Legal Aid Society

Abolishing Slavery in New York

The Legal Aid Society is fighting to end slavery as punishment for a crime in New York State, 158 years after the ratification of the 13th Amendment.

We work to uplift the inherent humanity in each of us every day. Incarcerated New Yorkers, over 7 in 10 of whom are New Yorkers of color, face hazardous and harsh workplace conditions and are routinely deprived of basic worker protections while they are forced to work behind bars.

End Abhorrent Prison Labor Practices

Through the 13th Forward Coalition, Legal Aid is advancing the No Slavery in NY Act, which will add a provision abolishing forced labor of any kind to the Bill of Rights section of NY’s Civil Rights Law, and the Fairness & Opportunities for Incarcerated Workers Act, which will extend workers’ rights, including safety protections, a fair minimum wage, and the right to organize to incarcerated New Yorkers through amendments to NY’s Correction Law.

From manufacturing the street signs on our corners to our public school desks, incarcerated New Yorkers produce millions of dollars in goods each year for the state, while their families and communities suffer. We lead 13th Forward because we believe that all New Yorkers deserve respect, dignity, and fair wages for their labor.

Exploitation By The Numbers


New York’s prison factories brought in over $500 million for the State between 2010 and 2020.


Most incarcerated New Yorkers earn less than 33¢ an hour.


Of incarcerated New Yorkers are people of color.

End New York's Shameful Legacy

Join our coalition and help move New York forward on this fundamental civil rights and racial justice issue.

Join The Coalition