The Invaluable Work of California’s Inmate Firefighters | The Daily Show


Wildfires. As the climate changes
and the land becomes drier, they’re becoming
an even bigger problem, burning down seven million acres in the United States each year. Which is terrible,
because without forests, Don, Jr. would have nowhere
to sit. Now, although wildfires
have recently been on the rise, these blazes have been
a major issue in America for a very long time,
so much so, that the U.S. Forest Service
even created a hero devoted to stopping the fires,
Smokey Bear. You have so many reasons
to protect your forest. Hey, kids.
I’m Smokey Bear. Remember, only you can prevent
forest fires. ♪ My friends depend on me ♪ ♪ Smokey B, to voice a plea. ♪ Buzz, what’s up, man? You left some leaves
burning out here. So the next time
you’re in the forest, be extra careful. Okay? (chuckles)
If you knew it was me, would you have listened? (screaming) What the (bleep) was that? Forget fires. I’m never
gonna be able to trust a beautiful woman ever again. “Say, Trevor, want to go back
to my place?” “Get the hell out of here,
you bear! I’m not falling
for your tricks.” But, yes, for decades, America has tried everything
to prevent wildfires. And in California, they’ve gone way beyond
talking bears. We’re finally learning
some good news about the wildfires
in California. Most of the fires
still considered active are either well under control
or almost out thanks to the thousands
of firefighters who have been battling
the flames alongside hundreds of inmates. You see all the firefighters
in orange? Those are California inmates. The state
has been using prisoners to fight fires
since World War II. Yeah. That is really,
really interesting. Inmates in California
can volunteer to help put out fires that
have gotten out of control. And I-I think it’s great
that these prisoners are willing to help
in a time of need. And just for extra motivation,
I think they should be allowed to bring their squad from prison to hype them up as they fight
the fire, you know. Yeah, they can just be standing
in the back like, “Yo, get his ass, T-bone. “Extinguish this bitch. “Remove either oxygen,
fuel or heat. That’s what you do
to stop a fire.” Now, you would think
any prisoner volunteering for a dangerous job like this would be in it
for some big reward. But it turns out,
that’s not the case. TV REPORTER:
Inmate firefighters get paid an average of two dollars
a day. When they’re battling
live fires, they earn an additional
one dollar per hour. Though they only earn
about a dollar per hour to risk their lives, every day of work
as an inmate firefighter counts as two days
toward their sentence. Wait, hold up. Inmates get two days
off their sentence for every day
they fight the fire? That’s not much of a reduction. Like, if I was an inmate,
I’d just want to keep the fire going. Yeah. (laughter) I’ll just be out there like,
“Oh, no. “I accidentally turned my hose to the ‘spread fire’ setting
again. Oh, darn.” (laughter) And, also, I, like… I don’t care
if they’re prisoners. Getting a few dollars a day
to fight a wildfire is bullshit. Now, while the prisoners
are getting basically nothing for doing a dangerous job,
the state of California saves an estimated
$100 million a year by using inmates
to fight the fires. And what’s extra messed up is that despite fighting fires
year after year while in prison, many of these inmates
aren’t allowed to use any
of that firefighting experience once they’ve served their time. NEWSWOMAN:
Despite their experience, an inmate firefighter
may find it tough to land a full-time job after they complete
their sentence. (reading): When they leave that service,
they are told they will never, ever be allowed to be a firefighter. Okay, you got to admit,
that’s just shitty. You fight fires in prison,
but then when you’re released, you’re not allowed
to do it professionally? So, basically, if you’re
an ex-con walking around and you see a fire, what? You have to commit a crime
before they’ll let you help? Just like, “Oh, no,
that orphanage is on fire. Quick, help me rob this bank!” So the question is
should prison firefighters be allowed to enter the noble
profession of firefighting after they’ve served their time? Well, to give us
some expert perspective, we’re joined by the most noble
firefighter of all. Smokey the Bear, everybody. (cheering and applause) Smokey… where do you stand on the issue of ex-cons working
as firefighters? First of all, Trevor, thanks for inviting a bear
onto your show. #DiversityMatters. And secondly, I believe ex-cons
could make great firefighters. And I’m a living example. Wait, are-are you saying
that you’re an ex-convict? That’s right. Shout-out to my boys
in San Quentin. Stay hard, my brothers. Wait, wait,
what were you in jail for? In the ’90s,
I ran a Ponzi scheme that preyed on the elderly. But I didn’t know right
from wrong. I was doing a lot of blow. Damn, that is hard-core.
I-I thought it would be for something like
stealing honey or something. Wow, Trevor.
Just ’cause I’m a bear, you assume I steal honey? Do I look like Winnie the Pooh? That’s racist. Oh, no, no, I… No, I didn’t… I didn’t mean, um,
to offend you. -I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
-Okay, I forgive you. See, that’s what
this country’s all about: giving people second chances. That’s why anyone who wants to
fight fires should be able to. Except for people who won’t
put out their campfires. Those people should have their
dicks ripped off by a bear. But not me. I’m still on parole! Wow, that’s, uh, pretty extreme. Not as extreme
as discriminating against people who’ve paid their debt
to society. Ex-convicts should be able
to train as firefighters. And that’s why
I’m changing my slogan to “Remember,
only you and cell block ‘D’ can prevent forest fires.” Well, thank you so much
for joining us. Smokey the Bear, everyone.

100 Replies to “The Invaluable Work of California’s Inmate Firefighters | The Daily Show”

  1. I think they dont wamt criminals…non violent or not bc people have evacuated their homes many times and have to have 100% trust in our firefighters to not rummage throughout their homes etc

  2. Cute thought but people trust firemen to go into their houses when no one is home or to lock it up when they transport your unconscious body. Given the option… Would you rather a felon do that or someone with better life choices?

  3. Notice how how the MSM only covered the wild fires for a few days – and then went straight back to covering Drumpf and Ukraine 24/7! They are in it for the profit and ratings, nothing more!

  4. Slavery…they still think they own US and are their PROPERTY!!! MARYLAND DOCTRINE OF EXCLUSION 1836 BREIFLY STATING." NON COMPENSATED, NON COMPETITIVE, WORKFORCE FOR WHTYE SOCIETY" THIS IS THE CRUX, IMPLICITY AND EXPLICIT OF THIS PUBLIC DECREE👹👹

  5. I’ll bet you any money there’s more to this story then your shitty one liners. Let’s get some interviews of the guys that have to work along side these cons.

    Sorry don’t feel like you deserve a fucking medal because you volunteered to take time off your sentence. Sad that this gets more attention than the firefighters who are devoting there lives rn to stopping these fires. I want to hear from them

  6. Its called the MARYLAND DOCTRINE OF EXCLUSION OF 1836 THAT WAS MADE PUBLIC NATIONWIDE AND GLOBALLY BRIEFLY STATING " BLACKS ARE TO BE EXCLUDED AND ONLY A WORKFORCE FOR THE BETTERMENT OF WHYTE SOCIETY..BLACKS ARE NOT ONLY EXCLUDED BUT ALSO NON COMPENSATED, NON COMPETITIVE AND SUBJUGATED IN THIS WHTYE SOCIETY.." THIS LAW AND PUBKIC DECREE IS THAT WAS DECLARED 381 YEARS AGO IS STILL EFFECTIVR TODAY AS A STATANIC GRIP ON BLACKS TODAY..THIS ALSO INCLUDES THE CONGRESSIONAL HOUSE GAG ORDER OF 1638..BRIEFLY STATING "NOTHING FOR BLACKS INCLUDING REPARATIONS OR ANY OTHER FAVORABLE TANGIBLES HEREBY TABLED AND DEEMED NULLIFIED AND VOID." THEREFORE IN THEIR WHTYE PSYCHOTIC MINDSET BLACKS ARE STILL CONSIDERED SLAVES AND PROPERTY AND THEREBY EVERY LAW, CODES/RITUALS, GAG RULES/ORDERS ARE PASSED AND/OR SIGNED BY EACH INCOMING PRESIDENT TO CONTINUE TO SATANIC FORCE 👹👹👹☠☠☠☠☠…COMPLIMENTS FROM THE CREATOR OF ITS INCOMPETENCE IN SANCTIONING THESE FALLEN ANGELS TO DESCEND THE EARTH AS THE ORIGINATOR OF CAUSE/EFFECT OF SUCH RECKLESS AND INCOMPETENT DISGRACEFUL ACTIONS😱😱😱😱

  7. this is because slavery is still legal in the US…. as long as it is a prisoner.
    this is a perversion of ideals like liberty.
    As a country, we must FULLY abolish slavery. not this half measure bullshit

    Couple the provision in the 13th amendment which allows for slavery of prisoners with the privatized prison industry and you have a perfect recipe to continue to incentivize a continued slave trade.

  8. So we should give high paying firefighting jobs to excons, over people who have spent their entire life not breaking the law and actually have degrees in firefighting and volunteer their time for free for years? Yeah sounds super fair.

  9. I agree with ex cons being able to use their skills after they leave prison, but to start, they should have maybe a 1 day fire: 4 days served ratio and be paid at least $5/hour. Ultimately though I believe firefighting is more of a technological fight than a human one. Maybe a mist sweeper or maybe heat seeking drones that catch wildfires early. Maybe heat seeking towers with very good cameras.

  10. It seems so bleedingly obvious that a inmate getting out should be able to secure their future and a stable job with hard-earned experience out on the fields fighting fires.

    It's difficult enough for people who didn't get much work experience before they were incarcerated to gain good working skills, and to be barred from one of the more solid (And dangerous) professions they JUST dived into, serving their country and civilians, is disgustingly hypocritical.

    They should be aloud to form their own firefighting stations if the main ones are so paranoid about hiring them, let them band together and form their own firefighter houses!

    For goodness's sake, let them work as trainers for firefighters at least, let them refine their training with more safe , stable training facilities, then they can help train other firefighters, SOMETHING to let them rehabilitate with such invaluable experience!

  11. Californians: "Those other states using prisoners for labor are making them into slaves! It's slave labor!"
    Camera looks behind them to inmate firefighters
    Californians: "No, no, look at me, don't look back there. Nothing to see back there."

  12. Per the 13th amendment. Abolishment of slavery, EXCEPT punishment of a crime. Then comes the rise of mass incarceration. I've said this for years. Notice how people just say the first half . You work for nickels an hour to keep it from being actual slavery, but it actually is.

  13. Lets create a automated solution when a fire starts. I am talking drones dropping balls of water or something similar. Drones to monitor with IR sensors as well. Lets save the world from fires.

  14. Give me a break you bleeding heart fool. These people are given the opportunity to do something other than rot in their cell and they can reduce their sentence while doing it. I find it somewhat typical though…this is the type of selective outrage that comes from those with your views. Oh and lets not forget about your outrage regarding ex-cons not being given a chance to work with REAL heroes and save lives after they do their time. Try finding something that's an actual crisis. Good grief.

  15. Wow. It's almost like the state is incentivized to keep recidivism rates high so that they can use Americans for cheap slave labor.

  16. That’s nice! Didn’t the California governor take fire fighting and land management funding to support IDs, licenses, and free medical for illegals? Gotta take care of future voters, right. Let them BURN!

  17. This POS south African anti-American knows the name of the fake whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella who has been a flunky for the Obamas and the Biden‘s for a decade now has secretly played roles in the Cavanagh trial the Russian probe and now this debacle I bet he even knows what roles Eric played in the Epstein pedophile ring

  18. A firefighter is a position of trust. Can the men be trusted? If they can be trusted and are honorable men, I would agree with all of you, but if it's just because they did the work they can apply to a position of trust, I don't subscribe to that.

  19. The SMART meters are being used to burn down peoples homes to the ground.
    SMART stands for Secret Militarized Armaments in Residential Technology.
    The toxic bunker fuel and poison chem trails that our government is spraying us like bugs with are also used to increase the temperatures of the man made fires and to block the rain from falling in California
    Watch aplanetruth 4u, neverlosetruth 2 kafka, Mike Morales Above Ground World News and a other peoples you tube channels that are telling the truth about the man made fires and floods being used to destroy America.
    RFB had a good video on yesterday from an Air Force veteran Kristen Meghan that everyone should watch and learn from.
    Logic Before Authority, The Fullerton Informer and many other channels are well worth watching if you want to know the truth of what is happening in America and the rest of the world.

  20. How about actually providing some rehabilitation for inmates. So we can have lives after we pay our debt to society. But no, the system is set up so you will become a recidivist. They would be able to teach you how to stay out but there is zero actual rehabilitation thathappens. You go to prison and learn how to be violent as fuck, that's it. Not to mention prison "work" is literally slave labor. Your forced by gun point to work if your in prison. I've been there, it isnt fun. No one is doing the jobs the choose or doing it for less than 25cents an hour or nothing at all.

  21. Stand up people because next they will use inmates in Amazon warehouses, and policeman will have the authority to pull you over for looking at them funny.

  22. Firefighting inmates are encouraged to keep working off their sentence by putting their lives in danger. Wtf. Private prisons make money off of them. WHAT THE EFF?! Andrew Yang wants to get rid of private prisons and redo the incentives. We dont want lifetime criminals. We want rehabilitated humans! #Yang2020 https://www.yang2020.com/policies/reduce-mass-incarceration/

  23. You ppl are so full of shit, the moment you become a victim you want the offender to burn on a stake… you privileged hipocritical fucks.

  24. If they allowed it then nearly all of the firefighters eventually would come from that path. They want to abuse prisoners, not create legacies.

  25. These people are being exposed to trauma and harsh conditions for 1-2 dollars? Then after they won’t even be able to become a firefighter after?? The morals in this country are absolutely flipped!

  26. Look. I get it, "They are a criminal, so if I hire them, they'll(insert crime here) again". You know, Prisons are SUPPOSED to be about not only punishing, but reforming. I would rather them be able to use their abilities to work and rebuild their lives. I don't know about you, but I'd like the idea of giving them the tools to turn things around, than throw them out to the dogs with a mark and end up re-offending, because what else can be done.

  27. All of you talking about this being good option for inmates to get jobs after. Well in fact they do. The Juvenile system has a program that will allow them to become a firefighters, they are housed at the Pine Grove facility in CA. The youth that murdered my daughter and shot another person 2 days before that will have the opportunity to be in this program. Yes a murderer who has no remorse and continues to be involved with his gang inside the juvenile detention facility released back into society mascaraing as local hero firefighter. Give some thought to the fact that my daughter gets no second chance nor do I, her sisters, her friends all that loved her we get no second chance…guess the murderer is all that matters to you people.

  28. ooo the poor criminal … i killed a family of 3 but the govern is the bad …. nice . You can do what you wan't but you pay the price …

  29. Modern Day slavery. I'm a slave I just know it. Prisons filled with mostly Blacks & Hispanics interesting sounds like slavery to me whether your in prison or out of it still slavery from red lining to school to prison pipeline you oppress slaves so they never rise but make them think they are included. Deception only the DEVIL does that & when I kill you you have to forgive your slave master was beaten into so called blacks & Hispanics forced to do what they do as a slave now we stuck its called destruction. Integration was one of the worse things to ever happen to us at least we stuck together when all we had was each other now we so destroyed a black man can't even recognize his own brother that he's killing. & with the deception this country still says slavery is over lies. This country is going to get what's coming to it.

  30. Sadly, reason is lacking in that department. Most societies punish people for life. We're all about punishment, not rehabilitation. Some places actually put in the effort, but we are not one, for many reasons. One, your actions define you (usually), just as your race and sex and religion define you, and nothing you say or do will change that identity for most people; we're programmed to be tribal that way. Two, there's a lot of money to be made by not giving people a legitimate second chance (helping convicts learn to be productive and good members of society, and then giving them the chance to be once they do their time), and a lot of money to be saved by underpaying them, but the chance that your organization's image will suffer because of the past of the employees. And this isn't even considering the crappy and overloaded system we have that makes it hard for the poor to get good or even adequate representation, or the plethora of other issue inherent to that system. We just don't believe in second chances like we claim to.

  31. How to avoid wildfires in California? Live in a world where a man from Missouri isn't encouraged by Trump's viciousness to go to California and start a fire. (Freddie Owen Graham, the Reservoir Fire, 20Sep2019. )

  32. Yes they get paid little but it costs a lot to pay for them in prison, an avg of 30-40 k plus they get a sentence reduced.

    At the same time they should be able to become fire fighters after if they wish to do so. Clearly they were good for job when in prison and should qualify after, that’s just messed up. They paid their debt!

  33. So are you want8ng to commute sentences? NO!!! Crimes were still committed and for the criers saying. "These pooor criminals reoffend because EMPLOYERS and THE NEIGHBORS in the NEIGHBORHOODS in which you would want these criminals to live in have the right to demand knowledge of an individuals passed….its sooooo wrong!" Screw you criers, advocates, whiners and pissbags.YOU invite convicts into your home. YOU reform them. Stop expecting so much out of Society. For society itself is made up of People…Good or Bad.

  34. Smokey bear is an ecoterrorist. Fires like this are caused by a lack of nutrients and water due to smaller plants like shrubs that grew and weeds. This makes it so it is more common to see fires like these and more fuel is available to the fire, causing it to no longer and stronger.

  35. I read one time that 1 in 3 young black men will spend some time in jail. Then we wonder why more aren't legally employed. 😕

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