Due to recent events related to the death of George Floyd, the protests and the cry for reform from the black community and an immense array of support that has emerged from all over the world, a very distinctive circumstance, happening in front of our eyes is kept under the sheets as one more factor in the fashion and textile industry that again takes advantage of the disadvantaged.
Facts about the US prison system:
Between 1980 and 2017, the number of incarcerated women increased by more than 750%, rising from a total of 26,378 in 1980 to 225,060 in 2017.
The USA has 25% of the world's prisoners.
One in four adults in the USA has a criminal records, that's more than adults having bachelors degree.
Prison labor is worth around $2 billion USD a year.
95% of inmates will be released in the future but ⅔ will be rearrested within 3 years.
Prisoners have no labor rights.
70% of children that have fathers in prison are likely to end up in prison.
Spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of spending on Pre‐K‐12 public education in the last thirty years.
THE BLACK COMMUNITY
African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.
The imprisonment rate for African American women is twice that of white women.
White men with a criminal record are more likely to get a job interview than Black men with no criminal record.
Having a record reduces the likelihood of a job callback or offer by as much as 50 percent.
Reduced employment for the millions of people with records costs the United States of America $78 to $87 billion USD each year.
THE UNITED STATES CENSUS reports that in each of these 10 southern states -- Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, Louisiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi -- more than 1 million people reported as Black.
10 States With the Highest Incarceration Rates:
Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri,Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana.
For drug-related offenses, Iowa ranked the highest with a mean of 9.3 years of jail time Tennessee, South Carolina, Minnesota, and Hawaii follow.
For immigration-related crimes, states were fairly similar overall. Kentucky and New Jersey tied for the longest average sentence at 1.9 years.
States are generally much harsher for crimes against persons, with Virginia ranking up top at 13.1 years in jail on average, followed by Texas, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Kentucky.
White-collar crimes receive the longest sentences in Mississippi – an average of 4.5 years. Examples of white collar crimes could include wage theft, fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, labor racketeering, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery.
According to Security.org
“Prison labor is a very complicated and opaque topic,” said Peter McAllister, the executive director of the Ethical Trading Initiative, an alliance of companies, trade unions and nongovernmental organizations that back workers’ rights.
“On one hand, there are definitely well-intentioned brands with rehabilitation programs in place doing some good work all over the world,” he said. “On the other hand, there are big questions to be asked around whether inmates should ever form the mainstream production of a profit-driven label, particularly given how many unacceptable cases of prisoner exploitation exist deep in the global fashion supply chain.”
The biggest problem in stopping the export of products made in prisons is that the supply lines are “almost untraceable”. Supply lines, in general, are very difficult to trace due to the enormous complexity of supplier networks, a lack of communication between actors, and a general dearth of data that can be shared in the first place. The result is a frustratingly opaque global system of production.
The current pay leaves many prisoners struggling to afford phone calls to family members or toothpaste and deodorant from the commissary, experts said. Even after years of hard work inside, they frequently have little or nothing saved to help with rent or other necessities when they are released.
“If they were being paid — even something less than minimum wage, but some reasonable amount of money — they could get out and have at least a little bit of money to get started again,” said Michele Deitch, a senior lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin who once served as a court-appointed monitor of that state’s prison system.
One of the very peculiar issues of the prison system is that whatever happens inside is very well kept inside. So when riots, protests, hunger strikes or other types of manifestations arise, is very difficult for the mainstream media to get a hold of these events. Protests are reported but since prisoners have almost no means of documenting or sharing details of exactly what's going on, it's extremely difficult to get accurate information.
Counter Punch.org reports:
But the labor aspect of mass incarceration doesn’t end there. People with a felony conviction carry a stigma, a brand often accompanied by exclusion from the labor market. Michelle Alexander, an ex convict, calls “felon” the new “N” word. Indeed in the job world, those of us with felony convictions face a number of unique barriers.
The most well-known is “the box”- that question on employment applications which asks about criminal background. Eleven states and more than 40 cities and counties have outlawed the box on employment applications. Supporters of “ban the box” argue that questions about previous convictions amount to a form of racial discrimination since such a disproportionate number of those with felony convictions are African-American and Latino. Advancing these "Ban the Box" campaigns will have a far more important impact on incarcerated people and workers than pressing for higher wages for those under contract with big companies inside.
All of this is not to deny that many corporations have made huge amounts of money from mass incarceration. Firms like Arizona’s Kitchell Construction, which has built more than 40 state prisons and 30 adult jails have made millions. The Tennessee-based Bob Barker Enterprises is a “household” name among the incarcerated. With a corporate vision of “transforming criminal