By Daedalus Howell
CONROE, Texas — “Time is money” unless you’re doing time in a privately run prison where detainee labor can amount to little more than $1 a day. Such might be the case at a facility in Texas contracted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to a recent report by National Public Radio (NPR)
By Josh Burnett
The Trump administration wants to expand its network of immigrant jails. In recent months, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has called for five new detention facilities to be built and operated by private prison corporations across the country. Critics are alarmed at the rising fortunes of an industry that had fallen out of favor with the previous administration.Read more
By Josh Eidelson
On Nov. 15 the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver will hear arguments in a case that could change the future of the $5 billion private prison industry. Judges will decide whether a district court was correct in February when it certified a class action on behalf of around 60,000 current and former detainees who are suing Geo Group Inc., one of the largest U.S. private prison companies, for allegedly violating federal anti-trafficking laws by coercing them to work for free under threat of solitary confinement.
Munchies Drive the Gig Economy in Denver: GoPuff Delivery Driver Sues for Thousands of Drivers Allegedly Denied Minimum Wage and Overtime
By Kate McKee Simmons
Today, Denver’s Austin Shockley filed a class action lawsuit seeking unpaid minimum wage and overtime for thousands of delivery drivers working across the country for the online convenience store goPuff.
By Michelle Chen
While the White House rounds up and imprisons migrants, claiming deceptively that they “take jobs” from Americans, human-rights advocates say that ICE’s private-prison contractors are running a scheme that employs the same “aliens” as a captive workforce in federal detention centers.
How did immigrant jailers become immigrant bosses? Private-prison companies claim to be benevolently keeping detainees busy with “voluntary” service, but detainees and rights advocates see this supposed volunteering as a byproduct of coercion.Read more
By Mia Steinle
There are nearly 200 federal detention centers across the country. Here, people suspected of violating U.S. immigration laws wait for court hearings to find out if they’ll stay in the United States or be deported. While they wait, many detainees work as part of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “voluntary work program.” They clean, they cook, they do laundry, and they garden—some advocates say they keep the facilities running.
For their labor, the detainees are supposed to be paid at least $1 per day, or just under $0.13 per hour for an 8-hour work day. This arrangement has the blessings of both ICE and Congress, the latter of which set the rate over a half a century ago and hasn’t changed it since.Read more
Towards Justice's work representing workers in the fast-food industry is drawing national attention to anti-competitive practices that undermine wages and working conditions.
New York Times Article, by Rachel Abrams