Colorado Abolishes Prison Slavery

More than 150 years after the ratification of the US Constitution’s 13th Amendment, Colorado has officially abolished slavery. Coloradans voted Tuesday for Amendment A, a measure removing language in the state constitution that allowed prison labor without pay.

Colorado is one of more than a dozen states whose state constitution technically still allows involuntary servitude as a form of criminal punishment.


Governing magazine notes that bills “with similar goals failed this year in Wisconsin and stalled in Tennessee …


“This won’t have a direct impact on prison reform or how inmates are treated,” Kamau Allen, an organizer with Abolish Slavery Colorado, told Fox News in July. “But it is definitely more impactful than removing something like a Confederate monument, because this will actually change the text of a living document.”

—P.R. Lockhart, Vox[^1]