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At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations that mount their operations inside state prisons. The list of such companies contains the cream of U.S. corporate society: IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. Inmates in state penitentiaries generally receive the minimum wage for their work, but not all; in Colorado, they get about $2 per hour, well under the minimum.

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The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?

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History Spotlight

2017 November 23, 2002 - "First Native American Travels to Space" John Herrington, a registered member of the Chickasaw Nation, was the first Native American to travel into space as the mission specialist for STS-113, the 16th mission to the International Space Station. During his mission, Herrington performed three spacewalks that totaled 19 hours and 55 minutes. The length of his mission was 13 days, 18 hours and 47 minutes. Herrington was inducted to the Chickasaw Hall of Fame the same year he went into space. William Pogue, a crewman aboard Skylab 4 in 1973-1974, had Choctaw ancestry, but was not an enrolled member of the Choctaw.

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