A Badge of Slavery: How Private Prisons are Unconstitutional Under the Thirteenth Amendment
25 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2018
Date Written: December 21, 2017
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: Suggested Citation