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jack grebe
09-07-2009, 06:31 AM
I read a newspaper article today about how they are closing some prisons in Michigan because of budget cuts. Why do the prisons cost taxpayers money? Why not put the prisoners to work and have the prisons be at least budget neutral? What do they do all day anyway? Watch TV? Go to the recreation center? Why not set up exercise bikes to generate electricity? If I want to watch TV, I have to pay an electric and cable bill. One could set up equipment so an inmate earns power credits to run his TV or radio or lights. No credits, no electricity.

Why not bring in some productive industry and put the inmates to work to support the prison facility? What, are we violating some kind of rights? This makes sense to me. And a prisoner could leave with some meaningful, productive skill.

PeterSibley
09-07-2009, 06:41 AM
Why not put less people inside to start with ?
That's the place to start the savings .

paladin
09-07-2009, 06:42 AM
It's inhumane to make prisoners work, and their union demands full medical and all services......and specifies the grade of food, and temperatures that their cells must be etc...

Pugwash
09-07-2009, 06:50 AM
http://www.learningcurve.gov.uk/victorianbritain/lawless/images/lawless7.jpg


Ahhhh, the good old days.

:rolleyes:

skuthorp
09-07-2009, 06:54 AM
If the State imprisons a person, they also theoretically take on a duty of care. I don't know about your law but I think that if they did take on the role of a profit centre, competing with private industry, they'd have the advantage of a 'captive' workforce. Thwen of course, many prisons are a private enterprise as it is, so how is the state losing money? Arethey subsidised?

Tylerdurden
09-07-2009, 07:01 AM
Legalize drugs, Eliminate mandatory minimum. Problem solved.

jack grebe
09-07-2009, 07:14 AM
Legalize drugs, Eliminate mandatory minimum. Problem solved.
Do you have a degree in stupidity????????:rolleyes:

Tylerdurden
09-07-2009, 07:18 AM
Do you have a degree in stupidity????????:rolleyes:

No free and open society.;) I am one of those guys who wants a return to common law. Sentences are much steeper on that side of the fence. Its an easy misconception for the brainwashed to get confused by this.

skuthorp
09-07-2009, 07:28 AM
Don't know about legalising 'drugs', there's a definition problem for a start. But decriminalising use and putting addiction into the health area would probably cost less. For dealers etc no mercy. But there would be a lot of interests against such a step, apart from the anti drug lobby etc, there are many with an interest in the status quo amongst law enforcement and legal circles, after all drugs work is probably 70% of their employment.

botebum
09-07-2009, 07:30 AM
My grandmother was harping to my Mom once about her vision of a one room jail. Her concept was that once convicted, a person would go to the jail. The next person that was convicted would be taken to the jail and the first person would be taken out back and shot. She figured it would completely stop crime and one person would end up in jail for life. She had no idea that while she was explaining this to my Mom yours truly was in the county lockup:eek::D

Doug

Nicholas Scheuer
09-07-2009, 07:34 AM
People in private business don't like competition from prison business/labor.

It's an old dispute.

Moby Nick

Tylerdurden
09-07-2009, 07:40 AM
Don't know about legalising 'drugs', there's a definition problem for a start. But decriminalising use and putting addiction into the health area would probably cost less. For dealers etc no mercy. But there would be a lot of interests against such a step, apart from the anti drug lobby etc, there are many with an interest in the status quo amongst law enforcement and legal circles, after all drugs work is probably 70% of their employment.

Using drugs is a personal issue and if legalized it can be taxed and controlled like alcohol. Good bye dealer as there would be no huge profits in it. We know no matter how much we try to eliminate it a percentage of population is addictive in personality. Help those manage it responsibly. Spain is having tremendous success with decriminalization and should be a model. A gradual walk away from draconian drug laws would be the best way. I agree if done overnight the backlash would be hard to handle.
Violent crimes should be dealt with severely along with any crime than harms another. Madoff should have gotten hard labor and anyone who uses their position to harm others should be seen in the same light. White collar or not.

Paul Pless
09-07-2009, 07:46 AM
Why not put the prisoners to work and have the prisons be at least budget neutral?You assume that prison labor meets some minimum efficiency level; you further assume that prison management is conducive to profitablity. Your assumptions are incorrect.

This concludes my, 'sounds like something George Roberts would say' post for this year.:p

brad9798
09-07-2009, 08:06 AM
ROTFLMAO- Paul! Classic! :D :D


People in private business don't like competition from prison business/labor.

It's an old dispute.

Nick hits this one on the head! Prison labor will destroy local labor-based economies. Period.

Phillip Allen
09-07-2009, 08:09 AM
ROTFLMAO- Paul! Classic! :D :D



Nick hits this one on the head! Prison labor will destroy local labor-based economies. Period.

I was just scrolling down to say that vary thing

coelacanth2
09-07-2009, 08:36 AM
Hows about recycling? Chain'em to the conveyor belts and they can sort garbage ALL DAY LONG. That would deter me, and it would get a useful-to-society but distasteful task done. 8 hour shift gets you 1 hour of teevee and food.

Tylerdurden
09-07-2009, 08:41 AM
I think if anything farming and animal husbandry should return to the system. Practical skills learned and the incentive is to eat better.
Beyond that reform activity's in industry and education.

Teaching cooperation and work ethic is never a bad thing.

Pugwash
09-07-2009, 08:54 AM
Dunno about you guys, but every time I drive to work the orange jumpsuits are on the side of the Interstate picking up trash.

Bruce Taylor
09-07-2009, 09:12 AM
If saving money is your goal, Peter might have a point (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_pri_per_cap-crime-prisoners-per-capita)

Phillip Allen
09-07-2009, 09:13 AM
you might want to read this

http://www.corpun.com/uspr6702.htm

ask yourself if adding foremen and straw bosses by the dozen (indispensible for such work) will likely improve living conditions

Bruce Hooke
09-07-2009, 09:27 AM
Keep in mind that most people who end up in prison don't really have much in the way of marketable job skills. These are workers who would be lucky to get a minimum wage job on the outside. So, even if you train them more than an outside employer would be willing to train them these are still not workers who are likely to be effective at producing a high-value product or service. So, while you might offset a bit the cost of incarceration you are certainly not going to achieve a revenue-neutral situation.

The better argument for prison-based jobs is probably teaching the prisoners job skills. However, anything that looks like a "benefit" to prisoners, even if it has been proven to reduce recidivism, seems to make a significant sector of the American population apoplectic. Heaven forbid we should do something that someone might see as coddling the prisoners in order to reduce the recidivism rate.

ljb5
09-07-2009, 09:43 AM
People in private business don't like competition from prison business/labor.

I think you have that backwards. Business owners would love to have prison labor at a fraction of the cost of free market labor.

The opposition comes from decent folks who aren't in prison and would prefer not to lose their jobs to criminals.

I've heard a lot of telemarketing is prison labor. Naturally, telemarketers like docile "workers" who are relatively cheap to house and can be effective at their jobs. Non-violent drug users fit the bill nicely, so the employers have made a big push to increase the number of inmates.

For-profit prisons: the worst thing that ever happened to any society.

jack grebe
09-07-2009, 09:51 AM
This concludes my, 'sounds like something George Roberts would say' post for this year.:p
FU Paul:D

S/V Laura Ellen
09-07-2009, 09:53 AM
Why not bring in some productive industry and put the inmates to work to support the prison facility?

The average worker in Michigan would appreciate some productive industry coming in.

jack grebe
09-07-2009, 09:54 AM
The opposition comes from decent folks who aren't in prison and would prefer not to lose their jobs to criminals.




Do you mean the "decent" folks who hire, what is
now illegal immigrants, to do the work they choose
not to do? Work that incarcerated Americans could
be doing?

ahp
09-07-2009, 10:19 AM
Bad idea, for two reasons. First we would have non free (slave) labor in competition with free labor. Slave labor wins, and discourages innovation and economy. Ancient Rome is an example and the USSR another.

Second, there becomes a strong motivation to arrest more people just to have a cheap labor pool. Down here in the South, sheriffs would rent out the prisoners as coal miners. It was a nice deal for the sheriffs.

Rigadog
09-07-2009, 10:50 AM
Why not put less people inside to start with ?
That's the place to start the savings .
We have to incarcerate large numbers of Americans. We are by and large armed and dangerous (and fairly rude as well).
Most of these problems could be solved by the importation of large numbers of Kangaroos or a vigorous Kangaroo breeding program.

Nicholas Scheuer
09-07-2009, 11:00 AM
I lived a long time in a city having a large State Prison. Being a Prison Guard was considered pretty much a job of last resort.

Business owners using Prison labor is a hassle, whether inside or outside the walls. Business owners want to hire their own labor, and they don't want to have to compete with a nearby prison.

Prison Administrators will tell you that finding something better than "make work" for inmates is difficult.

I will admit that the northern state in which I resided is not known for advanced public poilicy.

Moby Nick

Paul Pless
09-07-2009, 11:07 AM
I'd like to use DOC work release labor myself. My friends that are in business that hire them are very happy. They are motivated :D. they are cheap:D, they show up on time:D , they have reliable transportation:D, and they are drug free:D. If they have any problems with them they simply call the DOC and the problem employee is picked up and replaced with another.

Unfortunately for me, they never pass my client mandated criminal background checks.:eek:

George Roberts
09-07-2009, 04:21 PM
You assume that prison labor meets some minimum efficiency level; you further assume that prison management is conducive to profitablity. Your assumptions are incorrect.

This concludes my, 'sounds like something George Roberts would say' post for this year.:p

I suppose George Roberts would say something like:

The prisons and jails in the south had industries based on convict labor. Seems those in charge of the labor - local sheriff or prison warden, made out well as did their friends. The convicts did not fair so well and neither did the prison or jail budget.

If you want prisoners to work, teach them skills and pay them well.

Iceboy
09-07-2009, 04:40 PM
Todays federal prison rehabilitation is a joke. You would think that they would encourage education and training. That is not the case. They do everything possible to hinder the inmate from aquiring educational materials or bettering themselves in any way. The dental and medical care is sub par if it is available at all. The inmates are not entirely at fault for recidivism. The system actively encourages it.

BarnacleGrim
09-07-2009, 04:45 PM
I read a newspaper article today about how they are closing some prisons in Michigan because of budget cuts. Why do the prisons cost taxpayers money? Why not put the prisoners to work and have the prisons be at least budget neutral? What do they do all day anyway? Watch TV? Go to the recreation center? Why not set up exercise bikes to generate electricity? If I want to watch TV, I have to pay an electric and cable bill. One could set up equipment so an inmate earns power credits to run his TV or radio or lights. No credits, no electricity.

Why not bring in some productive industry and put the inmates to work to support the prison facility? What, are we violating some kind of rights? This makes sense to me. And a prisoner could leave with some meaningful, productive skill.
That's called slavery, and is considered very inappropriate.

People in private business don't like competition from prison business/labor.

It's an old dispute.

Moby Nick
Precisely. Moral and ethical considerations aside, slavery doesn't really make for a strong economy. Just look at the African countries that use slave labour.

Nicholas Scheuer
09-07-2009, 05:01 PM
One reading that UNICOR website might come away thinking that the Federal Prison System is the best thing to happen to US Industry since Carnieigy Steel and Ford Moptor Company.

Looks like the Federal Breau of Prisons writes PR better than they reduce recidivism.

Moby Nick

brad9798
09-07-2009, 05:09 PM
Todays federal prison rehabilitation is a joke.

Correct!

And why?

Well, many holier-than-thou folks on the outside that are all for a prison sentence to 'pay' for one's crime are also all about NOT accepting the fact that an ex-con has done just that (paid for his/her crime).

We think rehabilitation is great when it's not in our neighborhoods.

:rolleyes:

PeterSibley
09-07-2009, 05:23 PM
Legalize drugs, Eliminate mandatory minimum. Problem solved.


Portugal has done exactly this .It has gone from a highly authoritarian "hard on drugs "position to treating it as a medical problem .
Here is a good discussion on the subject .

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/stories/2009/2661510.htm

Shang
09-07-2009, 05:29 PM
I'm not sure that convict labor is such a wonderful idea...

http://isurvived.org/Pictures_iSurvived-3/forced_labor-women.GIF

Bob Adams
09-07-2009, 05:38 PM
Todays federal prison rehabilitation is a joke. You would think that they would encourage education and training. That is not the case. They do everything possible to hinder the inmate from aquiring educational materials or bettering themselves in any way. The dental and medical care is sub par if it is available at all. The inmates are not entirely at fault for recidivism. The system actively encourages it.


Oh there is education all right.....go in an novice criminal, come out a professional.

Paul Pless
09-07-2009, 06:54 PM
Portugal has done exactly this .It has gone from a highly authoritarian "hard on drugs "position to treating it as a medical problem .
Here is a good discussion on the subject .

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/stories/2009/2661510.htm

Its not completely 'decriminalized' there yet. To get help, you do have to either be 'picked up' by the police or turn yourself in. Either way you gain a record with the state as a drug addict. . .

Cuyahoga Chuck
09-07-2009, 07:08 PM
A little US labor history kiddees.
In the 19th century there were states that rented out convicts for various types of labor. Problem was the convicts , whose cost was very little, were working along side law abiding citizens who sensed their meager wages would quickly turn into no wages if the state was allowed to continue renting out convicts.
In one case the worried citizens (I think they were miners in Tennessee)got their guns, attacked the prison stockades and set the convicts free. The state retaliated and a rebellion ensued.
Eventually, the US congress passed laws regarding the use of and the products of convict labor. Federal Prison Industries manufactured products that could only be sold to other sectors of the federal government.
This is passed history and it may have been superceded by laws brought to you by "The Gipper" and others who drink at the same trough.

David G
09-07-2009, 07:36 PM
Legalize drugs, Eliminate mandatory minimum. Problem solved.

td,

I'm afraid I must agree with you again. This is starting to freak me out :eek:

High C
09-07-2009, 07:53 PM
I agree with botebum's Grandma. :D

PeterSibley
09-07-2009, 08:18 PM
Its not completely 'decriminalized' there yet. To get help, you do have to either be 'picked up' by the police or turn yourself in. Either way you gain a record with the state as a drug addict. . .

You gain a medical record of drug dependence , not a criminal record and a gaol sentence .I'm sure there are a vast number of good people out there who are fortunate enough to dependent on legal rather than illegal drugs .

Hal Forsen
09-07-2009, 08:28 PM
:eek:

On November 17, 2008, a Texas grand jury returned an indictment against then-Vice President Richard B. Cheney and former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, charging Cheney with contributing to prisoner abuse in privately-run prisons and Gonzales with covering up the abuse by interfering with investigations.
https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/displayArticle.aspx?articleid=21330&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1