After years of following the outdated 13th amendment, Colorado is now leading the charge to modify the amendment and abolish all prison slaves in The US.
The prison industry has been known to exploit people for free slave labor in often horrible and inhumane conditions. Colorado has made a bold move to put an end to this practice.
This is not the first time this has been brought to the ballots. The first time, it failed due to the language. However, this time it passed with 65% approval.
Such a high number makes you wonder what is wrong with the other 35% that they wouldn’t want to approve this.
13th Amendment Allows For an Inmate to Be a Slave or Involuntary Servitude
The 13th Amendment of the Constitution of United States of America for over 100 years has stated:
Slavery prohibited. There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
The amendment was put on the ballot with support from Colorado’s lawmakers. They changed it by taking away everything after the word servitude.
Colorado Ends Slavery Again: It Didn’t Come Without Criticism
Critics are worried that giving up on free prison labor will leave the state struggling to find people to perform such jobs as fighting wildfires. Prison firefighters in Colorado were get paid just $6 per day.
Some people do not look at inmates as people, which is a huge problem in America. How can someone who has made a mistake in life be viewed as less than a dog?
Everyone has made mistakes in life, some just have harsher consequences. And to continue to use inmates for free slave labor is just unconstitutional, even with the 13th Amendment in place.
Those could be jobs that someone who is struggling on the outside could use. But many industries prefer to cut costs drastically by hiring prison inmates who work for free or mere pennies per hour.
Colorado has a lot of forced and unpaid immigrant labor going on in the state as well. Hopefully, this change will fix that, although there is so much more to fix.
This has to be a step in the right direction to fix the countries capitalist machine for free and cheap prison labor to continue keeping the rich richer and the poor in the dirt.
Abolishing Prison Slave Labor: Colorado Is the First, but Hopefully Not the Last
Colorado is the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution. Hopefully will start a following with other state DOCs.
Of course, the path to this was welcomed with open arms by prison advocates and loved ones. Jumoke Emery, an Abolish Slavery organizer, received burned campaign literature on his front porch days before the state voted.
Let’s just assume it was someone from that 35%.
Prison Slave Labor: Others Aren’t Following Suit Fast Enough
Gainesville, Florida, has been in the news recently because of it’s new pilot program. It was put in place to employ local youth. They will soon get paid to cut grass and pick up trash in the local area.
According to reports, the state’s local prisoners will continue doing the same work under the pilot program. However, they will work for no pay whatsoever.
Will prison slave labor ever end across America?