Penal labour

Penal labour is a term for various kinds of forced labour[1] which prisoners are required to perform, typically manual labour. The work may be light or hard, depending on the context.[2] Forms of sentence involving penal labour have included involuntary servitude, penal servitude, and imprisonment with hard labour. The term may refer to several related scenarios: labour as a form of punishment, the prison system used as a means to secure labour, and labour as providing occupation for convicts. These scenarios can be applied to those imprisoned for political, religious, war, or other reasons as well as to criminal convicts.

Female convicts chained together by their necks for work on a road. Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika c.1890–1927.

Large-scale implementations of penal labour include labour camps, prison farms, penal colonies, penal military units, penal transportation, or aboard prison ships.

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