In a recent article published, it is said that immigrants who are currently detained and those who are out of detention centers will be allowed to sue the private prisons due to the threats they were being held under if they were to not complete the labor work demanded by these prisons.
This became center headline when GEO, one of the largest private prison corporation became a target of lawsuits of individuals accusing them of forcing work in return for food, water and hygiene supplies; items that are necessities. In these lawsuits, the plaintiffs explain they were forced to participate in a “Voluntary Work Program”, in order to receive the everyday necessities otherwise they could not be provided with them. This action made many eyebrows raise and question the idea if in fact this program was voluntary.
Individuals also claimed they were being threatened with solitary confinement and legal consequences if they did not comply. Many would work for free to try to earn one the limited paid positions the prison would offer. The lawsuit points out that individuals who participated in the “voluntary work program” would in fact work as employees of the GEO group as oppose to being the detainees and if this were the case, the GEO should have hired more staff to do the cooking, cleaning and clerical work instead of extorting and making individuals feel forced to do work in return for items that were required to be given by the prison in the first place.
Besides GEO, Core Civic another major prison in the Unites states, is also being sued for the same reason; forcing labor upon detainees in order to receive the bare minimum of necessities. Prisons should not be allowed to threaten individuals because it is not fair to extort those who are vulnerable and undergoing a lot of pressure. The government should take into consideration their situation and implement proper guidelines and policies.