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What's the argument against hard labour in prisons? Watch

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    Good enough for the Americans.
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    I totally agree. I'd suggest perhaps a little less than 12 hours. Working Time Regulations set a limit on the average number of hours of work each week at 48, and 8 hours per 24 hours for nightworkers. I think if they worked say Mon-Fri, it would be invaluable in terms of learning lifelong skills, improving their job prospects for when they get out, and as you say, keeping them fit and healthy.

    It's not going to solve over-crowding, but it'd deter some people who get themselves put in prison for short periods of time for the free B&B.

    I'd want to give them at least Sunday off though, for religious reasons (I'm sure there's religious people in prison :P).

    But I totally agree. It might make the prisons themselves better places, look nicer, feel nicer etc (I know they're not meant to be luxury), it could save a bit of taxpayer's money and the benefits to the prisoners would be great.
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    it doesn't solve the problem, making them work is only going to drive people against the state, rather than rehabilitating them and focusing on stopping them from re-offending (Restorative Justice being a very good example).
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    (Original post by gamer91)
    it doesn't solve the problem, making them work is only going to drive people against the state, rather than rehabilitating them and focusing on stopping them from re-offending (Restorative Justice being a very good example).
    but wheres the idea of punishment? Having 8 years of " luxury" isn't much of a deterrent to murder is it. Some of them aren't even interested in rehabilitation anyways, once they get out they just do it again
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    Of course prisoners shouldn't have to work... It's not as if prison is meant to be a punishment. What a ridiculous notion!
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    (Original post by random321)
    but wheres the idea of punishment? Having 8 years of " luxury" isn't much of a deterrent to murder is it. Some of them aren't even interested in rehabilitation anyways, once they get out they just do it again
    I'm not saying luxury, but if we send criminals into prison and force manual labour on them and give a large atmosphere of us and them, nothing is going to change, they will come out of prison not understanding that what they have done is wrong, or the greater effect they have had on society.
    I'm saying perhaps we should educate them (as I said before, perhaps meeting the victims could help here) and so they have gained something when they come out, and are able to enter the economy (get a job, lead a normal life etc.) rather than returning to a life of crime.
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    (Original post by random321)
    but wheres the idea of punishment? Having 8 years of " luxury" isn't much of a deterrent to murder is it. Some of them aren't even interested in rehabilitation anyways, once they get out they just do it again
    The majority of incidences of murder aren't pre-meditated, so a deterrent wouldn't do much good anyway. The very fact that we have so many murders even with a pretty awful prison experience could very well be seen to demonstrate that.

    With regards to the OP, I'd probably favour mandatory education (possibly vocational?) rather than forced work. Seems like it'd be better for reformation.
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    (Original post by wawrwinka)
    Although I agree with you, that's the point I was trying to avoid. I wasn't trying to say that we need to make prison more of a punishment (though that may be the case), just that I think the benefit to prisoners, and more importantly the benefit to us could be pretty large.
    We do need to make prisons more of a punishment. As things stand, there are people living rent-free at the cost of the tax-payer. They should be made to contribute something back to society.
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    To me it seems quite bizarre that prisoners aren't made to work. Maybe there are problems finding work suitable for them though.
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    Prisons should be mostly financed by prisoner labour. Why should anyone else pay for their mistakes?

    As for education, maybe a way that if prisoners meet their learning targets, they get breaks in work.

    Prison shouldn't be a pleasent experience - at all. Not just as a deterrant, but so that victims can have justice.
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    (Original post by wawrwinka)
    Yes, but how does that justify making prison more of a punishment? It justifies making them work for us, but that may not necessarily be a punishment.
    It's like killing two birds with one stone. By working and not being paid, they are being punished and also contributing to society. I went to work in a prison. I have to say, I'd also like an X Box 360 and an assortment of games for free...
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    i started a thread about 2 months ago - about the exact same topic.

    I reckon prisions should be made self sufficient. Almost everybody in the thread agreed that some form of labour should be brought into prisons along as prisons remembered their aim. The only minor down point is is that it might take work off factorys which employ normal people.
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    (Original post by wawrwinka)
    That's an EU law is it not? I know that many people in the UK legall or illegally work much longer than that, and I think 70 hour working weeks are incredibly reasonable. Many good people on the outside, hard workers, net contributors to the economy etc., work that much just to make ends meet, so I wouldn't go less than 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.
    http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/empl...ing-time-regs/

    Bear in mind that people on salaries can often pick their own hours. It's their choice if they want to work more to keep their job or get more money; do you think prisoners will, despite the benefits?

    As much as I may agree or disagree with the current laws, they are the laws, and a government department is going to be fairly careful about following them, especially since there would be a fair amount of controversy around the proposal to begin with.

    (Original post by wawrwinka)
    I'd agree, though I think other religions should get their own day as well.
    I agree. Jewish believers can have Saturday off and work Sundays; it might help keep a constant flow of work. Lets say they work 5 days a week; they get to pick which 2 days they want off. They might see another benefit to the scheme and it'd be less like they're just working to save us money.

    (Original post by wawrwinka)
    We say "a bit of money", but couldn't it in theory save a bloody lot of money? Which is why I'm so surprised that we're not actually considering it...
    Well, I'm not much of an economist, but there might well be limited work for them to do, thus not as many hours would be available, and I'm guessing the largest working area of a prison is security, which won't be left to prisoners. They can cook, clean, tidy, build furniture, pick crops and garden. They can't act as guards, administer injections, give health treatment or help lock up. It could potentially save a bit of money, it could save a lot.
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    Because slavery is generally frowned upon.
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    (Original post by wawrwinka)
    Forget the buzzwords. Why would people frown upon exactly what I've described?

    If you're really going to get so wrapped up about the fact that techincally forcing someone to work might equate to slavery, then we can kill that argument by simply providing incetives to "choose" to work, like doubling their sentence if they don't.
    The fact you had to use inverted commas defeats your own argument.
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    What type of work would these criminals do?

    I've had this argument with people and have, with difficult, been turned.

    1) There are plenty of people without jobs, giving the jobs to prisoner's takes more jobs out of the general economy and screws law-abiding people over.

    2) Prisoner's inside prisons are VERY easy to watch. They spend most of the day locked up in cells and so need relatively few guards to keep the peace. If the prisoners are given jobs they would need to do more in open spaces, and in the majority of the cases would need to be given tools. This would mean employing a LOT more prison guards and so put a much bigger drain on the money of the taxpayers.

    3) In prisons where neither of these things are really a problem, this already does occur. In lower-security prisons prisoners do considerably more work to help maintain the prison - farming, cleaning etc.

    Things are rarely as simple as they seem in the criminal justice system. Making broad sweeping statements about how prison's should be run is worthless. If you really think it should change put together a detailed proposal of how EXACTLY this is going to work. What jobs would they do? Where would the materials and tools for this come from? Who would outsource the work to the prisons? How would the workers be supervised? How would the theft of tools be managed? What positive and negative impact would this have on a) the prisoners, b) the general populace?

    Manual labor in prisons seems a brilliant idea at first. Unfortunately most of us are idiots who understand nothing of the details of governmental systems. Until you do, presume they're doing a better job than you, because you have no idea what you're talking about, and they do.
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    (Original post by wawrwinka)
    No it doesn't. I'm quite open about the fact that the work should be compulsory, if they don't choose to do it.

    If you had any decent reading skills you'll realise that my point wasn't that the work shouldn't be compulsory. It was actually that if needlessly argumentative people like yourself insist on comparing it to slavery, we can make it technically not slavery.
    I'm not sure if you're serious, in trying to enforce New Speak.

    Forcing someone to work without pay is slavery. Whether the state or a single person is the master is irrelevant. There's no way around it. Unless you're willing to accept this consensus definition then stop wasting my time.
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    (Original post by wawrwinka)
    I do accept it. That's why I said if you want to make it not slavery then make it optional work, and if they choose not to do it double their sentence.
    that's like saying it's not robbery if you give someone the choice of being robbed or beaten up and they choose being robbed.

    a punitive measure for not doing something, is a very different thing to an incentive for doing something. The former would not suddenly make it 'not slavery'. In fact it wouldn't change the definition of what it was at all..
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    (Original post by Darkel)
    I'm not sure if you're serious, in trying to enforce New Speak.

    Forcing someone to work without pay is slavery. Whether the state or a single person is the master is irrelevant. There's no way around it. Unless you're willing to accept this consensus definition then stop wasting my time.
    Maybe it is technically slavery, but so what? Imprisoning people against their will isn't exactly a nice thing either, but we accept that as part of our legal system. I think any argument against prison labour should be more along the lines of what JoMo1 said.
 
 
 
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