Today the national ACLU released a comprehensive report on prison labor in the U.S., including Iowa-specific statistics.
Some quick facts from the report:
- Iowa prisoners are paid 28 to 95 cents an hour
- Iowa is one of 20 states whose constitutions contain language excluding people convicted of a crime from the ban on slavery and involuntary servitude
- A listing of the companies that employ Iowa prison labor
Those companies and the Iowa cities they are located in* are:
- Game One, Carroll (custom screen printing and embroidery)
- H&H, LLC, Clarinda (steel trailers)
- Lomont Molding, Mount Pleasant (plastic molded parts)
- PDM Precast, Des Moines (precast concrete products)
- Quantum Plastics, division in Victor (custom injection-molded parts)
“The United States has a long, problematic history of using incarcerated workers as a source of cheap labor and to subsidize the costs of our bloated prison system,” says Jennifer Turner, principal human rights researcher with the ACLU’s Human Rights Program and primary author of the report. “It’s past time we treat incarcerated workers with dignity. If states and the federal government can afford to incarcerate 1.2 million people nationwide, they can afford to pay them fairly for their work.”
A press release on the report from the national office can be found here.
You can read the full report here.
*City location based on a Google search of corporate offices. Included here as a quick tool to alert local media. Companies may have other locations in Iowa. Please verify cities list before publication.