Every moment that a prisoner spends in a correctional facility should be productive and geared towards measurable results such as would be obtainable via educational, employment, minimum wage, and savings requirements. Meeting educational, including higher educational and employment/savings requirements should be an essential component of parole for all detainees.
Idleness of detainees is counterproductive and squanderous of city, state, and federal resources, particularly considering recidivism rates for individuals who are not held to personal improvement standards.
A majority of incarcerated persons lack a high school diploma, demonstrating the strong correlation between under-education and crime, and further demonstrating education as the ultimate remedy.
Educating detainees for especially high demand jobs for which they would qualify, and for which there are a lack of qualified persons and/or for entrepreneurial opportunities would help significantly to rectify competition for low skill jobs, and reduce episodes of criminal activity.
Online Educational Access to Incarcerated Individuals
Online educational opportunities, including GED and higher education opportunities, would be ideal and should be available in all correctional facilities. This would save significant costs associated with incorporating educational and/or higher educational opportunities into each correctional facility, while addressing potential concerns with inmates actually attending classes at traditional college, technical or trade school campuses, including concerns for detainees fleeing from campuses or engaging in any other inappropriate behavior, although ankle bracelets with GPS tracking should suffice in some cases where inmates would attend traditional campus classes at local schools. This would also help to assure that defenders actually complete their educational programs without concern for transportation and other costs that might not be covered by financial aid, to which all inmates should be privileged.
Employment/Minimum Wage Requirements
All able-bodied/minded inmates should be required to work, and for no less than minimum wage, noting that the 13th Amendment does not expressly state that a detainee shouldn’t be paid minimum wage. Employed detainees working for at least minimum wage would yield a major boost to the economy in that, first and foremost, detainees would be paying income taxes and other costs that have been traditionally and primarily paid by the government, including costs towards their living, healthcare, and other expenses like restitution to victims, child support, delinquent taxes, traffic tickets, and other outstanding bills for which deductions would be withheld from their pay and paid to each relevant source. All working inmates owing child support and other debts should be required to pay them; and, accordingly, states and businesses would recover otherwise lost revenues. This would further help to improve detainee credit ratings, and restore driving privileges to those with revoked driver’s licenses due to outstanding traffic tickets, child support evasion, etc.
All working inmates should also be required to save. Each detainee would establish an account with a local approved bank for this purpose, and would not be capable of withdrawing the funds until their release, unless there are extenuating circumstances that would merit otherwise.
Detainees should also be capable of investing in money markets and/or stocks and bonds…
Establishment of savings requirements for detainees would mean that banks extending savings accounts to detainees would suddenly be inundated with funds for investment and other traditional bank purposes, though the funds would be payable to each account holder after their release from incarceration, and upon demand, in alignment with conventional practices at all banks.
Proliferating Federal Prison Industries & Permitting Open Market Selling of FPI Products
Ideally, all correctional facilities would be product manufacturers via or after the likes of Federal Prison Industries (FPI) Or Unicor and offer never less than minimum wage employment to all detainees who are capable of working.
FPI and similar products should be available for open market selling, rather than for mere marketing to other government agencies; this would enable minimum wage employment of detainees and produce magnanimous profits juxtapose those as would fund labor.
It would also address potential concerns with detainees working outside of prison, including concerns for detainees escaping from off-site work details, although, again, GPS ankle bracelets should suffice in many cases as for deterring such attempts, and those companies that do hire detainees and released individuals with criminal records are privileged to tax breaks. Additionally, and it’s understandable that an individual with a criminal background would not be hired in any position of synonymy with the crime that they committed.
Detainee Exit Portfolios
All detainees should be required to complete exit portfolios that would consist of General Education and/or technical diplomas or degrees, completed resumes, cover letters, an essay discussing short and long term goals, a printout of their criminal background reports attached to a letter explaining the nature of each offense in the manner that each detainee should explain the incidences on employment applications that require such explanation and/or during employment interviews, a list of companies that hire individuals with criminal backgrounds (felonies, etc.), a list of job search engines, including those as are designed specifically for felons, etc., and a letter from the correctional facility congratulating the detainee on their release and completion of the correctional process (education, restitution, debt repayment, savings, etc.)…