The 13th Amendment has been used to force incarcerated people in the United States to participate in labor and other arduous tasks against their will. Slavery was clearly race-based as was the application of laws that targeted newly “freed” Black people (namely the Black Codes). Thus, incarcerated people were soon being systematically exploited for their labor. In January of 2019, according to Ned Oliver of the Virginia Mercury, Virginia lawmakers dismissed a bill patroned by Delegate Lee Carter, D-Manassas, which challenged VCE and its malpractices behind the manufacturing of furniture, office supplies, etc. The Thirteenth Amendment (Amendment XIII) to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.The amendment was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the required 27 of the then 36 states on December 6, 1865 and proclaimed on December 18. This therefore causes the news to be flooded with images of people of color portrayed as criminals which impacts the public’s perception of all people of color. It's convoluted, but, until very recently, it was primarily held up as America's … The prison system is in dire need of major reform, from the systemic biases against males and minorities to the constitutional failure that has allowed slavery to persist in the 21st century. I also love listening to Investigative Journalism podcasts, my favorite is Serial! Your email address will not be published. What responsibility does the JMU community have to recognize that their items are manufactured by incarcerated people? The third disparity is structural disadvantages that disproportionately impact people of color. One such example is the Louisiana State Penitentiary which is commonly referred to as “Angola” after the former plantation on the land it is situated. Profiles in Civic Leadership: Sarah Taylor Mayhak, Discussion on Parole & Parole Reform – Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence Web Journal. Baldwin’s Mill race, punishment, and the pedagogy of repression, 1965–2015. Through the rise of laws targeting Black Americans and en masse conviction, Black Americans have been disproportionately incarcerated and oppressed by the incarceral system. The 13th Amendment of the US Constitution includes a legislative loophole that provides the means to continue, in a legal way, the institution of slavery such that corporations, federal and state governments, rather than private citizens, are official slaveholders. Because of this, mass incarceration has become a method of disenfranchising Black voters, shrinking the electorate, and engineering voter suppression. I am compelled to highlight this connection and encourage efforts to reframe discussions around justice matters and viewpoints related to the social problem of reentry with the 13th Amendment as part of the historical foci. Even though the 13th amendment protects against “cruel and unusual punishment” in America, prisons are overcrowded, have harsh conditions, exploit the labor of the incarcerated people, and lack the proper capacity to respond to national emergencies like pandemics. A blog by the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement & Dukes Vote. To this day, our prisons remain overpopulated. How can students use their voices for prison reform? Because of a loophole in the Thirteenth Amendment, Black Americans have historically and presently been subjected to structural disadvantages that reinforce cheap labor from the vestiges of … VCE may provide an exemption/release if there is no comparable item to what is requested”.

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