How Prison Labor Competes With Other Low-Wage Workers

The Prison Policy Initiative found that the average wage of a prison worker is 93 cents an hour, and the lowest reported wage was 16 cents. Compare that to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Today’s inmates don’t break rocks; over the years, they have packaged coffee for Starbucks Corp. and wrapped software for Microsoft Corp. This puts them in direct competition with blue-collar workers.

Do All Violent Offenders Need Long Prison Terms?

Fordham law professor John Pfaff says the country needs to re-examine the way “politics and punishment interact.” In part 2 of an extended conversation with TCR about his book, “Locked In,” Pfaff focuses on what he believes is local prosecutors’ aggressively punitive approach to people convicted of violence.