Government Corruption News Stories
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.
An industrial estate in Yorkshire is an unlikely location for ... an artificial intelligence (AI) company used by the Government to monitor people’s posts on social media. Logically has been paid more than £1.2 million of taxpayers’ money to analyse what the Government terms “disinformation” – false information deliberately seeded online – and “misinformation”, which is false information that has been spread inadvertently. It does this by “ingesting” material from more than hundreds of thousands of media sources and “all public posts on major social media platforms”, using AI to identify those that are potentially problematic. It has a £1.2 million deal with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as well as another worth up to £1.4 million with the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor threats to high-profile individuals within the vaccine service. It also has a “partnership” with Facebook, which appears to grant Logically’s fact-checkers huge influence over the content other people see. A joint press release issued in July 2021 suggests that Facebook will limit the reach of certain posts if Logically says they are untrue. “When Logically rates a piece of content as false, Facebook will significantly reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it, apply a warning label to let people know that the content has been rated false, and notify people who try to share it,” states the press release.
Note: Read more about how NewsGuard, a for-profit company, works closely with government agencies and major corporate advertisers to suppress dissenting views online. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
The chief medical officer for the Customs and Border Protection agency repeatedly asked staff members to order fentanyl lollipops for him to take on a helicopter mission to the United Nations in New York City in Sept. 2023, according to a whistleblower report. The report ... stated that Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alexander Eastman allegedly "spent copious hours of his and Office of the Chief Medical Officer staff time directing the OCMO staff to urgently help him procure fentanyl lollipops, a Schedule II narcotic, so that he could bring them on the CBP Air and Marine Operations helicopter on which he would be a passenger." Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and painkiller driving the overdose crisis in the United States. Fentanyl lollipops are an oral version of the drug. Chief among the Customs and Border Protection's duties as a federal agency is stopping the flow of illicit drugs, including fentanyl, into the United States. When asked why he would need fentanyl lollipops to travel ... Eastman allegedly argued that the lollipops would be necessary for pain management in case of an emergency, and were "necessary" in case a CBP operator was injured, or if the Air and Marine Operations team encountered a "patient in need." Eastman's attempts to order the lollipops were unsuccessful because there was not funding available. Eastman then "proceeded to write his own policy" for the procurement, storage and disposal of Schedule II narcotics.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
U.S. immigration authorities locked thousands of people in solitary confinement in 2023. A new report by Harvard University-affiliated researchers ... found the dangerous confinements have not only persisted over the past decade, but also increased in frequency and duration under the Biden administration. The adverse effects of solitary confinement — generally defined as isolation without meaningful human interaction for 22 hours a day or more — are well documented. One of ICE’s directives acknowledges that isolating detainees — who aren’t considered prisoners and aren’t held for punitive reasons under federal law — is “a serious step that requires careful consideration of alternatives.” And yet the new report found the agency recorded more than 14,000 solitary confinement cases from 2018 to 2023. Researchers said the number is likely an undercount due to ICE’s poor recordkeeping. The average length of the recorded confinements was 27 days, researchers found, stretching well beyond the 15-day period that meets the threshold for “inhuman and degrading treatment” defined by the U.N. special rapporteur on torture. The data revealed dozens of examples of facilities holding people in solitary confinement for over a year. Researchers also gathered accounts of the grueling conditions inside isolation cells. Interviewees described cells that were freezing cold; constantly lit, causing sleep deprivation; or had toilets only guards could flush.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
When the U.S. Government entered into its Covid vaccine agreement with Pfizer, which was acting on behalf of the BioNTech/Pfizer partnership, in July 2020, the agreement encompassed a minimum of 100 million doses of a “vaccine to prevent COVID-19” and a payment of at least $1.95 billion. The Government declared that we were “at war” with a catastrophically dangerous virus. In keeping with the declaration of war, it was a military framework that was used for acquiring the aspirational products that became known as Covid mRNA vaccines. The Government side to the agreement with Pfizer was the Department of Defence (DoD), represented by a convoluted chain of parties, each operating as a subcontractor, or co-contractor, for the next. In fact, agencies governing civilian and public health, like the NIH, NIAID and HHS, do not have the authority to grant certain types of special acquisition contracts, which is why the Covid vaccine contracts had to be overseen by the Department of Defence. Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) ... is a very special way to authorise a medical countermeasure in very specific types of emergencies. EUA was meant for dire situations of warfare or terrorism, not to protect the entire population from naturally occurring pathogens. For this reason, EUA products do not require the type of legal safety oversight that is applied in civilian contexts by the FDA.
Note: Read how the Department of Defense and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority allowed vaccine makers to bypass standard safety testing of their products. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID vaccines from reliable major media sources.
At least 33 U.S. state prison systems and the majority of federal medium-, high- and maximum-security prisons have placed general population (“gen pop”) adults under nondisciplinary lockdown at least once (but more often repeatedly or for a prolonged period) from 2016-2023. While most lockdowns are intermittent (lasting from a few days to several weeks), an increasing number of state and federal prisons keep prisoners locked down for most or even all of the year. In addition, many prisons make people suffer through constant lockdown “cycles,” where prisoners get a very brief return to normal “gen pop” status before they are once again subject to several days or weeks of lockdown. Prisoners have no routines or any real rights whatsoever under lockdown. There is no guarantee of exercise, showers are irregular at best, and access to phone, email or visitation are nonexistent. Education, religious activities, rehabilitative programs, psychiatric intervention to crises, access to commissary ... are typically denied or are nearly impossible to get. Meetings with attorneys come to a halt or are hard to obtain. People under lockdown are often not even given basic hygiene materials such as soap or toothpaste. Modern prison lockdowns can ... be traced back to 2016, in a decidedly repressive, politicized reaction to nationwide prison strikes. Entire prisons were and are still punished for the relatively minor actions of a few, including ... something as simple as a shouting match.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Look at the case of Lucas Bellamy. He had been arrested in Minnesota. Immediately before the arrest, he ate a bag of drugs in an effort to fool police into thinking that he didn’t have any. But he immediately began feeling sick. Jail officers took him to a local hospital, where he was treated. The doctors there told the jailers to return him to the hospital if he became ill again. He began vomiting as soon as he got back to his cell. By evening he was refusing food and crawling around his cell as a guard and nurse stood and watched him. By noon the next day, he was dead on the floor. The case of Brandon Clay Dodson is even worse. Dodson was arrested on a burglary charge and was being held in the local jail in Clayton, Alabama. He told a guard that several other prisoners had been beating him, and he asked to be moved into segregated housing for his own protection. He later told the guards in solitary that he wasn’t feeling well, but they ignored him. And a day after that, the 43-year-old was found dead in his bed. In a 104-page ruling, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled against the administrators of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, [highlighting] just a few of the untold number of medical horrors that prisoners suffer all the time there, including “a man denied medical attention four times during a stroke, leaving him blind and paralyzed; a man denied access to a specialist for four years while his throat cancer advanced; even a blind man denied a cane for 16 years.”
Note: John Kiriakou is a former CIA counter-terrorism officer and former senior investigator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 2015, investigations in Arizona, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, and New York uncovered escalating inmate deaths related to the use of for-profit medical services in prisons. A New York Times article about this was published but it quickly disappeared. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ... said last month it was “not right” for the charity to take on such a big role in funding the World Health Organization (WHO). Over the years, the billionaire philanthropists have become the WHO’s second biggest donor, making the health agency heavily dependent on their support to keep functioning. Global health experts say that while this money is welcome, it gives the Gates an outsized influence and underscores the chronic funding problem WHO faces even as it contends with more and more health crises. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation alone is responsible for over 88 per cent of the total amount donated by philanthropic foundations to the WHO. Other contributors include the Bloomberg Family Foundation (3.5 per cent), the Wellcome Trust (1.1 per cent) and the Rockefeller Foundation (0.8 per cent). In 2018-2019, the United States was the largest donor at $893 million, accounting for around 15 per cent of WHO’s budget. The Gates Foundation came only second, with $531 million. Most of these voluntary contributions are “specified” - meaning they are tied to a specific programme or health campaign in a specific part of the world and are given a detailed time frame during which to be spent. Polio eradication, for instance, has long been WHO’s best-funded program, mainly because much of the Gates Foundation’s contributions have been directed to that cause.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
When Covid-19 struck ... four organizations took on roles often played by governments — but without the accountability of governments. While nations were still debating the seriousness of the pandemic, the groups identified potential vaccine makers and targeted investments in the development of tests, treatments and shots. And they used their clout with the World Health Organization to help create an ambitious worldwide distribution plan. The largest and most powerful was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropies in the world. Then there was Gavi, the global vaccine organization that Gates helped to found to inoculate people in low-income nations, and the Wellcome Trust, a British research foundation with a multibillion dollar endowment that had worked with the Gates Foundation in previous years. Finally, there was the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, the international vaccine research and development group that Gates and Wellcome both helped to create in 2017. The organizations spent at least $8.3 million lobbying the U.S. and E.U., according to an analysis of lobbying disclosures. Now, critics are raising significant questions about the equity and effectiveness of the group’s response to the pandemic — and the serious limitations of outsourcing the pandemic response to unelected, privately-funded groups.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID from reliable major media sources.
A US court this week banned three weedkillers widely used in American agriculture, finding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law in allowing them to be on the market. The ruling is specific to three dicamba-based weedkillers manufactured by Bayer, BASF and Syngenta, which have been blamed for millions of acres of crop damage and harm to endangered species and natural areas across the midwest and south. Discovery documents turned up in the litigation showed the companies knew that their dicamba weedkillers would probably lead to off-target crop damage. This is the second time a federal court has banned these weedkillers since they were introduced for the 2017 growing season. In 2020, the ninth circuit court of appeals issued its own ban, but months later the Trump administration reapproved the weedkilling products. But a federal judge in Arizona ruled on Monday that the EPA made a crucial error in reapproving dicamba, finding the agency did not post it for public notice and comment as required by law. US district judge David Bury wrote ... that it was a “very serious” violation and that if EPA had done a full analysis, it probably would not have made the same decision. Bury wrote that the EPA did not allow many people who are deeply affected by the weedkiller – including specialty farmers, conservation groups and more – to comment. “The evidence has shown that dicamba cannot be used without causing massive and unprecedented harm to farms as well as endangering plants and pollinators,” said George Kimbrell [with] the Center for Food Safety, which litigated the case.
An artist in the south of France says he's planning to destroy up to $45 million worth of art, including pieces by Rembrandt, Picasso, and Andy Warhol, if WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange dies in prison. Andrei Molodkin [said] that he put a collection of masterpieces that had been donated to him into a 29-ton safe hooked up to two barrels — one containing an acid powder and the other containing an accelerator — which, when pumped into the safe, will create a reaction strong enough to destroy all its contents. The project is called "Dead Man's Switch," and it is backed by Assange's wife, Stella. Assange is currently in jail in the U.K. awaiting his final appeal over extradition to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act, which will take place later this month. WikiLeaks published thousands of leaked documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Assange is alleged to have conspired to obtain and disclose U.S. national defense information. Molodkin says that the safe will be hooked up to a 24-hour timer which must be reset every day or else it will trigger the release of the two barrel's corrosive substances inside. He says, each day, the timer will only be reset when someone "close to Assange" confirms he is alive. Assange's wife, Stella, says the project asks the question of "which is the greater taboo: destroying art or destroying human life? If democracy wins, the art will be preserved - as will Julian's life."
Note: The US prosecution of Assange undermines press freedom. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
Because of Charles Littlejohn, we know that former President Donald Trump and a whole bunch of other rich people pay next to nothing in taxes. Littlejohn, a former consultant at the Internal Revenue Service, leaked these tax returns. For leaking this sensitive information, Littlejohn has been sentenced to five years in federal prison, the maximum jail term. Littlejohn’s lawyers (Bloomberg, 1/18/24) had argued that he had acted “out of a deep, moral belief that the American people had a right to know the information and sharing it was the only way to effect change.” Littlejohn now joins people like Reality Winner (New York Times, 8/23/18) and Chelsea Manning (NPR, 1/17/17), security and military-sector leakers who put their freedom on the line to disclose government secrets they felt should be a matter of the public record. The fact of the matter is that investigative journalism can only happen because of leakers who take great risks. Adrian Schoolcraft, an NYPD officer who provided the Village Voice (5/4/10) with evidence of statistics manipulation, felt the wrath of government power when he was eventually forced into a psychiatric ward (Chief, 10/5/15). Edward Snowden, who provided the Guardian (6/11/13) with details about widespread NSA surveillance, is still in exile in Russia as a result of his decision to be a whistleblower. By revealing what the rich can legally get away with, [Littlejohn] was demonstrating that we live in an increasingly divided society.
One of the more colorful conservative members of the U.S. House ... stands by recent remarks in which he said some of his fellow members were likely victims of blackmail. But Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who made the comments on a Dec. 21 podcast ... declined to elaborate on who he was talking about or give any other details. “You as a member of the media understand confidentiality, and I appreciate that, and I am going to keep that confidential unless those people tell me otherwise,” Burchett [said]. Asked if he was standing by his comments, Burchett said, “Sure. I’m not going to back up.” And when asked if he believed there were House members who had decided how to vote based on compromising material about them held by foreign powers, Burchett said, “Absolutely. And other powers. It doesn’t have to be foreign powers.” He said members may be on a trip or at a bar, meet someone and buy them a drink. “Next thing you know, you’re in a hotel room with them, naked. Next thing you know, you’re about to make a key vote, and what happens? Some well-dressed person comes up and whispers into your ear, ‘Hey, man, there’s tapes out on you. Were you in a motel room on whatever with whoever?’ And then you’re, like, ‘Uh-oh.’ And they say, ‘You really ought not be voting for this thing.’” Burchett’s remarks were the most lurid accusations since former Rep. Madison Cawthorn [alleged that he] had been invited by colleagues to orgies in Washington.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Despite its long history as part of conflicts, sexual violence is often not reported because of the trauma and shame it brings to survivors, their families and their wider communities. There has also been reticence among various authorities to speak out. Only in modern times, in the 1990s when wars broke out in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, did the United Nations begin to recognize sexual violence as ... a category of war crime. The specific term "conflict-related sexual violence," or CRSV, was first introduced in 2000 when the United Nations Security Council issued a resolution that launched the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The U.N. defined the term as "rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked to a conflict." [CRSV] is widespread and is used as a tactic of war to assert dominance and power. "It can be just as traumatizing to see your daughter, your sister or your parents being raped in front of you," says [Dr. Ranit] Mishori. "Or you're forced to strip naked in front of soldiers or in the city square. People often carry this trauma without knowing it's an international crime and minimize what happened to them." For conflict resolution and peace building to be successful, survivors need to be included in the process. For some countries this method has already started to work. [In Colombia], they have built women into the peace process. It's not perfect — no peace is perfect — but it is progressive and it is intentional, and that is important. Intentional peace building must be inclusive of survivors of this form of violence.
Note: The public receives censored and sanitized versions of war from the government and the media. Yet in reality, unethical violations of domestic and international human rights law are common and often kept hidden during wartime. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
Axon, maker of Tasers and police body cameras, has acquired a surveillance company that allows police to tap into camera networks in schools, retail stores, and other locations in cities and towns across America and apply AI technology to the footage. Axon acquired Fusus for an undisclosed sum. Fusus operates what it calls “real time crime centers (RTCC)” which allow police and other public agencies to analyze a wide array of video sources at a single point and apply AI that detects objects and people. These centers are reminiscent of the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Centers—where intelligence from a diverse number of sources is collected and shared among agencies—and have already expanded to over 250 cities and counties. Last week, Axon announced a new line of cameras called Axon Body Workforce designed to be worn by workers in retail and in healthcare. Despite pushing the cameras as deterrents, data shows no evidence that they’ve been effective in reducing police violence or increasing transparency. The rise of Fusus is concerning to rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has raised alarm over the expansion of law enforcement’s ability to easily surveil Americans. Notably, the concept behind Fusus’ solution is similar to technology that has been deployed in South Africa for years, and which experts have said exacerbates inequality in the country.
Note: Axon has ties to paid experts who are used to exonerate police after deaths in custody. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sparked privacy concerns after unveiling plans to roll out controversial facial recognition tech in over 400 US airports soon. “TSA is in the early stages of deploying its facial recognition capability to airport security checkpoints,” a spokesperson [said] regarding the ambitious program. They explained that the cutting-edge tech serves to both enhance and expedite the screening process for passengers. Dubbed CAT-2 machines, these automated identification systems accomplish this by incorporating facial recognition tech to snap real-time pictures of travelers. They then compare this biometric data against the flyer’s photo ID to verify that it’s the real person. These CAT-scans enable “traveler use of mobile driver’s licenses,” thereby improving the security experience, per the spokesperson. The TSA currently has 600 CAT-2 units deployed at about 50 airports nationwide and plans to expand them to 400 federalized airports in the future. Following the implementation of these synthetic security accelerators at US airports last winter, lawmakers expressed concerns that the machines present a major privacy issue. “The TSA program is a precursor to a full-blown national surveillance state,” said Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. “Nothing could be more damaging to our national values of privacy and freedom. No government should be trusted with this power.”
The $118bn bipartisan immigration bill that the US Senate introduced on Sunday is already facing steep opposition. The 370-page measure, which also would provide additional aid to Israel and Ukraine, has drawn the ire of both Democrats and Republicans over its proposed asylum and border laws. But privacy, immigration and digital liberties experts are also concerned over another aspect of the bill: more than $400m in funding for additional border surveillance and data-gathering tools. The lion’s share of that funding will go to two main tools: $170m for additional autonomous surveillance towers and $204m for “expenses related to the analysis of DNA samples”, which includes those collected from migrants detained by border patrol. The bill describes autonomous surveillance towers as ones that “utilize sensors, onboard computing, and artificial intelligence to identify items of interest that would otherwise be manually identified by personnel”. The rest of the funding for border surveillance ... includes $47.5m for mobile video surveillance systems and drones and $25m for “familial DNA testing”. The bill also includes $25m in funding for “subterranean detection capabilities” and $10m to acquire data from unmanned surface vehicles or autonomous boats. As of early January, CBP had deployed 396 surveillance towers along the US-Mexico border, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Note: Read more about the secret history of facial recognition technology and undeniable evidence indicating these tools do much more harm than good. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Internal US Bureau of Prison (BOP) documents obtained by The Grayzone under Freedom of Information laws raise extremely serious questions about whether Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged first suicide attempt on July 23, 2019 in fact happened, and suggest the Bureau distorted evidence to attribute his death to suicide before his autopsy had even been completed. Officially, Epstein was found to have died in his cell at New York City’s Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019, with a medical examiner ruling at the time that he had taken his own life by hanging. The ruling was aggressively contested by Epstein’s associates and widely disbelieved. Epstein’s legal team publicly declared available evidence on his death was “far more consistent” with murder. On August 9 ... regular checks on [Epstein] ceased. Three CCTV cameras nearby apparently malfunctioned. Two on-duty guards fabricated records to hide how they allegedly flouted their legal duties to surf the internet. And the next day, the prison’s most infamous inmate was dead. In the immediate wake of Epstein’s death ... BOP suicide prevention coordinator Robert Nagle visited the Metropolitan Correctional Center to initiate a “psychological reconstruction” of Epstein’s last moments. His resultant report recorded that a video of the “significant incident” was confiscated by the FBI before his review began. He was also prohibited from conducting formal interviews with prison staff.
Note: Read about the new evidence suggesting Epstein ran a sex blackmail operation for intelligence agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Military strategists believe that a "coronavirus bioweapon" may lurk on the horizon. This possibility is one of several outlined in a new report sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The report “Plagues, Cyborgs, and Supersoldiers: The Human Domain of War Research” delves into how CRISPR gene-editing technology, mRNA vaccines, brain networking, and other technological advancements could unleash new forms of military conflict. “We see a complex, high-threat landscape emerging where future wars are fought with humans controlling hyper-sophisticated machines with their thoughts” and “synthetically generated, genomically targeted plagues” that cripple the American military-industrial base,” the report warns. At the same time, authoritarian states might ... brutally suppress "anti-vaccine populists" and enforce compliance. The report claims this could hinder the U.S. due to its more relaxed regulatory environment that values individual liberties, where such crackdowns and forced vaccinations are more difficult to deploy. The report takes aim at Congress, criticizing the recent repeal of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for service members. It urges lawmakers to resist "anti-vaccine populism" to ensure military readiness. Simultaneously, the report urges the Pentagon to consider using genetic screening to find qualified military recruits and develop clear plans for integrating bioweapon warfare capabilities.
Note: Learn more about emerging warfare technology in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and microchip implants from reliable major media sources .
United States officials fought to conceal details of arrangements between US spy agencies and private companies tracking the whereabouts of Americans. Obtaining location data from US phones normally requires a warrant, but police and intelligence agencies routinely pay companies instead for the data, effectively circumventing the courts. Ron Wyden, the US senator from Oregon, informed the nation’s intelligence chief, Avril Haines, on Thursday that the Pentagon only agreed to release details about the data purchases, which had always been unclassified, after Wyden hindered the Senate's efforts to appoint a new director of the National Security Agency. “The secrecy around data purchases was amplified,” Wyden wrote, “because intelligence agencies have sought to keep the American people in the dark." Pentagon offices known to have purchased location data from these companies include the Defense Intelligence Agency and the NSA, among others. Wyden's letter ... indicates that the NSA is also “buying Americans' domestic internet metadata.” Wyden's disclosure comes amid a fight in the US House of Representatives over efforts to outlaw the purchases. Members of the House Judiciary Committee attached legislation doing so ... to a bill reauthorizing a contentious surveillance program known as Section 702. Biden administration officials and members of the intelligence committee staged a campaign against the privacy-enhancing measures.
Note: Learn more about mission creep in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Unmarked trucks packed with prison-raised cattle roll out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, where men are sentenced to hard labor and forced to work, for pennies an hour or sometimes nothing at all. They are among America’s most vulnerable laborers. If they refuse to work, some can jeopardize their chances of parole or face punishment like being sent to solitary confinement. The goods ... prisoners produce wind up in the supply chains of a dizzying array of products found in most American kitchens, from Frosted Flakes cereal and Ball Park hot dogs to Gold Medal flour, Coca-Cola and Riceland rice. They are on the shelves of virtually every supermarket in the country, including Kroger, Target, Aldi and Whole Foods. It’s completely legal. Enshrined in the Constitution by the 13th Amendment, slavery and involuntary servitude are banned – except as punishment for a crime. With about 2 million people locked up, U.S. prison labor from all sectors has morphed into a multibillion-dollar empire. Almost all of the country’s state and federal adult prisons have some sort of work program, employing around 800,000 people. Altogether, labor tied specifically to goods and services produced through state prison industries brought in more than $2 billion in 2021. “Slavery has not been abolished,” said Curtis Davis, who spent more than 25 years at [Louisiana's Angola] penitentiary. “It is still operating in present tense,” he said. “Nothing has changed.”
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.