The New South and the New Slavery

Convict Labor in Georgia

Specters of the Lease System

Despite the practice's tragic history, the state of Georgia is once again hiring prisoners to private interests. In the twenty-first century, the Georgia Department of Corrections has entered into contracts with multiple private prison companies, placing thousands of inmates in their care. People of color compose a disproportionate share of the state’s prison population, much as was the case under the convict lease system. Inmates remain vulnerable to mistreatment as well, and sexual misconduct is still a significant concern.