Great. Our prisons are now renting their inmates out as fruitpickers, with the prisoners being paid as little as 20c/hour. Now, the ultimate employer isn't paying that - they're paying Corrections the minimum wage - and all the prisoners are "volunteers", but given the implicit coercion involved in the prison system, this amounts to little more than slave labour.
I first looked into this a couple of years ago, when prisoners were manufacturing pre-fabricated components for the construction industry. There at least the work scheme was providing training so that prisoners could better find work when they were eventually released. But it still paid well below the minimum wage, with no employment contract, no effective means of dispute resolution, and no enforceable workplace safety standards. In this case, there's not even any training benefit: prisoners are being used to plug a local labour shortage and provide cheap labour to orchardists. Given that this is a labour shortage, they are likely not displacing other workers - but they are depressing wages. Is that really what our prisons are for?
Prisons should provide employment, as both training and giving prisoners something to do other than stare at the walls of their cell all day. But such work should be voluntary, subject to normal employment standards, and any benefits should flow directly to prisoners, with any deductions being made transparently. The current system simply encourages prisons to rent out their inmates as forced labour to supplement their budgets - something we should not be tolerating in a civilised society.