It's obvious that Caltrans and the Kern County Roads Department don't have the manpower to maintain or even keep our highways clean, so why not give those cons jobs to help them out? There are more than 3,000 inmates at our prison that can pitch in and help.

Years ago, cons were seen around town in their jumpsuits working on our roads, and for every day they worked outside the prison, they'd get a day knocked off their sentence. For some stupid reason, they don't do that anymore.

Now, they just sit on their behinds doing nothing for their food, shelter and clothing. Prisons are perfect examples of socialism where everything is managed by the state. I was told the recidivism rate at Tehachapi is around 65 percent, but that figure is gimmicked.

Prisoners can do road work. In the 1930s, cons built most of the 24 torturous miles known as Angeles Crest Highway that crosses over the San Gabriel Mountains, from Palmdale to Los Angeles.

All of us motorists want to drive on smooth pavement and clean roads, so what's stopping our bureaucrats from implementing a program to have cons work on our roads? Cons are closer to being allowed to vote, serve on juries and have marijuana. Why not give them the right to work while they're at it?

I guess nobody up there in Sacramento wants to make tough decisions to make these cons work for their sustenance. Roads would improve if cons worked, and hard labor is a good deterrent to actually correct cons from wanting to back to prison.

Dennis Tope, Tehachapi