Contrary to popular belief, slavery was not abolished by the 13th amendment. Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in involuntary servitude due to an “exception clause” that allows free labor for punishment of a crime. The exception clause enabled the modern re-enslavement of Black people, who’ve been overcriminalized by our nation’s criminal legal system for centuries.
Last year, over 65% of incarcerated people reported being forced to work in prison, doing vital jobs like firefighting and paving roads while governments and private companies generate and save, collectively, at least one billion dollars each year from their labor. In 2022, incarcerated workers made up 43% of the state’s fire fighters, but even after some were released from prison – they were barred from serving as firefighters.
In the land of the free, forced labor is never acceptable. Prison labor is inherently coercive and exploitative. ACA 8 will seek to amend the state constitution to prohibit slavery in any form.
Primary Bill Author: Assemblymember Lori Wilson (D-Antioch)
- The 10P Program
- A New Way of Life
- Abolish Slavery National Network
- ACLU California Action
- Aging People in Prison Human Rights Campaign
- All of Us or None
- Anti-Recidivism Coalition
- Anti-Violence Safety and Accountability Project
- Asian Prisoner Support Committee
- California Lawyers for the Arts
- Coalition for a Just and Equitable California
- Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
- Freedom United
- GLIDE Foundation
- Homies Unidos
- Impact Justice
- Just Cities
- Legal Aid at Work
- Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
- March On
- Norcal Resist
- Pride In Truth
- Prison from the Inside Out
- Represent Justice
- Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition
- Starting Over Inc.
- The Love We Don’t See
- Village Advocates
- Youth Leadership Institute