Slave labor means big bucks for U.S. corporations
There are approximately 2 million people behind bars in the United States -- more than three times the number of prisoners in 1980. The United States now imprisons more people than any other country in the world. In fact, in the last 20 years California has constructed 21 new prisons while in the same amount of time, it has built only one new university. That statistic is even more astounding when we think about the fact that it took California almost 150 years to build its first 12 prisons. Another five new prisons are under construction and plans are in the works to build another 10.
Federal safety and health standards do not protect prison labor, nor do the National Labor Relations Board policies. The corporations do not even have to pay minimum wage. In California, inmates who work for the Prison Industrial Authority earn wages between 30 and 95 cents per hour before required deductions for restitutions and fines.