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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.