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The US Prison workforce. The new slave trade?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Da_Rude_Baboon, 5 Aug 2011.

  1. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    I saw this on QI the other night and found it quite shocking. There has been a huge investment in private prisons in the US largely on the back of using the inmates as cheap labour. In private prisons inmates are paid as little as 17 cents an hour for a maximum 6 hour working day and if they refuse to work their put into solitary confinement. Incidentally in state run prisons they earn far more, $2 to minimum wage. Businesses are being actively encouraged to move production from third world countries back to the US to exploit this cheap labour. What do these prisoners produce?

    What do you think of this? I think its good idea for inmates to work and learn new skills but this exploitation as such low wages do not teach the value of work. It also encourages an artificially high prison population.

    The full article can be found here and is worth a read.
     
  2. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    I think that's awesome actually, it's exactly what I've been saying should be happening in prisons... well, assuming a fair punishment is given in relation to the crime, and assuming innocent people aren't being incarcerated, etc...

    Who decides what's fair? I dunno, let Nexxo figure that out, I like the basic idea that prisoners are put to work, possibly paying for the cost to detain them, not just being a burden on society.
     
  3. Phalanx

    Phalanx Needs more dragons and stuff.

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    I understand that not all inmates are in for huge stretches or for being murderers, etc.

    However, I do believe that in certain cases (ie. Murder, etc), you effectively give up your "Human Rights" in my eyes. You are no longer human, so personally I wouldn't even pay them.
     
  4. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    My feeling is: if you don't want to be exploited, don't go to prison. Most of the exploited workforce ended up there because they, in some way or form, exploited society. What goes around comes around.

    I understand the argument that it is better to teach them a work skill and let them experience the principle of a good reward for a good day's work. Added bonus is that when they are released they have some money saved to make a fresh start. So on balance I think it is a bad idea to exploit them as cheap labour. On the other hand, these are not powerless innocents. There is a way out of this.
     
  5. Chebob

    Chebob Member

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    For serious crimes, im all for this, sod them :) The problem is that when every prisoner starts having to do this, they'll end up worse than when they came in, and no doubt the US government will be very black and white about it when the inevitable questions about human rights start appearing, they'll just say "well this is what you wanted, right?"...
     
  6. Phalanx

    Phalanx Needs more dragons and stuff.

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    Absolutely! Although saying that, I wouldn't be complaining :)
     
  7. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    Its more the fact that it requires and encourages a large prison population. The studies already show that prisoners are far more likely to have their sentences extended due to bad behaviour in a privately funded prison. It must also have a profound effect on the rest of the US manufacturing industry as they will not be able to compete.
     
  8. ccxo

    ccxo On top of a hill

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    Do we have this on our side of the pond yet or is prison still a 5* holdiday for prisoners.
     
  9. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Sometimes I'm surprised by the number of people who still have the rosy view that prison (or welfare, or similar experiences) is some kind of relaxing vacation spa where you just sit around eating caviar and watching TV all day. If life is so easy on the other side of the fence (quite literally in this case), why don't more people voluntarily adopt such a lifestyle?
     
  10. PicarroJr

    PicarroJr New Member

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    You should see the prisons in Denmark. Internet acces, PS3's, 3 warm meals a day and clean clothes. What more can you ask for?
     
  11. AstralWanderer

    AstralWanderer New Member

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    If you're talking about the UK, then you need your eyes opening. Spend some time reading Inside Times or PrisonerBen's Blog (and before people jump to assumptions, no he does not have Internet access in prison, he has to write his postings using pen-and-paper which are then posted to someone who updates his blog).
     
  12. Furymouse

    Furymouse Like connect 4 in dagger terms

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    Personally if I was in prison I would want to work. It gives you drive and ambition to work at something. Especially when you are locked up with nowhere to go and nothing else to do. Why not take that time to improve oneself and become a better person?
     
  13. walle

    walle Well-Known Member

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    Of course.

    Same thing when moving production to China, but in this case you get to skip two steps. Overseas shipping and shipping costs.
     
  14. camelCase

    camelCase New Member

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    Haven't US prisons always used prisoners for cheap labour? Think of the chain gangs described in the book by Robert Elliott Burns.
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    'Hard labour', or to use its more formal term, penal labour used to be a specific prison sentence. In the UK in the 19th century, hard labour became a standard feature of penal servitude. Although it was prescribed for severe crimes it was also widely applied in cases of minor crime such as petty theft and vagrancy, as well as victimless behaviour deemed harmful to the fabric of society. Notable recipients of forced labour include Oscar Wilde (after his conviction for gross indecency) and John William Gott (the last man in the UK to be convicted for blasphemy).

    This labour did not always have to be meaningful or productive; just hard. A prisoner would have to turn a crank in his cell the number of times set on its counter, to earn his food. Unlike the treadmill, which was used to power machinery in the prison, the crank simply turned paddles in a box of sand and did nothing productive. The average prisoner had to do 10,000 turns in 8 hours, equivalent to one every 3 seconds or so. As an extra punishment a warder could tighten a screw to make turning more difficult. As such, warders came to be known as 'screws', and by inference, the prisoner was 'screwed'. Although 'screw' remained within the prison environment, eventually 'to be screwed' became a widespread expression.
     
  16. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    ..Why should they get the privileges people who've not broken the law get?

    They most likely deserve it, serves them right.
     
  17. PabloFunky

    PabloFunky New Member

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    When i was redundant, after 6 months, i recieved the sum of £0.00,as i had some savings.

    So they were doing better than i was, and i havent ever committed a crime.

    Its good that they are given a job, free rent, food, etc etc etc.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

    +1 with liratheal.
     
  18. ccxo

    ccxo On top of a hill

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    So playstation and tv services etc, prisons do vary though those serving short term sentences its a holiday for them as there out pretty quickly.

    A 5* vacation was a over the top statement i admit.
     
  19. camelCase

    camelCase New Member

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    After seeing David Charlton on the Strangeways programme the other month, he is a good advert for those who want prisoners to do some form of hard work to pay for their upkeep
     
  20. Invictus.

    Invictus. Member

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    wrong thread sorry.. just realised..

    On topic Tbh they deserve it as are in debt to society Not only for their crime but their upkeep of being in prison
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2011

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