W.H. Administration Preparing to Provide Free Prison Labor for Wildfires
Disguised as job cuts to wildland firefighting jobs, the Trump administration is "cutting jobs in the forestry division and ending a federal program that trains young people for jobs including wildfire fighting." This is a cover for a new form of private prison labor.
Last year, "The Camp Fire in Butte County, California, has killed at least 29 people and left more than 200 people unaccounted for." California used "roughly 14,000 firefighters battled the Mendocino fires. Among them were over than 2,000 inmates. Inmates are paid $2 a day, and $1 an hour when fighting an active fire. They also earn time off their sentences."
Reading between the lines however, this move would definitely give states such as California an incentive to continue to use prison labor.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers (CCCs) train young people between the ages 16 to 24 in rural and disadvantaged areas for jobs including wildland firefighting and forestry, in addition to disaster recovery."
Nine of the centers will close, with another 16 set to move to state control or to be taken over by private entities, as control of the program shifts to the Labor Department. Centers in Washington, Oregon, Kentucky, Montana, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Virginia, and North Carolina are all slated for closure.
If there are cuts to the program that claims to train young adults, in order to recoup money being lost, these states (and private entities or private prisons) will surely turn to free prison labor.
Call it one of the most subtle dog whistles in our time meant to prepare to enact another form of modern day slavery using people of color, immigrants, Black men and women, and now the new victims of corporate greed, drug addicts.