Prisons are big business. There isn’t a doubt, and I can speak first hand after working in the system for over a decade, leaving it with a hindsight and insight into its ugly nature. Essentially, the industrial side of prisons’ makes for a perfect capitalist venture. Cheap (slave) labour for exchange of goods. No Occupational Health and Safety so to speak, unless it is to the benefit of the industry – not the prisoner. The profit margins are massive! It’s a breeding ground for corporate money making greed.
But my rant aside, ‘insourcing’ as they call prison labor is a big business. It’s cheaper than ‘outsourcing’ to countries such as China and Bangladesh. In America alone, the access to cheap labour runs into the millions of prisoner hands working an average 8 hour day for very little money. If the prisoner earns around $1.15 an hour in an American or Australian prison, then they’re doing well for themselves.
In America there are several large companies assisting the criminal element of society paying off their debt for their crime committed. Now, I’m all for the severe punishment of a rapist, murderer, pedophile; but one must ask the question: to what degree for those of lesser crimes? And what about those serving minimal sentences that eventually are found innocent, or those, well, just in there for unpaid fines?
Here are some of the bigger companies feeding off the prison system employment center:
- MacDonalds – MacDonald’s uniforms are sewn by inmates at less earnings an hour than those who wear them.
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