Alabama said prison strike was ‘under control.’ Footage shows system in deadly disarray.

Amidst ongoing mental health crisis, delays in AL DOC construction of new correctional facilities includes 4,000-bed prison for disabled inmates with specialized needs, such as psychiatric, cancer and cardiac care. Then on 9/26, a prison strike across

Families and activists gather to protest the Alabama Department of Corrections outside the Alabama Criminal Justice Center in Montgomery. 9/26/22 Jake Crandall.

From the Montgomery Advertiser and The Marshall Project: “The strike started Sept. 26 after thousands of prisoners refused to leave their dorms and cell blocks for work in mess halls, factories and trash crews. Prison administrators said they had to cut back food rations from three meals a day to two, which prisoners saw as retaliation, but officials blamed on the fact that meals are generally prepared by the incarcerated workers themselves. Guards stopped letting people out for visiting, recreation or school. Cell phone footage shared with The Marshall Project shows trash piling up in walkways and dorms in some prisons.”

“After months of planning, prisoners and outside advocates publicly issued a list of policy-focused demands last week. The list included a streamlined review process for medical furloughs, clearer parole guidelines, retroactive repeal of the state’s habitual offender law, an end to life-without-parole sentences and the creation of a statewide conviction integrity unit. Prisoners who spoke to The Marshall Project acknowledged that most of the demands were outside the purview of the corrections department and would instead require the legislature to act.

“Maybe they have to start listening. I think they know something is wrong, but did they know we’re really tired of it? By stopping work now, we are sending this system that’s already in crisis into another crisis,” said K. Shaun Traywick, an incarcerated activist who goes by “Swift Justice.”

Read full article here.