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I am both saddened and outraged by the

Flagstaff City Council’s decision to hire prison labor.

For a variety of reasons -- including our racist history, selective enforcement of laws, and the systematic underfunding public defender’s offices -- our prison population is disproportionately non-white and poor. To then offer these individuals employment at the rate of $20 a week (50 cents an hour) is shameful.

The Flagstaff City Council cannot right the wrongs of history or change unjust laws. But it should not take advantage of the cheap labor provided by this unjust system. The money saved is not offset by the evil of exploiting our fellow human beings. We are better than this.

MARCUS PETER FORD

Flagstaff

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