On Sunday, the New York Times reported that farmers in Colorado will replace migrant workers, who left the state after tough new immigration restrictions were put into place, with prisoners. Now, there’s probably something to be said for prisoners having the opportunity to be outside and doing something that keeps them active.
But here’s the kicker: The prisoners’ pay for a day’s work in the fields? $.60 per day. This program bears a strange resemblance to another former government program.
This program, if done right, could actually be a good thing for the prisoners. They have an opportunity to get out of the jail and put their energy into something productive. If they would be paid a reasonable wage, even minimum wage, it would give them an opportunity to sock away some money in preparation for their release. (See this op-ed from Sunday’s Patriot News on what ex-offenders face when they leave prison.)
But paying them $.60 a day is just exploitative.
Andy in Harrisburg