This might not generate a lot of attention

Posted: July 19, 2010 by datechguy in opinion/news

But it is an important story nonetheless:

Slightly more than 7,000 federal prisoners have been cut from the work rolls in the past two years, and up to 800 more are expected to be dropped in the next several months, according to Federal Prison Industries records.

The latest cut, announced last week, will close nine factories scattered from Pennsylvania to California and includes reductions in staff at 11 others, Federal Prison Industries spokeswoman Julie Rozier says.

She says the cuts represent some of the largest reductions in the 75-year history of the federal prison workforce. “We’re feeling the same pressures that are present in the overall economy,” she says. This year, 16,115 of the system’s 211,146 inmates are working in the factory jobs, down from 23,152 in 2008.

Federal Prison Industries is a government corporation established by Congress in 1934 that provides training for federal inmates. The industries generate about 80 products and services for sale to the federal government. In return, inmates are paid up to $1.15 per hour. Much of that goes to child support, fines, restitution and other court-ordered obligations.

Prison guards and others fear the cuts could spark inmate unrest in overcrowded institutions where jobs — however menial — have kept prisoners occupied.

And here is a second thought. What do you do when they get out? When unemployment is at 4-5% (A high level according to the MSM during the Bush years) there were few enough people looking that an employer might take a shot at someone with a past. That’s less people on the dole.

With unemployment at 9.5% why should an employer will take a shot when there are so many people without a past dying for work?

This is the social cost of a bad economy and that’s why when you hurt business you hurt the poor.

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