We have a prison population of 156 000. In 2012 we spent approximately R18 000 000 000 on our prison system. Only about 28% of the prisoners are employed.
Why canít we put our prisoners to work in a much more effective manner? Why canít we have 90% of them work instead of only 28%? They can produce things at an industrial scale to be sold at a profit. The whole prison system could effectively pay for itself, relieving us tax payers from paying for their sins.
Putting them to work will also teach them skills, skills they can use after their release. They will have work opportunities that they did not have before, which will surely reduce the number of prisoners who reoffend. I understand that a criminal record may prevent many of them from gaining employment. So perhaps we could set up a system where correctional services have duplicate industrial sites outside of the prison system, where the same products are produced. So prisoners can seamlessly carry on with the type of work they were doing once they are released.
Obviously some would say that the government is not capable of achieving this, I am one of them, so perhaps privatisation is the way to go. We can use one large prison as a prototype and later role it out nationwide.
It just makes no sense to me that we must foot the bill when they can in all practically fit the bill themselves and be better for it.