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Prison Ltd - organizing prisons into independent companies

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jnikola May 25, 2021
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According to the latest statistics, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has 152,029 prisoners . The average age of prisoners is estimated to be 41 , which is just slightly above the average age of a working man . If we count in the fact that 51.8 % of the inmates are sentenced under the low-security level, that gives us 78,751 people in the US prisons doing nothing under the low security. That's almost half of all the Ford employees around the world. Yes, they sometimes do gardening, plumbing, cooking, or similar jobs in and outside of the prison.

But, what an incredible number of jobs could be done if they were somehow adapted and made to work for the community! Why a prison couldn't be an independent sustainable shoe factory, for example? Can the skillset of a sentenced person be another factor determining in which prison would be the person sent? In that way, a politician who was sentenced for tax evasion could help in Prison Shoe Factory as an accountant.

What jobs could be done by the prisoners concerning the three main aspects: implementation, effectiveness, sustainability?
Would you hire prisoners and under what terms?
Would that be good or bad for their rehabilitation?



Creative contributions

A few ideas

Anja M
Anja M Jul 01, 2021
Well, I am not minutely acquainted with the disciplinary and educational policies of prisons around the world, but judging by the fact that those people should be reintegrated into the society at some point, and that they should be cultivated while in prison, in the most general sense, I think your idea is very viable. In fact, I am reminiscing that I am pretty certain there are prisons that are more than less engaging the inmates in various jobs. Recently I've seen that in some they are producing brandy, in others they even cultivate land with agro-machinery, etc. So, all in all, a small sustainable community producing for themselves and/or the outer world, for sale, is a good idea on more than one account.
Of course, there have to be measures on what tools they can use, for safety reasons, they should parallelly have an education, both as a course, and what goes in for correctional behaviour, but, from agroindustry (which is vast in itself), to e.g. toys, should be viable.
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Prisoners like freelancers

Michaela D
Michaela D Oct 14, 2021
I agree that keeping prisoners that do nothing is a huge waste of human potential, as well as a financial burden to taxpayers. An alternative idea for prisons that could not constitute their own companies would be to let prisoners work as freelancers either for other prisons-companies or normal companies. The type of jobs they could do would depend on their skill set and it could involve computers (with high safety controls for internet access). Simple, easy tasks would be to input data in excel sheets or different software and more complex would be to write, translate, etc. Employers that would like to contribute would sign up- it would be clear who the employee is!
There could even be a reward system where part of the salary goes to maintaining the prison, another part they earn as a salary or points that reduce the time of their sentence.
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General comments

Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago
I think there are all sorts of programs along these lines. I remember hearing somewhere that US prisoners make car license plates. In my country, they can opt to work for a minimal wage. Some can leave the prison to go to work. I bet they get some bonus points for working when their parole comes up.

The work has to be incentivized (not forced). It can't be slavery
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jnikola3 years ago
Darko Savic What if the whole prison is, for example, a programming company and all the prisoners get a better meal/videocall with their loved ones or something similar if they do the part of the job? That way the work could be incentivized and the workers motivated. Programming is just an example., but the idea is how can we make it more efficient, connected, integrated, and sustainable in the modern technological era.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni3 years ago
Juran Or the money can be sent to an account that the prisoners can access when they are out. Or the money can be sent to their families if they wish. This will help create a better life for them after they leave prison.
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jnikola3 years ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni Yes, except for immediate benefits inside the prison (reduced time in the prison, better meals, learning new skills), that could be an incredible motivator!
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