A nationwide strike by prison workers launched this week, and is expected to continue through Sept. 9. It's in response, in part, to a prison riot in South Carolina earlier this year that left seven inmates dead.
The strikes are being led by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee with the hope of having prisoners across the country refuse to work and even go on hunger strikes.
Their overall goal is to bring attention to prison labor issues and poor working conditions for inmates.
“They're in there to be punished for what they did, and paying them is not punishment, they're rewarding them,” says Ruth Eason of the Houston Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.
Unlike other states, Texas inmates are not paid for any work done while incarcerated.
“Wardens at all 104 units around the state of Texas have been surveyed to determine whether or not there have been any protests or strike activities, and there has been none found at any of our units across the state of Texas,” says Jeremy Desel, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
“This same organizational effort happened in 2016 and there was no participation in Texas either.”