“It was a slave camp. I can’t believe the court sent me there.”
“It’s like slavery,” said one rehab participant, “like we were on the plantation.”
“I can’t fathom this being legitimate,” one former Labor Department investigator says of a drug rehab’s work program.
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.
Because of the intervention, many recovery programs in Oklahoma remain exempt from state oversight.
Men in the program work for free, under constant threat of being sent to prison, on products for big-name brands, including Popeyes, KFC and Walmart.
Judges across the country had ordered defendants into rehab programs that double as work camps for for-profit companies.
“That sounds like something from the early 1900s. And this is going on right now? And how is it legal?”
We found a slew of rehab programs that supply cheap and captive workers to major poultry companies, such as Tyson Foods and Simmons Foods.
The outcry came in response to a Reveal investigation that shows how drug court defendants are being forced to work for free.