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Journalist uncovers women's prison camp at Hickman’s Family Farms

At the start of the pandemic, prisoners who worked off site were largely sent back to prison. The work stopped — and with it the meager amount of money they earned to pay for things like regular soap and toothpaste. 

At Perryville women’s prison in Goodyear, most of those jobs stopped in March 2020 — except for those at Hickman’s Family Farms, where many of the state’s eggs come from and one of the state’s prison system’s largest clients.

For the first time ever, the women who worked at Hickman’s were sent to live on Hickman’s property — in what freelance journalist Elizabeth Whitman says amounted to a prison camp — so they could continue the back-breaking work. 

Whitman has been writing about Hickman’s for years.  She has a new piece out in Cosmopolitanabout the women who were sent to live at Hickman’s during the pandemic.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.