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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    12 Aug '16 21:37
    Talking of reinventing the slave trade, consider some of the statistics in this short video about America's prison - industrial complex, on the amount of goods produced by forced labor in American prisons - enabling them to compete with Mexico. Nearly 1 in 100 American adults are in gaol, and 1 in 9 Black men. There are more 17 year black Americans in prison than in college.

    https://www.facebook.com/NyeBevanNews/videos/1778121249068473/

    Some of the commentary below the line is also illuminating e.g. There is no moral imperative to rehabilitate because they would lose their customers (prisoners) and therefore their ongoing income. If the figure is now, according to The Vera Institute of Justice, from between $31,000 - $60,000 per prisoner per year then this figure costs the American taxpayer $39 billion per year. For prisoners on death row it costs an extra $90,000 for each prisoner per year - presently there are 714 inmates on death row in California. Since 1978 California and the US government have together spent some $4bn on the state's death row yet only 13 prisoners have been executed – an average of $308m for each one. The study was conducted by The Los Angeles Times.

    Other sources give a fuller picture: e.g.
    https://www.thrillist.com/gear/products-made-by-prisoners-clothing-furniture-electronics

    "Today, there are 109 Unicor prison factories, supplying an array of goods to the DOD, DOJ, USPS, and others. However, the recent push to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US has opened up opportunities for private sector to dip into the outrageously affordable labor pool, which is paid well below minimum wage—as little as $0.23 per hour in some cases.

    Here’s a list of 13 products that are still handmade by convicts. And who knows, you might even be sitting on, or wearing, some of them right now."

    Another fun list is here:
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/07/what-do-prisoners-make-victorias-secret

    Tens of thousands of US inmates are paid from pennies to minimum wage—minus fines and victim compensation—for everything from grunt work to firefighting to specialized labor. Here's a sampling of what they make, and for whom.

    Eating in: Each month, California inmates process more than 680,000 pounds of beef, 400,000 pounds of chicken products, 450,000 gallons of milk, 280,000 loaves of bread, and 2.9 million eggs (from 160,000 inmate-raised hens). Starbucks subcontractor Signature Packaging Solutions has hired Washington prisoners to package holiday coffees (as well as Nintendo Game Boys). Confronted by a reporter in 2001, a Starbucks rep called the setup "entirely consistent with our mission statement."

    Around the Big House: Texas inmates produce brooms and brushes, bedding and mattresses, toilets, sinks, showers, and bullwhips. Bullwhips?

    Windows dressing: In the mid-1990s, Washington prisoners shrink-wrapped software and up to 20,000 Microsoft mouses for subcontractor Exmark (other reported clients: Costco and JanSport). "We don't see this as a negative," a Microsoft spokesman said at the time. Dell used federal prisoners for PC recycling in 2003, but stopped after a watchdog group warned that it might expose inmates to toxins.

    Back to school: Texas and California inmates make dorm furniture and lockers, diploma covers, binders, logbooks, library book carts, locker room benches, and juice boxes.

    Patriotic duties: Federal Prison Industries, a.k.a. Unicor, says that in addition to soldiers' uniforms, bedding, shoes, helmets, and flak vests, inmates have "produced missile cables (including those used on the Patriot missiles during the Gulf War)" and "wiring harnesses for jets and tanks." In 1997, according to Prison Legal News, Boeing subcontractor MicroJet had prisoners cutting airplane components, paying $7 an hour for work that paid union wages of $30 on the outside.

    The law won: In Texas, prisoners make officers' duty belts, handcuff cases, and prison-cell accessories. California convicts make gun containers, creepers (to peek under vehicles), and human-silhouette targets.

    A stitch in time: California inmates sew their own garb. In the 1990s, subcontractor Third Generation hired 35 female South Carolina inmates to sew lingerie and leisure wear for Victoria's Secret and JCPenney. In 1997, a California prison put two men in solitary for telling journalists they were ordered to replace "Made in Honduras" labels on garments with "Made in the usa."

    Open wide: At California's prison dental laboratory, inmates produce a complete prosthesis selection, including custom trays, try-ins, bite blocks, and dentures.

    Constructive criticism: Prisoners in for burglary, battery, drug and gun charges, and escape helped build a Wal-Mart distribution center in Wisconsin in 2005, until community uproar halted the program. (Company policy says, "Forced or prison labor will not be tolerated by Wal-Mart." )

    On call: Its inmate call centers are the "best kept secret in outsourcing," Unicor boasts. In 1994, a contractor for gop congressional hopeful Jack Metcalf hired Washington state prisoners to call and remind voters he was pro-death penalty. Metcalf, who prevailed, said he never knew.
  2. 12 Aug '16 21:42
    Not to worry, Hillary will save them.
  3. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    12 Aug '16 22:04 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    Not to worry, Hillary will save them.
    Unlikely when it was the Clintons who unleashed the massive rise in imprisonment. It is hardly a partisan issue over there.
  4. Subscriber FreakyKBH
    Acquired Taste...
    12 Aug '16 22:06
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Talking of reinventing the slave trade, consider some of the statistics in this short video about America's prison - industrial complex, on the amount of goods produced by forced labor in American prisons - enabling them to compete with Mexico. Nearly 1 in 100 American adults are in gaol, and 1 in 9 Black men. There are more 17 year black Americans in pris ...[text shortened]... to call and remind voters he was pro-death penalty. Metcalf, who prevailed, said he never knew.
    Sobering stuff.
    All the unseemly "necessary" evils kept on the down low.
    Land of the brave.
  5. 12 Aug '16 22:16
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Unlikely when it was the Clintons who unleashed the massive rise in imprisonment. It is hardly a partisan issue over there.
    Don't be such a cynic, I'm sure FBI director Comey is ho on the trail!