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#1
Many people see it as a way for the prisoners to pay society back for their crimes, but many others see it as a modern form of slavery, since they are forced to work for no/negligible pay.

Personally, I'm undecided on what I think of prison labor. It does have its benefits, and I think giving prisoners work can be helpful for their reintegration to society (giving them skills and whatnot.) On the other hand, it is definitely a slippery slope given the capitalistic nature of american prisons. It gives courts more incentive to lock someone up because it's free labor, and free labor is orgasmic to powerful corporations.

What are your thoughts on prison labor?


inb4 stoopit amurikkkan it spellt 'labour'
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Last edited by StewieSwan at Aug 9, 2011,
#2
They're in there for a reason, why should they get free food and boarding?
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#4
stoopit amurikkkan it spellt 'labour'

Anyway, you've pretty much summed up the points I would have made. I definitely do think it's a positive thing to let inmates do labour, though, letting them acquire skills that could help them outside the walls. Also, they have wronged against society in some way or another, so it can be viewed as some sort of repayment.
When some stranger on the internet says it is so, it must be so.
Last edited by Zeropathic at Aug 9, 2011,
#5
Slaves are slaves for no reason. There's a reason prisoners are prisoners.
“Just to sum up: I would do various things very quickly.” - Donald Trump
#6
No. Like previously stated, they're in there for a reason. Having them put to work is better than them fighting/killing each other in the yard. I honestly think prisoners get way too much benefits in some prisons nowadays. I get the whole rehabilitation thing, but I'm unsure about giving them all kinds of benefits.
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#7
Quote by SKArface McDank
They're in there for a reason, why should they get free food and boarding?


+1

Quote by CynX
Having them put to work is better than them fighting/killing each other in the yard.


-3.14
#8
Quote by SKArface McDank
They're in there for a reason, why should they get free food and boarding?


This and

Quote by bradulator
Slaves are slaves for no reason. There's a reason prisoners are prisoners.


This.

It's not slavery, they weren't forced into doing this for no justifiable reason. It's a way better system than other here in the UK, where prison is basically a ****ing holiday camp where you get free cable tv and xbox consoles.
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#9
Quote by Steve635z
+1


-3.14


Damn it, I hate pie
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#10
They're still receiving food and a bed, so you could say that they're working for that. Besides, it's far more constructive to be doing something like labour rather than just sitting in your cell all day. Also, I'd say you're probably more likely to get a reduced sentence for good behaviour if you are a willing and useful participant in work.

If you were a prisoner, wouldn't you rather be working than just sitting the whole time?

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Quote by Scumbag1792
My God, this must be the smartest/greatest guy ever.
#11
Quote by bradulator
Slaves are slaves for no reason. There's a reason prisoners are prisoners.

Yeah, but that shouldn't mean the state has the right to coerce them into labor-for-profit. Running prisons like businesses is abhorrent, IMO.
#12
Quote by -xCaMRocKx-
They're still receiving food and a bed, so you could say that they're working for that. Besides, it's far more constructive to be doing something like labour rather than just sitting in your cell all day. Also, I'd say you're probably more likely to get a reduced sentence for good behaviour if you are a willing and useful participant in work.

If you were a prisoner, wouldn't you rather be working than just sitting the whole time?



You don't just 'sit there' in prison. Many prisons have classrooms and workshops where prisoners can do something constructive if they wish to.
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#13
Quote by due 07
Yeah, but that shouldn't mean the state has the right to coerce them into labor-for-profit. Running prisons like businesses is abhorrent, IMO.


I don't disagree. But having prisoners (murderers and stuff) perform labor is AT LEAST justifiable if you ask me, regardless of whether it's for profit or not.
“Just to sum up: I would do various things very quickly.” - Donald Trump
#14
Just asked someone who knows the prison system first hand:

They do get payed, but not a lot. And it isn't really money.

They basically work, get credited for that work, and can use that credit to buy things they want within the prison, like clothes and cigarettes.
#15
Quote by due 07
Yeah, but that shouldn't mean the state has the right to coerce them into labor-for-profit. Running prisons like businesses is abhorrent, IMO.

This and the fact that it's slavery in a way since the 'reason' they're in there is often pathetic. Doing drugs should never be a crime, but it is and it's a great soure of slave labour.

http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/199804--.htm

Also, this is a terrific work force. We hear fuss about prison labor in China, but prison labor is standard here. It's very cheap, it doesn't organize, the workers don't ask for rights, you don't have to worry about health benefits because the public is paying for everything. It's what's called a 'flexible' workforce, the kind of thing economists like: you have the workers when you want them, and you throw them out when you don't want them.

And what's more it's an old American tradition. There was a big industrial revolution in parts of the South in the early part of this century, in northern Georgia and Kentucky and Alabama and it was based mostly around prison labor. The slaves had been technically freed, but after a few years, they were basically slaves again. One way of controlling them was to throw them in jail, where they became a controlled labor force. That's the core of the modern industrial revolution in the South, which continued in Georgia to the 1920's and to the Second World War in places like Mississippi.

Now it's being revived. In Oregon and California there's a fairly substantial textile industry in the prisons, with exports to Asia. At the very time people were complaining about prison labor in China, California and Oregon are exporting prison-made textiles to China. They even have a line called "Prison Blues."

And it goes all the way up to advanced technology like data processing. In the state of Washington, Boeing workers are protesting the exports of jobs to China, but they're probably unaware that their jobs are being exported to nearby prisons, where machinists are doing work for Boeing under circumstances that the management is delighted over, for obvious reasons.

HT: And most of these prisoners are nonviolent drug offenders.

CHOMSKY: The enormous rate of growth of the prison population has been mostly drug related. The last figures I saw showed that over half the federal prison population, and maybe a quarter in state prisons, are drug offenders. In New York State, for example, a twenty-dollar street sale or possession of an ounce of cocaine will get you the same sentence as arson with intent to murder. The three-strikes legislation is going to blow it right through the sky. The third arrest can be for some minor drug offense, and you'll go to jail forever.



Chomsky is right.
Last edited by Zoot Allures at Aug 9, 2011,
#16
Quote by StewieSwan
You don't just 'sit there' in prison. Many prisons have classrooms and workshops where prisoners can do something constructive if they wish to.

But not all.

And not everyone is suited for the classroom. Some people actually like manual labour.

EDIT:
Quote by Zoot Allures
Doing drugs should never be a crime, but it is and it's a great soure of slave labour.

What about dealers?

I'm not trying to argue (I essentially agree with what you are saying), I'm just curious as to whether you think selling is grounds for punishment.

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Quote by Scumbag1792
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Last edited by -xCaMRocKx- at Aug 9, 2011,
#17
Quote by -xCaMRocKx-
But not all.

And not everyone is suited for the classroom. Some people actually like manual labour.

EDIT:
What about dealers?

I'm not trying to argue (I essentially agree with what you are saying), I'm just curious as to whether you think selling is grounds for punishment.

Not really no, i don't particularly like the way drugs are sold in society but untill they're legalised which is the only moral thing to do, drug dealers are going to exist due to various reasons. It's not my place to tell people they can buy them or not anyway, it's not a million miles away from a supermarket selling alcohol and tobacco except with those theres regulation i suppose, but the basic fact is the same, it's a harmful substance and people choose to buy it. To make drugs illegal and then to go after the dealers is absurd really, you can't expect there to not be dealers if drugs are allowed to remain illegal.

The big guys in drugs will never get caught, it's always going to be the man on the street though.

edit; just look at this thread, it's insane how so many people support this. This is the direct result of brainwashing right here. People support slavery because 'they're prisoners! who cares!'... My god.
Last edited by Zoot Allures at Aug 9, 2011,
#18
Okay, I found the article I was looking for. Prison slave-labor is a direct result and even replacement for chattel slavery. http://libcom.org/library/rooted-slavery-prison-labor-exploitation

It's not very long, and it's a very interesting read.

Quote by bradulator
I don't disagree. But having prisoners (murderers and stuff) perform labor is AT LEAST justifiable if you ask me, regardless of whether it's for profit or not.

I'm not sure physically punishing murderers is the best course of action.
#19
Quote by pigeonmafia
This and


This.

It's not slavery, they weren't forced into doing this for no justifiable reason. It's a way better system than other here in the UK, where prison is basically a ****ing holiday camp where you get free cable tv and xbox consoles.

Of course, prison is a real joyous place.
#20
Quote by Zoot Allures


The big guys in drugs will never get caught, it's always going to be the man on the street though.

False. You're an idiot.
#21
Quote by Zoot Allures
Of course, prison is a real joyous place.



It's a lot better than being homeless, though.
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#22
Quote by due 07
Okay, I found the article I was looking for. Prison slave-labor is a direct result and even replacement for chattel slavery. http://libcom.org/library/rooted-slavery-prison-labor-exploitation

It's not very long, and it's a very interesting read.


I'm not sure physically punishing murderers is the best course of action.


I'm too tired to read, i'll do it tomorrow.

Why not? It's not like they do labor 24/7 (well they might, I don't know much about the prison systems, but I assume)? It's not the same thing as whipping black people for being black people. It's making somebody who took a life/did something else serious do something productive that might teach a lesson or something awesome like in Shawshank Redemption. All it is is hard work for somebody who needs to think about what they've done.

I don't agree with drug users being in prison, much less doing physical labor.
“Just to sum up: I would do various things very quickly.” - Donald Trump
#23
Quote by SKArface McDank
They're in there for a reason, why should they get free food and boarding?

This. Even as a leftist, I am against prisoners just doing nothing.

There might be a few issues, like treating unjustly inprisoned individuals, so I'm more for a improved court system to actually imprison the guilty instead of taking every Joe and Jane who's been accused almost without evidence.
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Last edited by sfaune92 at Aug 9, 2011,
#24
Quote by Thrashtastic15
False. You're an idiot.

Great argument, i'm surprised you didn't call me an idiot for where i'm from too since that's something you do a lot and is a sure sign of an intelligent poster.

And no there is a lot of money in drugs and the big guys will never be caught. Things with a lot of money attract people in powerful positions, if you deny that part then you're in denial about a lot of things to do with money.

The war on drugs is kept going because it helps supply things like prison labour actually, keeps the government in this bullshit position where they can claim they're looking out for the public, and then it also keeps the drug trade going, and there is a real lot of money in the drug trade and it's blatently obvious that any industry which involves loads and loads of money is going to cause quite a bit of that money to go to some white collar people.

oh yeah, and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_drug_trafficking
Last edited by Zoot Allures at Aug 9, 2011,
#25
Quote by Zoot Allures
Great argument, i'm surprised you didn't call me an idiot for where i'm from too since that's something you do a lot and is a sure sign of an intelligent poster.

And no there is a lot of money in drugs and the big guys will never be caught. Things with a lot of money attract people in powerful positions, if you deny that part then you're in denial about a lot of things to do with money.

The war on drugs is kept going because it helps supply things like prison labour actually, keeps the government in this bullshit position where they can claim they're looking out for the public, and then it also keeps the drug trade going, and there is a real lot of money in the drug trade and it's blatently obvious that any industry which involves loads and loads of money is going to cause quite a bit of that money to go to some white collar people.

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#26
Quote by StewieSwan
It's a lot better than being homeless, though.

Better than being homeless but i get irritated when i see people saying the kind of thing he did. It's the sort of thing i'd expect a daily mail reader to say, it's ignorant really. We all know prison isn't a very nice place to be, better than being on the streets but still.
#27
Quote by StewieSwan
It's a lot better than being homeless, though.

Maybe to you, but there's obviously plenty of homeless people who would rather be struggling on the streets than give up their autonomy to such an extreme measure as going to prison. It's not like it'd be hard for them to get thrown in jail.

Quote by bradulator
I'm too tired to read, i'll do it tomorrow.

Why not? It's not like they do labor 24/7 (well they might, I don't know much about the prison systems, but I assume)? It's not the same thing as whipping black people for being black people. It's making somebody who took a life/did something else serious do something productive that might teach a lesson or something awesome like in Shawshank Redemption. All it is is hard work for somebody who needs to think about what they've done.

It won't do a murderer any good to make him work against his will. I doubt a killer will have an epiphany about life while doing textile work. It's just an excuse for cheap labor, stripped away of its rights. We should focus on rehabilitation, not punishment.
#28
The point of prison is to isolate the threat to society from society until they are no longer a threat, which is achieved through rehabilitation. That's supposed to be the justification and mindset from a judicial perspective. When there is incentive in profit to fill prisons as it creates a controllable and cheap work force, does that not skew the perspective of the judicial system? I'm sure many of you have heard of some of the abhorrent treatments that get handed down in privately run prisons in the United States, and how a lot of the time judges are in on the act. Is it not plausible that the same treatment could be had with prisoners on the basis that by imprisoning the person they are gaining a cheap worker with literally no leverage in any sort of negotiation? I wouldn't go so far as to call it slave labour, but it certainly does have the potential to not only be a form of exploitation, but to completely undermine the judicial system.

I'm against it. There is a purpose to imprisonment in the eyes of the judicial system and forcing prisoners to perform physical labour does not further said purpose.
#29
My person who told me about the how being payed works basically let on that they only did little chores to keep the prison running. He, for instance, did laundry.

Which seems to be the most cost effective way to keep prisons not for profit.
#30
Quote by due 07
It won't do a murderer any good to make him work against his will. I doubt a killer will have an epiphany about life while doing textile work. It's just an excuse for cheap labor, stripped away of its rights. We should focus on rehabilitation, not punishment.

But some are actually beyond "repair". What should we do with them?

A decent solution is to support those who've been released for a short while, so that they can get an apartment, job, etc. They're kind of doing that in Norway, but sometimes, the system fails.
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#31
Quote by Zoot Allures
Of course, prison is a real joyous place.


I didn't say it was somewhere I want to go, just that it's not as big a deterrent as it should be anymore.
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#32
Quote by sfaune92
This. Even as a leftist, I am against prisoners just doing nothing.

There might be a few issues, like treating unjustly inprisoned individuals, so I'm more for a improved court system to actually imprison the guilty instead of taking every Joe and Jane who's been accused almost without evidence.

As a leftist, surely you would detest the fact that prison laborers are explicitly barred from the right to organize and collectively bargain too?

And what he said appears to be under the assumption that the prison labor pays for their food and board, which just isn't true.
#33
Quote by Zoot Allures
Great argument, i'm surprised you didn't call me an idiot for where i'm from too since that's something you do a lot and is a sure sign of an intelligent poster.

And no there is a lot of money in drugs and the big guys will never be caught. Things with a lot of money attract people in powerful positions, if you deny that part then you're in denial about a lot of things to do with money.

The war on drugs is kept going because it helps supply things like prison labour actually, keeps the government in this bullshit position where they can claim they're looking out for the public, and then it also keeps the drug trade going, and there is a real lot of money in the drug trade and it's blatently obvious that any industry which involves loads and loads of money is going to cause quite a bit of that money to go to some white collar people.


Do you seriously believe that big time drug players never get busted? That it is only the street level dealers which get caught?

Stop modifying reality to fit your beliefs.

Yes, there is a benefit to the war on drugs. Thanks for pointing that out. That doesn't mean that government agencies don't go after big players in the drug trade. They do, and they succeed. Denying that is denying reality.
#34
Quote by sfaune92
But some are actually beyond "repair". What should we do with them?

A decent solution is to support those who've been released for a short while, so that they can get an apartment, job, etc. They're kind of doing that in Norway, but sometimes, the system fails.



You guys have one of the best systems in the world.
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#35
Quote by due 07

It won't do a murderer any good to make him work against his will. I doubt a killer will have an epiphany about life while doing textile work. It's just an excuse for cheap labor, stripped away of its rights. We should focus on rehabilitation, not punishment.


I agree with the bolded. But like I said, it's probably not labor 24/7. Rehabilitation should be part of the equation as well. I just don't see what's so horrible about making a big time criminal break a few rocks, or whatever the hell they do.

EDIT: Prisoners should be doing stuff that they don't like to do. Rehabilitation + shit you don't like to do so you never want to return.
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Last edited by bradulator at Aug 9, 2011,
#36
Quote by due 07
As a leftist, surely you would detest the fact that prison laborers are explicitly barred from the right to organize and collectively bargain too?

And what he said appears to be under the assumption that the prison labor pays for their food and board, which just isn't true.

Well, I should've read a bit more, but a huge portion of those imprisoned return after release. However, that might be because of the social rank and financial issues a criminal get after release.
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#37
Quote by sfaune92
But some are actually beyond "repair". What should we do with them?

I don't know for sure, but I do know that we shouldn't just say "Fuck it" and milk them for all they're worth.
Quote by sfaune92
A decent solution is to support those who've been released for a short while, so that they can get an apartment, job, etc. They're kind of doing that in Norway, but sometimes, the system fails.

To my knowledge, the prison system in Norway is more based on rehabilitation than punishment, too. The system fails sometimes, but it is nearly three times more effective than what we have in the states.

only 20 percent of Norwegian prisoners return to jail within two years of their release, a very low recidivism rate. (For comparison, a 1994 study suggested that more than 60 percent of released prisoners in America were arrested again within three years, while 51.8 percent returned to prison. The U.S. rate of incarceration also dwarfs Norway’s.)


http://omasiali.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/norway-mass-murderer-lands-in-luxurious-prison/
#38
Quote by bradulator
I agree with the bolded. But like I said, it's probably not labor 24/7. Rehabilitation should be part of the equation as well. I just don't see what's so horrible about making a big time criminal break a few rocks, or whatever the hell they do.

I just don't think it's very humane. It degrades them to less-than-human.
Quote by sfaune92
Well, I should've read a bit more, but a huge portion of those imprisoned return after release. However, that might be because of the social rank and financial issues a criminal get after release.

Twenty percent in Norway, fifty to sixty percent in the states. (I actually posted that statistic in my last post before I saw this.)
#39
i always thought it was just to repay the debt they owe society. never really thought about it like that though.
IT'S OVER 9000!!!!
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