Last week, a Louisiana sheriff gave a press conference railing against a new prisoner release program because it cost him free labor from “some good [inmates] that we use every day to wash cars, to change oil in the cars, to cook in the kitchen.” Two days later, news broke that up to 40 percent of the firefighters battling California’s outbreak of forest fires are prison inmates working for $2 an hour. Practices like these are disturbingly common: Military gear, ground meat, Starbucks holiday products, and McDonald’s uniforms have all been made (or are still made) with low-wage prison labor. Read more.
Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren told a room full of liberal activists on Saturday that the party needs to fully embrace polices such as higher taxes on the wealthy, wiping out student loan debt and criminal justice reform if they want to win the White House. Read more.