Private uses of prison labor are illegal internationally, and not without reason. A lack of public oversight and regulations of wages mean that prison labor is often exploited in exchange for increased profitability for private prisons and sometimes the private companies they contract with. This paper will explicate the ways in which private uses of prison labor contribute to wage and employment precarity and ultimately cost numerous non incarcerated low wage individuals in the United States their jobs and livelihoods. It offers potential policy solutions and paths forward for new research to better link the sociological and economic considerations of this issue.

First Advisor

Jamila Glover

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in International Political Economy

Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2019