On June 30, 1928, Alabama ended the leasing of convicts to mine coal. One of the most controversial practices in southern labor history, this was a significant step toward human and labor rights in a
The poorly named Wise County, Virginia has a novel solution to its opioid problem. Since it doesn’t want to do anything to help these people and doesn’t want to pay to put them in prison,
Good lord, this is disgusting. These are dangerous times for undocumented immigrants. ICE has been super-charged by the Trump administration. And ICE’s empowerment has been lucrative for the compani
When I wrote my New York Times op-ed in August about the prison strike, I was mildly surprised it was accepted so easily because I figured that someone who was actually an expert in prison labor would
Just last week, I profiled the 1978 Ellis Prison strike against their exploitation by the state that forced them to pick cotton on state-owned prison farms for no wages. They won that fight but the ex
On October 4, 1978, nine Ellis Prison inmates in east Texas went on strike against the unpaid labor they had to do every day, refusing to pick cotton in hard labor. This small action, coordinated by a
I don’t see how we in this nation can claim that slavery no longer exists. Because a state with 140,000 prisoners is forcing them to work for free without the ability to quit without punishment.
While I remain as skeptical of whatever the modern Industrial Workers of the World is as ever, this is certainly interesting. Should prison laborers organize into unions? Should public sector unions m