Tuesday, November 18, 2014

California Needs It's Slave Labor

At least that's what state lawyers are saying in federal court. My state, my liberal Democratic state, is telling the court that California cannot release non-violent offenders who should be eligible for early release because they are needed as cheap ($2 a day) firefighters.
The extension of 2-for-1 credits to all MSF inmates would likely make fire camp beds even more difficult to fill, as low-level, non-violent inmates would choose to participate in the MSF program rather than endure strenuous physical activities and risk injury in fire camps. ~ Nov. 17 court filing
Some definitions. MSF is "minimum support facility," they are work camps that have few guards and no walls or barbed wire. They are for prisoners who are no risk to the public. "2-for-1 credits" are a program to grants prisoners two days of time served for every actual day served. Usually these credits are only granted as payment to prison labor but the federal court wants all non-violent offenders to be eligible.

What the state is saying in the above quote is that it can't release non-violent offenders early because they need to keep them prisoners so they can work the fire lines.
the extension of enhanced credit-earning to these inmates would result in higher turnover and an even greater demand for minimum custody inmates. ~ ibid
Apparently there is a high demand for prisoner slave labor and early release threatens that supply of slaves.

Of course, the state could actually hire firefighters at a living wage and eschew using prison slaves as fodder for the flames but even in progressive California that is a step too close to democracy.

California currently holds 136,000 prisoners (equal to the population of Pasadena).

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