Louisiana Legislator Wants to End the ‘Slavery Clause’
It may be hard to believe, but 156 years ago when slavery was officially abolished in the United States by the enactment of the 13th amendment - it didn't catch on everywhere entirely. Some states (like Louisiana) still have wording in their state constitutions that allow for forced labor, which is how we get work farms and lots of other inmate-staffed operations in the state. Now, one lawmaker wants to close the book for good on our state's "slavery exception."
According to the report from MyJournalCourier, state representative Edmond Jordan is spearheading the push to remove the option of forced labor as the punishment of a crime in Louisiana. The democratic lawyer from Baton Rouge says the state should follow the lead of states like Colorado, Utah and Nebraska - who in the past 2 years have removed similar wording from their constitutions. According to the report, 12 more states are considering the same move.
Currently, inmates in Louisiana do all kind of work. Sewing, janitorial and landscaping work at the Governor's mansion, and certainly agriculture. Prisoners in Angola (once called the deadliest prison in America) still work in the fields that were once tended by slaves. For lawmakers like Jordan, that's simply not acceptable.