Convict leasing, which was a system of penal labor in the South from 1866 to 1928, had many similarities to the current prison industrial complex that exists today. The purpose of both systems was to replace slavery with another form of free or cheap labor for businesses and corporations. In convict leasing, this meant keeping prisoners in prisons after they served their sentences and renting them out as laborers. This allowed southern states to make money off the prisoners while still maintaining control over them (“What Was Convict Leasing?”, 2019).
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