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5 Reasons Prisoners Should Be Paid Minimum Wage

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 10:38 AM

Paying prison inmates the minimum wage for their work could give them a chance to escape from a life of endless crime. This assertion was part of an article published in The Guardian about a British prison who were, for the first time, paying inmates minimum wage as part of an experiment targeted at reducing their rate of re-offending.

That move contrasted with the standard practice by penal facilities of exercising their option of paying inmates less than minimum wage. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, while the average maximum wage paid to prisoners in the United States is $4.73 per day, according to Prison Policy Initiative.

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Here are five arguments as to why prison inmates should instead be paid minimum wage:

1. The practice makes society safer because inmates who make minimum wage are far less likely to commit another crime when they are released, said Frances Crook, the director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, according to The Guardian.

2. The low wages prisons pay help cause more dependents of inmates to end up on welfare and more inmates to find themselves in worse financial straits when they're set free, according to the New Republic.

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3.
The low wages inmates receive help instill the attitude "that they will never earn much and that crime pays better," says Francis Crook, according to The Guardian. Paying minimum wage helps combat that perception.

4. Being paid minimum wage often raises inmate incomes to the level at which they're required to pay taxes, thus increasing the likelihood they'll make positive changes by getting into the habits of contributing to society and carrying out the responsibilities borne by law-abiding citizens, according to The Guardian.

5. Earning a living wage in prison helps inmates be able to afford to make restitution payments they owe, reports MRCTV. That increases the likelihood their victims will receive money to which they're entitled.

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Paying prison inmates the minimum wage for their work could give them a chance to escape from a life of endless crime. This assertion was part of an article published in The Guardian about a British prison who were, for the first time, paying inmates minimum wage as part of an experiment.
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