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Nov 8, 201510:00 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Jail inmates wash their own clothes? 12 days a slave!

The Left’s war on public safety continues. (Quentin Tarantino is its honorary generalissimo.)

Dane County taxpayers are paying for three hots and a cot, along with mental health and substance abuse treatment, for local jail inmates at a cost of $875 per inmate, per week. Figure an average daily jail population of 750 inmates and you start running into some serious money.

Might we save a few dollars AND provide some rehabilitation by requiring said inmates to do a little work for their supper? Cue the choirs of liberal-progressive-socialist Cassandras!

Consultants retained by the county recommend jail inmates could operate the laundry, saving $100,000 a year. And putting idle people to work.

Plop! That was the sound of the well-worn race card being played face up. Plus some union jobs, uber alles, sing along.

The Madison-Area Urban Ministry says County Exec Joe Parisi’s plan to put inmates to work “replaces decent-paying union jobs often held by Latino workers in our community with the unpaid, slave labor of jail inmates — a disproportionate number of whom are people of color.”

Slavery! People of color! Shouldn’t there be an equivalent to Godwin’s Law? Sooner or later, some liberal-progressive-socialist will equate due process punishment with slavery? Doesn’t that trivialize the whips and chains of actual, sunup to sundown labor of American slavery?

Madison-Area Urban Ministry director Linda Ketcham and her 25 signatories referenced the Young & Foolish message that too many minorities are being jailed, regardless of their crimes.

At a time when we are looking for ways to reduce the disparities in our community, when we are looking for ways to increase equity and opportunity in our community, the … proposal regarding the jail laundry seems to fly in the face of that effort.

Succor from President Obama, of course. While he ponders closing Gitmo and sending its terrorists to America’s heartland, he is releasing 6,000 inmates early from federal prison, Politico reports.

“We’re fooling the public when we tell them we’re releasing nonviolent drug offenders,” said Steven Cook, head of the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, who noted downward trends in crime are thanks to the current system of tough sentences.

“… letting people out of prison is relatively easy. … The problem is, no one, including Obama, believes they’re ready to re-enter society. Nationwide, about two-thirds of former inmates will be arrested again within three years of release,” Cook said.

The irony is that Young & Foolish opposes Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney’s call for more mental health and substance-abuse treatment in an expanded jail. They want black inmates released, unpunished and — because there is nothing to hold them — untreated.

Consultants Mead & Hunt also recommended inmates prepare their own food, saving a cool $1 million; that’s not in the 2016 budget proposal, unfortunately.

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Nov 8, 2015 04:47 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Odd you would be in favor of the inmates doing any work. Are you free market guys trying to privatize everything?

Nov 9, 2015 10:07 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Just what we need in Dane County: Fewer jobs. Perhaps the "three hots and a cot" will look pretty good to those who are now struggling to find work thanks to corporate gamesmanship and our governor's brilliant record on economic development and job creation.

How about teaching inmates how to code? I'll wait while you clean exploded brain matter off your monitor.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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