While I don't believe prisoners should be forced to work (and I don't believe
_any_ of the prisoners in North Carolina are forced to participate), I also
don't think that these people should be able to sit in an air-conditioned cell
and watch TV all day. It costs a large amount of money for each prisoner (I
can't remember the latest figure I heard, but I'm sure it was more than
$30,000 a year) to house, clothe, and feed them. By allowing them to work
(that's right allowing them to _choose_ to work or not to work) we can offset
some of those costs, save money for the state in other ways (i.e. our tax
dollars), and possibly provide a work ethic for someone who didn't have one.
One more factor. Prison laborers are often released early (either by through
early parole, or because pay was not only $5.00 a day, but also a day off the
By the way, in 1997, we harvested approximately 2000 lbs of organically-grown
processing tomatoes (made a great sauce). Since they were produced at a
State-owned research station, we couldn't sell them. Several hundred pounds
went to the state prison where several of the inmates were housed.
I realize that this probably only adds fuel to the fire, and hopefully
everyone will read this far before getting generally annoyed at a grad student
with an attitude. I am opposed to prison labor being used by the general
public or corporations. I do believe, however, that prisoners should be
allowed to work for the state, and contribute to their own room and board.
Last year, after a hurricane, level 1 prisoners were sent to farms to set up
tobacco plants. I'm sure they cost less than the National Guard. . .Just my
two cents worth. . .
(okay. . .maybe a buck's worth). . .Russ
-- Russ Bulluck Ph.D. Student Department of Plant Pathology North Carolina State University PO Box 7616 Raleigh, NC 27695-7616
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The soil population is so complex that it manifestly cannot be dealt with as a whole with any detail by any one person, and at the same time it plays so important a part in the soil economy that it must be studied. --Sir E. John Russell The Micro-organisms of the Soil, 1923 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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