Abolish Prison Slavery in NJ
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The 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution states: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." However, the New Jersey state constitution has no comparable language. We believe that it should and that it should not allow for any exceptions to slavery at all. Such simple language outlawing all slavery would make a significant difference to the approximately 39,000 people living behind bars in this state.
In collaboration with the Mass Incarceration Task Force of Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, NJ, we are working to change the wording of the NJ Constitution to forbid slavery and involuntary servitude. This will allow prisoners to be paid a fare wage for their work, so they do not find themselves destitute without options when released, and cannot be forced to work for other people’s profit. It will give them a second chance at life after they have paid their dues to society.
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