2018-08-09 14:20:43

$1 An Hour to Fight Largest Fire in CA History: Are Prison Firefighting Programs Slave Labor?

California relies on thousands of prisoners, including many women, to battle the wildfires burning statewide. Prisoner firefighters gain training and earn time off of their sentences for good behavior, typically two days off for each day served. But critics of the program say the state is exploiting prisoners’ eagerness to earn time for early release. While salaried firefighters earn an annual mean wage of $74,000 plus benefits, inmates earn just $2 per day with an additional $1 per hour when fighting an active fire. According to some estimates, California avoids spending about $80-$100 million a year by using prison labor to fight its biggest environmental problem. DN! speaks with Romarilyn Ralston, a member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners-LA Chapter, and the program coordinator for Project Rebound at Cal State University, Fullerton. Ralston was imprisoned for 23 years, during which time she worked as a fire camp trainer. DN! also speaks with Deirdre Wilson, who was imprisoned for three-and-a-half years, and worked as a landscaper at a women’s fire camp in San Diego.

california Deidre Wilson Prison Prisoners Romarilyn Ralston Slaves Wildfire

Human Rights and Equality

Democracy Now!

The Deadly Cost of Pipelines in Native Land: Winona LaDuke on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

The Deadly Cost of Pipelines in Native Land: Winona LaDuke on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Democracy Now!

Re-education Camps, Infiltration, Surveillance: China Criticized over Persecution of Uyghur Muslims

Re-education Camps, Infiltration, Surveillance: China Criticized over Persecution of Uyghur Muslims

Bioneers

FSTV at Bioneers 2018: Kevin Powell with Imara Jones

FSTV at Bioneers 2018: Kevin Powell with Imara Jones

Rising Up With Sonali

Time for a Federal Law Protecting Domestic Workers

Time for a Federal Law Protecting Domestic Workers

Related

Democracy Now!

U.S. Prisons Have a Mental Health Crisis. This Story of a New York Prisoner’s Death Helps Reveal Why

U.S. Prisons Have a Mental Health Crisis. This Story of a New York Prisoner’s Death Helps Reveal Why

Gay USA

Gay USA 11/21/18

Gay USA 11/21/18

Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! 11/19/18

Democracy Now! 11/19/18

She the People

Betty T. Lee at She The People

Betty T. Lee at She The People