Prison

Australia
December 8, 2006 3:09am CST
Should all our prisons be self-supporting? I'm not suggesting a return to sentences with "hard labour" but should all prisoners have to do a normal day's work in order to pay for their keep? Why should the taxes of hard working, honest people have to pay to keep murderers, rapists, thieves, etc in a life of ease in prison? Are you happy that your taxes to pay to keep them?
2 people like this
31 responses
@dan1107 (343)
• India
9 Dec 06
Its true that prison should be self supported and the ex-chequers fund should not be mis-utilized on those who are not allowed scot free in the society. Government may workout some sort of formulae to atleast lessen the dependency of prisons on the public funds.
1 person likes this
@yarntales (639)
• United States
8 Dec 06
I think they should be. But here in NY, USA prisoners have more rights than the rest of us. It's a sad state of affairs, imo.
• Australia
8 Dec 06
I think prisoners in most western countries have more rights than law abiding citizens, and more leisure and leisure activities and no cost to them. The only difference that I see is their lack of freedom - but many have weekend leave!
• United States
8 Dec 06
i totally disagree with that for one thing when i went to prison it was the hardest thing i ever had to endure people think it is a picnic in there well maybe u should go do some time and see how u feel,if u think they have more rights u couldnt be so wrong,when a prisoner gets out society looks down on u every where u go for a job they say no so of course they do what they do best which is crime.
• Australia
9 Dec 06
I'm sorry that was your experience, sandlot. I know prisons can be really bad and there is much brutality among the prisoners, but I also know that in prisons here in Australia, if not elsewhere, prisoners have a life of comparative ease, with TVs books and educational courses available to them at no monetary cost to them, but paid for by the tax payer. I sincerely hope that your experience inside will keep you from returning there. Thank you for sharing.
@maddog108 (3442)
• Australia
8 Dec 06
until the goverments move away from the punishing side to the reabilatation side most jails will be full.the way it is now it causes resentment and most come out angry looking for a way to pay society back .i dont like crime either but im sick of seeing the same faces every time i walk past the courts.ive talked to people in there who say im not looking forward to getting out all my friends are in here .so instead of makeing the situation worse by making it harder on them take a good look at what is happening.i have a young family member im trying to help stay out of there the attitude he has is so wrong but i can see were he gets it from
• Australia
8 Dec 06
I agree with you that rehabilitation should be a major factor in prisons - but I still think prisons should be self-supporting.
• Australia
8 Dec 06
I agree with you that rehabilitation should be a major factor in prisons - but I still think prisons should be self-supporting. I also believe that work is part of rehab.
@Bayleigh (141)
• United States
21 Dec 06
I just said this in another post concerning inmates and free college education. I had never really thought about it until I read her post. But that really kind of burns my butt a bit, yes, why do I have to pay for their housing and meals? and their free education? Im in debt beyond my means from student loans and trying to better myself, they get it for free, on my taxes. I was thinking the same thing, why dont they make them work for the things they want in life just like everyone else? But what could they do? Who would pay them? Would our taxes go to that as well? Then they would probably raise them.
• Australia
28 Dec 06
My idea is that all prisons be self supporting. That is, the prisoners work at a job, as in a factory-type situation, with the manufactured products being sold. The prisoners would not receive a "pay" apart from their keep and maybe a little pocket money for extras. The income generated would pay for the prison upkeep, including meals, staff wages, prison maintenance etc. There are prisons in the US and possibly elsewhere, where prisoners are required to work, some producing food supplies for the prison and some in manufacturing. I'd like to think that if enough people put pressure on their politicians, this could be implemented at a smaller or larger degree in all prisons. Of course, there would be cases where it would not be advisable, for safety reasons, to allow some prisoners to work in some situations, but with enough planning, most prisoners could at least do something towards easrning their keep. Thank you for your response.
@Sir_bobby88 (8245)
• Singapore
16 Dec 06
I do think they should be given a second chance , some is not as bad as you think yea
• Australia
17 Dec 06
A "second chance" is a different subject. I'm all for rehabilitation and training. All this post asks is if prisons should be self supporting - and this refers to all types of prisoners.
• United States
13 Dec 06
I hate paying for them. But what else can we do? They do have some jobs in jail, but I'm sure it's not enough to support all the prisoners in the world. I'd rather pay for them to rot in prison, than let rapists/murderers/etc run our streets.
• India
9 Dec 06
taxes r not just to keep the assassins. there r other development issues that r sorted out
• Australia
17 Dec 06
We know taxes are used for many purposes, and most of those purposes are good: if not for individuals in a particular situation, then for those who are. E.g. Elderly people's taxes are used to supply education, while people with a young family pay taxes to support old age homes. Healthy people pay taxes to support unhealthy people. We are NOT complaining about paying taxes. We are just questioning whether our taxes should be used to keep criminals - some of them in better living conditions than many good living, honest people. If prisons were self supporting, this would release more tax money to give benefit where it is better needed.
@Kylalynn (1773)
• South Africa
9 Dec 06
I agree with you. It would be good if all prisons could be self supporting. A lot of tax payers are fed up with supporting the criminals. A lot of criminals study whilst in jail, but I am not sure if they work. One suggestion I have is for them to grow & farm there own food. That would save quite a bit of our hard earned money. You are onto a good topic. Have a good day!
• Australia
9 Dec 06
Thanks. You too.
@Trace86 (5043)
• United States
9 Dec 06
Maybe you could get them to work with incentives. If you work and don't cause problems, you get better food, tv, books or whatever. If not, you still get fed, just not as much or as good as the workers. If they all put in a day's work, maybe they'd be too tired to riot or kill each other. It's not fair that I work my tush off and can't make ends meet and they are waited on and don't have a care in the world other than who to beat up or where they buried the loot.
• Australia
17 Dec 06
Thanks for your comments, Trace. No, it isn't fair that you have to work to keep them. I'm not sure we could say they are "waited on" but they do have a better lifestyle than many free people. The one thing they DO miss out on is freedom and separation from loved ones (those who have loved ones)
@sammy1128 (241)
• China
9 Dec 06
to be honest ,i fully disagree to give my tax to keep criminals in prison. all the prisoners should work to earn their bread there while receiving the punishments.
• Australia
9 Dec 06
Thanks sammy, but I'm afraid we have no choice. Our taxes DO go to keep them. We object, but we can't do anything about it. Maybe you could talk to your politicians. Thanks for your comments.
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
9 Dec 06
Hi Cloudwatcher I totally agree with you as the Prisons are a Holiday camp for them now I have Friends that work in a Prison and I have been there on an open Day as they have that every year and it is like a Holiday Camp it really is they live better then we do and it is free to them
• Australia
9 Dec 06
Thanks, gabs. I didn't think it was THAT good. I'm sure not all prisons are, but we DO need to do something. Thanks for your input.
@simyss (125)
• Singapore
9 Dec 06
I think that they have it too easy. It's like it's better to stay in prison than to be staying in your own home and you get employed in the prison. Isn't the life better than those law-abiding citizens? If this carries on, everybody might flock to the prison and rejoice if they get into prison. Seriously.
• Australia
9 Dec 06
I don't think prison life is all that good. I don't think honest people would be willing to give up their freedom for free meals etc - but it is good enough that some prisoners deliberately go back. Thanks for your thoughts.
• United States
9 Dec 06
Actually having a 'job' while in prison is a self esteem builder. Those who work while incarcerated have an easier time adjusting when they are released. I think it was a couple years ago I found a study that was done on 100 people who had been incarcerated for a period of 5-10 years. Those who worked did better upon release than those who did not. Those who worked learned skills they could use once they returned to the 'real world'. One prison (it was a low security institution) had almost 90% of it's inmates attending jobs. They placed 30% of the earnings into an interior account for the prisoners, with these funds the men were able to purchase items and gifts from the canteen, 5% was placed into savings accounts which paid interest, just like any other such account, and the balance after taxes of course was sent to thefamilies thus reducing the load on the social service system. This prison also offered 'touch visits' and conjugal as well. One inmate said his wife was much more content with his incarceration since he obtained his position, as was he. Since it made them both feel as though he was contributing more to his family than he had previously. So sure, let's let 'em work. Makes them happy, cuts the tax burden, and it increases the national product. I apologize for not being able to locate the link for this study at this time.
• Australia
9 Dec 06
Nobodyspecial, I don't know why you would call yourself that. Thank you for some very good thoughts. If all prisons operated like the one you mention, every taxpayer would be thankful, the public would be thankful because there would be fewer re-offenders and the families would be thankful. The world would be a better place. Now all that has to be done is to convince the politicians!
• Philippines
9 Dec 06
They should be in a hard labour, its the most logical way to pay for their stay.
• Australia
9 Dec 06
I'm sorry but even though I think many of them DESERVE to be treated badly, I am not suggesting hard labour. I think the main motivation should be rehabilitation and retraining so they can fit into society without re-offending. While isolation from family and loss of independence certainly is punishment, I think the main aim is to mold a new character and I don't believe this can be achieved by trying to force them into hard labour This, I'm sure would be a very difficult job with most prisoners, and would involve whipping or something, which could not be tolerated in our society. Thanks for your comments.
• India
9 Dec 06
i do agree that its bad that a part of earning is utilised for them but the actual thing is taxes are not utilised just to take care of prisoners.there are many other things to which it is utilised,i mean for the benifit of society as a whole like maintenance of roads,hospitals etc etc.prisoners are also a part of society.they must have done bad things but we have no right to deprive any human being from the basic necessity.i mean food,cloth etc.and obviously our govt. cant ask money from other countries for our prisoners.i just want to say that prisons are only a part of society for which taxes are utilised not the sole purpose and moreover its not prisoners dont have to anything,they are made to do some of the most labourious work like breaking rocks of mountains etc.and i want to add something more to ur knowledge,since im a student of tax laws.there are many categories of prisons like A,B,C,d ETC.not everyone get the benifits of tv and other luxiries.it depends on kind of crime they had done.if its some minister and not a major crime then he belongs to A category and consideration for tax payer is also considered.if the criminal was a regular tax payer and have proof he also belongs to a better category.i hope now u will understand why taxes are necessary
• Australia
9 Dec 06
I would not suggest for one moment that taxes are not necessary and I think we are all aware that our taxes are used for a multiplicity of purposes. FACT: Tax money IS USED to maintain prisons, to pay prison staff and to feed, clothe and keep prisoners. WHERE was there ever any mention of depriving prisoners of basic needs, of food, clothes etc? WHERE was any suggestions that other countries be asked to support another countries' prisoners? WHERE are prisoners used to break rocks out of mountains? Not in my country or others that I know of. Now I hope you will understand what everyone else is saying. Thanks for your thoughts.
• United States
9 Dec 06
I don't think that prisons should necessarily be completely self-supporting...HOWEVER, prisoners should have to work for what they are given while in prison. Think about it! People who are not in prison have to work for what they have, so why shouldn't prisoners (who are there for a reason, or reasons) have to work, too? Punishment for a crime should at the very least include some form of required work or labor -- but like you're saying, I'm not referring to any extremes. It DOESN'T make sense that you can kill, steal, rape, etc. and have people who HAVEN'T committed such offenses be the ones to pay for your stay in prison.
@bindishah (2063)
• India
9 Dec 06
I definitely agree that taxes should not have to pay for the keep of prisoners. First of all, I believe that white collar crimes should not be punished with prison sentences..rather they should be fined heavily. This fine can then be used in some way for the betterment of the community. Prison criminals should be made to do usual day to day chores/work to pay for thier expenses.
• Australia
9 Dec 06
I think some white collar crimes are worse than some thievery or vandalism crimes. White collar crimes can rip thousands off the unsuspecting, old, etc.
@sann007m2 (717)
• India
9 Dec 06
oooo...prison.Nice word.I wnna to put my comment on this topic.I play most of game accociated with this word.ANd see movie also.If you can see the movie "the sell","the net"...so and so
• Australia
17 Dec 06
I'm not sure exactly what you are saying. I don't think prison is a "game". Do you think prisoners should have to work in order to earn their keep? Should prisons be self-supporting?
@Polly1 (12651)
• United States
9 Dec 06
I think the prisoners would welcome jobs, it sure would make the time go by faster. I can't imagine being locked up with nothing to do. I don't know if they could make all prisons self supporting, but I do agree something does need to be done to at least address the issue and work towards finding a solution. I wish there was an easy answer. The inmates do need to work to help pay for their upkeep, tax payers shouldn't have to foot the bill. More needs to be done with rehab so the inmates don't go back when they get out. The inmates need help reentering society when they get out too.
@lissaj (532)
• United States
27 Dec 06
Yes, I think prisoners should have to work. Prison is a lot easier than it should be. People are sent to prison for punishment, not to be able to sit there and do nothing all day, eat, sleep, exercise time, read books, watch tv, listen to the radio. Make them work, and not something fun and easy either, maybe they will learn some responsibility.