Friday, December 3, 2010

Working On The Chain Gang

What do you think about this? Not that I expect you have actually worked on the chain gang, actually how many of us exactly know anything about this at all? I know that the area I grew up in has a facility that still uses the chain gang for the prisoners housed there, in my opinion this is not actually a bad thing, Arizona is another state that uses this type of “punishment” for prisoners.

I remember as a kid seeing one of my family members on Main Street in our downtown area pushing a broom sweeping the streets, he had evidently gotten himself into trouble and was sentenced to a term on the chain gang, other times in my life I have seen groups of people in striped jumpsuits working on the side of the road, either picking up trash or chopping weeds with armed guards keeping watch, so with this said I have actually witnessed the chain gangs in action, maybe from a distance but I think having these people out in the communities working off their sentence is better than keeping them behind bars storing up their energy until they burst at the seams so to say from frustration and boredom.

We have a large number of people incarcerated today and for the most part these people actually have it better than some of our senior citizens who are living out their lives in nursing homes. Three square meals a day, a bed to sleep on, Television and books to entertain and learn by, planned activities and free medical so to say, yes I am speaking of the prisoners and not our seniors, so why is it too much to ask these people for a portion of their day to be spent outside somewhere working in an attempt to somewhat pay for the upkeep they are being given, yes I know that some will say “But they are being held against their will”, “They have no choice”, “It’s against their Human Rights” in my opinion no one should be mistreated nor abused and I also believe that no one should be allowed to lay up on their butts and let the state keep them up in exchange for the crime they committed, working off a sentence by cleaning up our communities is a whole lot more impressive to me than working it off lifting weights, playing basketball, and earning a “Prison Law Degree”

What if every prisoner were taken out in small groups each day of the week, under the watchful eye of an armed guard and made to serve the communities that they are being housed in, what if these prisoners were taken to the cemeteries that need cleaned up, down the roads littered with garbage, along the highways that have graffiti cluttering the signs and walls, what if these people were made to take part in cleaning up our communities and helping to keep them clean, rather than kept behind a wall until their time is served. Your next statement may be that we will just be giving them an easier chance to escape, that’s where the armed guards come in, we have to not be afraid of protecting our communities and if a prisoner makes himself a danger to that community then he should be dealt with accordingly, as long as we make prison life easy then the population will continue to grow, if we make it hard and a working environment then some of these people just may take a little pride in their cleanup efforts and actually turn their lives around.

With this said I wonder why we can’t use our prisoners in this manner, why do our criminals have more rights than our citizens, and why are we the ones who have to pay for their crimes through our taxes with nothing in return. Some things are easier said than done and other things are an easy fix if we just use the manpower available to us rather than being afraid of offending someone.


  1. I think your idea is excellent. And I totally agree.

    "working off a sentence by cleaning up our communities is a whole lot more impressive to me than working it off lifting weights, playing basketball, and earning a “Prison Law Degree”


    "as long as we make prison life easy then the population will continue to grow, if we make it hard and a working environment then some of these people just may take a little pride in their cleanup efforts and actually turn their lives around."

    And turn their lives around.

    Which is the whole point of prison.

    AWESOME post, my friend!

  2. I totally agree with you! Those that can be trusted and have some hope for the future, let them work. The others...Well, I'm a little more extreme in my thinking on those folks...

  3. Pat said pretty much what I was going to say..There is much these prisoners can be doing to "work" or pay restitution.. Let them work for Habitata for Humanity building homes, let them work in food banks serving food, let them care for a seniors home that neds some work.. many, many things for those that can be rehabilitated..

  4. interesting as i do currently live across the street from an actual prison and on any given day there can be 5 or 6 prisoner in my front ditch working. they are not chained together but rather they have the freedom to move around to work. They guard sent to watch them is usually one man and he pretty much sits in the van talking on the cell phone. so my concern what if they decide to make a run for it. who ends up getting hurt.

  5. I will sometimes see groups in orange along the interstates, picking up trash. I definitely think it should be something that happens more often, although probably not the more extreme prisoners who are a huge threat to society.

    Another idea? The prisons should grow their own food, with the prisoners doing all the work. But I guess that would take a lot more land, etc.

  6. Around here, the community service requirements of a sentence are usually reserved for the juvenile crimes. They do have a litter pickup program along the highways, but of course like everything else, someone complained that it unnecessarily endangered the convicts. God bless the ACLU. Heaven forbid we should put a convicted criminal in harms way. Geeesh.

  7. I agree! Since when did prisons become 5 star accommodations... so much so that there is no real deterrent to crime. Many in prison have never even earned their keep. I say it's a good time to start!

  8. I remember them vividly in Fla.....I agree and think it should be mandatory! It also made them think about why they were there when everybody could see them in their prison stripes, and most times--shackled!!

    When you are CONVICTED of a crime----why do you get more and free benefits above and beyond Law abiding citizens???


  9. We actually have a minimum security facillity near us that sends the prisoners out on work duty. They clean parks, shovel snow, work on the holiday light show. And sometimes they are sent here to the camp to help my husband. They clear brush, haul wood, paint buildings, whatever he needs them to do. They are not chained, but two armed guards are with them at all times. Many times they have helped me out. Once I slid on ice past the road and the car went into a small ditch. The guard and prisoners pushed it out and wouldn't let my husband scold me. They have always been respectful of both me and the kids. And many times I've made them lunches or treats in thanks. A few have even used my husband as a reference when they got out to help them get jobs. I think the work and the respect we treat them with helps them feel better about themselves.

    Please note that these are not rapists, murderers or child molesters though. That's another story!

    Awesome post.

  10. Thank You Ron, Yes Sir my Friend the whole point of prison is for the offenders to have a chance to pay for their crimes and turn their lives around rather than sit and rot so to say.

    Glad you enjoyed it Buddy!!

    Pat, You and I most likely have the same opinion for those who are too dangerous and have no desire in making a good life for themselves, I have an answer concerning overcrowding that goes hand in hand with these criminals.

    Lynne, I agree those who can be rehabilitated should be given jobs that help them get there and help others at the same time, those who can’t be or won’t be then as I mentioned before should be dealt with accordingly as there is no place in society for them.

    Becca, It sounds like the facility across from you needs to train their Guards a bit better, lack of attention here can be a problem and I agree that this can cause the wrong people to be harmed, and on the other hand hopefully these prisoners know who will be harmed if they attempt it.

    A program like this can work in my opinion but only if everyone pays attention to their job. Excellent point my Friend.

  11. Cocotte, The more dangerous prisoners who cannot be trusted so to say in a situation like this should be dealt with in another manner, but that is a whole other post, maybe these are the ones who should be working the gardens on the prison property growing the food that supplies the prison.

    That’s it Matty, We have gotten to the point that we are so concerned about prisoner rights that we are overlooking our own rights, don’t you think that a person committing a crime should actually be giving up their right to complain.

    Hey Ms A, You are right in that they should be made to start earning their keep, most probably never have and as you said it’s a good time to start.

    Good to see you my Friend.

    Amen John, They should have no more rights that those of us who are not incarcerated, I see no problem with the shackles or striped suits, if you don’t want to wear them then keep your nose clean.

    Hey Spot, It sounds like you have an excellent minimum security facility there, it appears the program is working as it should, I think it’s both funny and impressive that they both helped you and wouldn’t let Mike scold you at the same time.

    I’m proud to see you and happy you enjoyed it.

  12. I think they do give most of the people in prison jobs. You do have to limit the risk to the outside community so violent offenders are not usually out there picking up trash on the freeway. Prisons are usually run by the inmates, (kitchen, laundry, etc.). But with "high risk" prisoners, they do have to keep them more contained and controlled.

  13. I think it's a good thing for the prisoners to work, yes the high risk ones should work inside the walls but the others should be working to help keep the community running proper.

  14. Around here, it's considered community service for those of lesser crimes to not serve time...You're right, seems I'm always hearing about prisoners rights and looks like they their needs and many desires (frivolous things) are taken care of and given to them. Is America the only ones who cater to the wants of prisoners?

  15. ou're right, seems I'm always hearing about prisoners rights and looks like they their needs and many desires (frivolous things) are taken care of and given to them.This is very very good side I like it so much Thanks AS

  16. Hey Suzicate, I am like you in wondering about our catering to prisoner needs, I don't have a problem with them being cared for it's when they seem to have more rights than us that bothers me.


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