Prisons to become welfare dorms in NJ?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-02-2009
Prisons to become welfare dorms in NJ?
388
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 12:53pm

Are we headed to the Work Houses of the past?

NEW YORK — Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino said he would transform some New York prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients, where they could work in state-sponsored jobs, get employment training and take lessons in "personal hygiene."
Paladino, a wealthy Buffalo real estate developer popular with many tea party activists, isn't saying the state should jail poor people: The program would be voluntary.
But the suggestion that poor families would be better off in remote institutions, rather than among friends and family in their own neighborhoods, struck some anti-poverty activists as insulting.
Paladino is competing for the Republican nomination with former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio. The primary is Sept. 14.
Paladino first described the idea in June at a meeting of The Journal News of White Plains and spoke about it again this week with The Associated Press.
Throughout his campaign, Paladino has criticized New York's rich menu of social service benefits, which he says encourages illegal immigrants and needy people to live in the state. He has promised a 20 percent reduction in the state budget and a 10 percent income tax cut if elected.
Asked at the meeting how he would achieve those savings, Paladino laid out several plans that included converting underused state prisons into centers that would house welfare recipients. There, they would do work for the state — "military service, in some cases park service, in other cases public works service," he said — while prison guards would be retrained to work as counselors.

"Instead of handing out the welfare checks, we'll teach people how to earn their check. We'll teach them personal hygiene ... the personal things they don't get when they come from dysfunctional homes," Paladino said.
New York, like other states, receives a federal block grant to provide cash and other forms of welfare to very low-income residents. Federal law already requires welfare recipients to do some form of work to receive benefits.
New York's welfare rolls have grown slightly during the recession, while food stamp eligibility has almost doubled, according to the state.
Paladino told The Associated Press the dormitory living would be voluntary, not mandatory, and would give welfare recipients an opportunity to take public, state-sponsored jobs far from home.
"These are beautiful properties with basketball courts, bathroom facilities, toilet facilities. Many young people would love to get the hell out of cities," Paladino he said.
He also defended his hygiene remarks, saying he had trained inner-city troops in the Army and knows their needs.
"You have to teach them basic things — taking care of themselves, physical fitness. In their dysfunctional environment, they never learned these things," he said.
Ketny Jean-Francois, a former welfare recipient and a New York City advocate for low-income people, said Paladino's idea shocked her.
"Being poor is not a crime," she said. "People are on welfare for many reasons ... Is he saying people are poor because they don't have any hygiene or any skills?"
A Lazio spokesman didn't immediately return a message.
Paladino said he based his ideas on the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal program that paid young unemployed men during the Great Depression to plant trees, build roads and develop parks.
Paladino said he would open the program both to long-term welfare recipients and to people who had lost their jobs during the recession. He said that he didn't know how he would pay for it but that prisons could be consolidated to make room.
___
Associated Press writer Marc Beja contributed to this report.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38796773/ns/politics

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2005
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 12:58pm
I liked the idea.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2010
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 1:04pm

Maybe we can bring back debtor prisons and

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2007
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 1:06pm

What a sick person. What is his hang up on personal hygiene? How much do you want to bet, that he wants to watch while they "teach" poor people how to get clean?


And people wonder why there is such an ugly perception of the Tea Party crowd. This is really too much.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2005
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 1:09pm

I wouldn't have thought someone would be called sick to give the poor a place to live, train them to work, and pay them.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2008
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 1:45pm
So we have generations being raised on welfare, in deplorable conditions.
Why not have a work for it system? Not for everyone, but for those who are able bodied. I'm not suggesting that the disabled or those seriously unable to work do this, but I see no reason why able bodied people should not do some kind of work to get assistance.
As to hygiene....have you seen the conditions of most of the projects? WHy is filth so predominant in poorer communities? It's unplesant..but it is true. Is it true for all the poor? No. Not by a long shot. But it is prevalent.
Make people work for their assistance and inspire a sense of ownership, pride in what they have. You take care of something better when you have some stake in it. It's simply true. I know when I was a child I took better care of things I earned or paid for myself, rather than those that were simply given to me. Same goes for most of us as adults.
The goal of welfare is to get people off of it. I've never seen anyone disagree with that. So if we want the system to really be a short term solution then we have to make the system work just like that.
Not to mention you will be using already paid for facilities and keeping people employed who would otherwise be jobless. Why keep buildings empty when we can be using them for something productive?
The program is voluntary. No one is being imprisoned.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2007
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 10:35pm

It's not a place to live, it's a prison cell. Calling it a "dorm" does not erase that fact.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2010
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 10:50pm

"I wouldn't have thought someone would be called sick to give the poor a place to live, train them to work, and pay them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2010
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 11:17pm

It's not a place to live, it's a prison cell. Calling it a "dorm" does not erase that fact."


Cook County Correctional Facility, Chicago Illinois. Funded by none other than the POTUS himself.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 4:48am
I completely agree with him.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 4:55am

What is his hang up on personal hygiene?


Probably the same "hang up" that millions of others have with it.

 

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