ACLU joins review of 'rehabilitation' agency's treatment of poultry workers | Arkansas Blog

Monday, October 16, 2017

ACLU joins review of 'rehabilitation' agency's treatment of poultry workers

Posted By on Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 4:07 PM

ACLU chapters in Oklahoma and Arkansas have joined the review of an Oklahoma agency that has put drug court defendants to work at poultry companies in conditions described in an investigative report as virtual slave labor.

The workers, dozens of whom work with Simmons Food of Arkansas,  work in return for food and lodging and putative rehabilitation. Money paid by the poultry company goes to the non-profit,  Christian Alcoholics and Addicts in Recovery.

Two of the workers have already filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma and the Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission says it is looking into allegations that benefits paid for injured workers went to CAAIR, not the injured workers.

Said Brady Henderson, Legal Director, ACLU of Oklahoma:

“CAAIR is so pale an imitation of actual rehabilitation that it cannot be considered rehabilitation at all. By sentencing people with addiction to unpaid labor, courts are effectively conscripting the people they claim to be helping into indentured servitude. This practice is a clear violation of multiple laws, is likely unconstitutional, and is certainly morally reprehensible. The ACLU is undertaking a serious investigation into these crimes and encourages any victims of this unlawful scheme to contact us immediately.”

Said Holly Dickson, Legal Director, ACLU of Arkansas:

“Those sentenced to CAAIR expecting reputable treatment were sold a false bill of goods. Instead of addiction treatment, victims of this and similar schemes found themselves forced to work with little to no pay in incredibly dangerous and inhumane conditions under threat of going to prison. This system allows corporations to profit on the backs of people our government claims to help. As we investigate this, it is important to consider how much the governments of Oklahoma and Arkansas knew about these abuses, and that they take steps to ensure no other people will fall prey to this scheme. ”

The ACLU asked any who have been sentenced to or affected by similar programs to get in touch with an ACLU affiliate in the state in which they were sentenced.


Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Open line

    • Nice blue jean jacket Brooke.

    • on December 13, 2017
  • Re: Open line

    • Liked your first cartoon Cato1. I think Donald arrogantly thinking he should be publicly declaring…

    • on December 13, 2017
  • Re: John Goodson and others add lawyers for hearing on forum shopping

    • Hello friend is time to make money and power,This is a great temple of the…

    • on December 13, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation