Prison Labor Is Slave Labor, And We Should Get Rid Of It

Incarcerated workers — who often make less than $1 an hour producing profits for big companies — are on strike across the country. As wildfires rage across California, some of the people risking their lives to fight them are paid only a few dollars a day. They’re part of a 2.3 million-strong underclass of American employees making sweatshop wages: incarcerated workers. Slave wages are just one of the many reasons why incarcerated people around the U.S. on strike. The strike was organized in response to deadly violence at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina earlier this year, a result of the prison’s abysmal living conditions. Organizers have a list of 10 demands, which include the need for prompt improvement of prison conditions and policies. They also call for the “immediate end to prison slavery,” which is legal thanks to a constitutional loophole.
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