December 6, 2011

IT TAKES A LOT OF EFFORT TO STAY THIS BACKWARDS:

Ala. considers inmates to replace immigrant labor (JAY REEVES, 12/05/11, AP)

The nursery and landscape industry will need as many as 4,000 workers in southern counties early in 2012 to get ready for the growing season, he said, and forestry and farming will require still more laborers. Unable to find legal residents to fill all the employment gaps, Hall said the Agriculture Department is consulting with the Department of Corrections to determine whether prisoners could do some of the work.

"We're trying to get ahead of the curve and see if we can be of assistance to other parts of Alabama, too," Hall said Monday, a day before the agency held a meeting Tuesday afternoon with farmers and agriculture industry officials in Mobile.

Prison spokesman Brian Corbett said the state has about 2,000 work-release prisoners who could be eligible to perform such work, and the department is "always happy to promote our ... program to employers as an alternative labor situation." Work-release inmates aren't the solution to labor shortages that may be linked to the law, however, according to Corbett.

"Many, if not most, of those 2,000 are already employed," he said.

Posted by at December 6, 2011 6:22 PM
  

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