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Largest Prison Strike in U.S. History Enters Third Week

HeadlineSep 20, 2016

The largest prison work strike in U.S. history has entered its third week. The Intercept reports that as of last week at least 20 prisons in 11 states continued to protest, including in Alabama, California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington. The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee says at one point about 20,000 prisoners were on strike. With protest has come punishment. Several facilities were put on lockdown, with prisoners kept in their cells and denied phone access both before and during the strike. Organizers were also put in solitary confinement. Meanwhile, members of the Free Alabama Movement say a serious humanitarian crisis is developing at Holman prison, where guards have been walking off the job amid safety concerns and overcrowding. Prisoners say there are stabbings on a regular basis, and call the facility “the slaughterhouse.” A guard stabbed by a prisoner earlier this month died last week. The warden was stabbed in March.

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