“As permitted by law, a small number of our U.S. suppliers use voluntary labor as part of prison rehabilitation programs,” Walmart said in an emailed statement provided by spokesperson Tricia Moriarty. The company’s policies “strictly prohibit involuntary prison labor” and workers that are employed by Walmart suppliers are paid “prevailing wages,” the retailer said.
The review is part of the firm’s racial equity initiatives announced this month as protests broke out worldwide following the killing of
Chief Executive Officer
While the U.S. makes up close to 5% of the global population, it has almost 25% of the world’s prisoners, with about 2.3 million inmates, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Black men are disproportionately more likely to go to prison than White men.
Prison labor is legal in the U.S., but it’s used mostly for the public sector. Only about 6,000 prisoners work for private industry, according to Paul Wright, editor of Prison Legal News and director of the Human Rights Defense Center.
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