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(NPR) Audio A closer look at how America's prison labor system functions. Come for the ridiculous story of how much inmates are paid, stay for, "Sorry, we don't hire felons," to the inmate with 10 years experience working for that company while on the inside   (npr.org) divider line
    More: Audio, Prison, United States, 19th century, Prison labor, AT&T, Victoria's Secret, Whole Foods, official employment statistics  
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2390 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jun 2020 at 10:20 AM (12 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-06-30 12:10:22 PM  
People as property/fuel for otehr people is as old as our species is.
Slavesserfscaste systemsgenetic lines of birthright to power and privilegeceo bonuses paid while workers that generated that revenue are put out of a means for food/shelter/waterSame as ever, just a rebranding shell game of pretending things have changed.Oh we can't literally keep them in cages and use them up like fuel? No that's not going to ok any more?Oh ok, so they don't belong to me, they belong to the land, yeah that's it they belong to the land. So it's like they have their own land kinda, except i own the land, and only i can own land and they can't leave the land they belong to it. SO get back to work a holes.Oh i can't force them to stay on the land and work it as i say? No more serfs?Oh ok, so they don't have to say physically where they are, they can seek out work of their own. As in the work that is theirs to do. Welcome to not slavery where you can freely choose from among these menial labor low pay danger jobs that belong to you and your caste forever. And no you can;t get some otehr work, that's not your caste silly, that's not for you. Know your fooking place already.Oh this is not cool any more, we can;t keep it this way? You don't want to be hungry right? You need food water and shelter or you die pretty fast right? So I guess you better be willing to fook take the work i allow you to have for what i expect you to be grateful for basically what amounts to stealing out of my pocket and the pockets of all our shareholders.You got the right to life already, what more do you want, an actual right to the essential needs of life?No FOOKING WAY. If you all had that, i'd not still own your stupid ass and make you do this dangerous life end work for pennies on the hundreds of dollars i take home, having a hooker suck my dick in the office while  i make another spread sheet  about how much money we manage to pump from yalls pathetic, and otherwise worthless lives.
 
2020-06-30 12:12:40 PM  

YouPeopleAreCrazy: Rucker10: We aren't the good guys.

There are no "good guys".
IKEA
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ger​many-ikea/ikea-apologizes-for-use-of-e​ast-german-prison-labor-idUSBRE8AF0ZT2​0121116

Britain
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/bri​tish-retailer-tesco-halts-work-chinese​-factory-over-prison-labor-n1106251

Germany
https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2​016/aug/2/german-prisoners-form-union-​seek-minimum-wage-and-pension/


Oh that makes it ok then.
 
2020-06-30 12:13:16 PM  

Dr. Opossum: While I think there should be less people in prison and they should be paid somewhat more, I have never had a moral problem with paying prisoners a small amount.  Prison costs are expensive as hell - why not have the prisoners work to offset costs to society and maybe gain some skills (even if they will be if limited use in the current world of high unemployment)?


The problem is when you fill the prisons with people by targeting minor infractions to make sure the work floor has plenty of workers.

All of the incentives are there for abuse,  is that it is for profit.  And it's hidden behind 'the law,' No matter how easily manipulated the system might be.
 
2020-06-30 12:13:50 PM  
Well that made no sense. Oh well
 
2020-06-30 12:15:29 PM  

Gubbo: The American Penal System. The last holdout of legal slavery in America


Technically, the 13th Amendment is the holdout.

Behold, freedom!

Section 1. 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.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.[1]
 
2020-06-30 12:19:22 PM  
i.ytimg.comView Full Size
 
2020-06-30 12:38:01 PM  
Prison Labor: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Youtube AjqaNQ018zU

From August 2019
 
2020-06-30 12:48:36 PM  

swahnhennessy: If people understood just what a scam the prison industry is in America, there'd be outrage. But it's just too easy to ignore inmates with the assumption that they're criminals so they deserve whatever they get.

Hell, even without the mass outrage, politicians in both parties have started to back off on their rhetoric that led to this stuff, and there's even been actual talk of reform. But I'm not holding my breath.


They are criminals.
 
2020-06-30 12:57:36 PM  

Nadie_AZ: Slavery.

Our system still uses slavery to build wealth.


How much "wealth" is actually being built by prison labor?  It's not a very efficient use of human resources.
 
2020-06-30 1:04:33 PM  

fark'emfeed'emfish: Gubbo: The American Penal System. The last holdout of legal slavery in America

Technically, the 13th Amendment is the holdout.

Behold, freedom!

Section 1. 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.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.[1]


Yup, slavery is still in the constitution, there are just a couple of extra steps...
 
2020-06-30 1:18:18 PM  
The part about prison labor everyone forgets

It's a way of coping with being locked up. Having performed said prison labor I can tell you that I was paid 9 dollars a day. But wouldve paid 20 a day for the chance.

It's a welcome relief from being in a cell all the damned time. It gets you out of the cell.

I was put on the side of the highway picking up litter. Then moved up to running a string trimmer on same. Then eventually I drove a tractor with air conditioning cutting the shoulders of county and state highways. I did this for 37mos. Those 37 mos went by faster than the 14 I didnt get to work.

And yes I'll fess up. I spent time in the big house for the crime of beating a man mercilessly for molesting my 12 yr old niece. My only regret is that I didnt removes his genitals and stuff them in his mouth
 
2020-06-30 1:48:25 PM  

thrillbilly1967: The part about prison labor everyone forgets

It's a way of coping with being locked up. Having performed said prison labor I can tell you that I was paid 9 dollars a day. But wouldve paid 20 a day for the chance.

It's a welcome relief from being in a cell all the damned time. It gets you out of the cell.


Just because the alternative is worse does not make it right. It also does not counter the argument that some people from minority groups are only in jail to make up the numbers and provide free/very cheap labour, that the prison profits from.
 
2020-06-30 1:51:50 PM  

WillJM8528: gar1013: Nadie_AZ: Slavery.

Our system still uses slavery to build wealth.

I hope you don't think the US is alone in this, as you read this comment on something made in China.

"Other countries have slaves, so it's okay." said gar1013


No.  Don't be an idiot.

I merely pointed out that there are steps that you can do right now to stop how YOU benefit directly from slavery.
 
2020-06-30 1:53:35 PM  

Dr. Opossum: While I think there should be less people in prison and they should be paid somewhat more, I have never had a moral problem with paying prisoners a small amount.  Prison costs are expensive as hell - why not have the prisoners work to offset costs to society and maybe gain some skills (even if they will be if limited use in the current world of high unemployment)?


The problem with the concept is that the slippery slope here is more like a crumbling 1,000 sheer cliff.
 
2020-06-30 1:57:11 PM  
Another story I heard on NPR one day: "America is addicted to low-wage labor."

thrillbilly1967: The part about prison labor everyone forgets
It's a way of coping with being locked up. Having performed said prison labor I can tell you that I was paid 9 dollars a day. But wouldve paid 20 a day for the chance.


Sure you would, and so would I under the circumstances. But that's not the point. You shouldn't be in such a desperate situation that you'll work for $9 a day. You should either be locked up, doing your time, OR working for a decent wage, since they trust you enough to give you a job. You shouldn't be punished, and then punished again by being exploited.
It's like saying that yeah, but the slaves all had room and board, so how much did they have to complain about?
 
2020-06-30 2:17:55 PM  

gar1013: Tr0mBoNe: Gubbo: The American Penal System. The last holdout of legal slavery in America

Unless you count college sports.

Yeah exploitation is not slavery and "they get a degree out of it" don't get uppity.

College sports aren't meant to be a job.

Here's an idea:  let's just get rid of them unless they are a "club" and put them on the same level as the debate team.


This would actually be in the best interest of most college athletes, get them to focus on getting a good education instead of winning a game.
 
2020-06-30 2:21:50 PM  

baronbloodbath: Fixed opening statement:

Prison Slave labor has been a part of the U.S. economy since at least the late 19th century. Today it's a multi-billion dollar industry. Incarcerated Enslaved people do everything from building office furniture and making military equipment, to staffing call centers and doing 3D modeling.
Companies like Walmart, AT&T, Whole Foods and Victoria's Secret have all relied on the labor of incarcerated enslaved people. And right now there are people in prisons all over the country working for little to no money making hand sanitizer and face masks to help fight COVID-19.
This industry is not well understood. Incarcerated Enslaved workers are not included in official employment statistics and there's not a ton or economic research done on this topic, so it can be difficult to know just how substantial this sector of our economy actually is.
Today on the show, we bring you one person's story of working behind bars, and we look at what it can tell us about how America's prison slave labor system functions.


And yet we export so many jobs to China because America has no cheap labor.

/In my opinion prisoners should be paid at least a decent minimum wage with the proceeds invested for them or used to pay child support or restitution for their crimes.

So many prisoners struggle to integrate back into society, it would be a lot easier if they had some money saved up.
 
2020-06-30 3:02:03 PM  

AlgaeRancher: baronbloodbath: Fixed opening statement:

Prison Slave labor has been a part of the U.S. economy since at least the late 19th century. Today it's a multi-billion dollar industry. Incarcerated Enslaved people do everything from building office furniture and making military equipment, to staffing call centers and doing 3D modeling.
Companies like Walmart, AT&T, Whole Foods and Victoria's Secret have all relied on the labor of incarcerated enslaved people. And right now there are people in prisons all over the country working for little to no money making hand sanitizer and face masks to help fight COVID-19.
This industry is not well understood. Incarcerated Enslaved workers are not included in official employment statistics and there's not a ton or economic research done on this topic, so it can be difficult to know just how substantial this sector of our economy actually is.
Today on the show, we bring you one person's story of working behind bars, and we look at what it can tell us about how America's prison slave labor system functions.

And yet we export so many jobs to China because America has no cheap labor.

/In my opinion prisoners should be paid at least a decent minimum wage with the proceeds invested for them or used to pay child support or restitution for their crimes.

So many prisoners struggle to integrate back into society, it would be a lot easier if they had some money saved up.


...But then these corporations would be paying more, and incentivizing "employee" overturn.

/fascism used to mean a system of government that was overly led by corporate interest, to the detriment of the common citizen.
// this definition is much harder to find than it used to be.
/// corporatism is the latest definition.
 
2020-06-30 3:02:29 PM  
My ex- brother in law served 10 years for 5 armed robberies. He has a decent paying gig for a construction company. He learned the skills for his job working on the Governor's houses program which is an income based state housing project.
 
2020-06-30 3:09:01 PM  

Bill the unknowing: I believe John Oliver did that, what, 2 years ago or more? If you can be outraged any longer. My tank is pretty farking dry.


QI did it a few years ago.
QI | Where are 1% Of Americans?
Youtube sHz2Hmq7soo


/Note that QI is an entertainment/comedy show so they're trying to be funny but as Fry goes on they get quieter and quieter.
//The switchblade/one armed gag is a callback to something said earlier in the show.
 
2020-06-30 3:18:56 PM  
Rucker10:

Oh that makes it ok then.

Not even a little bit.
Just that singling out the US and/or China is hugely misleading.
This is a human problem, not just a US problem.
 
2020-06-30 3:31:22 PM  
America is not addicted to low-wage labor. The rich and the ultra-ultra wealthy are addicted to low wage labor. That's why they created the MBA, and bought the GOP, to kill labor unions. Why they hate the 8-hour day. Why they want you to work until you die.

We need a federal law against "outsourcing" prisons.
 
2020-06-30 4:39:07 PM  
It's a travesty of justice. We need to stand up for everyone who is getting screwed, the time is right and the time is now.
 
2020-06-30 5:01:13 PM  
Honestly, the extreme expansion of pre-work background checks and overall "we don't hire felons" attitude is a huge component of high recidivism rates among ex-felons. I have a friend who is a chef and spent time in prison and everywhere he works is commended for being a great employee, until the point where someone runs a background check on him and finds out he's an ex-con and they summarily terminate his employment. He's been through this rigmarole several times in the past couple of years and it breaks my heart every time the dude gets dumped on the street again.
 
2020-06-30 5:12:38 PM  

baronbloodbath: Fixed opening statement:

Prison Slave labor has been a part of the U.S. economy since at least the late 19th century. Today it's a multi-billion dollar industry. Incarcerated Enslaved people do everything from building office furniture and making military equipment, to staffing call centers and doing 3D modeling.
Companies like Walmart, AT&T, Whole Foods and Victoria's Secret have all relied on the labor of incarcerated enslaved people. And right now there are people in prisons all over the country working for little to no money making hand sanitizer and face masks to help fight COVID-19.
This industry is not well understood. Incarcerated Enslaved workers are not included in official employment statistics and there's not a ton or economic research done on this topic, so it can be difficult to know just how substantial this sector of our economy actually is.
Today on the show, we bring you one person's story of working behind bars, and we look at what it can tell us about how America's prison slave labor system functions.


https://www.politifact.com/factchecks​/​2020/jun/22/instagram-posts/instagram-​post-shares-misleading-information-abo​ut/
 
2020-06-30 5:18:30 PM  

Nadie_AZ: Rucker10: Geotpf: Rucker10: Nadie_AZ: Slavery.

Our system still uses slavery to build wealth.

Yeah but we're so much better than China because reasons.

Also, Gitmo still exists, and still has people who have been in it for decades without trial.

The United States has done every "bad" thing that China has ever been accused of. We aren't the good guys.

Right. That's why the US needs a good ol' fashioned general uprising by the people. Those in power need to be scared.


The thing is "the people" sometimes like some of the bad things we do.  Closing Gitmo is quite unpopular, for example.
 
2020-06-30 5:29:49 PM  

Mouser: Nadie_AZ: Slavery.

Our system still uses slavery to build wealth.

How much "wealth" is actually being built by prison labor?  It's not a very efficient use of human resources.


So smooth, it's a miracle the neurons fire...

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-06-30 5:31:16 PM  
go ahead and pay inmates minimum wage (or more), just make sure that before they get money to spend on commissary (which is used as currency for all kinds of contraband), that whatever restitution they were ordered to pay as part of their sentence gets paid first

Most inmates work prison jobs because it gives them something to do and gets them out of gen pop areas or their cells for hours a day.  A few bucks on their accounts is a bonus.  None are doing it to save for retirement
 
2020-06-30 10:54:05 PM  
Work used in prison as occupational therapy, cleaning and maintenance of the prison, growing food for the prison, those are jobs that can be done by prisoners. Using prisoners as slave labour, taking jobs away from free citizens and making prisoners perform those jobs at slave wages, not the kind of work that should be done by prisoners.

In short, prison should be about reform, not about lining corporate coffers.
 
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