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?
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.