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“Still Doin' Time:” Clamoring for Work in the Day Labor Industry

The day-labor industry perpetuates socioeconomic inequities through its regulation of formerly incarcerated people, while positioning itself as a 'successful' facilitator of 'reentry' through its self-designation as one of the few 'reliable' forms of employment for formerly incarcerated people. Utilizing participant observation as a hired day laborer in two major cities and interviews with people working as day labor agency dispatchers and hired day laborers, this study shows how the day labor industry extends the carceral state by continuing many of the same practices used in prisons to degrade, humiliate, and ultimately impair formerly incarcerated people's efforts to climb the socioeconomic ladder.

Purser, G. (2012). “Still Doin’ Time:” Clamoring for Work in the Day Labor Industry. WorkingUSA, 15(3), 397–415.


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