Letters to the Editor

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PRISON: Don’t outsource inmates’ work

Letter by C.M. Brown, Forks on March 1, 2012 at 5:28 pm with 6 Comments »
March 1, 2012 5:29 pm

Re: “Inmates set to lose work as uniform bill advances in Olympia” (TNT, 2-29).

House Bill 2346 has to do with prison inmates making corrections officers’ uniforms. It began by the officers’ union asserting that the clothing was substandard and ended with the rationale that having inmates make officer or prison employee clothing is a conflict of interest.

Comments attributed to officers were that making clothing was not a realistic activity to prepare inmates to the working in society, and instead we should fund post-secondary education opportunities.

Years ago, post-secondary degrees in prison were stopped as they were funded by the taxpayers who could not afford to send their own to college. To renew that program seems unwise. The discipline of  getting up, going to work, being productive – these are the work skills learned in prison employment.

What happened to the budgetary crisis? Inmate-made items will be now outsourced. I can hardly fathom such support in Olympia.

I have heard that legislators “found the money “ to fund this. There is money to be found? I believe it would be far more prudent to restore the 3 percent wage reduction – if there is money lying around  — rather than have the taxpayers fund such a wasteful project.

Taxpayers work hard to manage household budgets. We expect our representative to do the same.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. Other reports have substandard, ill-fitting uniforms being created by the inmates for the guards. At some point, they would either have to pay for uniforms or keep putting up with the ones the prisoners make. As the person that has to wear it, the guards should have more input to the process.

  2. Quit your whining. It ain’t no damn fashion show. You work in a prison. The state (me) buys your work clothes for you and you don’t like them? Then by all means go buy your own. Would hate to think there is a prison guard running around in ill fitting “FREE” clothes. What input should you have for “free” clothing?

  3. calcan2
    Uniforms are required to do the job. If the guards don’t have a consistent uniform, it defeats the purpose of showing unity among the ranks.
    If the state is in agreement with ANY organization to provide a service or a product, there is no reason not to expect it to be of a certain standard.
    For whatever reason, an agreement was entered into that has prison industries making the uniforms for the guards as well as the inmates. No matter what one does for a living, they should be allowed to wear proper fitting, comfortable clothes.

  4. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Army officers must buy their own uniforms (no, they do not get a clothing allowance).

    This whole issue is another example of how the ‘give me’ mentality is spreading like a rash through all levels of society.

    Uniforms are also tax deductible. These guards can wear the free stuff or pay for it on their own.

  5. Army officers make more money than correctional officers. They don’t need a clothing allowance by comparison.

  6. aislander says:

    Look a little deeper into this and you will see the fingerprints of businesses looking for state contracts and unions wanting to set up union shops.

    Who gets the brown end? Why the taxpayer, as usual…

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