@pastanaga - I really think though that people need to stop thinking about prisons emotionally and start thinking practically. There are a lot of people who think that prisoners shouldn't be allowed to work, that that should be considered a privileged.
But, honestly if they are allowed to work and learn a skill and are guided into jobs when they get back into the workplace they won't re-offend. And there are so many people in the prisons right now, we have to do something to make sure they get out of there. Getting revenge shouldn't be our priority, and neither should getting our money's worth. Making sure that crime rates go down is what we should be focusing on and letting them do respectable work is one of the best ways to do that.