Smart Move on Inmate Labor, Gov. Rell

CBS radio in NYC reports that the Conn. DOT will increase the number of low-security inmates working on road jobs from 80 to over 100. This leads to an 85%-plus savings in salary, and obviously, inmates are not eligible for pensions, etc., that burden the State for generations.  (Story here:  http://www.wcbs880.com/Connecticut-to-Use-More-Inmate-Labor/4990578  )

Thanks, Gov. Rell, for extending a common-sense practice that saves money on all sides — reducing the number of prison inmates saves millions, in addition to the salary/benefit savings for State DOT workers.

The unions will hate this, but I think it is jam.

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12 responses to “Smart Move on Inmate Labor, Gov. Rell

  1. According to the Hartford Courant, the state has actually been doing this for 20 years and this is isn’t new. I guess Rell is trying to take credit for something that the state has already been doing for two decades! http://blogs.courant.com/capitol_watch/2009/08/rell-says-that-inmates-are-cle.html

  2. Hi funtre, I didn’t say she invented it, I gave her kudoes for expanding it.

  3. First off the prisoners already pick up a limited amount of trash on the highways.
    For this woman or anybody else for that matter believe that these inmates posess the skills to fix gaurdrails, use heavy equipment to mow the medians or many of the other skills these maintainers posess in order to maintain our highways is laughable.
    I would suggest it would be much easier to teach a 5th grader how to Govern CT than to teach a prisoner how to safely maintain our high ways.
    In the last year alone 2 people have been killed as the result of accidents caused by them with DOT vehicles on our Highways.
    And this with qualified safe drivers in the trucks!!
    And if you were stranded on the highways are prisoners coming to your aid on the highway??
    Would you want your teemage daughter stuck with a flat tire while a sex offender offers to help with her tire??!!!
    Not to mention the $1.75 an hour with free room and board sounds so much like a plantation than anything else I have heard.
    The Republican party of Lincoln is in no way the Republican party of today.
    God save Connecticut!!! (PS Please hurry!!!)

  4. I have a solution to our budget, dump the gold plated health care for all current and past state employees and buy into Obama’s plan.

  5. Obviously Vincent didn’t get Rep. Michael Lawlor’s statement:

    “Governor Rell issued a press release earlier today announcing that she has directed minimum-security inmates to work for the state Department of Transportation for the purpose of maintaining and cleaning state highways.
    “The governor through this announcement implied that this is a new program that she just created, however it is not. The State of Connecticut has been using inmates for this specific purpose for at least 20 years. This program, which has been a success at saving the state money while also giving inmates a chance to learn job skills, has been strongly supported by myself, most members of the General Assembly, and also the governor’s predecessors.

    “I’m puzzled why she suddenly made this pronouncement and implied that she has started something new when the state has been doing this for at least two decades.”

  6. Couple of points:

    1) Probably not a lot of savings for CT by doing this. Maybe a little, but you’ve got to pay the guards to watch these guys. It’s not like there’s going to be a convicted sex offender picking up trash by himself.

    2) Prisoners often like getting this type of job detail: gets them outside, and there’s something to do. At least that’s what I’ve heard: I don’t know this from actual experience!

    3) Let’s get the budget fixed now. I’m not opposed to the use of inmate labor, but this isn’t going to solve the budget shortfall. It’s probably positive, but not a noticeable one.

  7. SouthernWreck

    Most. Feckless. Governor. Ever.

    (In my life time, born at mid-century) anyway. She could lose a few middle managers, GOP patronage appointees, in some of the more useless agencies (Dept. of Economic Whatever, Tourism sinecures), and that would equal 30,000 inmates out there on the median grass.

    I have seen this work being done on our highways, in our parks, since I started to drive – what is she talking about?

    She cut more from social service agencies, since Rowland, that had real impact on the poor and the messed-up than could be gained by the cheap unskilled labor of offenders.

    It’s foolish buzz; for Vincent to be lauding it is like working for Sam Z.

    Talk about some substance, please – and yes, our Democratic legislative leadership is up the creek without a paddle – grow a few pairs and govern, everbody!

  8. Be serious. She’s talking about 1 person per prison.

    I’d support the press release if she had 200 to 500 ready to go and would be deploying 2,000 next Spring.

    Prisoners do love the work and they work cheap at 50 cents an hour. Most within six months of release for non-violent crimes are minimal security risks.

  9. The unions will hate this, but I think it is jam.

    Why would unions hate it? It means more prison guards, who are unionized. With the hiring freeze, they’re probably getting overtime to go out an watch a chain gang pick up cigarette butts and soda bottles.

    I do wonder, though, if the state legislature really wrote an exception for prison labor into the minimum wage law.

  10. Prison labor and Minimum Wage? Prisoners can’t vote, file lawsuits, enter into contracts, etc. They have human rights not constitutional rights like ‘the right to bear arms’ or rights to ‘unreasonable search and seizure’ or ‘free speech’ or ‘private property’.

    Unions love the setup the the way it’s done now. The former union worker that had to do the grunt labor himself becomes a union supervisor of prisoner staff.

    You didn’t think it all went to the bottom line for productivity did you? Tee Hee. Maybe in some cases, not most.

  11. I have a solution to our budget, dump the gold plated health care for all current and past state employees and buy into Obama’s plan.

    Great idea except Obama doesn’t really have a plan. He kicked the whole concept of health care reform over to Pelosi. et al with no firm directives or principles to be included. Say what you want, at least Hillary had a “plan.”

  12. Would the contractors who worked on I-84 get first refusal?

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