California’s Prison Problems Won’t Extinguish Inmate Firefighters

U.S.

Two weeks after the Rim Fire started burning in northern California, thousands of firefighters are still working around the clock to slow its spread. As water-laden planes and helicopters attack the blaze from the air, crews on the ground labor to clear wood and dry brush, dig firelines and start small backfires to draw the main blaze away from populated areas. It’s dangerous, heroic work by almost any measure. But of the nearly 4,000 firefighters battling the Rim Fire, 600 are not exactly the grade school role models you might imagine. They are California state prisoners.

The nearly century-old Conservation Camps program has benefited both California and its inmates, officials say. In addition to providing the state with cheap labor and extra manpower during natural disasters, it has also reduced recidivism, according to the California Department of Corrections. Helping released inmates stay out of prison is more crucial than ever as California struggles through…

View original post 794 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: