30 percent of California’s forest firefighters are prisoners
Mother Jones

Not mentioned in this article is the benefit of real rehabilitation that inmate firefighters receive by working in a fire crew. I had firsthand experience working side by side with inmate crews while I was a seasonal wildland firefighter in California — these crews took a great deal of pride in their work and it showed. The $2 per hour and reduced sentence were definite perks but from what I saw, these individuals also gained valuable experience from this program that would prove useful outside of prison. If nothing else, they are learning the value of working hard towards something that is positively contributing to the surrounding communities. That alone is worth a lot more than $2 per hour.

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