Hard Labor Law and Legal Definition
Hard labor is mandated physical labor ordered in connection with a prison term imposed as punishment for a crime.
The following is an example of a state policy on hard labor:
The legislature further finds that as correctional costs increase innovative new ways to manage inmates' idleness through productive inmate work programs should be developed and implemented. Inmate work programs have been found to be an effective means for rehabilitating many inmates and reducing recidivism. Furthermore, by requiring prison inmates to develop meaningful work ethics through hard labor inmates will gain valuable work experience, the correctional institutions will be able to better control institutional costs, and the public will realize their desire to have the best use of public resources on public safety.
For purposes of this section, "hard labor" means physical or mental labor which is performed for a defined period of time not to exceed forty hours each week. The hard work shall include useful and productive work and menial labor performed in a chain gang while outside the prison, and/or in work groups within the prison. To the extent that programs are available, inmates' participation may also be allowed to participate in correctional education and rehabilitation programs. "Hard labor" does not include labor which is dangerous to an inmate's health or life, is unduly painful, or is required to be performed under conditions that would violate occupational safety and health standards applicable to such labor if performed by a person who is not an inmate.