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HomeVideoRethinking labor in prison, where the employer has complete control #shorts

Rethinking labor in prison, where the employer has complete control #shorts

In the midterm elections held earlier this month, voters in five states were asked to decide on whether their state constitutions should continue to allow slavery and involuntary servitude as punishments for crime. Tennessee, Alabama, Oregon and Vermont chose to approve removing those provisions while Louisiana did not.

Yale Law professor and human rights expert Claudia Flores says it’s time to reconsider what role labor has in prisons.

“The thing that’s really unique about prison labor is that the employer is also the jailer and the employer has complete control over every aspect of an incarcerated person’s life,” she says.

Flores also said that because of this, while incarcerated people may technically have the choice whether or not to work, prisons have the power to pressure them into labor.

“There are a lot of ways in which you can compel someone to labor without maybe really rising to the level of what we would traditionally think of as coercion.”

This post was produced and edited by Casey Kuhn, Julia Griffin, Kenichi Serino, Molly Finnegan and Matt Rasnic.

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