Healthcare American-style

Convicts paid $2/hr to move bodies from morgues into trailer truck-refrigerators

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Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, Texas’ El Paso County is paying prison inmates $2 an hour to move the bodies of deceased victims of the disease. While prison labor is a common practice across the U.S., the reliance on inmates to handle the task of moving the corpses of COVID-19 victims is raising questions about the ethics of such work…

El Paso County has about 34,000 active COVID-19 cases, with more than 1,100 people in hospitals, according to local health data. Since the pandemic began spreading widely in March, the county has recorded 769 deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus…

In recent years, U.S. prisoners have gone on strike to protest work conditions and low pay. While the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery in 1865, it includes one exception: People who are “duly convicted” of a crime. Because of that exception, prisoners can be paid nothing for their labor — and in fact, there are five states, including Texas, where regular prison jobs are unpaid.

In many ways, Texas continues to lead the pack of backwards’ states reactionary and racist culture. And rationalizing, American style – they will brag about being number one.