The coast to coast fight against prison slavery is heating up!

The coast to coast fight against prison slavery is heating up!

The coast to coast fight against prison slavery is heating up!

For the first time in Alabama’s history, the Governor and Department of Corrections are being sued for violating the state constitution which was amended in 2022 to abolish all forms of slavery, including prison slavery.In California, advocates and state representatives press once more to change the state constitution to finally abolish all forms of slavery.

In Alabama, the law has changed but the practice lives on

On International Workers’ Day, six individuals incarcerated in Alabama prisons filed a lawsuit against Governor Kay Ivey and Commissioner John Hamm claiming they were compelled to engage in labor against their will.

CJ Sandley, staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, stated,

[This is] about eliminating the control that forced prison labor enables the state to exercise over Black people – an extension of the control exerted by the state through slavery, the Black Codes, convict leasing, and Jim Crow.

In 2022, Alabama amended its constitution to strike the exception clause which still allows slavery in prisons on the federal level and in most states.

Rally for reform in California

California came close in 2022 to similarly amending its constitution but the motion failed. Advocates are undeterred.

The Observer reports,

According to the American Civil Liberties Union: California Action, over 65% of the people in prisons reportedly being forced to work are performing essential jobs like firefighting and paving roads.

In 2022, incarcerated workers made up 43% of the state’s firefighters, ACLU revealed. After serving time and being released from prison the formerly incarcerated are often denied public safety jobs such as firefighters.

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