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In 1865, the United States passed the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which banned slavery and involuntary servitude "except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted", providing a legal basis for slavery to continue in the country.
As of 2018, many prisoners in the US perform work. In Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas, prisoners are not paid at all for their work. In other states, as of 2011, prisoners were paid between $0.23 and $1.15 per hour. Federal Prison Industries paid innmates an average of $0.90 per hour in 2017. In many cases the penal work is forced, with prisoners being punished by solitary confinement if they refuse to work. From 2010 to 2015 and again in 2016 and in 2018, some prisoners in the US refused to work, protesting for better pay, better conditions, and for the end of forced labor.
Strike leaders are currently punished with indefinite solitary confinement. Forced prison labor occurs in both public/government-run prisons and private prisons. The prison labor industry makes over $1 billion USD per year selling products that inmates make, while inmates are paid very little or nothing in return. In California, 2,500 incarcerated workers are fighting wildfires for only $1 per hour, which saves the state as much as $100 million a year.
originally posted by: ElectricUniverse
They came as slaves; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.
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What about the Irish? Should Britain pay reparations for the Irish slaves they used?
originally posted by: ElectricUniverse
Should all blacks whom live today and are relatives of slave owners like Johnson also be forced to pay "reparations" to other blacks?
He was found guilty in February of racketeering for taking a $1 million kickback from the builder of for-profit prisons for juveniles. Ciavarella who left the bench over two years ago after he and another judge, Michael Conahan, were accused of sentencing youngsters to prisons they had a hand in building. Prosecutors alleged that Conahan, who pleaded guilty last year and is awaiting sentencing, and Ciavarella received kick-backs from the private company that built and maintained the new youth detention facility that replaced the older county-run center.
Ciavarella, who presided over juvenile court, sent kids to juvenile detention for crimes such as possession of drug paraphernalia, stealing a jar of nutmeg and posting web page spoofs about an assistant principal (3 months of hard time). Some of those sentenced were as young as 10 years old.
As the Cold War winds down and the Crime War heats up, defense industry giants like Westinghouse are re-tooling and lobbying Washington for their share of the domestic law enforcement market. “Night Enforcer” goggles used in the Gulf War, electronic “Hot Wire” fencing (“so hot NATO chose it for high-risk installations”), and other equipment once used by the military, are now being marketed to the criminal justice system.
Communication companies like AT&T, Sprint, and MCI are getting into the act as well â€” gouging prisoners with exorbitant phone calling rates, often six times the normal long distance charge. Smaller firms like Correctional Communications Corp., dedicated solely to the prison phone business, provide computerized prison phone systems â€” fully equipped for systematic surveillance. They win government contracts by offering to “kick back” some of the profits to the government agency awarding the contract. These companies are reaping huge profits at the expense of prisoners and their families; prisoners are often effectively cut off from communication due to the excessive cost of phone calls.