HUNTSVILLE, AL – January 7th
Prisoners in three different state prisons think it is time they get paid for doing kitchen work, laundry and maintenance tasks. In protest of not being paid for institutional work, some have refused to report for work at three different facilities since the weekend.
The inmates are also seeking better living conditions and a revamping of the parole system. They said prisons are too overcrowded. State prisons are operating at almost double the capacity they were built to hold.
The protest started Sunday in Atmore at Holman Correctional facility, then on Monday, the peaceful protest spread to St. Clair Correctional in Springville and Elmore Correctional. On Tuesday, all of the Elmore inmates returned to work and some followed suit in Holman, but the protest continued at St. Clair Correctional on Tuesday.
Some inmates have posted videos on YouTube as part of their movement, but officials would not comment on this and said they are open to discussing issues about the food at the facilities. Posting the videos would constitute a felony charge against a prisoner because cell phones are considered to be contraband inside prison walls.
Department of Corrections Spokesperson Brian Corbett said the protest may not be the best course of action because some of their complaints are things the department has no control over, such as altering terms of parole and sentences. He suggested the prisoners should make lawmakers aware of their concerns.