Alabama inmates on strike, protests underway Monday

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 1:19 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2022 at 8:55 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Protestors aimed at changing conditions inside state prisons and the parole system are taking to the streets Monday in Montgomery.

The ‘Break Every Chain’ rally is being held outside the Alabama Department of Corrections headquarters in Montgomery until 5 p.m.

Organizers from the Alabama Prison Advocacy & Incarcerated Families United Group is pushing for ADOC to adopt the following list of demands:

  • An immediate repeal of Alabama’s habitual offender law
  • Immediately make presumptive sentencing standards retroactive
  • A repeal of the state’s drive-by shooting statute
  • Creation of a statewide conviction integrity unit
  • Mandatory parole criteria that guarantees parole to all eligible inmates
  • A streamlined review for medical furloughs
  • Reduction of the state’s 30-year minimum sentence for juveniles to 15 years for parole eligibility
  • An end to life without parole sentences

Organizers say they’ve been unable to give the list directly to ADOC staff directly, and according to their loved ones inside, inmates are now protesting by not showing up to their assigned jobs.

ADOC has since confirmed “reports of worker stoppages at all major Correctional Facilities in the state,” and says “controlled movement and other security measures have been deployed.”

The department declined to discuss security procedures, but ADOC Commissioner John Hamm said, “all facilities are operational and there have been no disruption of critical services.”

Gov. Kay Ivey’s office sent the following statement:

“First, I will point back to the Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm’s statement that ‘all facilities are operational and that there have been no disruption of critical services.’

“Governor Ivey is, first and foremost, committed to ensuring public safety, plain and simple. These “demands” – as the protestors refer to them – are unreasonable and would flat out not be welcomed in Alabama. It is also important for these protestors to understand that a lot of their demands would require legislation, not unilateral action. Some of these demands suggest that criminals like murderers and serial child sex offenders can walk the streets, and I can tell you that will never happen in the state of Alabama where we will always prioritize the safety of our citizens.

“Governor Ivey appreciates the work of the correctional staff – the boots on the ground – who come to work each day to serve the people of Alabama by keeping our inmates and the public safe. Thanks to the Alabama Legislature, we can also look forward to the construction of new prison facilities that will create all around better conditions to live, work and rehabilitate. There has been no governor more focused on improving the state’s corrections system and bolstering public safety than Governor Ivey.”

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