Skip to comments.Georgia governor suggests ex-convicts replace immigrants as farm workers
Posted on 06/15/2011 4:19:25 PM PDT by arderkrag
On Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal released the results of a survey that he had requested from the state agriculture commissioner on farm labor shortages in Georgia. The survey found that there are approximately 11,080 unfilled farm jobs in the state.
In response to the report, Deal suggested that people who are on criminal probation could fill the job openings: There are 100,000 probationers statewide, 8,000 of which are in the Southwest region of the state and 25 percent of which are unemployed. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, although probationers in Georgia are required to find employment if possible, state officials cannot compel them to take one particular job over another.
The director of the American Probation and Parole Association told Bloomberg that the temporary nature of agricultural work makes it unsuitable for people on criminal probation who need to rebuild their lives in a more permanent job. He compared Deals suggestion to the work farms of the past, when convicts could be sentenced to hard labor in the fields.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonindependent.com ...
May seem to be a good idea, but I’ll bet that the prisons are full of slackers. It would probaly take three of them to do the work of one Mexican.
There is no shortage of farmer workers, there is a shortage of farmers who wish to hire honest legal labor. There are 14 different federal programs to allow legal imported labor, but then that costs more than off the book illegal labor.
They built roads and stuff back in the 1920’ didn’t they? If there are any union jobs though watch them squeal. “We don’t want to do that work but then neither can you”
Bring back the chain gangs. Put them to work before they leave prison.
As if they all HAVE permanent jobs.
Funny you say that...
Just watched a story on local Atlanta news...
Had a crew of native probationers working beside a crew of migrants pickin cukes...
Or should I say behind?
And at night the chain gangs can have egg eating contests. Great stuff!
When I was a kid we lived in a house that was surrounded by Southern Michigan prison farms. It wasn’t unusual for us to play in the yard just a few yards from inmates baling hay. There was a guard with a shotgun leaning against the fence talking to my dad.
There were no problems till they started trusting the inmates to go out and work with no supervision. Then a man and his wife died at the hands of a man named Harden Bey who took what he wanted, stepped back over the fence, finished his workday and went back to his cell.
Actually, we have chain gangs here in GA. Now, granted, they aren’t physically chained - they have ankle tags and guards with repeating shotguns to keep them in line. Either way, the roads look nice as a result!
There is also a shortage of farmers who wish to hire dishonest legal labor.
“There is no shortage of farmer workers, there is a shortage of farmers who wish to hire honest legal labor. There are 14 different federal programs to allow legal imported labor, but then that costs more than off the book illegal labor.”
Which is why the tax code must be fixed.
We use prisoners for roadwork here in Florida. They are non-violent offenders and are closely supervised. However, those are state projects.
But farmworkers would be working for private businesses, and IIRC, convict leasing was outlawed several years ago.
In any case, immigrants don’t require state officers to supervise them (which is necessary if you have prisoners) and they usually have a better work ethic than our domestic criminal population.
That said, IMHO, the solution for farm work is short-term visas - lots of them - for people from the continental Americas.
As for prisoners, I think they could be used more heavily in state projects, because they might actually learn some skills and think about doing something other than making meth. But this would require changes in state laws.
Prison labor on certain state projects works well in Florida and throughout the South, and I’ve never understood why it’s not done in other states.
Very scary story. And you did a wonderful job of recounting it in one sentence. Great writing.
Cool! Not sure if we have them here in Cali, but our roads are dirty and full of holes. Sounds like a bad joke about democrat politicians hehe.
You don’t want convicts scoping out your place...bad idea for private enterprise. Use them on public projects, closely supervised.
Prisoners should work, but it should be to reduce the cost of their upkeep - laundry, meals, landscaping, etc.
The last thing we want is to create a situation where profits can be made from incarcerated labor. Imagine what would happen - in terms of lobbying, and corruption - if GE, or Monsanto, for example, could use convict labor. It would be a slippery slope. We’d slide down it fast.
"What we've got here is ... failure to germinate"
Finally some shovel ready jobs
Warden Burl Cain in Louisiana has the Angola facility almost self sufficient. The inmates raise cattle and crops, with much of the production processed and consumed there, but surplus is sold to pay for what must be purchased.
This is all on the facility as Angola has Louisiana’s hard cases, but the principle works.
Very, very good point.
Hmmmm....in the 1940’s-50’s my husband’s grandfather would go to the closest major city and hire guys to pick apples....needless to say, it didn’t work out too well...he’d find them drunk in the orchard.....in the early 60’s...he found people who would work...Mexicans....who would come just for the season and then leave. The problem now is...they don’t leave....
I suppose if they handle it like they do prison road/project crews (CHAIN GANGS), with someone standing over them for the whole time, it MIGHT work...but, me thinks pretty soon there might be some pretty HUNGRY people willing to do a little more work...we’ll see. And, like someone else said...having convicts hanging out on a 100 acre orchard doesn’t probably make sense...too easy to “get lost and cause trouble.”
“The director of the American Probation and Parole Association told Bloomberg that the temporary nature of agricultural work makes it unsuitable for people on criminal probation who need to rebuild their lives in a more permanent job”
They have trouble getting jobs at all so not a bad idea.
Think it’s a great idea as well.
ACLU and the professional grievence & racism mongers won’t like it at all.
Anytime a “minority” would be involved, they would yelling that it’s slavery time.
With the right motivation and an attitude ajustment, they’ll be picking as fast as any illegal.
...there are approximately 11,080 unfilled farm jobs in the state... "There are 100,000 probationers statewide, 8,000 of which are in the Southwest region of the state and 25 percent of which are unemployed."
“That said, IMHO, the solution for farm work is short-term visas - lots of them - for people from the continental Americas.”
Fix the tax code. Right now it costs more to hire legally than it does to hire illegally. The tax code needs to lift the burdens that it places on employers.
Everything else is just a stopgap that doesn’t deal with the real problem. Sure, it’s a way of getting the labour, but it doesn’t fix the underlying issues.
Fr’nstance in my work, it’s often cheaper for an employer to contract me out project wise for projects anywhere in the US and Canada. All it takes for them is to send me the project and I send the completed project back to them for a fee. The employer then writes me a check and we go from there.
Why am I getting good business? Because I’m good at what I do, but the employer isn’t on the hook for me beyond the value of the contract.
The problem is government regulations. Fix them and employers will hire.
We need to start making the fines for hiring illegals greater than the money they save by doing so.
I know farmers who stopped hiring blacks and started hiring Mexicans about 10 years ago. They’ll tell you they work a lot harder.
Watched a very funny movie last night called LIFE. Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence.
“You mess with me there’s gonna’ be consequences and repurcussions.” - Ray Gibson
They don’t want to work. Too many freebies.
Back in the days when Muslim names didn’t raise any eyebrows. I think it was in the late 80s but I can’t find anything online.
I remember reading that defendant’s name before... I think it’s a hyphenated surname.
Though I don't support illegal-immigrant labor, the Confederacy was illustration enough that forced labor was not a good economic model. Now, all that said, having prisoners perform actual work may be worthwhile; just don't expect it to replace what we call the "free" market for good reason.
I do too.
The ag dept rep said on the news these cons will be paid $12 to $15 per hour.
I find it incredulous in this economy the farmers in S Ga can’t get all the labor they need for those kind of wages.
Remote controlled electrified undies?
I don’t know about other places but California still uses prisoners on hot shot crews to fight watershed fires. Year after year hubby had the same prisoners working for him on his crew....and they worked.
They got paid for it (very little) and they got out of the prison for awhile. There were qualifications they had to meet and they knew if they ever screwed up the nice gig was over. Hubby says they jumped through hoops for him.
When I was a paint room foreman I had a bunch of parolees from a halfway house working for me. They worked out just fine. Always willing to work any overtime I could give them and almost no absences from any of them.
Go back to the old convict lease system, where the farmers paid the state, and were responsible for guarding and feeding the prisoners working on their farm.
This is how MOST of the states financed their prison systems! Here in Texas, we did that for YEARS! You wanna eat? You need to have a job somewhere in the prison system!
Then, local ACLU-type lawyers filed lawsuits about “slave labor” and the prison system simply stopped using prisoners as the primary labor force! It was stupid then, it is stupid now, and it will continue to be stupid!
But, it makes sense: we should definitely NOT force prisoners to work for their room, board, food and recreations - I mean, those type requires are for those “free” people (pun intended) who work 40+ hours a week to pay for their own room, board, food and recreations! Oh, and all of that for the prisoners with their taxes! Sorry, but the thought of it all makes me want to PUKE!!!
Farmers, ranchers, contractors, landscapers, restaurateurs and factory owners.
In Oregon I hear they are hiring crew chiefs for firefighters...and they HAVE to speak Spanish....what’s that tell ya!?
Replace cheap labor with another form of cheap labor. Have prisoners do it for free as a result of their debt to society. Instead of the farms waging wages they can pay the state to watch over the inmates.