North Carolina officials looked the other way for years until reporters began asking questions.
“It’s like slavery,” said one rehab participant, “like we were on the plantation.”
We’re building a nationwide reporting network to cover work-based rehabs. And we want your help.
Reporters Amy Julia Harris and Shoshana Walter’s investigation of forced labor at drug rehab centers one of two finalists for journalism’s top honor.
We found that the program required defendants to sign up for food stamps and then confiscated the cards.
A judge started his own rehab where defendants must work at a bottling plant and other companies, under threat of prison if they don’t comply.
The state’s Senate majority leader is accused of participating in “a pervasive scheme of slavery.”
It is the second class-action lawsuit filed against the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Program prompted by an investigation by Reveal.
The move comes following a Reveal investigation into unpaid labor from drug rehab program participants.
Jim Hendren’s use of a work camp program shows how beneficiaries of unpaid labor stretch from top companies to high levels of state political power.