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Friday, February 26, 2021

Prison Jobs

     Just because you have a work assignment doesn't mean you'll be paid. Prisons are under no obligation to compensate you for your labor. In fact, many correctional facilities don't pay their inmates anything. When prisons do pay cons, they only pay enough so guys can purchase small items from the commissary or cover the costs of their telephone calls. If no cons have money in their commissary accounts, the place gets really desperate.

     The waiting list to get a job in prison industries is usually a couple years long, because that's the best way to make money. In any event, inmate pay for general labor is very low, a few dollars a week. Mopping floors pays about 12 cents an hour, and working in the factory ranges from 40 cents to $1.10. Remember--to the authorities, work for convicts is a privilege, not a right. In the outside world, you must work or starve. In prison you work to keep from dying of boredom.

Jeffrey Ian Ross and Stephen C. Richards, Behind Bars: Surviving Prison, 2002

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