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'Repatriating' Low-Wage Jobs: The Political Economy of Prison Labor Reprivatization in the Postindustrial United States
Criminology (2001)
  • Robert P. Weiss
Abstract

Applying Rusche and Kirchheimer's theory regarding labor markets and penal change, this paper examines recent initiatives to expand the labor force participation of federal and state prisoners. Globalization and labor market transformation have increased the potential value of prison labor as a subcontracting component of post-Fordist production systems. We examine privatization's ideological rationale (economic “cost benefits”) and its political strategy of foreign job repatriation. Based on cultural and economic factors, the South is identified as the probable locale for “repatriation.” A case study of Escod Industries reveals the emerging elements of a post-Fordist penology, involving a fundamental transformation in prison discourse, techniques, and management objectives.

Publication Date
May, 2001
Citation Information
Robert P. Weiss. "'Repatriating' Low-Wage Jobs: The Political Economy of Prison Labor Reprivatization in the Postindustrial United States" Criminology Vol. 39 Iss. 2 (2001)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robert_weiss/3/