Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Prisoners: America's New Cheap Labor: Make Prisoners pay their way
The modern version of "Slave Labor" is a bit extreme, Prison Inmates are technically compensated and actually do get paid. Wages that you might see in I don't Haiti to use as an example, 20 Cents and hour. But they do get free Room and Board, food, Health Care, laundry, recreation etc. Fine I can go along with that but the fact is their Living Conditions wouldn't be tolerated perhaps anywhere else in the Developed Free World. And we can do much better then this to the point that would help the inmates, the prisons, society and our Governments Budgets. By giving our Prison Inmates real jobs and compensate them based on what they produce and have them do jobs that they are educated, trained and qualified to do. Jobs that just keep the prison running and then prisons wouldn't have to bring in Private Company's to do the work. Jobs like the Mess Hall like maybe turning Mess Halls into real cafeteria's with real food and making inmates pay for their food. Laundry make the inmates do the laundry and then charge the inmates for their laundry and clothing. Jobs in construction, have the inmates to the work when it comes to renovation of prisons or Prison Expansion. Jobs like real Wood Shops and factory's that would build the furniture for the prisons but also the furniture in other Government Offices and have these agency's pay for the work and then compensate the inmates for their work. Jobs like Auto Mechanics like with the Prison Buses and other automobiles as well as bring in private automobiles for repairs as well as police cars. Barbershops, you could also have inmates working in jobs on the street, well supervised of course like Street Repair and other things but pay them for what their work is worth. And not the 20 cents an hour that they get, but what a free person would be making for that work. If we just had a Corrections System that brought back real Prison Industry's that didn't compete with Private Industry's unfairly. Our prisons could pay for themselves and wouldn't have to compete with education and infrastructure and other priorities for Tax Payer funds. Because these industry's would make money and the inmates would make money do the jobs and could then pay for their Room and Board.
Not all inmates are qualified for real jobs and some of them need to be in tight supervision until they are ready for General Population. But our General Population inmates should be working and working full time to pay for their Room and Board. And to keep the prisons running where they live and to make our Corrections System less of a burden on our Government Budgets. Also not all inmates are ready to work once they get there and it might not just be they can't function in General Population. Its hard to find a group of people in society that has as low as an Education Level then Prison Inmates. Thats a main reason why they are in prison to begin with because they don't have the skills to make it legally on the outside. So these people first need to be educated in prison before they are ready to work but we can do this as well. High School and college that they could later pay for.
America unfortunately already had a Slave Era and we certainly don't need to try to repeat that or come anywhere close. But our inmates need to work, for their good, for the good of the prisons and for the good of society once they get out of prison. But we need to do it in a way that benefits everyone involved and as humanly as possible.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about Prison Labor