A recent study conducted by the Department of Natural Resources has uncovered a startling link between forced prison labor in Louisiana and chemical pollution. According to the report, prison inmates are being used as a source of cheap labor to help companies produce pollutants that are then released into the environment.
The report states that prisoners are being paid as little as $0.03 an hour to work in factories and refineries that produce hazardous materials. This is far below the minimum wage, and the prisoners are often not provided with the appropriate safety gear to protect themselves from the harmful chemicals.
The study also found that the companies are not disposing of the hazardous waste properly, leading to contamination of water sources and air pollution.
The news has been met with outrage from environmental groups, who are calling for an immediate end to the practice. “This is an unacceptable exploitation of prisoners and an insult to the environment,” said one activist.
The Louisiana Department of Corrections has responded by setting up a task force to investigate the issue and make recommendations on how to improve the situation. However, many remain skeptical that the task force’s efforts will be enough to bring about real change.
“We need to see real action taken to ensure that prisoners are not being exploited and that the environment is being protected,” said one activist. “Anything less is simply not enough.”
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