Graph showing how much minimum wage earners in each state would pay if a single co-pay took as many hours to earn as a co-pay charged to an incarcerated person does. The average equivalent co-pay is about $200 and in West Virginia, it's over $1,000.

Data Source: Policy details and sourcing information can be found in the Appendix to the original blog post. (Graph: Wendy Sawyer, 2017)

This graph originally appeared in The steep cost of medical co-pays in prison puts health at risk.

Seven states expect incarcerated people with no wages to pay medical co-pays: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Texas do not pay incarcerated people for work assignments and in Florida, Mississippi, and South Carolina many, but not all, incarcerated people work in prison jobs without pay. For details on all state wage policies, see

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  • May 15, 2018:
    Our Policy Analyst Lucius Couloute will be at the LEDA Summit on Race and Inclusion in Holland, Michigan, presenting his research on the challenges and disadvantages people face when they are released from prison. Tickets are available on LEDA’s website.

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