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Prisoners in multiple states call for strikes to protest forced labor

TheDemSocialist

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[FONT=TIActuBeta-ExBold_web]PRISON INMATES[/FONT] around the country have called for a series of strikes against forced labor, demanding reforms of parole systems and prison policies, as well as more humane living conditions, a reduced use of solitary confinement, and better health care.Inmates at up to five Texas prisons pledged to refuse to leave their cells today. The strike’s organizers remain anonymous but have circulated fliers listing a series of grievances and demands, and a letter articulating the reasons for the strike. The Texas strikers’ demands range from the specific, such as a “good-time” credit toward sentence reduction and an end to $100 medical co-pays, to the systemic, namely a drastic downsizing of the state’s incarcerated population.
“Texas’s prisoners are the slaves of today, and that slavery affects our society economically, morally and politically,” reads the five-page letter announcing the strike. “Beginning on April 4, 2016, all inmates around Texas will stop all labor in order to get the attention from politicians and Texas’s community alike.”


Read more @: PRISONERS IN MULTIPLE STATES CALL FOR STRIKES TO PROTEST FORCED LABOR

Prison labor has essentially become the "next best thing since slavery". Pay your laborers either nothing or as little as .17 cents and they make your goods for you.
 

Crovax

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Harry Guerrilla

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VanceMack

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They SHOULD strike. It could free up their Thursdays for something really fun and uplifting. Maybe a trip to the museum...or a hike in the mountains. Fight the power!
 

Henrin

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Prison reform needs to happen in this country, period. There is really no good reason to make prison hell.
 

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Read more @: PRISONERS IN MULTIPLE STATES CALL FOR STRIKES TO PROTEST FORCED LABOR

Prison labor has essentially become the "next best thing since slavery". Pay your laborers either nothing or as little as .17 cents and they make your goods for you. [/FONT][/COLOR]

Though, I believe it is probably better for society to resocialize criminals than punishing them, I see no ethical problem with normal forced labor or solitary, if it is legislated correctly.
 

What if...?

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I'm sympathetic towards prisoners in some sense, but don't go all hyperbolic claiming they're slaves.

Technically they are.

Slavery is forbidden "except as punishment for crime".
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Technically they are.

Slavery is forbidden "except as punishment for crime".

I would agree, except that generally, the reason they're there is of their own volition.
That doesn't mean they shouldn't be treated humanely, but I think it stretches it some to call it slavery.
 

Casper

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Read more @: PRISONERS IN MULTIPLE STATES CALL FOR STRIKES TO PROTEST FORCED LABOR

Prison labor has essentially become the "next best thing since slavery". Pay your laborers either nothing or as little as .17 cents and they make your goods for you. [/FONT][/COLOR]
Most prisoners when offered to work take it by their own free choice, know why, because they are given something to do to pass the time, often it is outside (a plus), they get a way to make a few bucks to buy things and it passes Time, something they want to do as quickly as possible. Take away all ability to do those things and then you Will see riots.
 

Paleocon

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Read more @: PRISONERS IN MULTIPLE STATES CALL FOR STRIKES TO PROTEST FORCED LABOR

Prison labor has essentially become the "next best thing since slavery". Pay your laborers either nothing or as little as .17 cents and they make your goods for you. [/FONT][/COLOR]

instead of having them do something productive, and earn anything at all, we can always go back to hard labor

breaking rocks was good enough in the ages past

i have no issue have prisoners do the same now 10 hours a day

what is prison supposed to be anyhow?

sit in the block and watch tv all day?
 

Beaudreaux

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Read more @: PRISONERS IN MULTIPLE STATES CALL FOR STRIKES TO PROTEST FORCED LABOR

Prison labor has essentially become the "next best thing since slavery". Pay your laborers either nothing or as little as .17 cents and they make your goods for you. [/FONT][/COLOR]

They're prisoners because they broke the law. They are not slaves, and comparing the two is an insult to millions of slaves over the centuries. Slaves did nothing to become slaves, they were enslaved, not convicted of a crime. Convicts put themselves in jail - they made the choice to break the law with full knowledge that they could get caught, convicted, and sentenced to a term in prison which would more than likely include labor while serving the time.

As for the small amount of money they are paid for their labor, they should be glad that we are not charging them for the costs to incarcerate, feed, and cloth them.

I have no sympathy for criminals - if they are looking for sympathy, they can find it in the dictionary between **** (s word for crap) and syphilis.
 

Tigerace117

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Prison isn't supposed to be fun. Your not supposed to be making money. Your in jail because you committed a crime, not on vacation.

It isn't quite as bad as that lunatic in Norway suing the state because he couldn't choose what games he got to play on his X-Box but it's still pretty bad
 

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By coincidence, 60 Minutes, this past Sunday, had a segment about prisons in Germany and as expected they have better results.
That leaves us with the question what is it that we wish to make our prisons to be? Punishment alone, in which case we should simply execute criminals, it would be cheaper and and completely eliminate recidivism. On the other hand if we wish to rehabilitate at least some of them, since at some point they will rejoin society we need to look at better solutions or copy them from places that have better results.
 

matchlight

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I think these prisoners who are hurt that the mean men who run the prisons don't consider their feelings should be free to choose: Involuntary servitude, or solitary confinement.
 

justabubba

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like slaves the prisoners are legally deprived of their freedom
but that does not mean that our prisons are operated humanely
there should be no forced labor
our prisons should be both austere and safe
it's time for our nation to take a hard look at hard time
 

What if...?

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I would agree, except that generally, the reason they're there is of their own volition.
That doesn't mean they shouldn't be treated humanely, but I think it stretches it some to call it slavery.

They shouldn't be doing for profit work or even make office furniture or whatever for the state.

It incentivises putting more folks in jail and holding them longer.

There's a bad history of chain gangs, which WAS slavery.

Let them work in the kitchen, landscaping, etc. But with the understanding that the time is the punishment and compensate accordingly. Not minimum wage but a "real" amount of money that could be saved. This would make possible better return to society by teaching life skills.

One of the European countries has prisons where as prisoners near the end of their sentences they move them to facilities that have houses shared like a roommate situation. A little grocery store, other bills. So they live like normal people again for a while before getting out. Really really low recidivism rates.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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They shouldn't be doing for profit work or even make office furniture or whatever for the state.

It incentivises putting more folks in jail and holding them longer.

There's a bad history of chain gangs, which WAS slavery.

Let them work in the kitchen, landscaping, etc. But with the understanding that the time is the punishment and compensate accordingly. Not minimum wage but a "real" amount of money that could be saved. This would make possible better return to society by teaching life skills.

One of the European countries has prisons where as prisoners near the end of their sentences they move them to facilities that have houses shared like a roommate situation. A little grocery store, other bills. So they live like normal people again for a while before getting out. Really really low recidivism rates.

I could get on a board with that.
 

OrphanSlug

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Read more @: PRISONERS IN MULTIPLE STATES CALL FOR STRIKES TO PROTEST FORCED LABOR

Prison labor has essentially become the "next best thing since slavery". Pay your laborers either nothing or as little as .17 cents and they make your goods for you. [/FONT][/COLOR]

We are making a big mistake here looking at prisoners on an equal level to other labor in terms of payment, and we make that mistake even worse looking at prison life as something that should be calm, restful, and comfortable.

"Prisoners refusing to leave their cells" is going to end up a disciplinary issue for prison staff to contend with, not some organized labor protest within the framework of other "strikes" by organized labor outside of the prison system.

The letter itself is awkward and nonsensical.

We can talk all day about various laws and so forth that have lead to the US being the #1 incarceration nation on the planet, but labor as "punishment for crime" has not been outlawed by the courts so far as I can find. I do not see where the Supreme Court has told a prison they cannot force prisoners to work in some regard, further I find no real evidence that there is some fundamental right granted to prisoners for them organize and demand really anything in return for work.

Call it abuse, or call it a lack of "interest in rehabilitation" as the letter does, whatever makes you happy. But this is about what happens to those in the prison system no matter how they got there.

Prison is not and should not be pleasant and nice, prison is about and should be about having to live without some basic things that others who are not in prison have access to, and prison is and should be about working (inside and outside the prison itself) for nothing in return.

The last thing we need is an environment where prisoner life is better, it should be harsh. And harsh does not necessarily equal inhumane.
 

ludin

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Prison reform needs to happen in this country, period. There is really no good reason to make prison hell.

sure there is. prison is supposed to be hell.
why? it is to make you not go back.
 

ludin

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Should someone suffer prison rape, because they got busted selling weed?
I don't think so.

both of which are illegal.
also your post has nothing to do with what I said but nice try at a
strawman.
 

Henrin

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sure there is. prison is supposed to be hell.
why? it is to make you not go back.

No, the state has the responsibility to make sure prisoners are safe. The state is completely failing to uphold its responsibilities and at this point it is prison reform or massive lawsuits against the state. Pick one.
 
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