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Increasing Labor Rates for Prisoners to Minimum Wage

WHEREAS, NAACP fought to increase minimum wage to 7.25 per hour in the United States; and

WHEREAS, wages paid to prisoners are typically only .17 to .25 cents per hour with maximum hours worked of six hours with the highest-paying private prison receive around 50 cents per hour for what they call "highly skilled" positions; and

WHEREAS,  prisoners cannot  strike or demand  higher rates or unionize;  and

WHEREAS, a disproportionate number of African Americans and Hispanics are within the prison labor pool and serve considerable longer sentences for comparable crimes; and

WHEREAS, privatization of prison has become big business or a new form of slavery generating high profits on Wall Street; and

WHEREAS, using prison labor prevents fair competition for companies providing the same type of product while taking advantage of prisoners; and

WHEREAS, United States use of prison labor is akin to third world countries exploitation of labor; and

WHEREAS, prisoners that have children can contribute a greater amount towards child support and to their victims rather than towards the profitability of the prison, if they earned minimum wage rather than pennies; and

WHEREAS, ensuring that prisoners that have children will contribute mandatory child support and restitution to their victims rather than towards the profitability of the prison or themselves; and,

WHEREAS, more wages can also be banked to help sustain the prisoner upon release of prison because leaving prison with some funds improves the family situation and reduces recidivism; and

WHEREAS, contributing a greater amount to the family while in prison and the ability to be self sustainable after prison creates stronger families and communities.

THEREFORE,  BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association  for the Advancement  of Colored People will advocate for an increase in labor rates to at least minimum wage for working prisoners; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP will urge all of its Units to connect with prison advocate groups, meet with their state and national legislatures, congressmen/women and encourage them to legislate for changing the prisoner labor rates to minimum wage.