It would be productive, rewarding, and skill building to have prisoners working while in jail. Jobs devoted to bettering our society that have little profitability margins are ideal.
Some states already see some such as road clean-up; but extending it to recycling plants, recycle buried dumps, possessing plants, forest recovery.
Slave labor is not intended, the idea to instill good working habits, new skills and a productive citizens when released should be the ultimate goal.
Maybe instead of years sentenced, for some it could be hours served.
In fear of escape: tagged GPS, non-violent inmates, incentives for good behavior and so on.
-revised: just grammar only.