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To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Was listeneing to NPR
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Cindi    Posted 08-15-2003 at 19:27:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
..on my way to get Fred's check and I could not believe what I was hearing. Supposedly there is this theory that the government is conspiring to build more prisons and stock them with minority men and poor white men to benefit from slave labor. Now maybe it's me, and maybe I am old fashioned, but isn't it kind of hard to fill prisons with people who don't get arrested?

The whole concept today is that people are being sent to prison in record numbers, yes, and the liber....uh...democ....errr.... some folks are saying that instead of coming up with rehab programs, they are sending these young men to jail so that certain folks can benefit from assembly line type work programs that are supposedly in place to help the prisoners get a new start when they graduate from prison. Basically, slave labor.

Jeb Bush is supposed to be one of the biggest culprits behind this 'profit from prisoners' concept.

When exactly in society did it become okay to break a law or two. Make a 'mistake'.

"Oh, sorry officer, I tripped and fell and bought that bag of marijuana."


Seems to me if you don't want to be taken advantage of and forced to work 'slave labor' maybe it's best not to break the law. Laws are laws, and they are for everybody, and once upon a time, ignorance of the law was no excuse. There was no such thing as 'making a mistake'. You either followed the law or you didn't. If you didn't you went to jail. It was not a mistake, it was a choice, and still is in my opinion.

Ana    Posted 08-16-2003 at 13:37:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well, you are too young to remember prohibition, but the government tried to tell people they couldn't have their alcohol. Well, the little guys ARE going to have their little fun, laws or no laws. So it didn't work. Some low-lifes got mighty rich and eventually they had to repeal prohibition. It seems that now they want their weed too whether it's illegal or not. You figure out whether the War on Drugs is working or not. However, I really find the NPR idea of slave labor a tad extreme---it's just too easy to send these jobs to children in third-world countries. Excuse my sarcasm.

Jimbob    Posted 08-16-2003 at 05:03:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Right or wrong, the first problem in the US is cash flow. There are so many criminals, many are being released early because the facilities do not exist to contain them. If prisoners are put to work, the prisons can be in part or in Chinas case fully self-sufficient. This is what China does.

Problem with China prisons is prisoners have no rights like 'right to life'. When a foreigner goes to China, the ultra high tech hospitals can, for example, perform a kidney transplant. The prisons are searched for a DNA match. Once the match is found, the kidney is remove & the prisoners' life becomes expired at the same time. There has been some articles about this & the high-tech hospitals are doing a brisk business in China.

So I say, lets have the prisoners work, just not remove their basic rights- deserved or not! A criminal does not fool me or should I say 'con me' for a second. They are mostly deadbeat bums. I do know some are not guilty for the proposed crime they are accused of, but that is another story/post.

Cindi    Posted 08-16-2003 at 05:49:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
China....we just had the conversaton about this the other day, harvesting organs from prisoners. I thought China just beat the snot out of you with a cane fishing pole on Main Street and was done with it. I guess that's just for minor crimes, or for American boys.

Jimbob    Posted 08-16-2003 at 06:36:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ugly business in China. Perhaps life is not that important to them.

China would not do much to an American as we feed them over 30 billion a year in items exported to us. They do fear a 'do not buy China products' slogan starting up in the US.

Cindi    Posted 08-16-2003 at 08:17:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't they have a restriction on how many kids you can have over there? I heard somewhere that there was a mandatory number of children per family. I think it was two. If there was no boy, then the family line died.

Jimbob    Posted 08-16-2003 at 10:29:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes, there is a restriction I believe to a maximum of two children. I saw a documentry that some had three children, but no action was taken by the gov't.

Ron,Ar    Posted 08-15-2003 at 22:00:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
You answered your own questions: "on my way to get Fred's check and I could not believe what I was hearing. Supposedly there is this theory...".

Your gut feeling was that it was unbelievable. The words "supposedly" and "theory" leave a lot to be desired in a true news story.

Jailkeeper    Posted 08-15-2003 at 21:43:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've seen it firsthand - there are no slaves in prison. Most (key word here is MOST) of the inmate workers are glad to have a job (assignment) - it keeps them out of their cell for 6-8 hrs. a day. It gives them a chance to interact with other people and keeps their mind off of their problems while developing a skill they can hopefully use after release.

As for the "others", they are usually the younger, hardcore criminals that are new to the system and still trying to prove themselves. They have the attitude they are billy bada$$ and don't have to do anything. They really couldn't be considered slaves either because they don't actually do enough work to earn their pay. (.89 per day)

JDK    Posted 08-15-2003 at 23:42:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Gotta go along w/this.For most inmates the job is an earned privledge that makes the days go by faster.Also keep in mind that a LOT of people are in prison because of their lack of work ethic,ie:it's easier to steal something than buy it,easier to rob someone/thing than to earn money,easier to make big money selling/smuggling dope than work an 8hr day etc.Work programs are also a management/control "tool"for prisons.Behave yourself,follow the rules,have a job,learn a trade,qualify for early release,good time,release to halfway house,camp system.Screw up and sit in your cell 23/24,lose priveliges etc.
Also keep in mind these are State Prison programs,Federal Prisons do not play the "rehab" game as it is non effective and non-beneficial.

Jailkeeper    Posted 08-16-2003 at 07:02:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
JDK, you are exactly right. Sounds like you've been there too. As an employee I hope!!!!!!
Have a good one!

JDK    Posted 08-16-2003 at 07:56:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Near 14yrs with the Co,required alternation between patrol,jail ops,dispatch."Everybody qualified for everything" administrative plan.Too much politics/stress,got out a few yrs back.

Jailkeeper    Posted 08-16-2003 at 09:30:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know what you mean on the stress part. I had always had jobs where I worked with my hands, mechanic, carpenter, welder, etc. I got the prison job and couldn't stand it. Good pay and benefits but NO job satisfaction and all the negativity was making me a real bear to live with. I knew I had to do something, even if it meant taking a pay cut. Finally got a better state job and now I'm happy again!!
Moral of the story - money doesn't buy everything!!

Les    Posted 08-15-2003 at 21:33:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have heard some outrageously left wing stuff on NPR at times and I have sworn not to listen again. I keep my pledge for a while but eventually I go back and listen again. I'm sure not going to send them money. If only they would admit their slant that would be one thing but they don't even think they have one.
Of course Click and Clack is an automatic. They don't get into politics. They're just funny.

RN    Posted 08-15-2003 at 20:17:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Consider source- NPR sometimes doesn't research politically correct stories well. Most prison industries are restricted from retail products sales, don't want to upset other workers, especially unions. Wisconsin prison woodworkers make good furniture for state offices and schools but can't sell retail. I hear Florida prison construction workers can get lots of work cleaning up and repairing hurricane damage at less than 1/2 normal wages- restricted on open bids, get low buck work for other state agencies, cleanup jobs. License plates are old favorite prison industry- low wage, state collects there price whatever state says or no driving without plates. Tractor archives have comment about Minnesota prison industry making limited amount of farm equipment. Lot of prisoners need some work as drug rehab, stats vary on druggies locked up-25 to 70% postitive testing depending on state testing. Work with druggies can be expensive to start, need to watch for bad work, misconduct, etc for a long time until they detoxify. Wisconsin got a training/ manufacturing program for making gloves for open market in prison- about 30 prisoners got low buck jobs and manufacturing didn't move to Mexico. 'Slave labor' might not be right word to use, prisoners were all voluteers for work. Cousin's husband is state prison gaurd- figures work programs help some in rehab, keep return rate down. RN.

walt    Posted 08-15-2003 at 19:59:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
NPR tends to lean to the "left"..

Dale    Posted 08-15-2003 at 19:40:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Depends what you think of as breaking the law. There are so many obscure laws, almost any of us could be convicted at any given time. For example, you can be charged with creating the POTENTIAL to pollute a body of water. Technically at least, any living person can be convicted of this at any given time, because we all have the POTENTIAL to walk to the nearest body of water and throw a pollutant in it (you don't even have to carry a pollutant... when you have to go, you have to go). There are other laws like this that cover things that you haven't necessarily done, and sometimes have no intent to do, but can still technically be guilty of.

Cindi    Posted 08-15-2003 at 19:44:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
I consider a law to be a pretty basic and not obscure thing. Drug traffiking, buying or selling, stealing, assault, murder, find me someone who is doing hard time in prison for peeing in the creek.

I'm talking about common sense laws. DUI. Manslaughter. Theft. That kind of stuff. Those type of 'mistakes'.

Dale    Posted 08-16-2003 at 06:34:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
You missed it Cindi. If someone with power wants to get you, you don't even have to actually DO it to be guilty. I know a hog farm here that has a collection basin for runoff from around their barn that they pump out when it needs pumped. A neighbour didn't like having pigs for neighbours and her husband was a judge so she knew who to call. The basin COULD possibly have polluted a nearby lake IF everything went wrong and they deliberately mismanaged it, so they were charged and convicted even though no pollution ever occurred and they had no intention of ever allowing anything to occur. They were facing up to 2 years in jail for doing nothing, got "LUCKY" and ended up with a $300,000 fine instead. All because somebody with power was out to get them.

Cindi    Posted 08-16-2003 at 08:19:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
That's a shame, hope I don't ever have to deal with anythihg like that, but I'm talking about the normal everyday course of things. I wonder how many incidents there are like that. Probably more than one would think.

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