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9 Comments

  1. Tiffany Harned
    June 2, 2020 @ 9:09 pm

    I was wondering if you had a template for a letter I can send to companies or my state representatives?

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  2. Susan J
    June 5, 2020 @ 5:41 am

    You use a lot of past tense in the article. To your knowledge are all of these companies currently using or actively engaging suppliers who use prison labor? I wouldn’t want to cut out of my life a company who realized their error and made a change but that was unclear in your list. Thank you for clarifying.

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  3. Henry Ohana
    June 16, 2020 @ 9:07 pm

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    • Justin
      August 25, 2020 @ 9:51 am

      I have not been to prison, but I have had friends who had been there. For some people, these jobs make the time bearable. They’re more likely to come out used to working, then just being surrounded by other felons. Its a job they can’t get fired from, sounds like they aren’t in labor camps.

      Reply

  4. Mads
    June 17, 2020 @ 9:55 am

    Whole Foods stopped using prison labor in 2016: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-34408636 (this is just one source, an easy Google search will populate many more)

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  5. Amy
    July 16, 2020 @ 7:42 am

    Who are the “subcontractors” and “suppliers” of the prison labor? It’s easy to call out the big companies for using these contractors, but it’s the contractor orchestrating it all. What are their names?

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  6. Buzaglo
    November 20, 2020 @ 7:23 am

    What’s the problem with this?
    1. It’s a part of the punishment. Prison isn’t supposed to be fun. Inmates in prison do routine labor, it keeps them occupied, it’s part of being in prison. Working to be self sufficient prison, doing the laundry, kitchen work, cleaning, etc.
    2. Some of these jobs look like they are teaching them a profession and giving them experience. Better than doing random labor for the purpose of labor. When they are out of prison, they will have an easier time fitting back into society.

    The only problem I see with this is who decides which companies get the cheap labor, are they paying for it full salary which goes back to the country? Who operates this, the prison or private companies. Queations to be asked…

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  7. Lindsay
    February 12, 2021 @ 7:03 am

    I don’t disagree that the skills inmates will learn as a result of their labor could benefit them when they are eventually released from prison, but I think that the profits made by these huge corporations could and SHOULD be invested into post prison re-entry programs. Additionally, it’s naive not to think about and/or address the fact that the “it’s part of the punishment” mentality is part of the problem. I know this post is specifically about the companies using prison labor, but a bigger conversation needs to be had about the judicial system. There was a judge is Pennsylvania who accepted bribes from the for-profit companies that run the state’s prisons in exchange for funneling kids into their facilities for minor offenses (Good White Racist, Kerry Connelly).

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  8. allowchange
    March 15, 2021 @ 3:10 pm

    for the people that believe this work is helpful to the prisoners, dont forget:
    1. They are forced to do these jobs. If they refuse in some instances I’ve heard of them getting solitary, which is another article altogether.

    2. The prisons administrations have every reason to take liberties with applying new charges to inmates just to keep them there longer. What is an inmate going to do about this? They are busy at work, you think they’re going to try filing appeals to have the charges dropped to get more negative attention from the warden?

    3. The corporations that make enormous profits from this practice have NO incentive to want their workers released. They will rely on the funneling of, many times innocent, people sent to prison.

    4. Some people blame immigrants for ‘stealing their jobs’ but I get the feeling they are okay with prisoners having those jobs because the prison population is largely black and brown.

    5. There simply shouldnt be so many prisoners in the first place. In 2020 almost 1% of us was incarcerated. Thats 1 in 100 people in a country with 350+million people. Other countries are just not so punitive

    6. There is nothing wrong with learning a skill in prison, in fact its great and can help fight depression and anger. But who said the work has to be benefiting corporations for profit? Why cant they make items or repair items to be used for underfunded schools, orphanages, homeless shelters, shelters for battered people and traffic victims. They could prepare meals for meals on wheels instead of airline food. This is not a question of punishment, but one of exploitation and going back in time.

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