About two weeks ago I observed a large number of prison inmates in bright orange uniforms cleaning up the road between the EL airport and town (the cleanup preceded a visit from an ANC bigwig) and it got me thinking.
Here is a vast pool of labor that actually owes society a debt other than sitting in a prison, all the non violent offenders should be offered the opportunity of paying back that debt and at the same time reducing the length of their sentence.
Say I have been sentenced to five years for fraud, I volunteer to work time off, I could reduce my sentence by say half and be out in 2.5 years, calculate the usual reductions, I could be out in 1.5 years for good behavior etc.
So beside costing the taxpayer less because of my shortened sentence I actually contribute something to society.
Type of labor would be grass cutting, verge maintenance, pothole filling, bush clearing, litter collection, general maintenance such as painting sign posts etc. you know the stuff the 'Monkeypalities' are supposed to do that they claim they have no funds to execute?
Once I volunteer, I would be moved from prison to a hostel near a central yard where the work teams would be ferried to the sites, after a set while I would conditionally get weekends off once or twice a month to visit my family.
That way prisons would be reserved for hard core offenders?