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Prison Labour

The British think tank Policy Exchange has a report on prison labor titled Inside Job.  Press release is here; full text is here.  From the press release:

The report recommends a whole new prison work regime based on full-time, paid employment that is run by private companies, profit-driven and commissioned by prison governors. Offenders would still go to prison - but regimes would do much more to offer proper work for inmates to make them more employable on release. Privileges - like in-cell TVs - should be reformed to focus on those who work and paid for out of wages. The result would be more prisoners working, with the most engaged and compliant prisoners getting privileges from work.

A new 'Category W' of prisoner - low security risk, drug free and literate - would be allowed to apply for a job and earn a 'prisoner minimum wage' of £3.10 an hour. This net wage could be split three ways between victims, resettlement, and a management charge - retained by the prison. A prisoner would 'take home' around 70p per hour and a resettlement savings pot for use on release could provide for costs like a rent deposit.
At today's exchange rate of 1.63$/£, that would be $5.05 gross and $1.14 take home.

James Slack has this story in the Daily Mail.  Alan Travis has this story in the Guardian.  Kevin Schofield has this story in the Sun.  The Sun story sports a graphic of an English judge's wig with the caption "The Sun says no to soft justice."  I would link to the graphic, but the Sun apparently does not want bloggers to do that.

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