Forced Labor

US Law

The 13th Amendment Exclusion Leads To Modern Day Slavery

October 30, 2018 Ellen Wang 0

Summary: U.S. inmates stage nationwide prison strikes over the 13th Amendment loophole that allows for the exploitation of coerced prison labor. A hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War, the legality of slavery is still up for debate. Though the U.S. Constitution was amended to prohibit the existence of both slavery and involuntary servitude in the U.S., it left a very large loophole for people who are convicted of crimes – a loophole that affects 2.3 million Americans today. The 13th Amendment, ratified in 1865, states “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” This sharp exception makes it clear that incarcerated persons don’t have constitutional rights under the 13th Amendment – they can be compelled to work for as little as […]