PRISON LABOR

Alabama Constitution: Committee appears to support plan to remove racist language

A committee studying racism in the Alabama Constitution gave tacit approval Wednesday to a plan to remove language on school …

‘Slavery by any name is wrong’: the push to end unpaid labor in prisons

A nationwide movement hopes to close the ‘slavery loophole’ that enables the exploitation of 800,000 prisoners in the US When …

Proposed Tennessee constitutional amendment on slavery wording to go before voters

The Tennessee House has approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would change the state constitution’s wording to allow for prisoners …

Would Vermont’s anti-slavery amendment impact prison labor? Advocates say rhetoric ‘misses the point.’

As the Nov. 8 general election approaches, advocates from around the country have pointed to Vermont’s Proposal 2 — which, …

Yes, slavery is on the ballot in Oregon and four other states

Oregon’s Measure 112 The Legislature referred Measure 112 on slavery and servitude to the November ballot. The statewide measure would …

Slavery in Louisiana’s prisons? This lawmaker wants voters to outlaw forced labor for good

A state lawmaker said Wednesday that slavery is alive and well in Louisiana’s prison system and put forward legislation that …

Voters in 5 states to decide in November whether to abolish forced prison labor

In his 10 years behind bars, Dorsey Nunn says he was an inmate and a slave because he was forced …

Prison Labor: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Originally aired in 2019 John Oliver explains how prisoners make and spend money, and how companies can profit at the …

Involuntary Servitude: How Prison Labor is Modern Day Slavery

Image by Javad Esmaeili licensed under the Unsplash License. Note: I have been using the term “incarcerated people” throughout my column (as opposed …

California Senate rejects involuntary servitude amendment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A proposal aimed at removing the last remnant of slavery from California law failed to pass …

Captive Labor: Exploitation of Incarcerated Workers

Executive Summary Our nation incarcerates over 1.2 million people in state and federal prisons, and two out of three of …

US prison workers produce $11B worth of goods and services for ‘little to no pay at all’

Despite producing nearly $11 billion worth of goods and services each year, incarcerated workers in the U.S. earn an average …

Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Families

Original Publication in 2015 Executive Summary Each year, the United States spends $80 billion1 to lock away more than 2.4 …

Global Prison Trends 2022

Outside prison gates in Yangon, Myanmar Executive Summary This executive summary includes extracts from the full report published in English. …

Dems Mark Anniversary of 13th Amendment With Calls to ‘Close the Slavery Loophole’

“Prison labor is slave labor. Pass the #AbolitionAmendment.” Congressional Democrats on Monday marked the 156th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th …

The 13th Amendment’s fatal flaw created modern-day convict slavery

The 13th Amendment is having a moment of reckoning. Considered one of the crowning achievements of American democracy, the Civil …

Amend the 13th : Outlaw slavery in the United States- Freedom United Petition

It is 2022 and slavery and involuntary servitude is still legal in the United States. Passed by Congress on January …

Prison Labor is Remarkably Common Within the Food System

When many people think of prison labor, they get an image in their head of convicts stamping license plates for pennies an hour. …

A lot of abuse for little pay’: how US farming profits from exploitation and brutality

Two dozen conspirators forced workers to pay fees for travel and housing while forcing them to work for little to …

Corporations are Making Millions of Dollars from US Prison Labor

Curtis Ray Davis II was wrongly convicted of murder. He served nearly 26 years in Louisiana’s Angola State Prison before …

Forced Prison Labor in China: Hiding in Plain Sight

Ancient Mogilev, a former city of the medieval Duchy of Lithuania and now part of Belarus close to the border …

Proposal to ban free prison labor introduced for 2022 Florida legislative session

The state of Florida allows for unpaid prison labor, but that could change if a Tampa-based Democratic lawmaker’s joint resolution …

An Update on Prison Labor in Minnesota

In May 2018 after an exhaustive one and a half years of investigative research on prison labor, I published a …
map detailing state efforts

Efforts by States to Eliminate the Punishment Exception

Efforts by States to Eliminate the Exception Allowing Slavery or Involuntary Servitude as Punishment for a Crime The Thirteenth Amendment ...
labor exploitation in private prisons

Institutional Maintenance in Private Prisons: A Case of Labor Exploitation

Within the debate of penal labor, one commonly ignored aspect is the use of labor in contract facilities, also known …

How Students Can Help Address the Exploitation of Incarcerated Workers

Around the country, correctional industries are quietly furnishing our public universities with beds, desks, bookshelves, and more. These businesses, born …
Student Toolkit: How to Tackle Prison Labor on Your Campus

Student Toolkit: How to Tackle Prison Labor on Your Campus

Public universities are much more likely to buy goods made by incarcerated people because they can (and are sometimes required …
incarcerated firefighters

Incarcerated Firefighters

As the world contends with the coronavirus, and the United States reckons with systemic racism, the West Coast is being …
Prison

Human Trafficking and Prison Labor, Part 1: An Overview

This is the first in a three-part blog series authored by Polaris to introduce the issue.  Read part two here, …

Human Trafficking and Prison Labor, Part 2: Understanding the Types of Prison Labor

Most people assume that in 1865 with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment slavery in the United States was abolished. However, forced labor still exists in the United States today through the exception built into the Thirteenth Amendment for those who have been “duly convicted of a crime”. This exception made it legal and permissible to continue slavery within prisons in the United States. This is commonly known now as prison labor.
Prison Labor

Human Trafficking and Prison Labor, Part 3: Incarcerated Workers and COVID-19

This is the final part in a three-part blog series authored by Polaris to introduce the issue.  The first two …