Abolish Penal Slavery and Involuntary Servitude
WHEREAS, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was purportedly enacted to bring an end to slavery in the United States of America; and
WHEREAS, Section 1 of the Thirteenth Amendment states: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction;" and
WHEREAS, under the exception, slavery was not abolished. Instead it was merely changed so that it could only be lawfully imposed as a punishment for crime; and
WHEREAS, there are international regulations that have been enacted to ensure the humane treatment of prisoners globally. They include: The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; The Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners; and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment. Some of the rights they require are: (1) all prisoners be treated with respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings; (2) there shall be no discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status; and (3) conditions shall be created enabling prisoners to undertake meaningful remunerated employment which will facilitate their reintegration into society and permit them to contribute to their own financial support and to the support of their families.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") shall call upon the federal government and all state governments to abolish penal slavery and involuntary servitude; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP shall call upon Congress and all State legislatures to adhere to international standards for the humane treatment of prisoners.