People do bad things. I understand that. And there are consequences for your actions. I understand that.
In a better world, in my estimation, we would rehab the people who could be rehabilitated and safely house those who, for whatever reason, can’t be.
Things are bad enough when the government runs prison industries and gets labor done for pennies on the $10. But things are so much worse with the privatized prisons. So much worse.
I just looked up fire-fighting. It’s actually not very well paid for the danger people are in. Annual salary ranges from $26-34,000. I find that shockingly low. But when you’re paying people $723 a year plus two dollars a day — and then forcing people to buy from the company store where things are outrageously overpriced, shame on us. shame on us.
There have always been forest and wildland fires. Now thanks to global climate change there are more. So, it’s expensive. But this is the piper to be paid. To leverage our unwillingness to admit any complicity or to make any changes that might ameliorate or at least stop the situation on the backs of the imprisoned is outrageous.
Do I have answers? No, I don’t.
And these prisoners, being heroes out on the fire lines, may not respond when spoken to. When someone says thanks for saving my house, have a cookie, they must say nothing and walk away. Why? What does that gain us?
We seem to have decided this is who we are as a country. I’m willing to help us think differently about ourselves. Are you? Whatever people have done, however badly they have coped with their lives, they are people. Each one has worth and dignity. When we say and act differently, we attack our own humanity. To use them without any allowance for their humanity demeans us.
There must be some kind of Peace that can be found. I believe in possibility. I believe in Peace.