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View Diary: INSOURCING - Identifying businesses involved in prison labor or supporting those who are (35 comments)

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  •  Prison labor is just one piece of a huge problem. (6+ / 0-)

    As you point out prison labor sucks jobs out of communities. This is stupid and needs to be stopped.

    OTOH Social skills, and Job skills are essential for success in the outside world. Most prisoners have neither.

    In the 1970s I worked for a company that had inmate job training and placement programs for the prisoners when they finished serving their time.

    I was assigned a number of these former inmates as team members. Like all such programs the success rates were not as good as anyone would have liked. Nothing scary ever happened on my team, the guys just didn't have the life skills to hew to the straight and narrow.
    In fairness some of the guys took advantage of their second chance and were doing well the last time I had knowledge of them.

    I thought this was a good program then, and I still think so today.

    My point is that whether it is learning to read and write, learning to reason instead of react, impulse control and patience, or having job skills all are needed if we expect inmates to successfully transition back into society.
    This is a far different goal than turning prisons into sweat shops.

    Like so many other things that have been turned into GOP profit centers the privatization of prisons, and turning prisoners into a giant union busting low cost labor force are deliberate nation wide efforts.

    Not to take away from the point of the diary there is another unintended consequence of the huge prison populations across the country.

    Did you ever wonder how a nut job like Michelle Bachmann could get elected and reelected?

    It so simple even a Republican could do it. State and Federal district boundaries are drawn once a decade after the census.

    Effectively the only people that live in Bachmann's district are Republicans and prisoners.

    Yep regardless of the prisoner's nominal home, for census/redistricting purposes prisoners are listed in the district where the are being held.

    Even this wouldn't necessarily be bad if the prisoners could vote, but they can't.

    Worse since the census is mandated in the Constitution, there is no obvious way to exclude the prison populations from redistricting decisions.

    It is bad enough having to deal with the wack jobs that are elected from districts that don't have a prison skewing the district demographics and boundaries.

    I don't see how we ever make a representative democracy work when politicians and their corporate masters are working overtime to make representation meaningless and undemocratic.

    Congress is the problem and the answer.
    Congress could reduce or stop Federal funds flowing to States that allow the privatization of prisons, employment of any prison labor for other than job skill creation.
    Congress could pass an amendment to the Constitution to fix the prison census "Bug".

    Sadly in the current political climate neither is going to happen.

    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire

    by leftover on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 05:09:05 PM PST

    •  All of your points are well made and based upon (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftover, 4Freedom, worldlotus

      an informed involvement in civil issues. The Gerrymandering you mention is a critical issue and problem. Some states have been forced to count inmates in prisons as populations in their home communities. This is the proper thing to do (if you are on a one or two year sabbatical away from your residence during a census, doesn't mean you're not counted in that district. It should be the same for an inmate that is away from his/her permanent residence or community for a period of time). To do otherwise would reduce funding for the community - and the family they left behind - and give it to the rural areas where the prison is located. Bad use the census, but not unexpected as it has been done like this for many years...wrongly to my way of thinking.

      Yes Congress is the tool needed to fix the problems raised in this diary. Getting through to them with the issues is difficult with the lobbying rules the way they are. Too much money flowing into Congress from special interests. That has to stop to get our lawmakers back to doing the business of the people.

      "Inmates should be reformed...not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:01:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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