Monday, March 5, 2007

Convicts, not immigrants

From the New York Times:


In a pilot program run by the state Corrections Department, supervised teams of low-risk inmates beginning this month will be available to harvest the swaths of sweet corn, peppers and melons that sweep the southeastern portion of the state.

Under the program, which has drawn criticism from groups concerned about immigrants' rights and from others seeking changes in the criminal justice system, farmers will pay a fee to the state, and the inmates, who volunteer for the work, will be paid about 60 cents a day, corrections officials said.

Concerned about the possible shortage of field labor, Dorothy B. Butcher, a state representative from Pueblo and a supporter of the program, said, "The workers on these farms do the weeding, the harvesting, the storing, everything that comes with growing crops for the market."

"If we can't sustain our work force, we're going to be in trouble," said Ms. Butcher, a Democrat.



So they outlawed immigrant labor in this area. The crops all rotted because they couldn't find anyone who would work for shit. Now they've worked it out so they can pay convicts 6 cents an hour.

If there were justice in this world, these farm operators would be compelled by law to mark any such fruit and veg as having been picked by prisoners. Maybe with a little Convict Fresh! sticker on each piece:

6 comments:

Dara said...

...

...

...

...I'm nauseated. This is serfdom.

They're going to replace illegal-immigrant workers with labour that's even cheaper, which is to say, indentured servants, driving what's left of the farmer-labourer class completely out of existence.

I need... gods, I don't even know. I need to look at this again tomorrow. Maybe a night of sleep will make it look less horrible.

Peter said...

Hey, those convicts should have thought twice BEFORE they smoked that marijuana cigarette or perpetrated whatever crime they perpetrated. There's crime and there's punishment and if I can get a bushell of strawberries for pennies on the dollar so much the better!

This is a better plan than "Scared Straight". Don't do the crime if you don't want to pick limes, I say.

Jon said...

I don't know if I'm concerned so much that the produce was picked by a convict. I'm more interested to know if the ear of corn I'm gnawing on was used to savagely sodomize a new inmate to give him his first taste in prison rape.

Joshua Trupin said...

Inside the joint, that's known as having your ham burgled.

Jon said...

It is a departure from the norm.

Instead of asking why there's corn in your shit, you can instead ask why there's shit on your corn.

Peter Taylor said...

Lawrence: [as Peter leaves to confess to Lumbergh about stealing money, knowing he may go to prison] Peter... watch out for your cornhole, bud.