Sign up FAST! Login

It's Time to Pay Prisoners the Minimum Wage

Prison Labor Equal Rights Wages Incarcerated Help Economy New Republic


In 1981, at the age of 42, Bob Sloan left prison a new man. Convicted of a “white-collar crime” in 1981, Sloan went to prison in Florida to serve a ten-year sentence. There, he got a degree in architectural design and worked as a draughtsman for a company called PRIDE, a prison industries company that also focuses on rehabilitation. He’ll be the first to tell you that the work he did in prison transformed him. “When I got out of there, job placement worked with me and I got two different jobs with them. I got on my feet—got my own home, my own car. I was on probation, and got all that taken care of. [Prison labor] introduced me back into society. That was a big impact and a big help.”

While in prison, Sloan was able to pay off all $10,000 of his restitution through his work as a draughtsman. He left prison in 1990, having paid off his debt to society and having gained the ability to contribute in a concrete way through the skills he developed “on the inside.” Sloan’s experience turned him into an advocate of rehabilitation of the incarcerated through labor programs.

Stashed in: Crime!, America!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Unpaid and incarcerated does seem very unfair given that they do work.

You May Also Like: