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$1 An Hour to Fight Largest Fire in CA History: Are Prison Firefighting Programs Slave Labor?

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https://democracynow.org - California relies on thousands of prisoners, including many women, to battle the wildfires burning statewide. Prisoner firefighters gain training and earn time off of their sentences for good behavior, typically two days off for each day served. But critics of the program say the state is exploiting prisoners’ eagerness to earn time for early release. While salaried firefighters earn an annual mean wage of $74,000 plus benefits, inmates earn just $2 per day with an additional $1 per hour when fighting an active fire. According to some estimates, California avoids spending about $80-$100 million a year by using prison labor to fight its biggest environmental problem. For more we speak with Romarilyn Ralston, a member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners-LA Chapter, and the program coordinator for Project Rebound at Cal State University, Fullerton. Ralston was imprisoned for 23 years, during which time she worked as a fire camp trainer. We also speak with Deirdre Wilson, who was imprisoned for three-and-a-half years, and worked as a landscaper at a women’s fire camp in San Diego.Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on nearly 1,400 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9AM ET: https://democracynow.org Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today: https://democracynow.org/donate FOLLOW DEMOCRACY NOW! ONLINE:Facebook: http://facebook.com/democracynow Twitter: https://twitter.com/democracynow YouTube: http://youtube.com/democracynow SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/democracynow Daily Email: https://democracynow.org/subscribe Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DemocracyNow Instagram: http://instagram.com/democracynow Tumblr: http://democracynow.tumblr.com Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/democracynow iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/demo... TuneIn: http://tunein.com/radio/Democracy-Now... Stitcher Radio: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/democ...

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Democracy Now Amy Goodman DN News Politics democracynow.org Video Independent Media Daily News Breaking News World News Interview Romarilyn Ralston Deirdre Wilson California wildfire prison labor climate change firefighters prison incarceration rehabilitation exploitation job training recidivism mass incarceration prisoners California Coalition for Women Prisoners Project Rebound Cal State University San Diego Cal Fire Mendocino Complex fire Carr Fire
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