Heartland Alliance Supports the National Prison Strike and Efforts to Recognize the Basic Human Rights of ALL Prisoners

August 23, 2018 — At Heartland Alliance, we believe that every person has the right to safety, opportunity and justice. That is why we support the National Prison Strike being held from August 21st through September 9th, which will be led by incarcerated individuals throughout the nation. Prison reform is essential to combating the poverty, racism, inequity, and disenfranchisement that millions, including many of our participants, face every day.

There are currently more than 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States and many of these individuals face inhuman treatment, physical violence, sentencing discrimination, disenfranchisement and exploitative labor practices. These practices do not empower our communities; they only further the trauma, violence, and poverty that many people with justice-system involvement have experienced. If we truly want change, we must create a system that values humanity, rehabilitation, and restorative justice. We support those within and outside of the criminal justice system who are working to end the human rights violations that have permeated our criminal justice system.

Among the demands of the strikers include;

  • Rescind the Prison Litigation Reform Act, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and rights violations
  • No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a “violent offender”
  • Immediate  improvements  to  the  conditions  of  prisons  and  prison  policies  that  recognize  the  humanity  of  imprisoned  men  and  women
  • An immediate end to  prison  slavery – all  persons  imprisoned  in  any  place  of  detention  under  United  States  jurisdiction  must  be  paid  the  prevailing  wage  in  their  state  or  territory  for  their labor

These demands aim to recognize the basic human rights of all prisoners and address the pervasive racial bias and violence inherent in our prison system. You can read the full list of demands here.

Heartland Alliance strives to bring about a more just society; without a system of justice that is rooted in human rights and equity, our society will never truly be just.

Click here to learn more about the National Prison Strike and see how you can help.