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Prison Labor
Prison labor

The use of prison labor in the United States has existed for centuries. Regular use of inmate labor began in 1790. Eventually, those who opposed the use of inmate labor, which was largely comprised of organized free laborers, protested enough to have laws passed restricting the use of prison labor by private companies. However, since the early 1980s, there has been a revival in the private use of inmate labor with the passage of the 1979 Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program. Incarceration has become big business in today'economy, and inmate labor is a significant aspect of this business, which has come to be known as the prison industrial complex.

The History of Prison Labor

Regular use of inmate labor in U.S. prisons began in ...

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