Colorado Inmates Sue For Wage Increase, Paid Vacation, Sick Leave
When I first saw read these details I thought it was a joke, but no, there is a lawsuit pending brought forth by inmates saying they have been used as "slave labor". The details were released by CBS4, as three current inmates and one former inmate have filed a lawsuit against Governor Jared Polis, the state prison system and a private prison operator.
The inmates are asking to be paid minimum wage when working within the prison, they also want to be considered state employees which would mean they earn the same benefits as state workers such as paid holiday and vacations, also earning sick leave and medical benefits.
Often times inmates are paid as little as .10 cents per hour to complete jobs around the prison as a way to cut down on operating costs. Some jobs go up to around .50 cents per hour but if inmates decided they didn't want that job it could cost them privileges.
If this lawsuit is successful the state of Colorado would need to come up with another $400-500 million to pay inmates minimum wage. The lawsuit also asks for the state to reimburse inmates for back pay going all the way back to 2018, which could equal another $1 billion to the public.
I have a feeling this topic is going to get people fired up a little bit, but I would love to hear your reaction. Do you think the state of Colorado should pay inmates minimum wage and give them benefits like they were a state employee?