“Texas Governor Greg Abbott calls a special session to consider proposals that would increase human rights violations and lead to long sentences for thousands of young Texans.” – HRW
Who benefits from more prisoners? Where are they locked up?
Who makes money from private prisons?
Which state has the biggest prison population in America?
Can prisoners be forced to work for slave wages?
Which corporations profit by using prison labor?
How much to private prison operators and corporations donate to Republicans?
How are prisoners mistreated and their human rights violated?
It’s not hard. Follow the money to see for yourself.
Follow the money
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” In short, slavery is illegal, except when someone is convicted of a crime. That penal labor loophole has gone on to impact millions of prisoners in the last 155 years. – Market Realist
Unpaid Labor in Texas Prisons Is Modern-Day Slavery
“Texas prisoners are forced to work without pay for up to 12 hours a day. That’s not rehab, that’s just plain slavery.” – Truth Out
- “The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has the biggest prison population in the United States (over 140,000 prisoners) and the most prisons of any state (over 100). It is also known for being one of the most self-sufficient and profitable prison systems in the nation, thanks to prison labor.
- Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama are other states that utilize this money-making scheme. The other 46 states — one way or another — pay prisoners for their labor with funds that can be used to purchase items off the prison commissary.
- Some prisoners work — for free — up to 12 hours a day. This is flat-out, modern-day slave labor and it will continue as long as society accepts the notion that prisoners deserve less.
- Prisoners in Texas grow 24 different crops and tend to over 10,000 head of cattle. They also act as painters, electricians, maintenance workers, cooks, janitors and dog trainers.
- Beef, pork, chicken and vegetables are raised, processed and harvested by prisoners. Soap and clothing items are manufactured through prison labor as well.”
Companies that use prison labor
More than 4,1000 companies in the U.S. profit from mass incarceration. Many of these are prisons themselves, but some are companies who rely on penal labor to manufacture goods or provide services. Around 63,000 prisoners produce goods for external sale. – Market Realist
- Verizon uses inmates to provide telecommunication services.
- Fidelity Investments uses some held assets to fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization that promotes inmate work.
- Kmart and JCPenney use inmate labor in Tennessee to make denim products.
- Walmart uses prison labor to clean barcodes so products can be resold.
- Some cheese and fish from Whole Foods comes from prison labor.
- Circuit boards from IBM come from Texas prisoners.
- Wendy’s and McDonald’s use prison labor to process beef for their food products.
Today, millions of incarcerated people are forced to work for private corporations, state-owned corporations, and correctional agencies for little to no pay. Those who refuse to work are often beat, denied visits and calls, and put in solitary. Tell Congress to end the exception in the Thirteenth Amendment that allows slavery as punishment for crime by passing the Abolition Amendment. No slavery, no exceptions!
Worth Rises and Color Of Change released a Policy Blueprint for Ending Carceral Profiteering that calls on the Biden-Harris Administration to stop corporate profiteering off of incarceration and gives the Administration a concrete roadmap to doing so. Corporate exploitation throughout the carceral system harms people detained on the inside, families and communities on the outside, and taxpayers and public safety at large. It’s time to put an end to it. Read the full report here.
TakeAway: End this rigged system where corporations profit from prison labor with Republican help. Vote for Democrats.
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