Essay On Prison Labor

420 Words2 Pages

The United States has a very long history of prison labor. The 13th amendment abolished slavery in 1865, but made a loophole for prison labor.In the early to mid nineteenth century, prisoners were put to work in large-scale industrial factories.The convict lease system emerged in the Southern states after the formal abolition of plantation slavery in 1865. American states leased large blocks of prisoners to private companies, which forced prisoners to pick cotton, mine coal, and lay railroads. Both of these systems of prison labor were very profitable.

Prison labor is used by many prisons and big companies. Prisons use prison labor to make military gear, Microsoft software, McDonald’s uniforms, and much more. The Prison Industry Enhancement Act of 1979 authorized profitable prison labor and stated prisoners must work while incarcerated. Most prisoners in the U.S. work for the prison system iteslf. About 6% of state prisoners and 16% of ferderal prisoners work for private companies. About 12,468 prisoners across the U.S. work for a government owned company called UNICOR. UNICOR runs call centers for private compnaies, makes military gear, recycles tox …show more content…

Some people think that forcing prisoners to do hard work is harsh, but others feel that prisoners that commit crimes need to pay. Allowing them to have a job, is too sympathetic. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, except as punishment for a crime. Government departments throughout the country use prisoners to keep labor costs down. Even Hillary Clinton admitted to using prison inmates at the governor’s mansion in order to save money. The United States’ prison labor system has grown over the years, partly because the country has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Healthy prisoners are required to work. If a prisoner refuses to work he will be punished by losing visitation time, solitary confinement, or loss of earned good

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