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Fact Sheet Mechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

Prison Procurement Laws in the Southeast

June 1, 2023


Incarcerated workers across the U.S. provide valuable goods and services, producing items used in state and local government agencies and engaging in work like road repair, firefighting, and post-disaster clean-up. They generate more than $2 billion a year in goods and $9 billion a year in services, but are not covered by typical workplace protections, like minimum wage and workplace safety laws. It is important for states to strike a balance between the requirements for prison labor and protecting the health and well-being of incarcerated people. This Fact Sheet summarizes prison procurement laws in states in the Network’s Southeastern Region, prompted by a question from the state of Virginia.