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An August 1964 study showed that half of the state's more than 6,350 residents were assigned jobs in institutions, raising the issue of "institutional peonage."

Institutional peonage is work, servitude or slavery in exchange for protection.

By law, a person with mental retardation could earn no more than $1 a month. Replacing institutionalized residents with civil service employees would require more than 900 additional positions at a cost of $2.4 million.

Harvesting Corn
Residents of state institutions worked at a variety of jobs for a mere $1 a month, raising concerns about institutional peonage.