END SLAVERY IN CALIFORNIA. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Pass The End Slavery in California Act (ACA 8)
Update: This bill has passed the California Assembly and is now on its way to the California Senate.
More than 150 years after the emancipation proclamation, the California Constitution has an exception to slavery that makes it lawful to force hundreds of thousands of Californians to maintain prison grounds, provide janitorial services benefiting correctional staff, cook for hundreds of others, and repair lock-up facilities. This is called involuntary servitude and it saves the state of California tens of millions of dollars each year.
Let’s be clear: Involuntary servitude is modern-day slavery. In California, over 65% of incarcerated people report being forced to work last year. Incarcerated workers cannot choose to place rehabilitation over exploitation. They must work at the time and place dictated by the jailers, even if the work is unsafe for the individual, or else face severe consequences and punishments: parole denial, delayed release, bans on visitation and phone calls with family, solitary confinement, even physical violence.
The End Slavery in California Act (ACA 8) will remove the exception clause, so that incarcerated workers can’t be exploited for their labor. Incarcerated workers are people and should be allowed to take the day off when they are ill, to prioritize completing their education, and to select the programming that prepares them, specifically, for community reintegration and family reunification.
Incarcerated workers are telling us that they are willing to work, but they are not willing to be exploited. Just as you would, however, incarcerated workers want to choose jobs that most fit their skills, that do not compete with family visits, educational programs, or rehabilitative opportunities.
In the land of the free, we must fully and finally declare that every form of slavery is immoral and illegal. Tell your California lawmakers to vote YES on ACA 8.
Your California State Senator