Slavery in Wisconsin

Marak, Dominic



SLAVERY IN WISCONSIN by Dominic Marak State Senator Lena Taylor plans to reintroduce a change to the Wisconsin Constution, which would ban slavery in the state, when the Wisconsin legislature reconvnenes in January 2017. Slavery is permitted in Wisconsin as a punishment for crime under the Wsiconsin and the United States Constitutions. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel inmates "are not required to work," except "as a penalty for violating prison rules." This in itself stinks of Jim Crowism, when law enforcement in the post Reconstruction South arrested hordes of African Americans. But Wisconsin does in fact force prisoners to work for free, even when they don't violate prison rules, therefore making them slaves. The Division of Adult Institutions created a policy prohibiting prisoners from getting paid more than forty hours for work per week. However, when short on laborers, prison officials will regularly force prisoners, who have already their forty hour pay limit, to work for free. Refusing to do so subjects prisoners to violating the prison rule against refusing "to perform a work assignment." The penalty for which can land a prisoner in solitary confinement for as much as ninety days. A strange rule and penalty to have if prisoners are not forced to work, as the DOC claims. Slavery is utilizecd within Wisconsin's prison system. As permitted in the Wisconsin and US Constitution. State Senator Lena Taylor would make this practice illegal, if her proposed change to the Wisconsin Constitution passes.

Author: Marak, Dominic

Author Location: Wisconsin

Date: July 12, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 1 pages

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