Between 1875 and 1928, the state of Alabama profited from a form of prison labor known as the convict-lease system perpetuating a form of slavery. Under this system, companies paid the government in exchange for the labor of prisoners. Conditions were notoriously unsafe, with prisoners suffering high death rates. After several years of reform efforts, the convict-lease system finally came to a halt in 1928 when Alabama became the last state to abolish the practice.

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Encyclopedia of Alabama

Photos courtesy of: Library of Congress, Alamy