“It was a slave camp. I can’t believe the court sent me there.”
A judge started his own rehab where defendants must work at a bottling plant and other companies, under threat of prison if they don’t comply.
Reporters Amy Julia Harris and Shoshana Walter’s investigation of forced labor at drug rehab centers one of two finalists for journalism’s top honor.
It is the second class-action lawsuit filed against the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Program prompted by an investigation by Reveal.
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.