Profiting from prison labour — in Canada too
With wages frozen for the past 5 years, contracting out prison labour is lucrative, but not for inmates.
Inmates face difficult labour challenges due to isolation and exclusion from labour laws, writes Kaley Kennedy in The Dominion. Because labour is often part of their sentences, prisoners have few resources with which to improve their situations. And companies that profit from prison labour contracts have little motivation to make changes.
"Criticism of cheap prison labour is something often aimed at privately owned US super jails, but here in Canada, thousands of imprisoned people form a labour pool where wages dip below a dollar an hour.
'Motivated workers. ISO-certified plants. Flexible contracts. Your partnership with CORCAN will build your business and boost your productivity,' reads a pitch CORCAN "1"; a branch of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) that coordinates inmate work programs in over 50 shops in manufacturing, textile production, industrial laundry and other industries
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Posted: March 19, 2012
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