Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

Prison labor is behind some products and services Americans use every day — from call centers and Whole Foods goat cheese to farmer's market fruit.

By the numbers: About 18,000 incarcerated people participate in publicly run prison programs that offer vocational training, while providing labor to private companies through Federal Prison Industries, also known as UNICOR.

But prison reform advocates see these programs as a form of modern slavery where incarcerated people often make less than $1 per hour and companies aren't always upfront about their labor practices.

A look inside: At a local strawberry festival about 50 miles west of Washington, D.C., Virginia's Department of Corrections showcased produce grown by incarcerated people on local, government-owned farms.

  • Incarcerated people are paid 45 cents an hour for the labor, and can earn various certifications such as a forklift operator license or commercial pesticide handler permit, according to the program’s director John “Kenny” Raiford.
  • The vast majority of the vegetables and fruits grown go back to prison kitchens, which has helped lower food costs. But some asparagus and melons are sold locally.

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Elliott Abrams to replace Brian Hook as Trump's Iran envoy

Brian Hook. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Image

President Trump's Iran envoy, Brian Hook, is stepping down, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Thursday. He will be replaced with Venezuela envoy Elliott Abrams, a noted Iran hawk who will serve in both roles.

Why it matters: Hook had been tasked with executing Trump's "maximum pressure" policy toward Iran, working closely with Pompeo. That strategy has deepened tensions and thus far failed to force Iran back to the negotiating table, as Trump had hoped.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump visit

Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has tested positive for COVID-19 and plans to quarantine at his home for the next 14 days, his office announced Thursday. He currently has no symptoms.

Why it matters: The 73-year-old DeWine was set to meet President Trump Thursday on the tarmac at an airport in Cleveland and was tested as part of standard protocol. He is the second governor known to have contracted the coronavirus, after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R).

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 18,860,908 — Total deaths: 708,676— Total recoveries — 11,394,821Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 4,834,546 — Total deaths: 158,445 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Fauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: July's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery — Teladoc and Livongo merge into virtual care giant.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.