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In a comprehensive investigation, The Associated Press unveils the staggering scope and deeply troubling aspects of prison labor in the United States, raising critical questions about human rights, legal ethics, and corporate responsibility. I found this shocking, I have seen this kind of scrutiny in some Hollywood series or movies pin previous years. But when such facts come out, it breaks my heart as a human. That after doing so much progress, where have we arrived and what we have achieved if humans have to go through such conditions.
I understand they are prisoners and criminals, but we must not forget the fact that they are humans first. No, one is born criminal, or wants to commit crimes at their core. Several factors and circumstances are involved when a person chose to do any kind of crime.
Rest, lets go by the pressing issues one by one.
The Extensive Reach of Prison Labor in Food Supply Chains
From Fields to Supermarkets
Fact: U.S. prisoners, a significant yet obscured workforce, are integral to producing goods for major brands found in most American kitchens, including products like Frosted Flakes, Ball Park hot dogs, and Coca-Cola.
My Input: It’s a good thing that these companies are providing jobs to people even behind bars. Working is one of the ways to get disciplined. And any great thing cannot be in existence without discipline, it’s one concrete fact from many other elements. But paying prisoners proper wages for their work is equally important.
Historical Echoes in Modern Labor Practices
The Legacy of Slavery in Contemporary Penal Work
Fact: The conditions and settings of current prison labor, particularly in Southern states, strikingly resemble historical slavery, with incarcerated individuals working on former slave plantations.
My Input: I am not saying give them 5 start hotel treatment, but at least they must feel like humans and not feel that they are slave of anyone. Slavery is a curse that no one deserves on this planet. They are in for improvement and if nicely treated, I guess 80% of chances are prisoners won’t go rough. But their must not be any kind of partiality, no matter which can make any prisoner jealous from the other one. The system must be like that and without corruption.
Corporate Entanglement and Ethical Dilemmas
Big Brands’ Involvement with Prison Labor
Fact: Many global corporations inadvertently or directly benefit from prison labor, leading to conflicts with their labor policies and ethical standards.
My Input: This is a matter of shame for these companies, I mean you guys already have enough on your table, and you’ll die one day, your brand will not, but if your name has to stand up, make it stand up for greater good. Ethical implementation is crucial in the actions of responsible companies.
Safety and Human Rights Violations
A Workforce Without Protections
Fact: Incarcerated workers face dangerous working conditions without basic labor protections, leading to instances of injury, death, and abuse, often without adequate legal recourse.
My Input: Security, safety, proper education classes and viable living conditions for the prisoners must be the prime duties of the people who runs the prisons.
The Legal Foundation and Growing Challenges
The 13th Amendment’s Controversial Clause
Fact: The 13th Amendment, which permits involuntary servitude as a criminal punishment, underpins the legal framework of prison labor, and is now facing increasing scrutiny and legal challenges.
My Input: It must be of the utmost important that this amendment is modified in such way that no one faces involuntary servitude. But working should be important for them while being in prison.
Racial Injustice and the Prison System
Disproportionate Impact on People of Color
Fact: The prison labor system disproportionately affects people of color, perpetuating racial disparities and echoing the racial exploitation of the post-Civil War era.
My Input: Proper education for all, rightful knowledge and non-existence of deception can be used as tools to fight the evil called RACISM. We are living in the greatest decades and we can make the best and greatest futures out of it for our civilisation on earth. Lets no fight over the skin color or historical acts, we cannot change what’s happened and why fight over what skin color.
If we go deep into this, it’s not about color only, it’s also about cultural differences. See I’ll give religious reference here, God Shiva’s home Kailash Mountain, where Peacock, Snake, Lion, Mouse, Bull lives together. If we see it nature wise, you’ll say they are enemies to each other.
- Lion: The lion, as an apex predator, may hunt and fight with larger herbivores like bulls.
- Snake: Many snake species prey on birds, and peacocks, being birds, could be potential targets.
- Peacock: Peacocks, as birds, may become prey for predatory animals like snakes.
- Mouse: Mice, as small rodents, are commonly preyed upon by snakes and other larger predators.
- Bull: Bulls, being large herbivores, generally don’t have natural predators in the wild, except for apex predators like lions.
But in God Shiva’s place they live in peace and harmony together. Why? Because there’s the presence of True Knowledge and Education.
Racism, cannot be there, where knowledge is present, the rightful one!
Economic Incentives vs. Transparency
The Profit Motive Behind Penal Labor
Fact: States and private entities financially benefit from prison labor, often at the cost of prisoners’ rights and well-being, with a lack of transparency in the tracking of revenues and goods.
My Input: Corruption is the evilish element of any civilisation and it’s the seed of hate. It must be eliminated at all costs.
Rehabilitation or Exploitation?
The Debate on Labor’s True Purpose
Fact: Although prison labor is often justified as rehabilitative, providing skills and purpose, the reality frequently shows exploitation with minimal post-release employment opportunities.
My Input: It’s a very thin line, prison centers are improvement centers, if people inside it will see themselves as used, they are probable to commit crime after getting released. So, its important to make them work but also reward them properly for their work.
International Implications and Double Standards
U.S. Prison Labor in the Global Market
Fact: The U.S. exports goods produced through prison labor, including to countries criticized for forced labor, revealing a hypocritical stance on international labor standards.
My Input: It isn’t that this matter is not known by the top executives, nothing will go wrong if you people give your attention once in a month to this matter too.
A Growing Call for Reform
Shifting Public Perception and Legal Action
Fact: Increased public awareness and advocacy, along with legal actions, are challenging the current prison labor system, signaling a potential shift towards more ethical and humane practices.
My Input: Proceedings must be done on faster pace but without any protests and regretful events.
The investigation by The Associated Press into the U.S. prison labor system reveals a complex web of ethical, legal, and social issues. It calls for a critical examination and reformation of a system deeply rooted in historical injustices and modern-day exploitation.
In wrapping up, this dive into the U.S. prison labor system isn’t just an eye-opener; it’s a call to action. The insights and facts presented here, coupled with my personal reflections, highlight a path for change that can resonate globally, not just within the U.S. Prisons, after all, are meant for rehabilitation, not exploitation.
My suggestions – emphasizing human dignity, fair compensation, and the elimination of racial disparities – are universal in their appeal and application. They can serve as a blueprint for prison systems around the world, striving to balance discipline with humanity. Let’s remember, progress isn’t just about moving forward; it’s about lifting everyone as we go, making sure that our journey towards a better future leaves no one behind, especially those who’ve stumbled along the way.