Monday, March 05, 2007

Picking Up Melons and Job Skills

harvesting
This started as a comment about the Colorado Department of Corrections' use of inmates to harvest crops I found over at Bad Attitudes. However, it started to get too long.

Hey, what about the Mexicans. They're stealing their jobs. This can't be right.

Seriously though, it is slavery no matter what they say.

I've always advocated teaching inmates real skills. Harvesting crops, although honest labor, is hardly beneficial.

These are people who have rarely garnered respect nor been treated with dignity. Respect and dignity, IMHO, go a long way toward helping them return to society as useful, contributing members.

The whole issue is complicated, but give them real jobs at decent pay. Work out the issues with the unions because I believe the inmates should be paid less than union workers. We can't create a climate where out of work people get sent to prison so they can be gainfully employed. But the inmates could be considered apprentices.

Yeah, I'm a bleeding heart liberal.

BTW, that image I found is apropos because most inmates happen to be black. This again points to the issue of slavery.

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