Black Caucus endorses Prison Strike
Background: Incarcerated persons in prisons across the nation are declaring a nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina. Seven comrades were killed during an uprising that could have been prevented had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation's penal ideology. These incarcerated persons are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation services and programs, sentencing reform, and the end of modern day slavery.
"Our criminal justice system was derived from years and years of racism in the form of slavery, Jim Crow laws, Black Codes, and other laws that have disproportionately impacted African-Americans. So if we are to have meaningful conversations about ending mass incarceration, we must discuss structural and institutional racism. We have an opportunity to listen to individuals most impacted by the Department of Corrections and its exploitive, corruptive, and abusive practices. Our country's stronger when marginalized people directly impacted by unjust policies organize to voice their demands and take action to create a better future", said Joy Davis, Co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.
With only 5% of the world's population, the U.S. has more than 20% of the world's prison population – that makes us the world's largest jailer.
"A basic look through the history of prisons and policing in the United States shows a concerted effort to ensure that people whom find themselves on the other side of prison bars have no way of fully returning to society completely because humanity, dignity and constitutionally afforded rights have been stripped from them. The country is being reminded and forced to confront the inhumane treatment of people through the Prison Strike. May this mass action continue to shape the conversations on the best ways to abolish the injust Prison system in this country", said Shannel Pittman, Green Party of the United States Black Caucus member. Shannel also goes on to say that Black males in particular become victims of the school to prison pipeline early all too often.