Wikipedia says while the agricultural goods produced on prison farms is generally used to feed prisoners and other wards of the state (orphanages and asylums) they are also sold for profit.In addition to being forced to labor directly for the profit of the government, inmates may be “farmed out” to private enterprises, through the practice of convict leasing, to work on private agricultural lands or related industries (fishing, lumbering, etc.).The full list of companies implicated in exploiting prison labor includes: Bank of America Bayer Cargill Caterpillar Chevron Chrysler Costco John Deere Eli Lilly and Company Exxon Mobil Glaxo Smith Kline Johnson and Johnson K-Mart Koch Industries Mc Donald’s Merck Microsoft Motorola Nintendo Pfizer Procter & Gamble Pepsi Con Agra Foods Shell Starbucks UPS Verizon Wal Mart Wendy’s While not all prisoners are “forced” to work, most “opt” to because life would be even more miserable if they didn’t, as they have to purchase pretty much everything above the barest necessities (and sometimes those too) with their hard-earned pennies.
The corporation, famous for it’s animal welfare rating system, apparently was not as concerned about the welfare of the human “animals” working for them in Colorado prisons until April of this year.
BP (British Petroleum) – When BP spilled 4.2 million barrels of oil into the Gulf coast, the company sent a workforce of almost exclusively African-American inmates to clean up the toxic spill while community members, many of whom were out-of-work fisherman, struggled to make ends meet.
BP’s decision to use prisoners instead of hiring displaced workers outraged the Gulf community, but the oil company did nothing to reconcile the situation.
Wal-Mart – Although their company policy clearly states that “forced or prison labor will not be tolerated by Wal-Mart,” basically every item in their store has been supplied by third-party prison labor factories.
Wal-Mart purchases its produce from prison farms, where laborers are often subjected to long hours in the blazing heat without adequate food or water.