The city of Boston has had an unprecedented amount of snow dumped within its vicinity during this winter–a record amount in recent decades.

And how precisely does the city plan to remove the mountains of snow? The city of Boston is turning to prison labor to help dig it out of its blizzard.

The city of Boston and its Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority are opting to hire prisoner laborers, because they have the mindset of cutting costs.

Prison labor in the US is deployed only so the government and private companies can have essentially “free labor”–appraised at a value so cheap that it is virtually free–at its disposal.

The median wage for prisoners in the state of Massachusetts is just 20 cents per hour.

In stark contrast, city offers union workers thirty dollars an hour for the same work, 150 times the amount offered to prisoners.

How can one man’s labor be devalued 150 times less than the same labor put forth by another man? Unfortunately, the argument that one man is a prisoner and the other is not simply does not answer the question sufficiently.

What choice do US prisoners, essentially men kept inside cages 90 percent of the time and shackled in chains otherwise, have but to submit to the unjust atrocity of laboring in below freezing temperatures to shovel snow for 20 cents, just one-fifth of a dollar?

In Boston, prisoners shovel snow, at the rate of 20 cents per hour,  to clear up roads.
In Boston, prisoners shovel snow, at the rate of 20 cents per hour, to clear up roads.

Unionized city workers have been hired to clear some of the snow from commuter rail tracks, but state prison inmates provide a huge share of the labor, laboring at temperatures well below freezing.

The problem with prison labor is a human rights issue.

To value a man’s work at a small fraction of one dollar per hour is a sin. It is a formula to enforce modern day slavery in the US, a system in which government and private companies can always turn to near-free labor when desiring to cut costs.

It is a move that will also hurt everyday Americans who will lose jobs to cheap prison labor.

Moreover, federal inmates in the US are stripped of their voting rights. They have no ability to lobby for their own freedoms, but must rely upon others to do so for them.

While to most observers, the prison labor system in the US is unclear.

In the city of Boston and in its surrounding areas in the state of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections refused to answer questions about the prison labor system that is in charge of transporting tons of snow out of the city.

When, if ever, will the US realize that prisons should not be run like private companies? They should be reserved for only offenders–the violent ones.

Prison labor for snow in Boston is inhumane.

All workers, even prisoners, not only need to have a real choice of whether or not to labor; they also need to have fair wages.


  1. Soon, you all will realize that the US of A is a sick country. It has always been, and it will always be. How making prisoners labor for 20 cents an hour makes any sense to any sane human is what differentiates America from the rest of the world. It calls itself a civilization but deep down, it is a slavery inhumane system.

    • America is a corporation. It is run like one. Look at the NFL, the NBA. Look at MSNBC, NBC, ESPN. Some owns these corporations and someone owns America.

  2. Like in Slavery times, just label them criminals and then they are just state or private property to be used and misused at will. The claim to the genral population that prison is to reform. Yeah right! Prison IN America is 21st century slavery!

  3. In order for them to get away with putting so many in prison to do everything for them for free is why they have to keep people from a real education. That is why America’s educational system is one of the worst in the world. Their best students still yet, come from outside the country. A state or a government or a private company can only continue to treat human beings in this way if they feel the public will be in on it. And in general, because prison is mostly Black and the public is mostly white, you have this dissonance. Whites just don’t give a damn.

  4. 20 cents an hour. That means I get $4.00 for 20 HOURS on the job. LOL. Prison is Slavery. Prison is America’s new slavery system. Good for the super rich – you stop at nothing to cause pain.

    • And this is the country that talks about civil rights and human rights in other nations. This is the country that would go to war to free other people from oppression. This is the country that took out Sadam, Gaddafi, etc. and for what? What hypocrites!

      • If I said I didn’t try to understand American policy inside America and out of it I would be lying. I have tried and I am tied. It’s all just a big joke. These guys are toying with us. Hypocrites!

  5. US morality is nothing to write home about. When you challenge law makers and the rich, they have no answers. Which means whatever they are doing is irrational. But then they tell you to be rational. The US is a country full of pain and oppression. The winner takes all mentality is immoral and inhumane.

    • Sometimes you try to make sense of all of it. But you just can’t. The leaders of this country have their own agenda for us – an agenda to put us to work as much as they can with very little to no remuneration. Unfortunately that is what capitalism is. If you love capitalism, you must no complain. This is the game and they are just playing it, you on the other hand are disillusioned that capitalism is beneficial to the majority when it is not. This is what it is – to exploit you and your land!


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