INSTITUTE INDEX: Florida inmates strike for better wages and conditions

Paid little to nothing for their labor, Florida state prison inmates are going on strike this MLK Day to demand better pay and more humane treatment. (Photo via the Florida Department of Corrections website.)

(This index was updated on Jan. 19.)

Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that abolished slavery and involuntary servitude "except as a punishment for a crime": 13th

Amount of money the prison industry makes annually off the labor of the  900,000 prisoners who work for little to nothing: $2 billion.

Of the six states that do not pay inmates for their labor at all, percent that are in the South: 100*

Rank of Florida among the states with the highest prison populations: 3

Number of people incarcerated in Florida's prisons: about 100,000

Highest hourly pay for a Florida inmate working a regular prison job, in cents: 32

Amount Florida prisoners were paid for performing dangerous cleanup duties in the wake of Hurricane Irma: nothing

Amount a $4 can of soup costs in Florida's prison canteens, which the inmates call "highway robbery without a gun": $17

On Jan. 15, the federal holiday honoring civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., number of Florida prisoners expected to participate in Operation PUSH — a nonviolent strike to demand better pay, lower canteen prices and parole incentives: thousands

Date on which a group of Haitian inmates in Florida released a statement in support of the strike, saying that "prisons in America are nothing but a different form of slavery plantations and the citizens of the country are walking zombie banks": 12/28/2017

Number of strike organizers placed in solitary confinement in the days before the strike began: dozens

Number of expected Operation PUSH strike locations: at least 8

Number of days the prisoners are expected to strike: at least 30

Number of groups that have pledged solidarity to the striking prisoners: over 140

Date on which a solidarity "phone zap" is scheduled to support the strikers: 1/22/2018

Cost for Florida to hire outside companies to perform the work duties of the striking prisoners: millions of dollars

Year in which the largest prison strike in U.S. history took place: 2016

Estimated number of prisoners who took part in that action: 20,000

Number of Florida prisons where there were work stoppages as part of that strike: 4

* Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas

(Click on figure to go to source.)