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.