Alabama prison strike enters seventh day

Rattling the Bars: Alabama prisoners on strike

On Monday, Sept. 26, incarcerated workers at all major Alabama Department of Corrections prison facilities began a labor strike. The strike is focused on both improving the living conditions of prisoners and demanding changes to Alabama’s draconian parole and sentencing laws and practices. A 2020 Justice Department lawsuit found that the Alabama prison system “fails to provide adequate protection from prisoner-on-prisoner violence and prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse, fails to provide safe and sanitary conditions, and subjects prisoners to excessive force at the hands of prison staff.”

TRNN contributor Michael Sainato returns to Rattling the Bars to discuss the issues at play in this prison strike. The labor of Albama’s prisoners not only keeps the facilities that cage them operational, but also contributes to the economies of depressed rural regions of the state. This economic dependence on incarceration is one of the factors driving Alabama’s inhumane parole practices—some 97% of parole cases in the state are rejected. Striking prisoners and their loved ones protesting in support from the outside are calling for the repeal of the state’s Habitual Felony Offenders Act, along with other major changes to Alabama’s parole and sentencing laws. Current updates on the prison strike are being released by the organization Free Alabama Movement. This conversation was recorded on Sept. 27.

Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


This transcript will be made available as soon as possible.

Mansa Musa, also known as Charles Hopkins, is a 70-year-old social activist and former Black Panther. He was released from prison on December 5, 2019, after serving 48 years, nine months, 5 days, 16 hours, 10 minutes. He co-hosts the TRNN original show Rattling the Bars.

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