America’s Shadow Workforce Rises Up Against Prison Labor

Carimah Townes, writing for Think Progress, on prison labor in America:

People behind bars are forced to do grueling, back-breaking, and dangerous work for nickles and dimes, while corporations rack up billions of dollars in profit off the cheap labor. They are put to work under the guise of rehabilitation, but the reality is that few people leave prison with the skills, knowledge, or resources to succeed professionally. They are an enticing alternative for large companies that don’t want to pay minimum wage to workers on the outside. And they have had enough.

On Friday, prisoners all over the country launched a national labor strike that’s been months in the making. Their demand is difficult but simple: ending prison slavery for good.