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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:22 AM

Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Cal-Fire-losing-inmate-volunteers-3752179.php

Wyatt Buchanan
Updated 11:07 p.m., Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sacramento --

The number of state prison inmates available to perform crucial, labor-intensive tasks in battles against wildfires could soon drop dramatically, due to California's shift of low-level offenders from state prisons to county jails.

When wildfires ignite in California, some of the first crews on the scene are not state firefighters, but inmates who undergo training to handle such jobs as creating containment lines.

"They're able to provide a large workforce," said Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "Oftentimes we have just as many, if not more, inmate firefighters on the fire line than regular fire crews."

For their work, they get paid about $1 per day, or $1 per hour when they are fighting fires.

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Hey, I have a novel idea. Why don't they hire some unemployed people and pay and train hem how to fight fires?

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:24 AM

1. The state doesn't have the money to pay a fair wage to

any more firefighters. We'll just have to pray for a mild fire season again.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:34 AM

2. Ya. Or put more people in jail.

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Response to bluerum (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:52 AM

8. Well, the Anaheim PD certainly seems to be working on that.. n/t

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:37 AM

3. Aren't wildfires natural disasters?

Why can't they apply for Federal disaster funds, then they could employ people?

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Response to Aerows (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:42 AM

5. The people need to be in place and ready to go BEFORE fires, not hired/trained

as a response to them after they start.

The feds don't have the money either. And just you watch - Repukes block funding for them in Congress.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:51 AM

7. You cannot train and equip a fire eater

In the middle of a fire.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 10:37 AM

4. K&R Employing and teaching people is the job of our corporate overlords. n/t

 

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:50 AM

6. California is broke

And has been using the fire crews as a way to redeem prisoners. Untold in the story, many like the job. When they leave The joint more than a few become seasonal fire fighters, and a few as permament hires.

I bet you didn't know this.

This will cost in a long fire line...prop 13 by the way is one reason for the travails.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 12:14 PM

9. Maybe a lot of them would have never been in the joint to begin with if they had a permanent job?

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #9)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 12:28 PM

11. And maybe we all could fantasize

Don... most of the people who actually end in the join for minor offenses have little to do with their job status and all to do with Nixon and the war on drugs. I am sure you knew this by now.

They end up there for having a joint of weed, no serious...

And that has nothing to do with HAVING A DAMN JOB OR NOT.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #11)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 12:58 PM

12. California must be a lot different than Illinois then

Never heard of anyone around here getting hard time for any minor offenses if they were a taxpaying worker with a job and can afford a competent lawyer.

At least no one in that situation that I have ever known of ever has.

No judge around here is going to put some working guy in the slammer so he loses his job and his family has to go on welfare. At least I have never heard of that happening. Maybe it has? But I never heard of it.

Now more serious crimes, yes, chances are they will get some hard time.

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #12)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:05 PM

13. Maybe don you do not know this, but here is one state changing laws due to it

South Carolina senators are expected to give final approval today to a bill which overhauls the state’s criminal sentencing guidelines to reduce the number of people sentenced to prison for minor offenses.


http://www.journalwatchdog.com/crime/598-minor-offense-no-jail-time

Here for cali

Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to ease crowding would move inmates convicted of low-level and nonviolent crimes into the custody of county officials. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office estimated that as many as 32,500 such inmates could be transferred in time to meet the court's two-year deadline.


http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/25/local/la-me-prisons-20110525

I could go on, but the problem is well known... and I am sure even IN YOUR STATE.

Yup I was right

Under a series of proposed and amended county ordinances offenders would be ticketed, face an administrative law judge and fines ranging from $100 to $500. Currently some low-level drug offenses on the books, including advertising, manufacturing or selling - particularly to a minor – small amounts of drug paraphernalia can vault you into the criminal court system and possibly net you some jail time. But jail and criminal courts, a drain on county coffers, would be taken out of the equation if the county board approves the measures.


http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/11693730-418/fees-no-jail-time-proposed-for-those-charged-with-minor-offenses.html

If the problem was not real, the states would not be going, what do we do now?

The fact that you have not seen it, means squat when it is a well known and recognized problem... minor offenses, such as drug possession of small amounts of weed, can land you in the slammer. Oh and judges really do not care.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #13)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:17 PM

14. I didn't read anything in those links indicating what I said was inaccurate

I would need to see some statistics showing how many working taxpayers with a competent lawyer get sentenced to prison for minor offenses before I start questioning "my lying eyes."

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #14)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:19 PM

15. So you think the state is thinking of changing this becuase you have never seen it happen?

Okie dokie.

Have a good day.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 12:17 PM

10. Shoot, I thought it was because they refused to do this work for $1 a day.

Prison labor is slave labor.

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