Citizens for Justice and Peace

Florida inmates plan strike to coincide with Martin Luther King Day

16, Jan 2018 | CJP Team

The Guardian reported on January 15, that Florida’s prisoners were planning to initiate a statewide strike to protest conditions “they say amount to modern-day slavery,” saying that the protest was called by prisoners prisoners who were angry for being made to work as “unpaid clean-up crews” in high temperatures in September 2017, after Hurricane Irma hit the American state. The month-long strike will see inmates refusing to complete work assignments and buy “overpriced” items like snacks and toiletries, aiming to cause Florida’s Department of Corrections economic harm, according to the Guardian. “Our goal is to make the governor realise that it will cost the state of Florida millions of dollars daily to contract outside companies to come and cook, clean and handle the maintenance,” according to the website of the prisoners’ advocacy organisation, Fight Toxic Prisons. The Guardian said that Florida has the third largest prison system in the United States, and has seen widespread accusations of abuse. Nearly a third of prisoners are black, in contrast to 17% of Florida’s general population. A major demand is fair wage for prisoners’ work; “There’s no legal way for Florida’s prisoners to earn money in the prison system,” said Paul Wright of the Florida-based Human Rights Defense Center to the Guardian.



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