America's prison systems have been using convict labor for a long time, but recent, supposedly more enlightened times were supposed to have given them better working conditions, better pay and a choice of jobs.
Not any more, apparently. The group known as ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, has changed all that.
At the Union Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Florida, inmates from a nearby lower-security prison manufacture tons of processed beef, chicken and pork for Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE), a privately held non-profit corporation that operates the state’s forty-one work programs. In addition to processed food, PRIDE’s website reveals an array of products for sale through contracts with private companies, from eyeglasses to office furniture, to be shipped from a distribution center in Florida to businesses across the US. PRIDE boasts that its work programs are “designed to provide vocational training, to improve prison security, to reduce the cost of state government, and to promote the rehabilitation of the state inmates.”Yes, for twenty cents an hour! Twenty cents an hour! Less than a quarter an hour, less than $2 a day.
In the United States of America. Forced labor. This amounts to little less than slave labor.
This is detailed in an article in The Nation, published as far back as August 1, 2011. And the problem is getting bigger with every new inmate!
I think we need to rethink the US' record on human rights.