May 30, 2018

The modern slavery of private prisons

Azadeh Shahshahani is legal & advocacy director at Project South and a past president of the National Lawyers Guild. She tweets @ashahshahani. The federal class action lawsuit was filed by Project South jointly with the Southern Poverty Law Center, attorney Andrew Free, and the law firm Burns Charest LLP against CoreCivic.

Azadeh Shahshahani, Guardian - In April, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of Shoaib Ahmed and others against CoreCivic, alleging that the prison corporation violates human trafficking laws and employs a deprivation scheme to force immigrants detained at Stewart to work for sub-minimum wages, and then threatens to punish them for refusing to work through solitary confinement or loss of access to necessities. A lawsuit against Geo Group, another prison corporation, is moving forward for using similar practices at the Aurora Detention Center in Colorado, violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

CoreCivic’s abuse and exploitation of detained immigrants’ labor as part of its profit-making schemes constitute a contemporary form of slavery as we detailed in a submission to the UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which the US has ratified) states, “slavery … in all [its] forms shall be prohibited,” and that no one, including detained immigrants, “shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labor”.

CoreCivic’s exploitation of detained immigrants’ labor as part of its profit-making constitutes a modern form of slavery


Anonymous said...

But the US Constitution allows prisoners to be forced to work without compensation.

Anonymous said...

'Earning a wage is a prison occupation' (Wages, DH Lawrence).

Anonymous said...

Yep. It's not called "wage slavery" for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe don't break the law?