Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Just to quote a source that will not be suspect of anti-American or liberal bias:

USA Today: Inmates vs. outsourcing (7/7/2004)

David Day has a bounce in his step and a glint in his eye unexpected in someone who makes nearly 400 telemarketing calls a day for less than $200 a month. That's because he has a coveted job where few exist: behind bars.


About a dozen states -- Oregon, Arizona, California and Iowa, among others -- have call centers in state and federal prisons, underscoring a push to employ inmates in telemarketing jobs that might otherwise go to low-wage countries such as India and the Philippines. Arizona prisoners make business calls, as do inmates in Oklahoma. A call center for the DMV is run out of an all-female prison in Oregon. Other companies are keeping manufacturing jobs in the USA. More than 150 inmates in a Virginia federal prison build car parts for Delco Remy International. Previously, some of those jobs were overseas.


Market conditions seem to favor prisons. After declining for years, call-center jobs in the USA increased several hundred, to about 360,000, last year. At the same time, more white-collar jobs are going offshore than researchers originally thought. About 830,000 U.S. service-sector jobs, from telemarketers to software engineers, will move abroad by the end of 2005, up 41% from previous predictions, says Forrester Research.

And that's nice jobs, making phone calls. But there is also what we would identify with forced labour.

Wikipedia: Reintroduction  and criticism of chain gangs

Some states, such as Alabama and Arizona, have re-introduced the chain gang. In recent years, Maricopa County, Arizona, which is the county that covers Phoenix, Arizona, has drawn attention from human rights groups for its harsh treatment of prisoners, and in particular, its creation of chain gangs for women. Arizona's modern chain gangs, rather than chipping rocks or other non-productive tasks, often do real work of economic benefit to a correctional department. One of the major issues is that the gangs are forced to live and work outside in oppressive desert heat.

Prisoners are given only two meals a day, must every day work in the harsh Arizona desert, and are not afforded any coffee, cigarettes, salt, pepper, ketchup, or organized recreation. If they suffer from heatstroke or dehydration in the extreme desert conditions, they have to pay $10 to receive basic medical attention. To write their families, they must use special postcards with the sheriff's menacing picture on them, and the corrections department spends more money per dog than per prisoner on food. Most of the inmates facing these conditions were convicted of minor offences since they are in county jail as opposed to state prison.

A year after reintroducing the chain gang in 1995, Alabama was forced to again abandon the practice pending a lawsuit from, among other organizations, the Southern Poverty Law Center. "They realized that chaining them together was inefficient; that it was unsafe," said attorney Richard Cohen of the organization. However, as late as 2000, Alabama Prison Commissioner, Ron Jones has again proposed reintroducing the chain gang. Like historical chain gangs, their reintroduced cousins have been compared to slavery in academic circles.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 20th, 2006 at 05:25:35 AM EST
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