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Lawsuit Calls Alabama Prison Labor Program a Form of Modern-Day Slavery

A 126-page lawsuit filed by former and currently incarcerated Alabamians, unions and civil rights organizations accuses the Alabama prison labor program system of being a form of modern-day slavery, Alander Rocha reports for the Alabama Reflector. The lawsuit alleges that Alabama prison labor is sustained by punishing those who refuse to work or those who encourage other prisoners to refuse to work. It also accuses public and private entities, ranging from local governments to fast food restaurants and grocery stores, of benefitting from the labor. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are asking the court to issue an injunction, ending Alabama’s current practice of “forced [prison] labor;” to release individuals qualified for parole; require the state to pay the plaintiffs what they earn through working in the prison system, as well as monetary damages to be determined at trial. The lawsuit claims Alabama made almost half a billion dollars from prison labor in 2023.

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