Sign the petition to Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm: End the cruelty in Alabama state prisons.

Incacerated workers at the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) system launched a statewide labor strike on September 26 to protest deteriorating living and working conditions, cruel sentencing laws, and an increasing rate of parole denials across the state. The historic strike included people who are forced to cook, clean and work non-facility-related jobs like call centers, but it took a toll on those striking. Prison authorities attempted to break the strike by withholding meals, essentially starving an end to the worker strike. While the strike has come to an end, activists say they are ready to resume if the state fails to meet their demands.

Alabama prisons are notoriously overcrowded and dangerous. Incarcerated people often lack basic necessities to survive, including proper medical care and access to food. One person recently reported receiving a dead rat for retaliation over the strike. The buildings are persistently infested with mold. facilities.

The conditions are so vile that in 2020, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against ADOC for violating the Eight Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. The Department found Alabama prisons are at 182% capacity and experience an excessive amount of rape and killings.

Experts believe that parole denials are contributing to overcrowding and poor conditions. In the last four years, parole denials in Alabama nearly doubled with the parole board denying 84% of applications in 2021. That rate is even higher for Black candidates, who in 2022 saw a denial rate of 93%.

Incarcerated individuals in Alabama went on strike because they believe their chances of dying in an Alabama state correctional facility far outweigh their chances of ever being paroled.

Now, they’re demanding redress for these unbearable living conditions, as well as reforms to harsh sentencing laws and the rampant parole denials plaguing the Alabama prison system.

To support Alabama strikers is to fight back against exploitative forced labor and rampant racism and anti-blackness in Alabama’s prison system. But Alabama is just one state. The urgent issue of abuse exists nationwide and must be brought to the forefront of the American consciousness.

Sign the petition to Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm: End the cruelty in Alabama state prisons.

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