“Free and informed consent becomes pretty questionable when prisoners don’t hold the keys to their own cells,” Professor Murphy said, “and in many cases they can’t read, yet they are signing a document that it practically takes a law degree to understand.”
During the Holmesburg experiments, inmates could earn up to $1,500 a month by participating. The only other jobs were at the commissary or in the shoe and shirt factory, where wages were usually about 15 cents to 25 cents a day, Professor Hornblum said.
On the issue of compensation for inmates, the report expressed concern about “undue inducements to participate in research in order to gain access to medical care or other benefits they would not normally have.” It called for “adequate protections” to avoid “attempts to coerce or manipulate participation."
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