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: , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
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…

  • Satanic Temple: Make Rapert pay for Ten Commandments monument

    A petition drive has begun to encourage a demand that Sen. Jason Rapert pay for the legal fees in defending his Ten Commandments monument proposed for the state Capitol grounds. It's more work by the Satanic Temple, which has fought church-state entanglement around the country.
    • Aug 28, 2016
  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Arkansan on Obama's latest commutation list

    President Obama today announced commutations of the sentences of 111 federal prisoners, including one from Arkansas.
    • Aug 30, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation