A Badge of Slavery: How Private Prisons are Unconstitutional Under the Thirteenth Amendment

25 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2018

See all articles by Sammy Brown

Sammy Brown

University of Mississippi, School of Law, Students

Date Written: December 21, 2017

Abstract

This paper argues that prisoners held in private penal institutions may successfully challenge the constitutionality of private prisons under the Thirteenth Amendment. To prove a Thirteenth Amendment claim against private prisons, a plaintiff must first demonstrate that: 1) private prisons are not included in the crime exception and 2) that private prisons are equivalent to slavery, involuntary servitude or a “badge of slavery.” Furthermore, this paper promotes a two-part test, which seeks to aid potential plaintiffs and courts in articulating what constitutes a “badge of slavery.” The “Badge of Slavery” test analyzes whether: 1) The controlling party had extensive control over the subjected party; and 2) whether the subjected party profits from that control. Lastly, this paper puts forth a hypothetical to further demonstrate how the badge of slavery test can be used to illustrate the unconstitutionality of private prisons.

Keywords: Civil Rights law, Public Policy, Prisons, Prison Litigation, Thirteenth Amendment, Private Prisons

Suggested Citation

Brown, Sammy, A Badge of Slavery: How Private Prisons are Unconstitutional Under the Thirteenth Amendment (December 21, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3253206 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3253206

Sammy Brown (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi, School of Law, Students ( email )

MS 38677
United States

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