Prison Strike Ends with Little Media Coverage
A nationwide strike by prison inmates came to an end on Sunday -- the 47th anniversary of the Attica massacre, the 1971 prisoner uprising where inmates rioted and took control of the prison resulting in 43 deaths. Since August 21st, some prisoners have chosen to forgo meals, organize peaceful sit-in protests, refuse to work, and halt commissary spending. Meanwhile, allies on the outside stood in solidarity with the protest by marching, chanting, and pressuring government officials to take action against what rally organizers call modern-day slavery. Coverage of the strike has been limited not because it isn’t noteworthy, but because prisons officials are notoriously clandestine about what happens inside their walls and are known for stonewalling reporters who inquire. Additionally, prisoners are often severely punished for communicating with the press including being sent to solitary confinement or sentenced to decades in “disciplinary detention." At the end of 2016, federal and state prisons in the U.S. held about 486,900 inmates who were Black and 341,200 who were Hispanic, according to Pew Research. For context, that same year, Blacks represented 12% of the U.S. adult population but 33% of the sentenced prison population; and while Hispanics represented 16% of the adult population, they accounted for 23% of inmates. More here.