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5 Reasons Prisoners Should Not Be Paid Minimum Wage

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 11:01 AM

Paying prison inmates the minimum wage for their work is a debatable issue. Prisoners jobs may include making furniture, license plates and clothing, but inmate workers make far less than the minimum wage.

While the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, inmate workers average maximum wage in the United States is $4.73 per day.

The Prison Policy Initiative reports, the average of the minimum wages for prisoners paid by the states for non-industry work is 93 cents an hour and the lowest wage reported for prisoners working in private industry is a mere 16 cents an hour.

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Although some support paying convicts the minimum wage while working in prisons, others will argue otherwise.

Here are five reasons prisoners should not be paid the minimum wage:

1. Inmates historically are paid less than the minimum wage because as a part of their incarceration, the government is already paying to feed and house them, says Barrett Marson, a former spokesman for the Arizona Department of Corrections, as reported by the Arizona Capitol Times.

2.
Prisons can't afford to pay inmates any more than they currently do, as incarceration costs in the United States are already sky-high at the local, state and federal levels, according to MRCTV.

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3. Some argue that paying prisoners low wages is part of making their experience sufficiently unpleasant that they will think twice about breaking the law again.

4. It is unfair to pay an inmate worker the same amount as a minimum wage worker who has never been in trouble, and who also has to bear living and travel expenses.

5. For some inmates, the ability to get out of prison for work has an appeal beyond what they're paid, says Barret Marson, former spokesman for the Arizona Department of Corrections.

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Paying prison inmates the minimum wage for their work is a debatable issue. Prisoners jobs may include making furniture, license plates and clothing, but inmate workers make far less than the minimum wage.
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2015-01-15
Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 11:01 AM
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