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Kamala Harris’ A.G. Office Tried to Keep Inmates Locked Up for Cheap Labor

Discussion in 'Current News & Events' started by redleghunter, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. redleghunter

    redleghunter Abide Boldy my friend Supporter

    United States
    From the Daily Beast:

    Ordered to reduce the population of California’s overcrowded prisons, lawyers from then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris’s office made the case that some non-violent offenders needed to stay incarcerated or else the prison system would lose a source of cheap labor.

    In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Plata that California’s prisons were so overcrowded that they violated the Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Three years later, in early 2014, the state was ordered to allow non-violent, second time offenders who have served half of their sentence to be eligible for parole.

    By September 2014, plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit were back in court, accusing California of slow-walking the process, which lawyers for Harris’s office denied.

    According to court filings, lawyers for the state said California met benchmarks, and argued that if certain potential parolees were given a faster track out of prison, it would negatively impact the prison’s labor program including one that allowed certain inmates to work fighting California’s wildfires for about $2 a day.

    “Extending 2-for-1 credits to all minimum custody inmates at this time would severely impact fire camp participation—a dangerous outcome while California is in the middle of a difficult fire season and severe drought,” lawyers for Harris wrote in the filing, noting that the fire camp program required physical fitness in addition to a level of clearance that allowed the felon to be offsite.

    Not only that, they noted, draining the prisons of “minimum custody inmates” would deplete the labor force both internally and in local communities where low-level, non-violent offenders worked for pennies on the dollar collecting trash and tend to city parks. A federal three-judge panel ordered both sides to confer about the plaintiffs’ demands and the state agreed to extend the 2-for-1 credits to all eligible minimum security prisoners.

    More at link: Kamala Harris’ A.G. Office Tried to Keep Inmates Locked Up for Cheap Labor
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  2. TuxAme

    TuxAme Quis ut Deus? Supporter

    United States
    $2 a day for fighting fires?
  3. Basil the Great

    Basil the Great Well-Known Member Supporter

    I could be wrong, but I do not expect Sen. Harris to win the Dem. nomination.
  4. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

    United States

    Illegal voting aside, hasn't this, a source of cheap labor, been a big part of the reason that illegal immigration has always been talked about, but never really dealt with properly, by our politicians on both sides of the aisle?

    edit question: Wouldn't a policy like this one, in a very real way, be a kind of modern day slavery?
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  5. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

    Yeah I already knew about this, and honestly it's one of the major reasons I wasn't too excited when Senator Harris announced. She has pointed out that as the AG of California her client was the state of California and she was required to defend their actions. Honestly I think I respect her for that, but since the President is no longer expected simply to be a techncratic leader implementing policy set by Congress, but actually set policy, I think it will really hurt her.
  6. redleghunter

    redleghunter Abide Boldy my friend Supporter

    United States
    Dangerous work. The state probably doubled the rate from $1 a day.