What Happens When Prisoners Go on Strike? by At Liberty published on 2018-09-26T21:22:30Z More than 2,000 firefighters battling the blaze in California this summer came from inside the state’s prison system. They were part of a national workforce of incarcerated people, paid pennies per hour and sometimes nothing at all, for hourly labor benefiting the U.S. economy. Driven in part by demands for better working conditions and wages, incarcerated workers last month began a nationwide prison strike. David Fathi, a longtime prison rights advocate and director of the ACLU National Prison Project, discusses the strike and the organizers’ demands.