Articles on convict leasing

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Migrant agricultural workers kept out of the US by tough immigration laws are now being replaced by prison labor. Shutterstock

Convicts are returning to farming – anti-immigrant policies are the reason

Since Reconstruction, states have leased prisoners to US industries. That diminished in the 20th century, but now it's resurging, with prisoners leased to harvest food for American consumers.
Prison jobs are always low paid, often difficult, and produce many of the foodstuffs and services many Americans use every day. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

Prisoner strike exposes an age old American reliance on forced labor

Enslaved workers used to grow cotton and mill flour. Now prisoners grind beef and crate eggs. Here, a historian explores Americans' troubling habit of consuming the products of slave labor.

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