The Legal Aid Society condemned New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and Corcraft today over Albany’s plans to exploit incarcerated New Yorkers to produce a new COVID-19 branded hand sanitizer. New Yorkers in custody at prisons across the state are routinely forced to work grueling hours in deplorable conditions for pennies on the dollar and without any benefits, according to the New York Post. The Legal Aid Society has been working with lawmakers to change this reality to ensure that incarcerated New Yorkers are paid the minimum wage.
“This is nothing less than slave labor and it must end. From fighting dangerous forest fires to now mass producing vital hand sanitizer, government and big business continue to force the labor of incarcerated individuals – for pennies on the dollar – for a political purpose or to line their own pockets,” reads a statement from Tina Luongo, Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Defense Practice, and Adriene Holder, Attorney-in-Charge of the Civil Practice at The Legal Aid Society.
“These individuals work for less than a dollar a day under threat of punishment – including solitary confinement – if they refuse. Albany must pay these individuals the minimum wage and lawmakers must legislate to eradicate forced labor across our state for good. It would be even more shocking if prisons and jails were to deem this Corcraft product ‘contraband’ and deprive incarcerated New Yorkers from possessing effective hand sanitizer because of the alcohol content. The same individuals who produce this product should not be prohibited from using it.”
Last Updated: 12 March 2020
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