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Prison Labour

Discussion in 'Political Debates' started by Laika, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Laika

    Laika Enemy of the People
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    I did a poll a while back and one of the things that came out of it was that there was comparatively significant support for "imprisonment with hard labour" on RF. Its not an issue that comes up much on here, so I wondered what where people stand on whether the state (or private prisons) can and should use prisoners as a source of labour. Do you think this is acceptable way for prisoners to repay their debt to society or is it an abuse of power waiting to happen?

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Libertarian Gearhead
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    "Labour"....what a Limey!
    Anyway, I say labor should be an edifying thing more than punishment.
    Most of the inmates will eventually be released, so they should be
    rehabilitated as much as practical.
     
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  3. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Only if they don't plan on filing a lawsuit. If they do, we have no other choice than to move them into a comfy air conditioned cell.
     
  4. icehorse

    icehorse Well-Known Member
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    I agree with @Revoltingest, with the caveat that if the labor is used by a for-profit corporation the chances of corruption and abuse of workers seem really high.
     
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  5. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    I believe work programs should be available and accessible and even encouraged, but I don't believe involuntary servitude is justified no matter who is doing it.
     
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  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Libertarian Gearhead
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    From what I hear from former prisoners & one guard I know, corruption takes a back seat to incompetence,
    indifference, & cruelty. Profitable or otherwise, those evils are things we diligently fight against.
     
  7. BSM1

    BSM1 Who's a good boy?

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    I still recall the "chain gangs" of my youth. That form of labor was definitely more punishment than debt repayment. The abuse and cruelty was also evident.


    The state is the biggest abuser of these prisoners. No matter what you believe, corporations and businesses are not set up to punish and/or abuse their employees.
     
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  8. Sartre

    Sartre Well-Known Member

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    We used to have Prison Farms and workshop programs for inmates, but the conservatives "Hard on crime" crap took them away, along with other rehabilitation programs.
     
  9. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Libertarian Gearhead
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    Another aspect to it is that to deny them work is to deny their having any value to society.
     
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  10. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    I believe the state has a huge history of prison abuse and do not deny it. But I believe that private, profit prisons so far have been even more hilariously corrupt and abusive. Doing things like giving out demerits with such frequency and baselessness to intentionally keep peaceful inmates in jail because it earns them more money. Lobbying to keep marijuana illegal purely because more inmates = more money. And that's just a start.
     
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  11. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    Both, which makes it dangerous.
     
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  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Libertarian Gearhead
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    It seems that most people get their views on private prisons from Orange Is The New Black.
    To know people who spent time in government run hoosegows, gives a different perspective.
    Government employees are even more immune to control.

    It all boils down to this.....
    Government controls what happens in prisons by its own regulation & oversight.
    We need to watch them doing the watching, & hold them accountable.
    When you vote, does the candidate's agenda for the justice industrial complex
    concern you? It should, since it's one of the most important abusers of civil
    rights & taxpayer money.
    .
     
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  13. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    Forced labour coupled with a profit margin is a perfect breeding ground for corruption. Forced labour in the name of punishment rather than profit strikes me as pointless. Opportunities to work, study and gain the skills needed to reintegrate into society should one wish to partake in them seem like the best option to me.

    Ultimately, the "punishment" side of crime and punishment should focus on three things in my opinion:

    1. Reparations to victims if possible.

    2. Rehabilitation for those who can be rehabilitated.

    3. Removing those who represent a persistent threat (such as those with personality disorders so severe that rehabilitation is a wasted effort) from society.

    Note that none of that is about inflicting suffering on people. It's certainly not about making a tidy profit.
     
  14. sunrise123

    sunrise123 The sea remains the sea whatever the drop thinks
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    There is a serious structural problem as the Standford Prison Experiment demonstrated. For those who don't know this, college students were randomly assigned to be guards and prisoners for a few days.

    "... Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress

    To avoid making a bad situation worse, prison labor should be totally voluntary and the inmates receive decent pay.

    And personally introducing a profit motive here would just make the situation worse.
     
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  15. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    No, "using prisoners" for free labor is unethical. But it is rehabilitative for them to be able to volunteer for projects, and, especially, to further their education--all prisoners should come out with a PhD. One of the most excellent ways for inmates to occupy their time and brains is in the programs where they engage in obedience training of dogs--and I think even for guide dogs. In the past couple of decades, several prisons have instituted such programs.
     
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  16. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    I don't agree with forced labor, although there might be incentives put in place for prisoners to do volunteer labor or community service, as others have suggested.

    On the other hand, there are some crimes which are so heinous and dastardly that punishment entailing hard labor might appeal to one's sense of justice. One could also argue that, the harsher the punishment, the greater the deterrent to crime - which could be considered a societal benefit.

    Occasionally, I see prisoners working along the side of the road, doing clean up and so forth. I've also seen prisoners doing work cleaning at various public buildings downtown.

    I actually think there are other ways of going about this. For one thing, there's no reason any non-violent offenders should even be in prison. If they're not violent or dangerous, then they can be put on probation, kept under surveillance, tracked with ankle monitors - yet still be able to have jobs and be more productive than they would be if they were just sitting in prison with nothing to do.
     
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  17. BSM1

    BSM1 Who's a good boy?

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    I don't necessarily disagree with you, but suppose those felons that did the most heinous and dastardly crimes refuse to work? These types are perfect argument for the death penalty; if they are that bad just get rid of them, humanely, of course.
     
  18. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    Well, I guess they could spend a night in the box.

     
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