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Know the West

The fruits of their labor

A guard, a vineyard owner and prisoners talk about a new farm worker program


Migrant farm workers have worked the fields and orchards of the West for decades. But the economic slowdown in the U.S., along with a crackdown on the border and stiffer penalties for hiring undocumented workers, has resulted in fewer immigrant laborers. Now prisons are stepping in to offer the services of inmates. In Delta County, Colorado, a pilot program sent prisoners to work on three farms in the summer of 2008. This multimedia presentation profiles a guard, a farmer and several inmates participating in the prison’s work program.

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