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September 21, 2013

"The Modern Chain Gang: How Convict Leasing Can Help Repair the California Prison System"

The title of this post is the title of this intriguing new article by Ryan Minarovich now available on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Inmates who work while incarcerated are less likely to succumb to the common negative effects of prison life both during their incarceration and after their release. Both the federal government and California, which have inmate labor programs already in place, realize the benefits and importance of inmate labor to the government, the individual inmate, prisons systems, and society. Labor as a means to reform served as the backbone of early private prison labor programs. These problems were vastly successful until opposition from organized labor caused their dissolution.

This article proposes a regulated and humane return to the convict leasing system. Because the private sector cannot currently utilize the benefits of inmate labor, using laws, regulations, and doctrine from both private prisons and labor, I propose a cooperation program between private industry and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). This program will see private companies permanently house, secure, and care for inmates who produce goods or services for the companies on-site, or transport inmates between the prisons and the production facilities and secure and care for inmates who are in their custody while paying the state a fee for each inmate assigned a position with the company. This system will help defray the per inmate cost to the California prison system by requiring private industry to internalize inmate expenses while in their care and will also secure a recurring revenue stream for the CDCR while adhering to current political, cultural, societal, and legal standards that will insulate inmates from the problems of early convict leasing systems and current private prisons.

September 21, 2013 at 08:26 AM | Permalink


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Yes. This is done in China and N. Korea to great advantage. We need to copy all they do for prisoners in N. Korea.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Sep 22, 2013 12:44:49 PM

LOL we already did. It's a trillion dollar business in american. We passed up red china decades ago. Any prisoner stupid enough to work in prison now has actual proof of retardation high enough to get immediate release.

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 23, 2013 12:14:37 AM

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