chain gang

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chain gang:

see convict laborconvict labor,
work of prison inmates. Until the 19th cent., labor was introduced in prisons chiefly as punishment. Such work is now considered a necessary part of the rehabilitation of the criminal; it is also used to keep discipline and reduce the costs of prison maintenance.
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chain gang

US a group of convicted prisoners chained together, usually while doing hard labour
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
He was caught, tried, and convicted of horse stealing and sentenced to the chaingang (Du Bois, 1904, pp.
Black Policeman (Holding up shotgun): This heah is about life on the chaingang, boy.
CHAINGANG Wiggins, complete with personalised saddle, heads Brit charge with Mark Cavendish (inset) RIDE STUFF Millar and Boardman (below)