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Letter: Inmates take work from skilled labor

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino during the Hempstead

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino during the Hempstead Town meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017 in Hempstead. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Although I commend Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino’s effort to save money for our town, I cannot help but comment on the way he’s doing it [“Inmates make town’s new office furniture,” News, Aug. 22].

Although I’m all for giving inmates a second chance by teaching them something useful, this will be putting honest, hardworking skilled labor out of work. This situation has been an ongoing controversy for years with organized labor.

More than 2,000 inmates across the state participate in the Corcraft program, making office furniture, signs and graphics, metal storage shelves, cabinets and license plates.

One alternative would be for them to grow their own fruit and vegetables and maintain their facilities, as far as security allows. This would help them to be self-sufficient and would lower our taxes, since the cost of housing prisoners is so exhorbitant.

William Weitzman, Hempstead

Editor’s note: The writer is the Hempstead commissioner of labor.