Here is one problem, at least, the Jelly Pool Parties don’t have: They didn’t just lose their cheap supply of chain-gang labor. Per The Brooklyn Paper comes news that whatever trash you left behind at last week’s B-52s show at Coney Island was picked up by a prison inmate. Striped jumpsuit and everything. Happens all the time at the Marty Markowitz-engineered free shows at Coney Island and Wingate Field. To wit:
But the sight of inmates in orange-and-white-striped jumpsuits — the typical garb worn when they are outside the confines of a jail — will not soon be forgotten around Coney Island.
Last Friday morning, roughly 15 inmates were back on duty, cleaning up the aftermath of the B-52s concert while six guards kept a close watch.
The city had said that the inmates on the detail posed a minimal risk, as they were hand picked only minutes before getting on the bus to the concert site — so as to avoid any possible escape plans — and strip-searched before getting on the bus to Asser Levy Park or Wingate Field.
The Department of Correction also made sure the inmates weren’t from either Crown Heights or Coney Island, so that the prisoners wouldn’t be seeing old friends while gathering chairs.
I think we can agree that’d be the raddest jailbreak in history. (Too bad Thin Lizzy doesn’t tour anymore, eh?) The program’s grinding to a halt, alas, as someone realized the economics here didn’t exactly make sense. As one Brooklyn Paper commenter notes, “What is the cost of paying Corrections officers to transport and guard prisoners doing this work? It has to be far higher than paying community youth minimum wage to do the same work. Is this guy the dumbest guy on the planet, or are we for electing him?”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 26, 2010