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For $1 An Hour, Inmates Fight California Wildfires

Oct 27, 2007 9:02 pm US/Central
Thousands Of Prisoners Are On The Fire Lines Helping Battle The Blaze

(CBS) LAKE ARROWHEAD, Calif. They've stolen cars, used drugs and forged checks. When California is burning, they fight fires.

About a quarter of the 14,000 firefighters defending homes and businesses in Southern California from wildfires have been prisoners, officials said. Of the 4,400 inmates trained to battle fires in the state, 3,091 were on the front lines Friday from Lake Arrowhead south to San Diego.

"It's very close to the most we've ever used," said Seth Unger, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. About 3,000 inmates were used in 2003 during the Cedar Fire north of San Diego.

Not every inmate qualifies to be a firefighter. Those who do - male or female - must be physically fit, have no history of violent crime and have four t

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Added: Oct-27-2007 
By: bellava
In:
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Tags: prisoners, fighting, fires, in, califonia
Views: 9587 | Comments: 22 | Votes: 3 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 2 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • We shouldn't even be paying them

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • Can you get them to harvest the agricultural fields after they send the illegal Mexicans home?

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • I voted it, because that's pretty good reporting. To bad most people are to lazy to read.(Sometimes me)

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • They do the same thing with job corp students for a bit more cash. Job Corp is a organization who has labor camps all over the US who pay with food and education.

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • Many of them will be released back into society someday. Better to have them doing productive work while in prison (if not productive reading/education).

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • Punch_The_Monkey: "Can you get them to harvest the agricultural fields after they send the illegal Mexicans home?"
    hell ya

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • Jarod_C: "I voted it, because that's pretty good reporting. To bad most people are to lazy to read.(Sometimes me)"
    It's why you see so many half-literates not just on this site but all over the Net, lol

    I'll never do chat rooms anymore, that's for sure

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • That's cool and everything but one dollar an hour is absolutely fucked up. Criminals or not they're doing a very dangerous job and they should atleast get more than a spit in the face for helping.

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • Great! It's not like these are the lifer's or the sex offenders... it's good for their esteem to feel worthy and get a bit of positive feedback from free society.

    But the cynic in me is still saying to myself, "watch 'em, one might try lighting one just for the sake of staying out in the open more". :/ Sorry, just being honest.

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  • KYOSHOFIEND: "Great! It's not like these are the lifer's or the sex offenders... it's good for their esteem to feel worthy and get a bit of positive feedback from free society.

    But the cynic in me is still saying to myself, "watch 'em, one might try lighting one just for the sake of staying out in the open more". :/ Sorry, just being honest. "
    good point

    cynicism is often closer to the truth than positivism

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • These guys aren't in for serious crimes. They're short timers in for drug offenses, theft, etc. I've been of fire crews in California (Park Service crews...not convict) and worked around convict crews.
    They work in the kitchen trailer at the fire camps and make some MEAN food, as well as handling the trash, etc. Some of them are out on crews fighting the fires. I don't see any big deal about paying the guys $1.00 and hour. Wildfire fighting is hard work and long hours. I worked over 200 h More..

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • lasrever: "
    KYOSHOFIEND: "Great! It's not like these are the lifer's or the sex offenders... it's good for their esteem to feel worthy and get a bit of positive feedback from free society.

    But the cynic in me is still saying to myself, "watch 'em, one might try lighting one just for the sake of staying out in the open more". :/ Sorry, just being honest. "
    good point

    cynicism is often closer to the truth than positivism"
    positivism?lol positivity is it not man?

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • technoboy: "
    lasrever: "
    KYOSHOFIEND: "Great! It's not like these are the lifer's or the sex offenders... it's good for their esteem to feel worthy and get a bit of positive feedback from free society.

    But the cynic in me is still saying to myself, "watch 'em, one might try lighting one just for the sake of staying out in the open more". :/ Sorry, just being honest. "
    good point

    cynicism is often closer to the truth than positivism"
    positivism?lol positivity is it not man?"
    o More..

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • word, ffs

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • lasrever: "
    technoboy: "
    lasrever: "
    KYOSHOFIEND: "Great! It's not like these are the lifer's or the sex offenders... it's good for their esteem to feel worthy and get a bit of positive feedback from free society.

    But the cynic in me is still saying to myself, "watch 'em, one might try lighting one just for the sake of staying out in the open more". :/ Sorry, just being honest. "
    good point

    cynicism is often closer to the truth than positivism"
    positivism?lol positivity is it not man?"
    o More..
    lol,had me confused there i was drunk and couldnt even say positivism lol

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • ssgoder: "
    ssgoder: "for 1$ a day you can perform oral sex on me"
    sorry, im bored"
    Wow. I mean, WOW. LOL

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • 1 DOLLAR TOO MUCH

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • too_much_noise: "These guys aren't in for serious crimes. They're short timers in for drug offenses, theft, etc. I've been of fire crews in California (Park Service crews...not convict) and worked around convict crews.
    They work in the kitchen trailer at the fire camps and make some MEAN food, as well as handling the trash, etc. Some of them are out on crews fighting the fires. I don't see any big deal about paying the guys $1.00 and hour. Wildfire fighting is hard work and long hours. I worked over 200 hours in 2 weeks on one fire.....and that's 14 days straight with no time off. More..
    hey..props to you guy:)paid well or not, it's a heros job, and these prisoners have my respect too. positive reinforcement is allways a good thing.

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • PAY THEM??? LOL

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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  • bellava: "
    too_much_noise: "These guys aren't in for serious crimes. They're short timers in for drug offenses, theft, etc. I've been of fire crews in California (Park Service crews...not convict) and worked around convict crews.
    They work in the kitchen trailer at the fire camps and make some MEAN food, as well as handling the trash, etc. Some of them are out on crews fighting the fires. I don't see any big deal about paying the guys $1.00 and hour. Wildfire fighting is hard work and long hours. I worked over 200 hours in 2 weeks on one fire.....and that's 14 days straight with More..
    hey..props to you guy:)paid well or not, it's a heros job, and these prisoners have my respect too. positive reinforcement is allways a good thing."
    Some very good points from a few people on this one.

    Posted Oct-28-2007 By 

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