Louisiana Sheriff Holds Gross Press Conference To Say Prisons Need To Keep 'Good' Inmates For The Free Labor

A black man with hands outside the bars of a prison cell

Louisiana Sheriff Holds Gross Press Conference To Say Prisons Need To Keep 'Good' Inmates For The Free Labor

Many are likening Steve Prator to a modern day slave owner.

Published October 12, 2017

As many states have begun introducing legislation to lower the local prison population, one sheriff in Louisiana went on a tirade against the release of "good" prisoners. 

Steve Prator, the sheriff of Caddo Parish in Louisiana, spoke out against Louisiana's recent criminal justice reforms that will free many prisoners convicted of nonviolent offenses. 

In a press conference held this week, Prator argued for keeping some of the "good" prisoners in jail because they provide free labor.

If you are familiar with the history of mass incarceration of Blacks in this country, Prator's disgusting comments probably sound terribly familiar. 

  1. Writer and activist Shaun King posted a clip revealing Prator's remarks

    “The [prisoners] that you can work, the ones that can pick up trash, the work release programs — but guess what? Those are the ones that they’re releasing!” Prator spoke as Black officers stood behind him. “In addition to the bad ones… they’re releasing some good ones that we use every day to wash cars, to change the oil in our cars, to cook in the kitchen… well, they’re going to let them out!”

    Some people have pointed out that Prator never used the term "Black men" in his statement. However, in 2016, the Caddo Parish was 49.2 percent African-American, according to the census bureau.

    This leading population, combined with the fact that Black men are disproportionately jailed at higher rates, can lead one to assume Prator was referring to Black people. 

  2. People who viewed the video on Twitter pointed out the look of disgust many of the Black officers had on their faces while Prator spoke
  3. Others compared Prator to a slave owner

    Note: Shaun King's tweet, as well as several reaction tweets, misspells Prator's name

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Getty Images)


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