Legislators Balk At Jailhouse Language Lessons

Full story: WMUR 11
Some lawmakers in Carroll County are questioning a program in which county corrections officers are taking Spanish lessons to communicate with inmates. Full Story
Peg Wiggin

United States

#1 Mar 3, 2006
Don't you think we spend enough tax dollars on feeding,medical and dentistry on inmates???Not to mention all the other luxeries of being in prison. Cable,schooling, etc,etc.I think that our tax dollars could be put to better use.
MDL

Salem, NH

#2 Mar 6, 2006
It makes much more sense to teach a handful of corrections officers spanish than to teach every spanish speaking inmate english. First of all, you will only have to teach the officers once, whereas you would have to teach every new non-english speaking inmate. Secondly, who says that an inmate is going to want to cooperate and learn a new language?

PEG: This would not be a luxury for the prisoners, it sounds to me that it is much more a necessity for the corrections officers. You can't run a clean and effective jail/prison without being able to communicate with the inmates. It's a no brainer that there should, at the very least, be a translator on hand.
Andy

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Mar 6, 2006
Its probably a good idea. The cost would be minimal, and it may help some of the inmates to make better use of their time in prison, which would make their incarcerations more cost effective in the long run.
Peg Wiggin

United States

#4 Mar 6, 2006
MDL..Your point well taken and I have to agree with you.
As a tax payer of NH for many years I get uptight about having to pay for the crimes of those who choose a certain life style , and leave the burdon of responsability for their well being upon the tax payer.
But you are right, we have to have some type of communication to try and get them back into society with a promising goal. Thanks for the enlightenment.
SDM

Bryn Mawr, PA

#5 Mar 6, 2006
Not only do we spend too much money on prisoners, but if you are in the USA you should speak the language. I don't care what you are, a prisoner or not. If I was in Cancun and I was imprisoned, speaking the English language, it would make the situation that much worse. We are the land of the free, until your breach your freedom, no matter what language you speak. Therefore you deal with it, or learn the language. Our prison officers make 15 dollars an hour to work with the trashiest of society, and now you expect them to ammend their lifestyle to suit a prisoners??? Outrageous!
SDM

Bryn Mawr, PA

#6 Mar 6, 2006
Not only do we spend too much money on prisoners, but if you are in the USA you should speak the language. I don't care what you are, a prisoner or not. If I was in Cancun and I was imprisoned, speaking the English language, it would make the situation that much worse. We are the land of the free, until your breach your freedom, no matter what language you speak. Therefore you deal with it, or learn the language. Our prison officers make 15 dollars an hour to work with the trashiest of society, and now you expect them to ammend their lifestyle to suit a prisoners??? Outrageous! I'd rather put my tax-dollars into the pockets of our prison officers
Andy

Saint Paul, MN

#7 Mar 6, 2006
Learning another form of basic communication is not "ammending your lifestyle". If you have to intentionally exaggerate the deatils of your argument, then you might not have one.
If your main concern is money, then you should be for anything that would enable these people to keep from returning to the prison system. Treating them like the "trashiest of society" will only ensure that they will continue to have problems, which YOU will have to continue to pay for, for ever.
You said:
"If I was in Cancun and I was imprisoned, speaking the English language, it would make the situation that much worse." YES, EXACTLY. And if you were imprisoned, you probably would not have the chance to prepare for it ahead of time by learning another language. Just like the non-english speaking people who are incarcerated in this country.
Spend whatever the amount today, to save ten times that amount in the future.
MDL

Salem, NH

#8 Mar 7, 2006
I agree with Andy. Learning to speak Spanish is not an amendment to a correction officers lifestyle. Instead, it is an intelligent professional decision. The reality is that there are more and more spanish (only) speaking people in America, and I don't really see the harm in Americans learning spanish. Should it be a two way street? Yes, probably, but in this case, it just makes common sense to have spanish speaking workers in the prisons/jails.
Just a thought

Dover, NH

#9 Mar 10, 2006
Has anyone ever researched how much income one prisoner generates?
Andy

Saint Paul, MN

#10 Mar 11, 2006
That amount differs from state to state. In states where prisoners are allowed to do public works activity, they can generate income in the forms of savings, as they are doing municiple work for less than a regular town or state employee. Shoveling, picking up trash, and in some states, directing traffic at road construction sites. However, some states have strict guidelines prohibiting certain types of work. These guidelines are designed to protect detainees from beiing taken advantage of, aka slave labor. All prisoners are supposed to be paid for their labors, but sometimes it does not work out that way.
Just a thought

Dover, NH

#11 Mar 16, 2006
I ment how many people are employed by just one inmate.
One inmate equals
a police officer
a bailif
a court stenographer
a public defender
a judge
prison guards
etc.
My point was that jailing people is a very lucrative buisness.

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