Polish prisoners will work for free more. And those who earn money will have more deducted from their wages.For the money saved in prisons the government will create 40 factories. The Minister of Justice has a plan for “a more just prison sentence”.
Mirosław is serving a sentence in Białołęka in Warsaw. For about seven hours a day delivering parcels he receives about 500zł per month. Mirosław, however, is in the minority, because the majority of prisoners do not work at all.
Free and harder work
Poland is one of the worst states when it comes to the work of prisoners. In Poland, approx. 30% of prisoners work – said at a press conference Deputy Minister of Justice Patryk Jaki.
The Polish Justice Minister wants to see more working prisoners on the streets after summer.
It seems fair that in this way they could somehow make amends to society for the costs that society has to bear due to their punishment – says the spokesman of the Ministry of Justice Sebastian Kaleta.
Today, prisoners can only work cleaning and clearing snow off the streets. The Ministry wants to change the rules so that cities can use prisoners to build roads, water supply systems or public housing. Prisoners will not get a penny for it.
I think all over the world there is pay for work. We are already punished. We sit in jail. Why should we be punished for the second time? – asks Mirosław.
Ministry builds factories
In private companies prisoners will still be able to make money, but larger amounts of money will be deducted from their salaries. The savings will be spent to build workshops next to prisons.
Within 8 years we want to build 40 production facilities in prisons, where prisoners would be able to work and undergo a successful rehabilitation – Jaki adds.
In Krzywaniec there is already a workshop. Soon prisoners will manufacture furniture here. An entrepreneur has paid for the equipment. The businessman will have cheap labour force, and the prisoners will earn money.
I think the idea is not bad. If the work that will be performed will be paid, I think that the prisoners would work – says Mirosław.
Studies show that if a prisoner, while serving a sentence, normally goes to work, it reduces the likelihood of re-offending – Jaki adds.
The Ministry also hopes that they will pay less for prisoners. Currently, the monthly maintenance of a prisoner amounts to more than three thousand zloty. After the changes the amount might be reduced by one third.