California Paying Inmates $1 An Hour To Fight Fires

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With all of the fires that are, and were, devastating California these past couple weeks, it should be pointed out that thousands of the firefighters on the front lines are inmates in California prisons.  Many clients facing prison time often request that the trial court judge allow them to participate in fire camp.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) run a large volunteer fire program known as conservation “fire” camp.  Inmates are paid $2 a day and $1 a day when fighting an active fire.  They also, most importantly, earn time off of their sentences by participating in this program.  Each volunteer is evaluated individually to see if they are willing team members who demonstrate nonviolent behavior and are of “minimal custody” status.  There are additional steps that the jails take to evaluate inmate requests.

These inmates live in “conservation camps”, and, when there are no active fires, help to clear brush, storm drains/channels and maintain hiking and fire trails.  Today, CDCR, Cal Fire and the LA County Fire Department operate 43 adult conservation camps in 27 counties with over 3,400 inmates participating.  Many officials of the program cite the cost-savings to the state and the fact that inmates learn co-working skills, firefighting skills and rehabilitation.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in California and is interested in fire camp, contact attorney Ross Erlich today for a free case evaluation.  Attorney Ross Erlich handles all felony and misdemeanor crimes in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.