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Chris Christie Uses Prisoners to Fix His Office Furniture


#1

Chris Christie Uses Prisoners to Fix His Office Furniture

Stephen Janis, Nadia Kanji

For years, inmates in New Jersey prisons have labored to repair office furniture for the state government and other public entities. This past spring, they had a new customer: Governor Chris Christie.

A spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Corrections confirmed in an email to The Nation that Christie’s office commissioned prison labor within the past few months to refurbish “existing furniture” in the governor’s office, including “desks, credenzas, [and] tables for office personnel.”


#2

The model for cheap labor via a new Prison-Plantation paradigm can be found in the South. Inmate labor has been farmed out for pennies on the dollar for some time. Think: Angola!

Christie, a natural-born exploiter is taking advantage of it... but he is hardly alone in this form of plunder.


#3

Our entire criminal justice system needs a complete overhaul. Sending people to private for profit prisons is obscene.Half of the people in prison shouldn't be there, but that is another story. What is wrong with having prisoners, who are in prison for committing crimes, work to help pay for the high cost of their incarceration. Hard working people on the outside all have to pay for their own soap and tooth paste. Do you think criminals who are in prison should get theirs for free? Prisoners should not be denied these things if they have no money, but if they have money they should take care of their own needs, just like we all do. I do not believe in chain gangs,or slave labor but what is wrong with prisoners working jobs like everyone else does, to help support them selves. Do you think the taxpayers should support them and expect nothing in return? People who commit crimes are not put in prison to enjoy the luxuries of easy living. Chris Christie should be commended for using prisoners to fix office furniture instead of wasting tax dollars on buying new furniture.


#4

I'm with you here JJC. There is a whole nightmare menagerie of things wrong with the US prison system. I thought they might be exposed in this piece , but no such luck. They are fixing state furniture only, helping to reduce the burden of State operation, and not competing with non-state enterprise. As for the stipend they receive for that, well hey, they're in prison. Saying that does not condone the system of laws that put them there. So many government contracts are full of feather-bedding, kick-backs, and outright fraud that I really can't see how this indicts Christie or the State of New Jersey. Personally, I think Christie is a sleazebag, but this piece is inane partisan sniping that is so far off the mark it's embarrassing. Just more fodder for Christie the next time he publicly fumes about "stupid liberals" or whatever is his favorite phrase of choice.


#5

I am always amazed at how people justify exploitation. The arguments sound so plausible (" I do not believe in chain gangs,or slave labor but what is wrong with prisoners working jobs like everyone else does, to help support them selves. Do you think the taxpayers should support them and expect nothing in return? People who commit crimes are not put in prison to enjoy the luxuries of easy living. "). The issue is that these individuals are not given jobs that provide a decent salary, they are paid a token wage by corporations that profit off their quasi-free labor (read=slavery, or indentured servitude). When they are released, they have nothing to show for all their work--nothing. If we are going to provide jobs and rehabilitation, how about they work for good wages, put some in savings, and pay retribution to the state and their possible victims? At least they would be granted some dignity. As you mention, a good many of them shouldn't even be there, because our justice system is so dysfunctional. This is the 21st century, for crying out loud, we should have abandoned those relentlessly punitive, inhumane 19th century practices a long time ago.