spent 11 months (the last time) in jail for probation violation. He is on the straight and narrow again. (AP)19 of 36
20. Martha Stewart was found guilty of insider trading and spent 5 months in federal prison & 2 years of supervised release. AP20 of 36
21. Gucci Mane has been in jail several times; drug possession, assault and probation violations. (AP)21 of 36
22. James Brown was sentenced to 6 years in 1988 for not stopping his car in a police chase.22 of 36
23. Nicole Richie only spent 82 minutes of her four-day sentence in jail for a DUI due to overcrowding in the system. (AP)23 of 36
24. Boy George got 15 months for chaining a male escort to a wall (without his consent) in his flat during a photo session.24 of 36
25. Lil’ Kim was at the very peak of her career when she was charged with conspiracy and perjury charges. She got 1 year & 1 day.25 of 36
26. Michelle Rodriguez has been in & out of jail four times: DUI, hit & run, probation violations, driving without a license.26 of 36
27. Meek Mill was sentenced to 2-4 years for violating his probation and driving dirt bikes in NYC.27 of 36
28. Kiefer Sutherland was charged with misdemeanor drunk driving in Los Angeles and spent 48 days in jail. (AP)28 of 36
29. Robert Downey Jr. spent 4 months in a LA jail and a year in prison for drugs and probation violations. He is doing well now.29 of 36
30. A hairdresser cashed an unauthorized check and Mystikal gave her a choice; jail or sex (not legal) and he got six years. (AP)30 of 36
31. Christian Slater was sentenced to three months in jail for assaulting his girlfriend & the man who tried to help her.31 of 36
32. Actor & comedian Tim Allen spent over two years in prison for cocaine possession (before he found fame). (AP)32 of 36
33. A drunk Edward Furlong was arrested for “freeing” a tank of lobsters in a Kentucky grocery store. (AP)33 of 36
34. Michael Vick spent 21 months in jail for financing a dog fighting business. He is out and doing well. Go Mike! (AP)34 of 36
35. Suge Knight was indicted by a grand jury for threatening death to director F. Gary Gary in August of 2017.(AP)35 of 36
36. Lauryn Hill served 3 months in prison for not paying federal taxes of $1.8 million from 2005 to 2007. (AP)36 of 36
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Inmates Release Demands Amid Prison Strike Across U.S. was originally published on blackamericaweb.com