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Should Chain Gangs be reactivated?

Been talking with my Great-Aunts again and they remember seeing chain gangs working on the side of the road. This got me thinking. Prisoners and Juvenile Delinquents are(to my knowledge) just sitting there on the public's dime. Yes the Juvesare getting therapy to make them productive, but it doesn't seem to help as statistics say that 60% are still in the system as adults.

So I was wondering what if we brought back the chain gangs? 10 guys/gals chained together with three police officers with rifles (non-lethal bean bag guns or lethal)watching them with the authorization to shoot if someone attempts to escape, working for 12 -14 hour shifts doing litter pickup on the highways, clearing debris from major storms, cleaning streams and creeks, shoveling snow in the winter, picking veggies and fruits or whatever unskilled labor there is around without pay (or pay that goes directly to their account to cover living expenses at the prisons) I think this would help out the government and our country as we cannot afford to hire people to do this (just judging by the amount of litter is on the highways and by how so many states are running a deficit.) Yes we would have to hire more guards, but that means jobs for the rest of us right? and our streets would look better and our water supply would be cleaner.

There would be a lunch break and bathroom breaks. And I think if the Juvenile Delinquents had to work and knew that there would be more of this in the adult prisons they might not become adult offenders.

What do you think?


Asked by elizabooks at 12:30 AM on Mar. 22, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 15 (1,946 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • I think you need to take a road trip to Mississippi my dear.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 7:51 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I have no problem with it. I think that all perps should be working real jobs 12-14 hour days, six days a week.

    Answer by lovinangels at 1:13 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • No, not in that sense. Some of those things are jobs taken away from some law abiding citizen. We do have non felons who are brought out to pick up trash along the roads of TX. Now that's a good idea.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 8:16 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • Sounds good to me!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:38 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • i agree

    Answer by gothmama91 at 12:58 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I wholeheartedly support it!! In fact, here in PA, I have seen some correctional facilities bring bus loads of inmates to do highway clean up projects from time to time in their orange jumpsuits, but I think the program needs to be expanded on!!

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:19 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • In SC we see that all the time. Not chain gangs as you describe. But often those serving community service are picking up trash on the side of the road. Honestly I like that better. These are not dangerous felons but still owe society a debt. They do their service and the roadsides get cleaned up. I do see occasional inmates (complete with their spiffy orange jumpsuits) on our highways doing the same.

    I don't have an issue with your idea except for Steph's point about taking jobs away from law abiding citizens.

    Answer by sopranomommy at 8:29 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • The cost to keep one healthy adult in prison is roughly $17,500. a year. WHY not put them to work cleaning and fixing roads? Doing manual labor instead of letting them be in prison gangs and lift weight all day and learn how to be a better criminal when they get out?? Prison is a Punishment or is SUPPOSED to be a punishment. There are still a few states with chain gangs and those people tend to NOT get arrested again when let out.

    Answer by vbruno at 8:37 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • adnilm It would depend on the level of the crime. A theif/armerd robber would be a better choice than a serial killer of course.
    The situation would be tweaked to work.
    And I have seen a few over the years in PA doing roadside (never been to Mississippi.) but I think it could be expanded.
    As for honest citizens doing the work.... perhaps they are, but I travel a lot up and down the East Coast and the level of trash and debris on the roads sicken me. So either we need to hire more honest citizens to do it (will cost money) or use a surplus population (will also cause money, but maybe less due to not having to pay health care, medical or living wages)

    Comment by elizabooks (original poster) at 8:39 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • The honest citizen can always be a supervisor......
    But I'm not talking road repair here (like rebuilding roads) just clean up. Especially after storms. These last few snow and wind storms took weeks to clean up after, because they couldn't hire enough people to do it. . Some neighborhoods don't get plowed and its up to the citizens to shovel out a mile of 4 ft high snow. Having a former thief get out there at 4 am to shovel the snow so the law abiding can get to work (or wherever) seems like a good idea for me.
    Heck have them white wash graffiti or work in a soup kitchen.
    The idea is to work them so much they don't want to stay in or go back to prison.

    Comment by elizabooks (original poster) at 8:45 AM on Mar. 22, 2011