Prison Labor: Its Control, Facilitation, and Terms
Law and Philosophy 17 (1998): 533-57
Posted: 16 Dec 2012
Date Written: 1998
Offenders sentenced to prison often retain little control over their own labor. But is the view that the state rightfully controls the labor of offenders defensible? I argue that it is not, that though other rights of offenders might justifiably be curtailed by legal punishment, the right to control their labor is retained by offenders. The state must therefore seek to attract the labor of prisoners, rather than compel it. Numerous benefits to offenders and the wider community would result from having prisoners work and be paid for it. However, if prisoners are to perform paid labor, the state will have to facilitate it. Various kinds of facilitation and the problems with them are discussed.
Keywords: prison labor, legal punishment, right to work
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation