Inmate labor fuels prisons. The incarcerated work in prison industries that collaborate with private corporations. Fair labor laws do not apply to prisons, where it is common for inmates to earn less than one dollar per hour. But involvement with the criminal justice system continues to shape and hinder the future employment and earnings of the formerly incarcerated long after they have been released. In this issue of RSF, edited by sociologist Sandra Susan Smith and legal scholar Jonathan Simon, an interdisciplinary group of scholars analyzes how the criminal justice system acts as a de facto labor market institution by compelling or coercing labor from the justice-involved.


Smith, Sandra Susan, and Jonathan Simon, eds. The Criminal Justice System as a Labor Market Institution: Special Issue of RSF, The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences). Russell Sage Foundation, April 2020.