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Inmates at all major Alabama prisons are refusing to work.

The inmate worker strike, which began Monday morning, follows a call by prison reform organization Both Sides of the Wall for prisoners to stop working. 

Reports said that around 80 members of Both Sides of the Wall held a rally outside the ADOC office in Montgomery on Monday morning to call for prison reform. The group included family members of inmates as well as former inmates. 

A spokesperson for the ADOC said that the agency is working to control the movement of inmates. They also said it is deploying other security measures but can't comment on these procedures due to the safety of the inmates.

ADOC commissioner John Hamm said the strikes have not disrupted critical services.

However, according to AL.com, the inmates participating in the strike include food workers who help prepare meals for fellow prisoners and meals are considered a critical service.

Controversy is not unfamiliar to the Alabama prison system. 

In 2020, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against the state of Alabama concerning poor prison sanitation, violence between inmates and excessive force from staff, and sexual assault.

The lawsuit resulted from a multi-year investigation conducted by the DOJ Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Offices for the Northern, Middle and Southern districts of Alabama.

In October, Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation authorizing the ADOC to build two new 4,000-bed mega prisons to address the issues. Though the plan faced political and economic obstacles, it secured a $509 million bond deal in July.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email will.blakely@1819news.com or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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