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Prison & Slavery - A Surprising Comparison


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Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

In New York prisons inmates are sentenced prisoners therefore they are given jobs to do during the day in the various shops. They are paid a nominal amount for working each day which is given to them at time their sentence is served. I do know many lifers who have gotten upset waiting to go back to state prison just so they could go to rec, work in the shops or do porter jobs. Obviously most county jails are not set up to accommodate prisoners with jobs and we really can’t because they are not sentenced. Sentenced county inmates are however assigned to outside work details and kitchen duties that most of them look forward to because it gets them out of the cell blocks.

Male user commander 277 posts

Prison and slavery, no comparison. In Ohio, Inmates are paid for their work. Inmates that don’t work are given a small amount of money every month to buy hygiene products at the commissary. Blacks were enslaved way back when because they were black. They didn’t have a choice. Inmates are first citizens and then convicted of a crime or crimes and then after being found guilty by a jury of their peers, are sentenced to a certain amount of time in prison or the county jail. They had a choice not to commit the crime. I am so tired of hearing about how people can’t get a job. There are plenty of jobs out there. Maybe you have to work a few jobs to make ends meet but, you will survive. Just have to lower your standard of living until you can afford a better way of life. They choose to take the illegal and easy way out and should pay for their wrongs against society. There have to be laws otherwise, chaos would rule the day. If you don’t want to go to prison, then stay on the straight and narrow. You have to be strong physically as well as mentally to make it in life. Oh, by the way, in Ohio, Inmates are not forced to work.

Male user jason1976 1 post

I think what John Gleissner is saying is a good idea. It’s because some of the convicts are so “punk” that all that can save them is a beating. Anyhow though, there would problems getting society at large to accept such an idea.

For one thing, control and punishment is associated with sexual sadism these days by most people (because of the modern widespread use of pornography). In addition, many blacks (and they may be right) are convinced there is a racist conspiracy (involving drug use) to inprison large numbers of them. So restarting “slavery” would be met with massive oppositions by liberal civil rights groups and others. Sure, the system would be color blind. However, most prisoners are now and will be black. Unless, you think the drug war will be stopped or changed.

You also have to consider the state of employment. Perhaps a reason so many young people go to jail is because there are no jobs or good educational opportunities. So is it fair to make “slaves” out of people who due to bad circumstances were born in poverty?

However, I think most prisoners (but not the public at large – especially the black public) would prefer a new type of slavery and beatings to the current system. However, as I said before, I doubt if society would give them this new system.

Finally, beating people? Why wern’t they beat as children? Because our nation is plagued with fatherless homes.

Male user Dazed IT/CO 2 posts

To; RationalLaw, If the intrepretation of the 13th amendment is what it says, then why do the majority of lawyers say it only refers to slavery?
I happen to agree with the statement “inmates are wards of the state” and as such, according to the 13th amendment are slave labor. Now we also have to deal with amendment 8 about cruel and unusual punishment. Next we have to deal with the following Ashurst-Sumners, Walsh-Healey and Hawes-Cooper Acts, which were inspired by the unions and manufacturing companies so they did not loose their profits to states that had a large work force. {Watch Shawshank Redemption to see what the warden did with the inmates.} There is however, credence to the idea suggested by GalaxyDude, in that we need to reduce the burden on tax payers by reducing the black hole of Corrections. We dump inmates into the system with only ineffective programs available to attempt rehabilitation. The core of habilitation {which I use instead rehabilitation, because they first have to have the correct ideas of co-habitating with the rest of society, which they don’t} is that the offender has to have the desire to change. Without that, and all you need to do is look at the rehab centers sucess rate to see how ineffective those programs are when they are forced upon individuals, you are fighting a loosing battle. But the idea of creating work for inmates through Prison Industries and using that to help states reduce budgets by teaching them skills like carpentery, food production {to feed themselves}, welding, print shops, would be more beneficial as the inmates would learn skills when they did get out. Also Missouri’s law of having those individuals that do have psychological and other mental disorders, which prevent them from returning to society until a panel of psychiatrists finds them cured would keep those which we do not need running loose to injury others.
Now for the idea of victimless crimes, there is no such thing. Prostitution, drugs abuse, whether legal or otherwise, creates victims look at the majority of divorces, abusive behaviors and how all these crimes or should I say behaviors tear familiies apart and create an additional burden on taxpayers to fund programs to help with the fallout of such tragedies.
Having done several hours of thesis research on prison work programs and how they have succeeded only to be abused and removed because accountants, union leaders and CEOs see their profits lost. Think about this, an ideal mind is the devils workshop. If we keep inmates busy doing things that are productive, it will produce a better environment for change in their minds and help create the desire to change.
In the almost decade I have worked in corrections I have seen only a few programs that even give inmates a chance. The sucess rate is very small, but they have an out, which is that if they help only one then they have suceeded. I would hope that others wills take the time to reearch things think them through and help find solutions to our biggest black hole – CORRECTIONS. With the recidivism rate keeping our prisons full, while the crime rate goes down we need a solution to return inmates to society as productive individuals who contribute instead of drain society.

Oldpics 229 COGrim 25 posts

GalaxyDude- your post seems to suggest a creation of a slave class of citizen as a replacement for a prison system. From the very get-go this is an idea that can NEVER go anywhere. And while I’ve met quite a few individuals who would benefit from a good old-fashioned flogging, that and the collars you descibe likewise will NEVER be considered in this country in this day and age. The Bible is a terrible reference for modern punishment so you don’t further your argument going that route. Our founding fathers Washington and Jefferson lived in a completely different time so there again, your use of them as justification is invalid. You may be very well-meaning with the ideas you put forth, but they don’t have any place in our modern society. Besides that, the shrieks and howls from the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons would be deafening. I am a little puzzled how you would think that slavery would be a good model sell your ideas for modern correctons. No thank you, sir. I am not in the least interested in reading your book, intriguing as it may be

Male user RationalLaw 11 posts

According to the 13th amendment of the constitution;

“Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

So using prisoners who have been convicted of a crime as slave labor is not exactly outside the bounds of the constitution. However it sounds very ridiculous in this day and age to bring back corporal punishment and slavery. Prisons are meant to contain, punish, and rehabilitate people who broke the law and are a danger to the community; not create free or cheap labor. It’s highly doubt that a red collar for example would deter some violent un-punished un-rehabilitated offenders, especially if the source of that violence is something more underlying like mental illness or psychopathy.

The current problem of mass incarceration is linked to the war on drugs and the large amount of normal, non-violent drug offenders that are crammed into our over-crowded prisons. Repeal prohibition completely, replace it with regulation, and end the war on drugs. The money saved from not incarcerating victimless crimes would increase the amount of prison space and funding for containment rehabilitation of the real criminals. That is the best way to decrease the prison population and funding for it.

As others here have pointed out, the theory proposed by Galaxydude, while thought provoking, seems like some republican scam to turn prisons into cheap labor factories. This is why prisons run by private for profit corporations are not ideal at the very least, it’s all about $$$. Nor would prisons run by religious institutions make any sense either, and that sounds even more ridiculous.

Male user jighead45 1 post

I have to say that I have not yet read the part about the collars yet, but much of what you say early on makes sense, in particular some of the historical context. And much of the work commentry hits pretty close to the mark.

I will also say that after reading some of the comments posted here it should not be surprising that Corrections Officers are often times looked at in the light they are. I started my career as a CO and advanced through the ranks and picked up a Masters degree along the way. I have always tried to be an example of corrections as a worthwhile and important profession. Hard to promote that when you still have people out there acting like “guards”.

Female user anomie42o 1 post

After Reading this I am curious as to who the" Real Criminals" In this world are??

Flag shakey 191 posts

Research all you want but we are not and never will go back in time to were we could inflick any type of physical punishment/pain on the incarserated. If that happened we might as well go on to corporal punish in schools again. All of these ideals you have brought up are nothing but rubish in this day in age, wishful thinking for the people who like to inflick pain. This is nothing but mumbo jumbo to fill pages in your book so you can spout off your hiden passion as a brute and has nothing to offer in the morden Correction field.
So just take you comic book a just leave, go away, far far away……because people like you bring nothing but discredit to us all.

Male user GalaxyDude 7 posts

Prisoners would work if it was to their benefit, and private workhouses could make it safer, more enjoyable, and more profitable for them than sitting around. Work and crime are opposites. Yes, many reflect a lack of work ethic, but the whole point is to teach them to work. Now . . . under the 13th Amendment prisoners can be made to work and are not entitled to compensation . . . so forced labor would be appropriate for capital offenses and the like.

Judicial corporal punishment has worked everywhere they’ve ever tried it! I am not for using it in prison, but as a community punishment to avoid incarceration, with the due process guarantee of having the sentencing judge watch it. A good flogging is very memorable, inexpensive, and can be inflicted multiple times in the time it takes to execute one prison sentence. George Washington won our freedom with this technique. I quote over a dozen ex-slaves who vouched for its effectiveness – and they are the experts on this punishment.

The collars would shame and identify offenders, parolees and probationers; the weight would depend upon the seriousness of the offense; yellow for sex crimes; green for property crimes; red for crimes of violence. This is on the outside, too, not in prison. Collars make it tougher for offenders to fight, commit more crimes, evade police, or surprise the public; but they allow a type of indeterminate sentence, because the offender could get a lighter or heavier collar depending upon their behavior, and school officials and probation officers could step the collars up or down, pursuant to a final sentencing order from the court.

No, I am not trolling, I am expressing views I have researched and thought about for 3 years.

Buckeye flag Mudflap 293 posts

1. Prisoners should work on any basis they and their employer agree to.

They might need a union, too. In my experience prisoners are not very receptive to performing manual labor, even if it’s dusting ledges or emptying office trash cans. I regularly hear “I was sent here to do time, not to mop floors” and “I never did anything on the outside except count money.”

2. To reduce the prison population, corporal punishment should be used to discourage and punish crime.

Corporal punishment would be a great vehicle to hire sadists who would happily inflict the punishment, but it isn’t much of a deterrent because it comes after the fact. Nobody expects to be caught and they aren’t concerned with the punishment for those who do get caught.

3. Probationes and parolees can be made to wear color-coded metal collars in lieu of incarceration.

I read and understand the words but don’t understand the purpose color-coded collars. Unless, of course, they’re filled with some type of explosive.

You’re trolling, aren’t you?

Male user GalaxyDude 7 posts

The Bible I use for authority, just as I invoke empirical evidence: what George Washington did with corporal punishment from 1776 to 1782 and what the former slaves said about its effectiveness in controlling offenders. Religious groups could run workhouses or work communities in the prison environment, for profit, but so could profit-oriented businesses without religious affiliation. And any religion could participate, not just those from the Judeo-Christian perspective. The ultimate goal is to get the government to loosen its grip and let market forces operate. Religious influence would not take away the need to make a profit. For some reason, religion has been a part of every successful nation . . . . and the athiest nations failed miserably.

Mr. Shakey, I am in the year 2011, and the situation right now is dire when you look at budgets, the econonmy, recidivism, offenses in prison, and the allocation of increasing correctional expenses versus decreasing educational expenses. With budgets being cut, the idea of a self-sustaining prison will grow in popularity. In the 1800’s, prisons made a profit before special interest groups put a stop to private prison industries. Now, prison industries could make goods made exclusively overseas, and domestic labor and businesses would benefit rather than suffer. Prisoners could work 60 hours per week without much problem, and they want to work! Work and crime are opposites. Only a minority of prisoners have jobs in prison, and those jobs are government jobs, not jobs in private industry. Please do not confuse the three main recommendations I make:

1. Prisoners should work on any basis they and their employer agree to.
2. To reduce the prison population, corporal punishment should be used to discourage and punish crime.
3. Probationes and parolees can be made to wear color-coded metal collars in lieu of incarceration.

I welcome your further comments.

John Dewar Gleissner, author of Prison & Slavery – A Surprising Comparison, a new non-fiction book for sale at Amazon.com, including a Kindle Edition


Flag shakey 191 posts

LocoCO, GalaxyDude mentioned Private oOganizations, Religious groups and the Bible in the same paragraph, so that takes libral off the shelf.

Prisons run by private organizations and backed by almighty narratives from the Bible???, Sounds like another Republican scam to me.

Anyway, what would Religious groups be doing running a prison, besides comparing notes on understanding the behaviors and patterens of young boys

GalaxyDude,Please grow up and come to grips with fact that we live in 2011 A.D. also,encase no one told you, the world is round.and it does in fact orbit around the sun.

I’m not saying the Bible is all wrong but when people like you interpet it and twist its meaning to meet your agenda, it becomes comical if not down right dangerous.

Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

So to sum up what you are saying is that you support the policy of making prisoners work. Therefore you should fully support the use of Chain Gangs on public works eg: road side clearance. And I fully support the Idea of Public Flogging as a deterrent for the lesser felonies. As used to great effect in civilised countries like Singapore.

Male user GalaxyDude 7 posts

Slaves and prisoners were enslaved for different reasons, but once in slavery, the comparison is valid to show what works and what does not with those who are deprived of their liberty. I compare and contrast prison and slavery from a conservative, faith-friendly, market-oriented perspective. Prisoners do not now perform much productive labor because of the Ashurst-Sumners, Walsh-Healey and Hawes-Cooper Acts that prevent interstate movement of prison-made goods. My objectives are to get prisoners working without government interference, decrease correctional costs, decrease the prison population, and use corporal punishment and collars to keep young people out of prison. Rehabilitation efforts without work will not succeed, according to Zebulon Brockway.

Northwest hounded police animated avatar 100x100 90714 prznboss 44 posts

Comparing prison with slavery is ridiculous. Slaves are victims. They were captured, sold and forced to work, not as a punishment for any wrong-doing. The inmates in prison are there because they were found guilty of a felony. I do believe we incarcerate too many, though. I think that drugs should now be treated like the most dangerous drug of all, alcohol. Legalize it with minimum age of 21 and tax the heck out of it.

Male user LocoCO 4 posts

Sorry but your book sounds like liberal, conspiracy theory vomit…………….no offense. The only agencies that may be “involved” in this theory of yours could be the private prision industry becasue they are out to make a profit. What do you think we should do with the biggest POS human beings that will never have or never will offer anything productive to society?

Male user GalaxyDude 7 posts

I hope folks will read my new 438-page book, “Prison & Slavery – A Surprising Comparison,” published by Outskirts Press (Nov. 2010). The book looks at the current crisis of mass incarceration and how we as a society lock up so many people; suggests that the current incarceration model, without thriving prison industries, is a failed social experiment; compares and contrasts our correctional methods with antebellum slavery’s method of NEVER incarcerating slaves; recommends repeal of the federal & state statutes impairing prison industries, together with most labor laws as they apply to prison labor, allowing negotiation between prisoners and employers; and finally supports corporal punishment, metallic collars (with or wihout electronic enhancement) and work communities in lieu of incarceration for less dangerous offenders. Prisons will always be here, but they can change and some can become “factories behind fences,” run by private organizations or religious groups rather than the state. Almost 400 ex-slaves are quoted from the Federal Writer’s Project Slave Narratives, and many support the effectiveness of corporal punishment, as did Geo. Washington, Thos. Jefferson and of course the Bible. Thank you.

John Dewar Gleissner, Esq., Author of “Prison & Slavery – A Surprising Comparison”

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