GA Inmates Coordinate And Go On Strike

Inmates in at least six prisons have banded together and gone on strike, seeking better compensation and improved prison conditions. They have refused to leave their cells since Thursday.

Chief among the prisoners’ demands is that they be compensated for jailhouse labor. They are also demanding better educational opportunities, nutrition, and access to their families.

“We committed the crime, we’re here for a reason,” said the Hays inmate. “But at the same time we’re men. We can’t be treated like animals.”

How did they coordinate? Through banned cell phones and text messaging. How serious are they? The striking prisoners put gang affiliations and racial issues aside to join together.

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    Nice update... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 07:45:27 PM EST
    from the Irish Times here.

    Georgia's prison policies are particularly nasty.  Rehabilitation?  That's just a made up word...prisoners are profit generators.  $55 dollars a month for well under 2 hours telephone time, 10% money transfer rates for the commissary to supplement the sh*t diet, work cleaning government buildings taking needed civil service jobs away from free citizens...then 25 bucks and a bus ticket.  It's a sin...and every state is sinnin' to some degree.

    I'm with you (none / 0) (#16)
    by sj on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 09:56:57 AM EST
    And have been for years.  Hard to get people on the prisoner's rights bandwagon, though.  All these years of law 'n order rhetoric have have insulated people from the concepts of basic humanity.  So many people no longer associate the word "prisoner" with "person".

    We haven't really progressed much past galley slaves, have we?


    No we haven't... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 10:27:34 AM EST
    in fact we're regressing from some of the human rights gains made by and and for prisoners since the 60's-70's.

    yep (none / 0) (#18)
    by sj on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 10:30:10 AM EST
    I've been following this story via (none / 0) (#1)
    by masslib on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 02:30:01 PM EST
    Bruce Dixon.  I wish them all the luck in the world.  

    they r singing now (none / 0) (#2)
    by dead dancer on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 03:36:52 PM EST
    You know, if
    one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and
    they won't take him.  And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
    they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them.
    And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
    singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an
    organization.  And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
    fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and
    walking out.  And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

    recession (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 05:20:57 PM EST
    Maybe Georgia should outsource prison labor (license plates?) to other state prisons or to the many unemployed who aren't in prison.  

    Or, maybe they should pay the inmates. (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by masslib on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 05:33:58 PM EST
    Why? (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 09:39:45 AM EST
    Because in this country (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by masslib on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 09:42:31 AM EST
    we get paid when we work.

    so you support (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by CST on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 09:50:48 AM EST
    slave labor?

    I don't care how many laws you've broken.  Slave labor is slave labor.


    Sigh (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 11:28:52 AM EST
    The hyperbole around here is deafening and extremely tiring. Yes, of course, I support slave labor - how did you ever guess? <snark>

    Ok, pay them higher wages.  Heck, pay them minimum wage.  Of course, then they should start being charged more in some cases where they have to pay fees) for things like oh, I don't know - bed linens, meals, uniforms, sundries, etc.

    Newsflash - working to keep yourself is NOT slave labor, contrary to popular belief.  You think the taxpayers should hire (more) outside contractors to come in and do this stuff? They ARE getting paid, including having a better health plan than many people do. Prisoners absolutely should have decent working conditions and hours, just as any other work place. They should never be abused. Is it the lap of luxury or ideal situation?  No, but why should it be?  I'd love to see you make that argument to the population at large - especially in an economy where the same people you'd ask to foot this bill are the same who can't pay their own bills and, oh by the way, didn't commit crimes to boot. Why should we make it easy?  (Ooh! I know - because it's the nice thing to do!).


    And before you or anyone else goes off on me, as if it's easy for me to make such pronouncements because it hasn't affected me - I've had someone very close to me go to jail for over a year and during that time he had to work on the inside. He knew he had done wrong, and that was what he had to do and then he got out, and if you asked him this question, he'd agree with me (oh, and by the way, he had to pay $75 a week while in there - not every place is like that).  So I will pre-emptively please ask you to spare me the sanctimony that I'm sure is coming.

    So, I ask again - what is the good policy and practical argument for this?  Besides, of course, "it makes me feel better."


    you asked (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by CST on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 12:54:57 PM EST
    why they should be paid, not why they should be paid more, or why they should "live in the lap of luxury" (speaking of hyperbole...)

    The practical argument for this is that you can't treat people like animals and expect them to behave like humans.  

    Slaves had food and clothing too - major pro-slavery arguments made were that it was "for their own good" and they were "being taken care of".

    I don't see anyone here discussing "making it easy".  You seem to believe the current system is sufficiently humane, the prisoners do not and are holding a protest.  From what I've read/heard, I'm inclined to believe the prisoners.


    Because it will undercut (none / 0) (#13)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 12:58:07 PM EST
    wages for others....

    If you can get free prison labor, why pay for Union workers?

    Also, isn't the idea, at least mouthed from time to time, about rehabilitation?  Doesn't that entail gainful employment?

    And, in terms of making someone feel better, isn't that the idea behind locking up a lot of people?  Especially drug offenders?  The price and availability of illegal dgrugs have not gone down, have they?  But people feel so righteous when they can talk about responsibility of others....


    Merle Haggard (none / 0) (#14)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 01:08:14 PM EST
    went to prison too.  Still was a jerk for a long time....Original punch-the-hippies reactionary.

    Brutalizing people makes them, well, brutal.


    Yay (none / 0) (#5)
    by wishful113 on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 08:43:56 PM EST
    It inspires hope that people can put aside their (perceived) differences for the common good.  Maybe the rest of us will follow suit on issues such as poverty, unemployment, education, etc.  I wish them well. (And the rest of us too.)

    I seriously doubt anyone (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 09:45:19 PM EST
    is disturbed the inmates are refusing to leave their cells

    If you followed reports on (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by masslib on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 10:29:00 PM EST
    this you would know that isn't true.  See, they need the inmates for free labor, and what they don't want is a peace movement that attracts the attention of the public.

    LOL ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by nyrias on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 11:01:37 AM EST
    it is like we care about them not working. Actually it is good that they don't come out of their cells. Less trouble.

    And no they are not animals. They are convicted criminals. And prison is a place to punish, not a spa.

    If they don't like it, may be they should think before they commit crimes.

    In fact, if they protest, may be we are doing something right. We don't have prisoners to have HAPPY in there, do we?