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View Diary: How frickin' typical. Rotten right-wing idea—prisons for profit—costs more (177 comments)

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  •  They won't be privatized. (6+ / 0-)

    Corrections officers union is too strong.  Even some Republicans have backed them and opposed it, and we'll probably have a state-run prison majority for the foreseeable future.

    Our prison labor was, I'm pretty sure, mandated by some right-wing busy-bodies who are always looking to make things harder for people or populations who are suspected of crime.  At your link:

    Believing that inmates should work at least as hard as the law-abiding citizens who pay taxes for their support, Oregonians voted, through the initiative process, to require inmates to be at work or in on-the-job training programs 40 hours each week.

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:28:08 PM PDT

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    •  The requirement to work 40 hour work weeks (15+ / 0-)

      is fine - using them in replacement of private sector workers or use them as cheap labor for private corporations, is an entirely different matter.  This is the problem with these initiatives that are put before the voters in every state.

      Consider this: if the Oregon voters were told when this initiative was being proposed, that the requirement to work 40 hours, would be at work that would take the place of public service jobs or in direct competition with private manufacturers...do you think the initiative would have passed?

      On privatization - in states that disallow it, legislation is often times put in place to allow sending prisoners from overcrowded state facilities to prisons in other states operated by private prison companies.  This just happened in CA. where the largest prison worker's Union is.  They could not get privatization laws passed, so as a compromise, they pass legislation that sent inmates to private prisons in Michigan and elsewhere.

      These people, companies and individuals involved have this down to a science and find warm bodies in every state to fill their beds.  They've been doing it for 30 years now and if nothing else, they have become quite proficient in their pursuit of profits.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:36:16 PM PDT

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      •  asdf (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cpresley, kyril, ItsSimpleSimon, Bob Sloan, BYw
        Consider this: if the Oregon voters were told when this initiative was being proposed, that the requirement to work 40 hours, would be at work that would take the place of public service jobs or in direct competition with private manufacturers...do you think the initiative would have passed?

        I don't think they were told the prisoners would be earning sub-standard wages either.

        Inmates working in the Prison Blues factory are paid prevailing private sector wages. They are also eligible for quality and productivity bonuses. Part of their salary is returned to the state to help cover the cost of incarceration, pay victim restitution, and provide family support. Inmates also pay both state and Federal taxes on their earnings.

        I'm pretty sure its not a prevailing wage if you have to give some of it back.

        "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

        by James Allen on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:04:37 PM PDT

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    •  That won't keep them from trying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, socalmonk

      Winning "new territory for expansion" is relatively cheap compared to the potential revenue and profit.

      I hope they never succeed, but they will continue to probe Oregon - or any other state not yet under their influence - for opportunity.

      The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

      by Egalitare on Thu May 19, 2011 at 02:47:06 AM PDT

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