Since We Last Spoke: A Captive Labor Market

Updates to past Pacific Standard stories.
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Editor's Note: A version of this story first appeared on PSmag.com on October 2, 2015, with the headline "From Our Prison to Your Dinner Table—Unless You Shop at Whole Foods." This edited version was published in our January/February 2016 print issue.

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(Photo: Northfoto/Shutterstock)

(Photo: Northfoto/Shutterstock)

Last March, books editor Graeme Wood revealed how Whole Foods has been profiting off prison labor, selling tilapia, trout, and goat cheese produced for next to nothing on a Colorado prison compound. After several months of consumer complaints and negative media reports, the company announced it will no longer sell products made by Colorado Correctional Industries. Rather than target CCI, many reports singled out Whole Foods for supporting the prison labor industry, which, Wood pointed out, was one of the system’s biggest customers. A spokesman said that the grocery store chain supported the prison program to “help people get back on their feet and eventually become contributing members of society.”

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Since We Last Spoke examines the latest policy and research updates to past Pacific Standard news coverage.

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