Prison Labor Linked To Popular Food Brands

According to a two-year study on prison labor in the United States, several well-known food brands and corporations are associated with incarcerated individuals’ work.

The lack of safeguards afforded to the majority of full-time workers makes these inmates among the most vulnerable workers in the United States, especially in the event of a major injury or death sustained on the job.

The Louisiana State Penitentiary is where men are condemned to hard labor and made to work for small amounts or sometimes nothing. Unmarked trucks loaded with cattle grown by inmates drive away out of the prison. After that, a nearby rancher purchases the cattle, which are then sent to a slaughterhouse in Texas. This facility then supplies supply networks that include retail behemoths like Walmart, McDonald’s, and Cargill.

According to the study, cereal, hot dogs, soda, flour, and rice are among the American culinary items that are made or grown by inmates.  Some of these products are exported.  Although it is lawful, companies purchasing straight from jails may violate their own rules prohibiting such labor.

Involuntary servitude and slavery are expressly forbidden under the Constitution, as confirmed by the 13th Amendment, with the exception of criminal punishment.

Proponents and corrections officials point out that not all labor is coerced and that jail employment saves money for the government. A good example would be the distribution of the generated food to people in need outside the prison walls or its use in prison kitchens.

Additionally, they claim that employees acquire marketable skills that may be used upon release.  Along with a clear sense of direction, it may discourage offenders from committing further crimes. It also gives inmates the chance to reduce their sentences in certain jurisdictions. And the jobs are a means to pay back society.

Reports show most opponents don’t think every job should be removed, but they do believe prisoners should be given a decent wage and treated properly and that any labor they undertake should be voluntary.

Some point out that a person’s arrest record might make it almost hard for them to acquire outside employment, even after receiving specialized training.