‘It’s inhumane’: how US prison work breaks bodies and minds for pennies
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: August 8th, 2022
Among the more than 1.2 million Americans imprisoned in federal and state prisons, two out of three are forced to work while imprisoned. The 13th amendment of the US constitution abolished slavery or involuntary servitude, but included an exception for prisoners; critics have called prison work modern-day slavery. [Susan] Dokken’s pay started at 12 cents an hour and prisoners have the ability after positive reviews to increase their pay to 24 cents an hour, while they’re charged full price when they buy basic necessities through the commissary. Dokken explained that if prisoners refused to work, they would have privileges revoked and possibly get written up, which would follow them on their record to parole and probation. According to a June 2022 report published by the American Civil Liberties Union, prison labor generates more than $11bn annually, with more than $2bn generated from the production of goods, and more than $9bn generated through prison maintenance services. Wages range on average from 13 cents to 52 cents per hour, but many prisoners are paid nothing at all, and their low wages are subject to various deductions. The ACLU report said 76% of workers surveyed reported they were forced to work or faced additional punishment, 70% said they could not afford basic necessities on their prison labor wages, 70% reported receiving no formal job training and 64% reported concerns for their safety on the job. Prison workers are also excluded from basic worker protections.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.