Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Am Currently Not A Fugitive From A Modern Day Texas Chain Gang

I think what we are looking at in the picture is the modern day version of a Texas Chain Gang.

I was driving east on Brentwood Stair Road and saw dozens of guys in green with green bags picking up litter.

Brentwood Stair runs along Interstate 30 on the south side of the freeway.

I stopped and took a quick picture through my windshield. The picture does not even remotely do justice to how odd this scene looked. I only got maybe a quarter of the Litter Gang in the picture.

I know these modern era Texas Chain Gangs are part of the punishment system for serious crimes like failing to pay a speeding ticket or other small time type crimes.

I have seen the Concentration Camp that is just slightly to the northeast of downtown Fort Worth, where these criminals go on the weekend and then get shipped out on buses to do tasks like litter pickup.

What I'm wondering is how much do these type operations cost this cash strapped town? Special uniforms, special bags, a bus to transport the criminals, the running of that Concentration Camp.

I do not recollect ever seeing this type activity when I lived in Washington. Is there a "weekend" prison surrounded by fence and concertina wire somewhere near downtown Seattle, where 100s of convicted criminals go to pay penance on the weekends? I don't ever recollect seeing a modern day Washington Chain Gang picking up litter by the freeway.

But, then, there is way way way less litter in the Evergreen State than you see in this Littering Lone Star State.


the envy of the entire universe said...

I'm thinking those are Super Clean 2011 volunteers cleaning up for the Super Bowl. I saw some today in downtown Fort Worth and I also drove by Oakland Lake Park and saw the drilling rig south of I-30.

Or I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

A quick Google tells me that yes, inmates are used to pick up litter in Washington state (and a number of other states) as well.

An article:

Anonymous said...

Whoever they may be--inmates, volunteers, city staff, or even homeless people working for a little cash---it appears that this new found interest and efforts at making public areas look not so bad is driven by the Jerry Jones show. Nothing like guests coming to make people do extra things to look better.

Of course those in the know about the normal stuff know better when they see this activity, driving off people from shanty town, etc.

We even get a laugh out of the goofy mayor's attempt at standing up for community virtues by fighting to prevent Rick's Cabaret near DFW airport from getting a liquor license, which has unintended consequences specifically making it a byob setup and no limit on how much the "performers" can expose.