David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy

Criminal Justice System Locks People into Bad Jobs, UCLA Study Finds

March 30, 2016 – A UCLA study of the criminal justice system has found that federal, state and local governments present ways that workers on parole or who face criminal justice debt can’t afford to refuse a job or speak up about poor working conditions.

The report, “Get to Work or Go to Jail: Workplace Rights Under Threat,” a collaboration between the UCLA Labor Center, UCLA Institute for Research on Labor & Employment and A New Way of Life Reentry Project, examines the market implications when government agencies require workers to find and accept certain kinds of jobs, or be incarcerated.   

Professor Noah Zatz, a report co-author and associate director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, has addressed the issue in “Power at Work: Mass Incarceration's Shadow,” for the online forum, On Labor.    

A press release issued by the UCLA Labor Center is available here.