This article, regarding the closure of garment factories due to the US military changing its vendor to federal prison labor, raises again the hot topic of prison labor. The reality is that if inmates can do the job cheaper, it is a benefit to taxpayers and it is a benefit to the inmates who want to do the work. Many groups claim that inmate labor is akin to indentured servitude, but people who actually work in and around corrections know that that is not the truth. In today’s overcrowded prisons, inmates have two options: (1) sit on their bunks and wait out their sentence or (2) engage in meaningful programs, of which prison industries is one. Ultimately it benefits society to train inmates in work skills and it reduces the high cost of corrections if they can make a profit while they’re doing it.
Prison labor costing Alabama, Mississippi jobs?