Not at all prisons, but at many, work is being under emphasized. A friend today suggested we should have assembly line manufacturing at our prisons. Maybe make shoes for Nike and all the other shoe brands.
Some inmates are not capable of some work, but most can do assembly line labor. Why not have them do it, then? We compete with foreign labor, compete with pay well below the various minimum wages we have in the U.S. But, prison labor could provide us with competitive labor.
As I consider my friend's suggestion, however, I wonder about the automation of our day. I wonder how many assembly line jobs have already been swept away by robots. I guess I am amazed there are any assembly line jobs at all left. It seems automation could be doing every one of them.
Still, even with automation, the prisons could still do assembly line manufacturing. The idea is to give them work. So, why not?