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This article is part of a Nation series exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council, in collaboration with the Center For Media and Democracy. John Nichols introduces the series.

This is an article I co-authored and was just published at The Nation's web site.  Posting it here for your review...

The breaded chicken patty your child bites into at school may have been made by a worker earning twenty cents an hour, not in a faraway country, but by a member of an invisible American workforce: prisoners. At the Union Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Florida, inmates from a nearby lower-security prison manufacture tons of processed beef, chicken and pork for Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE), a privately held non-profit corporation that operates the state’s forty-one work programs. In addition to processed food, PRIDE’s website reveals an array of products for sale through contracts with private companies, from eyeglasses to office furniture, to be shipped from a distribution center in Florida to businesses across the US. PRIDE boasts that its work programs are “designed to provide vocational training, to improve prison security, to reduce the cost of state government, and to promote the rehabilitation of the state inmates.”

Mike Elk and Bob Sloan

Please take the time to visit the Nation and read the rest of the article at this link:

Please join us in NO on August 5th for the Protest Alec Demonstration or donate to the cause.  Thanks for reading and participating in this effort to eliminate ALEC once and for all.

Originally posted to Bob Sloan on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 04:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, In Support of Labor and Unions, Earthship Koch, Exposing ALEC, and Progressive Hippie.


Should inmate labor be used to replace civilian workers?

5%4 votes
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| 73 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good job, congrats. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hector Solon, chimpy

         I'd go over there and rec it, but I forgot my username and password.

    •  Awesome... (5+ / 0-)

      ... piece. Another case of leadership from the DK Exposing ALEC ranks. Huz-zah, or is that Hoo-yah? Well, three cheers for sure.

      Lot shorter with an editor (like we should Need that QUADRUPLE Rec button for this one.

      Like the fact the tone shows that ALEC infestation in this area (and others) "goes back decades" and this line:

      "...mass incarceration would create a huge captive workforce was anticipated long before the US prison population reached its peak—and at a time when the concept of “rehabilitation” was still considered..."

      Member of the KKK? That means you are responsible for what the KKK does/has done, you are part of that horrendous legacy. Member of ALEC? You ALEC members are responsible for what you have done, period, no exceptions.

      Too harsh? Ask those enslaved illegals rented out for private sector profits how they feel about ALEC policies. These people are a sickness, greed for greed's sake, and this will not stand.

      Can't wait for the next one. Fired up again.

      AND all you other folks out there - let's see how many STATES (PA went crazy on ALEC this week already) and TOPICS (Women's Issues, City Government Takeovers, Outsourcing, International Affairs, etc.) we can hit ALEC with... every dime, every crime, all directions, all the time, outing ALEC, our new pastime.

      •  Love that tag line...and thanks! n/t (4+ / 0-)

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

        by Bob Sloan on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 06:05:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hector, I like that approach (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hector Solon
        AND all you other folks out there - let's see how many STATES (PA went crazy on ALEC this week already) and TOPICS (Women's Issues, City Government Takeovers, Outsourcing, International Affairs, etc.) we can hit ALEC with... every dime, every crime, all directions, all the time, outing ALEC, our new pastime.

        Hit them from every side, and each time they try to cover their ass, they expose another weakness to be exploited.  Truth and Light will defeat ALEC.

        Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

        by Ohiodem1 on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 12:04:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Couple lines... (0+ / 0-)

          ... since I'm the first one in five generations that not a preacher.

          REF: "Truth and Light will defeat ALEC."

          "Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you..."
          -- Deuteronomy 13:14 KJV

          "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
          -- John 3:20 KJV

          Disclaimer: The freedom of religion is fundamental to American values, as is the separation of church and state in the traditions of Thomas Jefferson. This use of scripture is not meant to prefer one spiritual choice over another.

          Now back to work.

  •  Funny joke, you two (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, chimpy

    In early July, I asked Mike Elk if he was going to be going to NO for the Protest. I offered to introduce him to Bob Sloan, who I had met digitally last year and FTF in Cincinnati in April. Mike Elk I know through my activity as a UE member and also as a guerrilla activist (on my own, with my money and vacation, like I am this week).I knew he had done a piece on ALEC already. And his Dad is the officer in my National's HQ that is the UE/GE expert in Pittsburgh.

    HA Ha Ha guys...

    Now I am "in" on the joke. Although Mike told me to read "The Nation" that was to be published this week, I am Mr. Oblivious to the Obvious and did not realize what he "told" me with that cryptic (to me) answer.

    Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

    by Mentatmark on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 04:32:52 PM PDT

  •  new nj immigrant detention center (4+ / 0-)

    There is a new detention center expansion for illegal immigrants in Newark, NJ. It is called Community Education Center and is described as a private, non profit(?) facility in connection with Homeland Security.  I think there are associations to a Chris Christie former law associate named Pallatucci.  

  •  Fewer breaded chicken patties wasted on inmates (0+ / 0-)


    Wisconsin legislators are working on that. I suspect that these ideas come straight out of one of the ALEC prison reform boilerplate files. This seems like too clever of an idea for the average right wing bozo legislator.

    Yep, no more three meals a day in prison. No more than two in this pending WI bill. Doctor's permission will get you three meals a day. Good luck with getting that from a prison doctor.

    Inmates might not need to eat for as many years, either. This pending bill makes it mandatory for prisoners to be charged for prescription medications and devices related to medical issues. It used to be that they might be charged within the discretion of the DOC. The DOC determines what to charge the inmate, too. The inmate may be charged for the medical services, too. Not a lot of oversight that I can determine.

    So much for robbing $1 from a bank to get medical treatment.
    Need expensive cancer drugs? No insurance? No cash? We'll get back to you on that, I guess.

    This stuff just doesn't stop.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 07:30:20 PM PDT

    •  You're more right that you know, Grumpy... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GrumpyOldGeek, Hector Solon

      In many states now, the Republican legislatures have privatized everything possible with prison:
      1)   Food service
      2)   Medical services - $6.00 per visit
      3)   Phone services   - Up to 6 times more expensive
      4)   Canteen Services- 10-20% markup from 7-11 pricing
      5)   Inmate banking   - $4.00 to $6.00 per month per inmate
      6)   Inmate transportation
      7)   Privatized Prison
      8)   Prescriptions
      9)   Inmate labor for DOT work - unpaid
      10) Inmate labor for community work squads - no pay
      11) Recycling
      12) Prison Industry operations - wage from $.20 to min. wage.

      It's a sick business and when they default on a contract - say medical or food services - the contractor pays a fine into the general revenue fine.  The inmates who were underfed or went without proper medical care, are not compensated or receiving better care or more food.  It's a win win for the corporations, because it literally takes an act of congress to void the contract and take the services back, or rebid the contracts.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 07:52:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looks like they're getting ready for us all (0+ / 0-)

    Is this part of what you discussed yesterday or the day before?

    Livestream is in a couple of hours, right?

    We are all so proud of you. Such a hero!

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