by The Spark
Following a call for a nationwide strike of prisoners, inmates in at least 29 prisons in 12 states have launched strikes, involving more than 24,000 prisoners. The prisoners are now fighting against awful work conditions in prisons, what they correctly call “modern day slavery.” It is forced labor for little or no pay.
This work is mandatory. If the prisoner refuses to work, he or she can be punished, such as, by solitary confinement or cancellation of visitation rights. Inmates in state and federal prisons do many different types of work, including maintenance, cleaning, kitchen duties, farm work, stuffing shelves in stores and warehouses, and manufacturing license plates, clothing, electronics and army hats, etc.
Some states, including Texas, Arkansas, and Georgia, do not pay inmates for prison labor at all. In other states, the pay to the inmates is usually close to nothing, between 12 and 40 cents an hour.
Some inmates are engaged in work programs, such as the Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (known as UNICOR). The Federal Bureau of Prisons runs UNICOR like a company that supplies cheap labor to Read the rest of this entry »