Ah…Whole Foods. Fortune Magazine, as usual, puts a nice spin on exploitative labor practices:

Prison labor’s new frontier: Artisanal foods.

I think the issues are as follows: trapped labor, no labor rights, prisoner abuse is now given a twist of worker abuse, severe under pay, massive corporate profits to say the least. furthermore, if we connect this to the mass incarceration profit industry, what we see is the rather unsettling fact that prisons may seek prisoners in order to meet corporate supply chain demands i.e prison labor work force, if it becomes a principal source of a company’s work force, can then be held hostage to market and profit forces, and we can see a backlash where courts and judges become complicit in providing ‘penal labor’ to a prison that has profit margins to achieve. it can even lead to longer sentences, refusal to review cases, rejection of paroles, and the creation of ‘fake’ prisoners by issuing harsh statement on petty charges just to get bodies into the prison and onwards onto the assembly line. in fact, we saw this sort of feedback in the ‘kids for cash’ scandal some years ago (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal), and these relationships between courts, prisons and corporations have raised many concerns, for example see here:http://americanhumanist.org/hnn/details/2012-08-the-greed-of-private-prisons to name one set of discussions. This is labor exploitation.

The fortune article suggests that this work is good for prisoners because they are ‘citizens’. But they are crippled citizens – they have lost their most cherished right to the vote, and frankly, are already paying their debt to society by being locked up. to now make them available for corporate labor use is a bit rich.they cannot protest their conditions, they cannot demand any rights, they cannot argued their hours, they cannot really do anything meaningful with their lives based on these kinds of jobs. they are beholden to interests that prefer to see more incarcerated, given longer sentences, refused parole i.e. a trapped labor force for the benefit of private profit. Your shrink-wrapped Kale can also be gotten from other sources, though I suspect it will be equally expensive. The profits from the staggering 60c / day pay all go to the company, via a few kickbacks to the prisons I suspect