Get a load of Mr. Striped Sassypants, begrudgingly working on a Florida farm in 1910. He should just be glad he wasn’t chained to all the other convicts. Chain gangs, in which convicts were chained and forced into labor, were most popular in the Southern States prior to 1955. But some still exist.
In recent years, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona has drawn criticism from human rights groups opposed to punishing criminals by making them work outside in the heat. Arizona’s modern chain gangs, instead of doing unproductive tasks like digging ditches, often do things like removing trash.
During the summer of 2003, when outside temps hit 110 degrees F, Arpaio responded to complaining inmates, “It’s 120 degrees in Iraq, and the soldiers are living in tents, and they didn’t commit any crimes, so shut your mouths.”
On the other hand, states like Ohio allow inmates to use mini-tablet computers to connect with friends and family while incarcerated. I bet that would make prison more enjoyable. And I bet those convicts below would prefer the mini-tablets to the labor.