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因囚犯大規模感染新冠,加州野火消防人力告急

因囚犯大規模感染新冠,加州野火消防人力告急

Nicole Goodkind 2020年07月16日
這些服刑人員為換取減刑和最低工資,曾是消防工作中的主力軍。

加利福尼亞州正處于火災高峰期,與此同時,在該州監獄中爆發的新冠疫情導致其中的服刑人員基本喪失工作能力,而這些服刑人員為換取減刑和最低工資,曾是消防工作中的主力軍。

加利福尼亞州林業和消防局已對今年前7個月近4000起野火事件做出回應,這些野火覆蓋的面積高達34000英畝。為了及時控制住火災,該州通常會安排約2200名服刑人員奮戰在消防前線,但該州的監獄官員表示,如今,77名囚犯中至少有30人因感染新冠病毒而被隔離。

加州懲教與康復部的官員表示,只要存在新冠疫情病例,這些地方將一直被封閉。

加州新冠疫情病例激增,尤其是在監獄系統。服刑人員表示,他們無法獲得基本的衛生保障用品,如洗手液,也無法做到與人保持距離。目前,加州懲教與康復部有超過6600個確診病例。該部門是為服刑人員進行荒地消防員培訓的中心。

美國加州州長也指出,該州監獄中人數的減少已經嚴重影響了消防人員的數量。加州懲教與康復部信息負責人Aaron Francis表示,甚至在疫情發生前,就已經有13名服刑的消防人員因“自然減員、加速釋放和量刑改革”離開。該州已經提前釋放約1萬名服刑人員,以騰出更多空間來施行必要的隔離措施,約8000名服刑人員將可能在8月底前獲得釋放。

到目前為止,加州已經新增900名消防員,以彌補服刑人員的流失。

隨著火災發生次數的增加,保障安全的成本仍然不可持續。與此同時,由于收入的下降與防控疫情造成支出的增加,加州已進入“預算緊急狀態”。受新冠疫情影響,1月份該州的預算有60億美元的盈余,而如今卻是543億美元的赤字。

服刑人員每天消防工作的薪酬通常在2.90美元到5.12美元之間,緊急情況下每小時將額外增加1美元。除了加班費和獎金外,與他們一起工作的消防員平均每年收入為9.1萬美元。加州消防公司日常員工約6500人,火災季節約9000人。服刑人員是新增消防員的重要組成部分。

保護營地項目(加州懲教與康復部門的一個志愿救火項目)于1945年正式成立,據估計每年可為加州納稅人節省約1億美元。

為了彌補赤字,該州動用了緊急基金。加州不再有可以預測的野火季節,如今其每年的“火災日”比50年前多了78天。

在頻繁的火災中,參加消防工作的服刑人員每天收入約27美元,遠遠多于其他監獄工作每小時0.08至0.37美元的收入。他們還可以得到更新鮮的食物,更加自由,也許最重要的是,他們每工作一天,就可以減少兩天的刑期。

加州官員曾指責過去的監獄改革,因為其導致服刑消防員人數減少。2014年,加州反對法院命令,不愿意將2比1的釋放額度應用于其他改造工作項目。他們辯稱,如果能在從事其他低風險工作時獲得同樣的收益,將沒有人愿意加入消防營。

據加州懲教與康復部新聞負責人Alexandra Powell介紹,在過去35年里,有6名服刑人員在消防工作中受傷身亡。

據美國《時代》周刊報道,2013年至2018年期間,超過1000名服刑消防員住院治療。在同一火災中工作,服刑消防員可能遭受的割傷和骨折等人身傷害風險,是專業消防員的4倍;吸入煙霧和顆粒物造成傷害的可能性是后者的8倍。

在消防營工作的囚犯發現,他們在被釋放后無法運用學習到的技能。因為美國大多數的消防工作都要求員工擁有急救醫療技術員或護理人員的執照,而加州的大多數重罪犯只有在出獄10年后才能獲得這些執照。(財富中文網)

編譯:于佳鑫

加利福尼亞州正處于火災高峰期,與此同時,在該州監獄中爆發的新冠疫情導致其中的服刑人員基本喪失工作能力,而這些服刑人員為換取減刑和最低工資,曾是消防工作中的主力軍。

加利福尼亞州林業和消防局已對今年前7個月近4000起野火事件做出回應,這些野火覆蓋的面積高達34000英畝。為了及時控制住火災,該州通常會安排約2200名服刑人員奮戰在消防前線,但該州的監獄官員表示,如今,77名囚犯中至少有30人因感染新冠病毒而被隔離。

加州懲教與康復部的官員表示,只要存在新冠疫情病例,這些地方將一直被封閉。

加州新冠疫情病例激增,尤其是在監獄系統。服刑人員表示,他們無法獲得基本的衛生保障用品,如洗手液,也無法做到與人保持距離。目前,加州懲教與康復部有超過6600個確診病例。該部門是為服刑人員進行荒地消防員培訓的中心。

美國加州州長也指出,該州監獄中人數的減少已經嚴重影響了消防人員的數量。加州懲教與康復部信息負責人Aaron Francis表示,甚至在疫情發生前,就已經有13名服刑的消防人員因“自然減員、加速釋放和量刑改革”離開。該州已經提前釋放約1萬名服刑人員,以騰出更多空間來施行必要的隔離措施,約8000名服刑人員將可能在8月底前獲得釋放。

到目前為止,加州已經新增900名消防員,以彌補服刑人員的流失。

隨著火災發生次數的增加,保障安全的成本仍然不可持續。與此同時,由于收入的下降與防控疫情造成支出的增加,加州已進入“預算緊急狀態”。受新冠疫情影響,1月份該州的預算有60億美元的盈余,而如今卻是543億美元的赤字。

服刑人員每天消防工作的薪酬通常在2.90美元到5.12美元之間,緊急情況下每小時將額外增加1美元。除了加班費和獎金外,與他們一起工作的消防員平均每年收入為9.1萬美元。加州消防公司日常員工約6500人,火災季節約9000人。服刑人員是新增消防員的重要組成部分。

保護營地項目(加州懲教與康復部門的一個志愿救火項目)于1945年正式成立,據估計每年可為加州納稅人節省約1億美元。

為了彌補赤字,該州動用了緊急基金。加州不再有可以預測的野火季節,如今其每年的“火災日”比50年前多了78天。

在頻繁的火災中,參加消防工作的服刑人員每天收入約27美元,遠遠多于其他監獄工作每小時0.08至0.37美元的收入。他們還可以得到更新鮮的食物,更加自由,也許最重要的是,他們每工作一天,就可以減少兩天的刑期。

加州官員曾指責過去的監獄改革,因為其導致服刑消防員人數減少。2014年,加州反對法院命令,不愿意將2比1的釋放額度應用于其他改造工作項目。他們辯稱,如果能在從事其他低風險工作時獲得同樣的收益,將沒有人愿意加入消防營。

據加州懲教與康復部新聞負責人Alexandra Powell介紹,在過去35年里,有6名服刑人員在消防工作中受傷身亡。

據美國《時代》周刊報道,2013年至2018年期間,超過1000名服刑消防員住院治療。在同一火災中工作,服刑消防員可能遭受的割傷和骨折等人身傷害風險,是專業消防員的4倍;吸入煙霧和顆粒物造成傷害的可能性是后者的8倍。

在消防營工作的囚犯發現,他們在被釋放后無法運用學習到的技能。因為美國大多數的消防工作都要求員工擁有急救醫療技術員或護理人員的執照,而加州的大多數重罪犯只有在出獄10年后才能獲得這些執照。(財富中文網)

編譯:于佳鑫

California is burning and the prison inmates that the state depends on to work fire lines in exchange for commuted sentences and minimal wages are largely incapacitated due to COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the state’s prison system.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has responded to nearly 4,000 wildfires ravaging 34,000 acres in the first seven months of 2020, up from 2,800 over the same period a year ago. To help fight these fires, the state typically depends on about 2,200 incarcerated people to work the frontlines, but state prison officials have announced that at least 30 of the state’s 77 inmate crews are now under lockdown due to outbreaks of the coronavirus in their camps.

The camps will be closed until there are no COVID-19 cases among those living there, said officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

The news comes as cases of the virus surge all over California, especially in prison systems where inmates report a lack of access to basic sanitation products like hand sanitizer or the ability to social distance. CDCR currently has over 6,600 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The California Correctional Center, which is the primary training hub for incarcerated wildland firefighters, has seen the second largest spike in cases with 216 in the last two weeks.

California governor Gavin Newsom also noted that a decrease in prison population in total has severely limited firecrews. Even before the virus spread, 13 crews had been lost due to “natural attrition, expedited releases, and sentencing reform changes,” said CDCR information officer Aaron Francis. The state has released about 10,000 inmates early to avoid crowding because of the pandemic, and another 8,000 could be released by August.

The state of California has so far added 900 new firefighters to its crews to make up for the loss of inmates.

The cost of maintaining safety and homes as the numbers of fires increase remains unsustainable, at an estimated $80 billion in damage to the economy in 2019. California, meanwhile, has entered a “budget emergency” due to the decline in revenue and increase in coronavirus-related costs. The state’s budget went from an anticipated $6 billion surplus in January to an estimated $54.3 billion deficit due to the pandemic.

Inmates typically fight fires for wages between $2.90 and $5.12 per day, plus an additional $1 per hour during active emergencies for their potentially life-threatening efforts. The firefighters they work alongside earn an average of $91,000 each year before overtime pay and bonuses. Cal Fire has around 6,500 year-round employees, and around 9,000 during fire season. Inmates, which make up “hand crews” represent a very significant portion of that staff.

The Conservation Camp Program, officially established in 1945, is estimated to save California taxpayers about $100 million each year.

In order to help bridge the deficit the state dipped into emergency funds, which have already been decimated by the rising costs of fighting wildfires each year. No longer is there a predictable wildfire season in the state, California has 78 more annual “fire days” now than it had 50 years ago.

During active fires, inmates earn about $27 each day, much better than other prison jobs that would earn them $0.08 to $0.37 per hour. They also have fresher food, more freedom and, perhaps most importantly, receive two days off their prison sentence for every one day served (commonly known as 2-for-1).

California officials have in the past blamed prison reform for dwindling numbers of inmate firefighters, and in 2014, California fought court orders to apply 2-for-1 release credits to other rehabilitation work programs. They argued that no one would want to join the fire camp if they could get the same perks doing other, low risk jobs.

Over the past 35 years, six incarcerated firefighters have died as a result of injuries sustained while actively working on containing a fire, according to Alexandra Powell, public information officer with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. But injuries abound.

More than 1,000 inmate firefighters were sent to the hospital between 2013 and 2018, according to data obtained by TIME. Incarcerated firefighters were four times more likely to suffer from object-related injuries like cuts and broken bones than other firefighters and eight times more likely to suffer from smoke and particulate inhalation than other firefighters.

The prisoners who work at fire camps often find that they’re unable to put their skills to use when they’re released. The majority of firefighting jobs in the U.S., and most of the 900 fire departments in California, require employees to obtain an Emergency Medical Technician or paramedic license. In California, the majority of convicted felons can’t obtain those licenses until they’ve been out of prison for 10 years.

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