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Let's Bring Back Chain Gangs

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posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 10:08 PM
If you are convicted of a brutal rape and/or murder, you become a slave of the state, and build roads, dig ditches, or whatever it is that needs to be done. This used to be a common practice, but now I think it is finished most places. Just bring back the old "chain gangs" for people in pelican bay, or other maximum security prisons and put them to work. If they've decided to kill or rape a fellow human being, then the only way they should be allowed to live, supported by our tax money, is if they are doing some kind of work to justify their existence. Maybe if they work hard for 25 years and seem to be "rehabilitated", then they could re-enter the world at some point on parole, but until then, free labor for the state could certainly help the economy and communities...send those guys out to build schools, houses for the homeless, a new police building. Better than just locking them away in a prison to lift weights and keep killing each other, while paying for them to do it. We've got one of (if not the) largest prison populations in the world, and we might as well get some (almost) free labor out of it.

posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 10:13 PM
Georgia still has a form of chain gangs last i heard could of changed by now though. Also there was a state penatentry where i live in central pennsylvania that had a farm and paid low wages to the inmates for working the farm, they were able to cut a lot of the operation costs of the facility by growing their own food. They had to shut down the farm though because animal rights groups were throwing a fit about the inmates (the following may be graphic for some people)

forcing themselves on the farm animals.

posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 10:24 PM
Now I agree with this idea to

Here in Utah we see people in orange cleaning trash off the side of the road to work off 'public service' but we pay HUGE dollars out to companies to do hard labor that would be good to give to a 'chain gang' and not have to PAY for the heavey labour.

I think ALOT of serious heavey labour intense jobs could be done by a 'chain' gang; crew......
ditch digging
snow removal
MORE ditch digging
working at the dump
sewer plant work (they wanna be chitty people let them have the chitty jobs)

its a GOOD idea......a much better way for inmates to spend time, than to watch Jerry Springer..........or get a free law degree on the dollar of the state......

[edit on 24-10-2006 by theRiverGoddess]

posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 10:36 PM
i think manual labour is a good idea if civil rights can be upheld in regards to keeping things humane. (no chains)

i'm also willing to leap to "punisher gets same treatment as punished"

education would be the best remedy. or rather re-habilitation would be. if your going to roam the streets again, you need a skill or education to hop into the economy machine.

posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 10:42 PM
IMO, prisons should be 100% self-reliable.

If you dont grow it, you dont eat it.

If you dont squeeze it, you dont drink it.

The weight rooms need to go. Why would we want a violent criminal to workout every day and become a muscle loaded monster?

Prison attire should come in one color, pink.

Instead of sports, an event of leisure should involve therapy and education. Those who want to skip such activities should be locked up in their cells and the cell tempature should be a balmy 90 degrees F.

The only available water for showering should be cold water.

Work duties could include digging a hole, refilling it, and then repeating the process. The exact same hole. Over and over. Pointless choices in life should result in pointless punishment.

Cells should not contain any electronics or food/drink.

TV viewing options should include the weather channel, religious shows, and non-graphic nature shows. Once per week, an aide to the warden will read national and global news for 30 minutes. The news will not include sports, any local events, or anything that might "excite" the population.

In the event of a prision riot, a mixture of sleeping gas, tear gas, and laughing gas will be released into the entire facility. If that doesnt work, simply have the national guard fly in a apache helicopter and open fire.

All murderers should be executed in an identical manner.

Since this is a family board, I cant post how I think rapists should be dealt with.

There should be enough prisions to support 1% of the population. When the prisions fill up, you stack them and rack them. When they fill beyond that point, you simply execute the ones that have been there the longest until you have the available space you need.

By the way, I used to live next door to a child rapist and attempted child murderer. Anyone soft on crime should be required to live with a repeat felon.

As neighbors, my family is lucky to be alive. But we had some other neighbors whose luck was far worse then ours.

Anyway, thats my rant. Thanks for your time.

posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 10:47 PM
Chain gangs are probably not a really good idea, mainly because their purpose is so closely associated with punishment rather than any public good achieved by such a work crew and the problem of putting dangerous criminals out in public to provide little more than a spectacle.

A work farm on the order of the Louisiana State Penitentiary is probably as good a model as you're likely to find to satisfy the desires expressed here.

Angola is still run as a working farm, and Cain once said that the key to running a peaceful maximum security prison was that "you've got to keep the inmates working all day so they're tired at night."

Louisiana State Penitentiary

I would cite Wikipedia relative to chain gangs, but the article is too obviously biased, even if it is basically factual. Readers can search it out for themselves.

[edit on 2006/10/24 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 10:54 PM
I have seen a lot of prison gangs on visits to N/S Carolina. It's something I fully support as well and would like to see the same over here in the uk. Ok, maybe the most dangerous criminals would not get out to work but the rest can be put to good use.
Just tag the buggers and, in the event they decide to abscond, they can be quickly tracked and recaptured, and a few weeks/months added to their sentence.
Screw all the human rights BS, they abused the rights of others so get them to put something back into society.

posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 10:56 PM
Well for security reasons it's probably not the best idea to have
high crime offenders helping with public works projects.

However, I am all for prisoners who don't want to work at some
other thing, be used as farmers, would help the economy, and
strike a blow to illegal immigrants.

posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 11:04 PM
I think that what people are calling chain gangs here are really crews from the local jails used to clean up highways and such. These are prisoners who are convicted of misdemeanors and have attained the status of trusty. These prisoners view their status on work crews as much better than being stuck in a cell block 24 hours a day. Even these have been put on hold in some areas because they are expensive relative to the good they do.

Also, the trend toward sentencing some offenders to community service is displacing crews made up of incarcerated criminals. When the work crews aren't motivated to flee because they are not incarcerated, it takes much less supervision to keep them in line and they present far less of a threat to the public.

[edit on 2006/10/24 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 12:02 AM
Well, I'm not really talking about community service type work as an option for small time offenders. I'm talking about forced labor for the real bad guys. I don't really think it would be too hard to keep them under control. Use small groups of inmates, bound with chains, have a couple gunmen keeping them in line. If they attempt to do anything, they get shot. As soon as they realize we mean business, they'll make a choice to either live and work, or give up their life. Understand, I'm only talking about people convicted of brutal rapes/murders. In my opinion, they already forfeited all of their rights to live when they committed the crime, so if they are going to remain on this earth they can at least make up their cost of living to the community. Hell, ship them off to the "Dulce underground base" for some genetic engineering and alien breeding experiments...ok, maybe that's going a bit too far.

I think you actually could raise a decent workforce, and keep them in line. It would just require a bit of effort to initiate, and that's one thing that the prisons seem to have difficulties with. All you ever hear about prisons are murders, rapes, gangs, drugs, etc...and the increased luxuries given to prisoners. Most of the time there's no rehabilitation going on anyway when you get into a higher security state prison. Ever watch those documentaries on national geographic or discovery of places like pelican bay? These guys have the bodies of gorillas, the intelligence of a child, and are purely ego-driven with no conscience. Might as well put them to work for their crimes, in order to help the community, as well as receive punishment.

[edit on 25-10-2006 by Shoktek]

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 04:06 PM
Generally speaking, it no longer makes economic sense to use chaingangs for labor. You can't replace the market with a socialized slave labor industry. You can't lay off law-abiding citizens who deserve to earn a living so that felons can earn a living. That's punishing the innocent more than the guilty. So you can put cons to work in one of two ways: 1. On projects that nobody in the market is going to be given otherwise. 2. Providing for their own welfare, such as on a prison farm.

The first instance is not as viable as it used to be because while chain gangs were a perfect 1-1 replacement for slave crews, they can't even come close to the efficiency of machines or skilled laborers. This eliminates 90%+ of the jobs chain gangs could even possibly be used for.

Then there's the moral aspect to consider. If the state profits from imprisoning people, the state has a motive beyond law and order to imprison people. This was seen in the South after the civil war. Jim Crow kept Southern prisons stocked with "constitutionally allowable" replacements for slaves, most of them black. I believe the American tendency to distrust government should operate here, causing us to seek an efficient but not profitable prison system.

It makes good sense that prisoners should work to feed themselves- let them grow their own food. Let them dig their own septic tanks. Hell, put the worst of them on a big treadmill to provide electricity for the warden's office for all I care. Just take precautions against corruption, which means not making an industry out of it. We already have a prison industry in America, and it's not serving the public good. Our prison system is about as big and expensive as they come.
There were 1.5 million drug arrests in 1995, that's 10% of all arrests in 1995.

In 1995 there were about 1.4 million people incarcerated in America. 22% of them were incarcerated for drug offenses. We can therefore infer that 1 in 5 drug offenders did state or federal time in 1995. Each of those costed over $20,000 annually. You don't do state time for under a year: that's county jail. Therefore we know that in 1995, drug incarcerations cost America 6,000,000,000 in 1995. (incidentally i double-checked that because it seemed like a lot, but sure enough, we spend some 54 Billion on prisons)

Probation instead of prison would have reduced that 6 Billion dollars to only .9 Billion, and 1000 dollar fines would further reduce that to .6 billion- 1/10th of current costs.

My point? Why would we be spending so much money, except that there's something in it for somebody and that is influencing the system. Bring in chaingangs and the problem gets worse rather than better. Chain gangs would stand in the way of good policy. Stick to prison farms.

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 04:22 PM
Yea, I like the idea of a prison farm. You want food? Go ahead and grow it right back there...drinking/bathing water? There's a well a quarter mile north, take some buckets and fill up the tank for the day...if they decide not to work on a certain day, they get no food, no water, nothing...they'll start working after they go a few days without food or water.

I don't think using chain gangs would cause the "layoff" of other hard workers...I literally mean send these guys to dig the ditches of the roads, if there's some dirty work that needs to be done, send them in...although I do see what you're saying, and don't agree it would really be feasible for wide scale/standardized used, but certainly in some places.

As far as things like drug crimes go, I agree we waste a LOT of money on those people. The priorities also seem very out of whack when you have some drug dealer doing 15 years in jail, while a rapist gets out in 5-10. For possession of drugs, I think we should just have probation, no matter what, for the first offense, which is what a lot of places do...drug test this person weekly for a couple years, have them do some community service...then if they slip up again, jail time. I don't really agree with the drug laws to begin with, but I won't get into that on this thread...

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 05:33 PM

Originally posted by ShoktekI don't really agree with the drug laws to begin with, but I won't get into that on this thread...

Yeah, it's really not the point in and of itself, but I think it makes a point as to what profit motive does to both the functionality and the economy of our correctional system. When I see some 100,000 people incarcerated in for-profit institutions (meaning that at least 3 major providers of private correctional facilities would go belly-up if we fixed our drug laws) it tells me that more than justice and the best interests of our nation are going to be discussed whenever reforms are needed, and I'm concerned that chain gangs might have the potential to double that problem several times over by spreading the profit-motive issue to the other 95% of the prison population.

There is one other idea I could offer though as far as how to use prisoners for the benefit of the public rather than just for their own subsistence, and that's charity.

There are people who can't afford food in this world: send them excess from self-supporting prisons and now you've got those who harmed society generating something positive for the US image and for humanity, without introducing an economic profit motive to be abused.

On the same note, you could probably broker early release deals in some cases... take New Orleans for example. Now there's a case of damage that the market really can't fix, so I wouuld have considered offering non-violents who were within a month of release the opportunity to go do a weeks worth of debris clearing and then get their release. (I certainly wouldn't advocate sending lifers down there- supervision would be impractical and they'd be more trouble than they were worth). That's about the extent to which I see prison labor having a useful place.

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 08:14 PM
I can agree with using prison labor for minor offenders, but Rapists and those that have killed. :shk: I do not think so, they are the worst of the worst and should be behind high wall and fences were they can not possibly harm others.

I have no idea what it would cost for the officers to guard those types, but I would assume it is far more then it would cost behind walls etc.

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 08:24 PM
Idea has merit no doubt about it. If you are going to take a person out of society then you have two choices: keep them forever apart of society or find a way to attempt to reform them. Active efforts to train and teach civil aspects to these people would help to lessen the burden on society and to help these people integrate.

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 08:25 PM
Idea has merit no doubt about it. If you are going to take a person out of society then you have two choices: keep them forever apart of society or find a way to attempt to reform them. Active efforts to train and teach civil aspects to these people would help to lessen the burden on society and to help these people integrate.

posted on Nov, 2 2006 @ 03:43 PM
Id like to see the prisioners wearing the traditional black and white outfit. Building roads to benefit society the way they didn't. I would like to see the people on death row actually die,(hence the name death row.) not rot in jail. I would also like to bring back capitol punishment in town squares. I dont think anything would reduce crime more than a public execution. It helps scare the little ones to do good. and yes FEAR of punishment IS a good thing.

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