The ‘Quid Pro Quo’ Prison System Is Hindering Black People

walmart app on a mobile phone
Alyssa Guznik
January 17, 2023

Companies like Walmart and Pepsi are applauded for hiring people who were formerly incarcerated. They're seen as a beacon of hope for those involved with the prison system. But they just might be part of the problem.

Black people who have been incarcerated report finding a job is nearly impossible once they are out of prison. However, there are some companies that actively seek to hire those with a prison record. There’s a catch, though.

Some of these companies employ the formerly incarcerated at minimum wage entry-level positions. Upward mobility is also extremely rare.

There's also another massive, messed-up issue.

Prisons sign exclusive contracts with companies around the country. They get away with paying Black incarcerated individuals pennies on the dollar for their labor. It's modern-day slavery. But we don't hear about that in the news.

These companies are applauded for employing the formerly incarcerated, but they're a massive part of the problem. The prison complex and corporate America are deeply in bed with each other, and this connection guarantees that Black men and women are still persecuted, even when they leave the system.

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