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[–] Talc 3 points 74 points (+77|-3) ago 

A friend of mine had a business manufacturing fluorescent light fittings, the big square ones you see in suspended ceilings in offce buildings everywhere. The business was growing slowly and he had about 15 staff at 2 locations. A "competitor" (a faceless multinational) arranged to have light fittings assembled by slave labour at a local prison, workers for literally 2 dollars a day. How do you compete with 2 dollars a day? Answer is, you don't, you go bust and lay off all the staff. Prison labour is slavery by the back door, bad for everyone.

I'm not saying prisoners shouldn't work, just that the fruits of their efforts should not make it onto the open market because it damages the market. I'm fine with them working to make clothes, blankets, food for other inmates and even uniforms for guards but their output should not leave the prison system and compete with business.

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[–] SpectralForces 3 points 25 points (+28|-3) ago 

Or they could, you know, get paid for the work they do instead of being slaves.

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[–] Talc 0 points 19 points (+19|-0) ago 

they could, but before that could happen you'd need to stop big businesses exploiting politicians for profit otherwise the convicts will always end up on slave wages.

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[–] Devieus 1 points 9 points (+10|-1) ago 

That would cut into the bottom line of the prison, just like rehabilitating prisoners so they can do all those things outside prison.

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[–] obvious-throwaway- 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Slippery slope.

Let's say I'm a really good at [insert profession] and I command a really high salary. My boss is very wealthy and wants to maintain my services, but would rather keep more money for himself. He contacts his friends at city hall, where he just made a sizable donation, and some police show up at my house while I'm at work and confiscate my computer. Low and behold, it turns out my computer is full of illegal content and a court appointed expert confirms this. The next thing I know I am standing in front of a judge wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs being asked whether I'd like to work off my crime by spending the next 10 years in prison working for my employer for minimum wage or would I like to spend the next 45 years behind bars. My boss saves more money than ever and his contribution to city hall increases significantly the very next year.

If a system has the potential for corruption, it will be corrupted.

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[–] vacvape 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

But how do you make all that money owning prisons that way. Get a real job? Nigger, please.

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[–] GuyIDisagreeWith 1 points 17 points (+18|-1) ago 

Add to this that there is now incentive to arrest and convict innocent people to exploit their labor.

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[–] Rotteuxx 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I always thought road side garbage collecting was a nice activity for them, getting to see all the free people going about their lives while serving their time getting sunlight & fresh air.

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[–] Talc 0 points 9 points (+9|-0) ago 

Around here that's someone's job you're taking away and giving to convicts, that's real hardworking people who are going to end up on welfare and struggling to survive.

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[–] Philosopher_King 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Their output should and most definitely leave the prison system. Why? Because taxpayers pay for their existence to live and survive.

Now, companies shouldn't be able to bid for stuff and use them as slave labor, but I don't see an issue with the government using them to build stuff, like "the wall", and produce other resources that benefit the society. Set them solely on humanitarian missions.

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[–] Talc 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

Using them to build the wall means they compete with existing construction companies, the fact that we subsidise them means they're not competing on a level playing field, people are going to lose their jobs to this sort of ill-considered policy.

Set them solely on humanitarian missions.

Requires a lot of care as to how you define humanitarian missions, so many ways they can end up taking the jobs of honest people. In the UK some prisoners refurbish wheelchairs and walking frames for the socialised health service, AFAIK they don't compete with anyone because there was no budget to pay anyone to do the job in the first place.

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[–] repoman 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I think they should be paid a market wage and have the cost of incarceration subtracted such that they are self-sufficient and motivated to improve themselves so their discretionary income increases as their labor value increases. The more productive inmates can then use their excess income to upgrade their living conditions, food, and other perks.

That takes the burden off the taxpayers and gives prisoners incentive to learn a skill that they can put to use when they are paroled. As for those who absolutely refuse to work, they would have the worst living conditions and eat gruel, and perhaps their living costs should be borne by the more productive inmates to teach all of them in a microcosm about the drawbacks of being a burden upon society. A few "code reds" will convince the lazy motherfuckers that they better at least do enough to pay their own way.

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[–] piratse 3 points 20 points (+23|-3) ago 

Because it's slave labor. They get paid literally pennies an hour. I don't agree at all with prison labor for companies unless the pay was industry average or something.

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[–] In_Cog_Nito 1 points 19 points (+20|-1) ago 

This is exactly how slavery began; criminals were sold as slaves.

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[–] Sikozen [S] 4 points 0 points (+4|-4) ago 

Really? That's how slavery began?

I'm super interested in seeing you citations for the moment slavery began.

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[–] Sikozen [S] 1 points 4 points (+5|-1) ago 

Prisons are paid for with tax money. When they are sitting in prison and not working, people who pay taxes are being forced to pay for them to... do nothing that helps pay back their community.

(Again - not saying prison is fun and fancy free.)

They get paid literally pennies an hour.

First, source please? Second - I'm not crying in my cornflakes because that chick who drowned her kids or that guy who shot up the convenience store is only making a few pennies for the work they are putting in while they are in prison. It's PRISON, not Feel Better About Yourself Happy Day Camp For Grown Ups. You aren't supposed to want to be there. That's kind of the point.

I understand that this can lead to abuses in the system. Look at this motherfucker right here. This is sick. But this isn't a problem with the prison system per se, this is a problem with the justice system that would allow judges to do this without thought for so long and that's a different discussion.

I don't agree at all with prison labor for companies unless the pay was industry average or something.

That's called a job. You're saying people should only work in prison when they are being paid like it is a normal, everyday job, and that's crap. You are in prison. You don't deserve the same kind of employment considerations while serving a sentence that a law abiding system going through their grind to keep their lives together; that's bullshit.

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[–] eden910 1 points 5 points (+6|-1) ago 

This is one of those strange things about Americans. They spurt about freedom and how wonderful it is but when it comes to the penal system, they behave like taking someone's freedom away is just a walk in the park and think any retribution they can dream up should be added. Want to increase recidivism? Treat convicts like nonhuman, non-Americans and make sure they hate the system before they get released. They'll be determined to take out their rage on the system by the time they are free.

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[–] Zanbato 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

There shouldn't be a profit motive to send people to prison, it should be punishment. If you want to give prisoners the option to work while they are there, and get paid normal wage, then it would be a good options.

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[–] ibepokey 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

In Oklahoma, you can be paid $0.45 a DAY to work. there are other jobs that pay a little more (not very much more though,) but some facilities have manufacturing operations (plastics, boxes, mattresses, etc) where you can be paid minimum wage. But the number of workers there is always a very small percentage of that facility's population. The inmates do all the work inside the prison: cooking, cleaning, electrical, hvac, plumbing, grounds maintenance, etc. so there's plenty of the cheap jobs available. imagine being paid 45 cents a day to help install the razor wire fences around your own prison.

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[–] vacvape 1 points -1 points (+0|-1) ago 

Right, corruption exists in isolation therefore you can just ignore it while you busy yourself undermining the labor force implementing corporate welfare you fucking numbnuts.

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[–] Kal 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I feel like it would be excellent for prisons to pay honest wages for honest work. As is, however, you're right. Prisons are a racquet. The fact that it's called "The Criminal Justice System" rather than "The People's Justice System" or "The American Justice System" is no mistake.

Seriously, contemplate the name for a moment.

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[–] closetalcoholic 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Well the hiring company could pay the corrections department the going industry rate, and that money could then be used as reparations to the victims and their families.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] 123_456 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I am not vehemently against prisoners working, and for less, but if you make the argument about it damaging small businesses (who can't compete based on wages) I can see that argument.

However, work is valuable to the prisoners. It gives them experience, and they can make a little bit of money. When they get out they can say I worked at such, and such for X amount of years. Then they can show they've been rehabilitated, and have work experience. It is in their favor.

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[–] Sikozen [S] 2 points -1 points (+1|-2) ago 

Prisons are literally slave labor camps.

Literally? Literally slave labor camps? Grow the fuck up.

[–] [deleted] 1 points 3 points (+4|-1) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] Thisismyvoatusername 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

But they are literally slave camps, it is not a figurative use of the term. That is why the Thirteenth Amendment which otherwise abolished slavery has an exception for them.

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[–] forkintoaster 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

not only does it create problems for competitors who are paying living wages and not using prison "slave labor", it also creates incentive to put people in prison. This goes hand in hand with judges getting financial kickbacks from privatized prisons in exchange for harsher sentencing.

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[–] Sikozen [S] 2 points -1 points (+1|-2) ago 

not only does it create problems for competitors who are paying living wages and not using prison "slave labor

This is also the argument for why illegal immigrants should be deported. Good to see you on board.

it also creates incentive to put people in prison. This goes hand in hand with judges getting financial kickbacks from privatized prisons in exchange for harsher sentencing.

And this is a VERY SERIOUS issue. But it's an issue with corruption, which is punishable by law and not what I'm asking.

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[–] rwbj 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago  (edited ago)

It's slave labor and jobs that can be done using slave labor will trend towards using only slave labor. For instance once farmers can reliably pay prisons to get slaves for a pittance per day, they're never going to hire a 'freeman' again. As the result skills the slaves learn become useless by the very nature of slavery. Any competitors to the company using slave labor can be undercut meaning they're obligated to move towards slave labor as well.

And there's also corruption. Private prisons already lobby and donate tens of millions of dollars to politicians aiming for 'tough on crime' and anti-drug legislation. And politicians are on the take. You really don't want to start having anything less than disgust for what they're doing because it would end very badly. This whole system of private prisons undoubtedly plays a major part in the reason we already imprison far more people per capita than anywhere else in the world. This is an example of the absurdity. A man whose first time in prison was for life, for selling about an eyedropper worth of LSD. He sold to friends and family with life earnings from drugs of about $3,000. But he was a mandatory sentence for his two prior drug offenses (which were smalltime and resulted in no jail time.) Mandatory minimum sentencing - another idiotic result of the private prison lobby.

Let's stop making land of the free so ironic.

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[–] Sikozen [S] 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

It's slave labor and jobs that can be done using slave labor will trend towards using only slave labor.

That is the essence of the anti-immigration movement. Go on.

For instance once farmers can reliably pay prisons to get slaves for a pittance per day, they're never going to hire a 'freeman' again.

That's not how it works. There's availability and ability to pay... it's just not that simple. There's more to it than that. And that whole 'not hiring freeman again' thing - farmers have low overhead to begin with and that's not their fault. They can't afford to pay insanely high minimum wage without increasing the cost of their product. My point about prison labor is that while i appreciate everyone attempting to make it about slavery, they're ignoring the fact they are fighting for people to be supported and not have to work after committing a crime.

That skill they slaves learn becomes useless by the very nature of slavery.

Anything you learn is not wasted, that is stupid and shows that you don't understand what you are typing. A skill you learn is not useless unless you refuse to look for application. That's why it's a skill and not a Woman's Empowerment Meeting at the local Starbucks - it has worth. Adding 'by the nature of slavery' does not make you look smarter, it looks foolish. This whole piece is foolish. Being a slave would not make anything one learned useless (power to anyone out there who has actually been a slave - you have worth) and working in prison is not slavery. Working in prison is working while you are doing hard time for a crime you committed.

And there's also corruption.

And that is not what I was asking about. I've seen enough stories about corruption. The idea that there are bad people out there that could abuse something, so that's why we should not have it is stupid. Someone could abuse welfare, so no more welfare. Someone could abuse painkillers, so no more medicine. Someone could abuse a dog, so no more pets. That's dumb.

And your friend Timothy Tyler:

Tyler was raised in Connecticut and Florida, where he attended Lakewood Senior High School, graduating in 1986. His parents were divorced and he was physically and emotionally abused by his stepfather. He suffered from depression as a child. He had episodes that resulted in at least six emergency mental health hospitalizations.[2][3][4]

Sounds pretty average.

After graduation, he toured the country attending Grateful Dead concerts. He sold fried dough, fruit smoothies, beer and sodas. He consumed and sold marijuana and LSD. He was first arrested in Panama City, Florida for LSD possession and released on his own recognizance. A second arrest occurred that resulted in three years of probation. Tyler resumed touring with the Grateful Dead and sent LSD to a friend who was arrested for marijuana possession who turned into a confidential informant for the DEA.[2][5] During a two-month period, this informant, working with the DEA, asked Tyler to mail him LSD five times, which Tyler did. Tyler sent the package to his father's address, implicating him.[3]

So he was caught multiple times during a time period when LSD was bad drug du-jour. He was ratted out by a trusted friend and felled by the Three-Strikes Law, which was put in place by Clinton in the 90s and kind of shitty to begin with.

You are using someone who got a raw deal and was pretty stupid to begin with to argue why people shouldn't be in prison. That... no. Go think about what you've typed.

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[–] vacvape 1 points -1 points (+0|-1) ago 

Anything you learn is not wasted, that is stupid and shows that you don't understand what you are typing.

You're kind of an idiot. Ain't cha.

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[–] green_man 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Reinstate chain gangs and make them clean up trash on the highway. Make it optional and pay them something, but also allow them to buy better meals or accommodations. Make it a cashless system and ban the use of cash to purchase anything.

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[–] Sikozen [S] 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

I love there are people like you, and want more people like you. So you need to start making some babies.

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[–] remola 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

In old South Africa we used to use Bandite (Bandits, Prisoners who were in for low end crimes i.e. non violent low value robbery like shop lifting, drunken vandalism etc) for all municipal manual labor like cleaning walkways tending gardens etc.. It worked very well and there were zero problems with them ever. They realize it was an opportunity to get out of jail during the day and they received better privileges while outside.

For the right criminals its a good idea, when managed well.

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[–] Sikozen [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Some judges have been busted finding intentionally against young criminals in order to put them in facilities that employed prisoners. The judges were given incentives, and it was really shitty. Instead of pointing out that these were bad judges and getting judgement against judges if pretty difficult, maybe something someone should address, some people have taken this as proof that prisoners (prisoners) should either not have to work, or get paid a living wage if they work. Like they aren't in prison but instead in a... work camp? Maybe not the word I'm looking for.

I kinda feel like if you are in prison you should be doing something for the benefit of the community. But there are people in prison who can't be trusted out in the community, so what about them? Manual labor keeps them fit because it keeps every human fit, anything for-profit should go back into the prison system to keep the lights on and maybe keep a better quality of food around, etc. There's ways to do it. But it would be the elimination of some jobs and the creation of others, and no one wants to bother with that.

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[–] LostandFound 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Because prison is viewed as a punishment. Your talking about rehabilitation, and god forbid we rehabilitate these people rather than get them in contact with a new statewide crime circle. See prison in Scandinavian countries, its like an easy going army camp with inmates often policing themselves. They often feed each other and learn about not being a shitty human. Its possible but not until they stop viewing criminals like animals that need to be taken away from the good ordinary folk.

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