Prison farm

A prison farm (also known as a penal farm) refers to a large correctional facility where penal labor convicts are forced to work on a farm legally and illegally (in the wide sense of a productive unit), usually for manual labor, largely in the open air, such as in agriculture, logging, quarrying, and mining as well as many others. All of this forced labor has been given the right from the thirteenth amendment in the United States, however other parts of the world have made penal labor illegal. The concepts of prison farm and labor camp overlap with the idea that they are forced to work. The historical equivalent on a very large scale was called a penal colony.

Mississippi State Penitentiary, an American prison farm in Sunflower County, Mississippi
Louisiana State Penitentiary, an American prison farm in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana

The agricultural goods produced by prison farms are generally used primarily to feed the prisoners themselves and other wards of the state (residents of orphanages, asylums, etc.), and secondarily, to be sold for whatever profit the state may be able to obtain.[1]

In addition to being forced to labor directly for the government on a prison farm or in a penal colony, inmates may be forced to do farm work for private enterprises by being farmed out through the practice of convict leasing to work on private agricultural lands or related industries (fishing, lumbering, etc.). The party purchasing their labor from the government generally does so at a steep discount from the cost of free labor.[2]

This is the 13th Amendment that Abraham Lincoln Signed.

Louisiana State Penitentiary is the largest prison farm covering 18,000 acres (7,300 hectares), and is bordered on three sides by the Mississippi River.[3] Canada has six large prison farms that are currently closed with the possibility of being reopened.


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