Guards join prisoners in labor strike

By: Sam Martini ~Staff Writer~

photo courtesy of | Several guards have joined prisoners in striking on prison labor at Holman.

Several prison guards of an Alabama prison went on strike this weekend, in support of inmates protesting overcrowding and unjust labor practice.

On Saturday, the correctional officers did not report to work. The Alabama Department of Corrections and the Assistant Commissioner Grant Culliver were called upon to help serve meals. According to eyewitnesses, the warden himself was pushing the food cart.

On Sept. 9, several prisoners at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility went on strike for 24 hours, refusing to show up for their work assignments. Some argue that prison labor is against the 13th Amendment of the Constitution, which bans slavery as a punishment for crime.

Prisoners at Holman previously went on strike for 10 days in May, and the warden and a guard were stabbed during a previous riot in March.

“Last night at Holman prison an emergency situation developed as all of the officers assigned to the second shift waged a historic work strike for the first time in the history of the Alabama Department of Corrections.,” The Free Alabama Movement, a prison abolition group, said in a statement.

“Assistant Commissioner Grant Culliver was dispatched to the prison, where he then had to order supervisors from another prison, Atmore CF, to report to Holman prison just to be able to serve meals. The officers at Holman, who have been defying ADOC policy and speaking publicly to the media, had communicated their plans to F.A.M. members and expressed their support for non-violent and peaceful demonstrations against the human rights conditions existent at Holman.

“Officers have also complained about overcrowding and the need for a mass release, more education and rehabilitation programs, as well as issues with disease and filth. Officers reserved their harshest criticism towards the Commissioner’s officer and what they perceive as a lack of leadership from Commissioner Dunno and Culliver.”

This leaves the officers who have chosen not to participate to run a prison filled with thousands of inmates heavily understaffed. The situation has remained unresolved as of Tuesday night.