Public Values

Exploiting prison labour for corporate profit

No longer enslaved, forced labourers are incarcerated instead.

Government subsidizes use of inmate labour by private companies through lucrative tax write-offs.July 21, 2011: Rania Khalek reports in AlterNet that the current American prison system, leaning towards increased privatization and for-profit operations, provides many incentives for increased incarceration, regardless of the seriousness of the offense. Khalek reveals that private employers can profit from modern slave labour by hiring inmates, forced to comply under further threats and penalties, for low or no wages. Moreover, Khalek cites the intentional use of the prison system as a means of re-enslaving blacks after the Civil War, tracing its evolution through convict leasing and chain gangs, finally arriving at today's modern slavery.

"There is one group of American workers so disenfranchised that corporations are able to get away with paying them wages that rival those of third-world sweatshops. These labourers have been legally stripped of their political, economic, and social rights and ultimately relegated to second-class citizens. They are banned from unionizing, violently silenced from speaking out and forced to work for little to no wages. This marginalization renders them practically invisible, as they are kept hidden from society with no available recourse to improve their circumstances or change their plight.

They are the 2.3 million American prisoners locked behind bars where we cannot see or hear themÂ…"

For the complete article, please click here.

Posted: August 09, 2011

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