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Prisoners Used to Clean Foreclosed Houses in Georgia

According to several October 2010 news reports, foreclosed homes in Covington and Newton County, Georgia were being cleaned by prisoners. It was not mentioned whether the prisoners came from local jails or state prisons, but the reports referenced the use of “prison labor.” One local newspaper opposed the idea, though others viewed it as banks taking advantage of a cheap source of labor to process vacant homes.

There is a glut of foreclosed houses throughout the nation due to the economic downturn. Sales of many of the homes were delayed by problems with documentation and improper signing of foreclosure documents, causing the inventory of foreclosed properties to grow. That, in turn, has increased the pressure on lending institutions to quickly process foreclosed homes to get them back on the market.

Apparently using prisoners is one way to accomplish that goal, despite the fact that prison labor takes jobs away from non-incarcerated workers at a time when the national unemployment rate is around 10 percent. The city of Lakeland, Georgia is also reportedly using prison labor to construct a city call and police building.


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