Kura watched as the rest of the Council agreed to table the discussion of Sephira's proposal until she had a more complete proposal, even the spiteful Merchant. After that it was time for a break, however, and Kura went out to mindle with the crowd, chatting quietly with council members and common folk alike, only pausing to eat a bit. When they all gathered back in the main hall, Kura noticed that Elliot hadn't rejoined them, but she didn't speak until Albarecht Brandel gave her the floor. However, before she stood up, she noticed the look Sherapo was wearing. Sherapo had not been pleased with Elliot's voting, and she didn't trust the head of the Logging Consortium as far as she could throw the council building. She glanced at Elliot's seat again, then stood up.
"May I beg the Council's patience for just one moment." she said, before looking down at the empty space beside her. "Phelan." she called, causing the large black wolf to materialize next to her. "Do us all a favor and see if you can find Elliot, would you?" she asked. The large wolf walked over to Elliot's chair, sniffed it a few times, then left the hall at a trot. Turning back to the council, Kura smiled. "Apologies for the brief delay. Now, to business." she said, before she took a deep breath.
"The prison system in Scalvoris is, while capable of keeping prisoners contained, flawed. To put it bluntly, keeping prisoners is expensive, and nothing is gained in return. Often, when prisoners are released, they just resume their criminal ways, in many cases because they either can't find employment, or have no marketable skills. All we gain for our expense is a delay." she said, before smiling slightly. "Fortunately, I think we can eliminate two problems with one solution. My proposal is simple. We put the prisoners to work, specifically at labor jobs." she said, before she looked up briefly at the audience to gauge their reactions.
"In a bit more detail, there are some jobs we could put the prisoners too that, while not making the Scalvoris government any money, could alleviate some of our costs. Road repair, mining, logging, quarrying, even civil repair if the damage is extensive enough." she said, not looking at Sherapo at the mention of logging. Truth be told, she wanted to break up the monopoly of the Logging Consortium, but she didn't want to make it obvious, just in the off chance that Sherapo was an idiot.
"In addition, we could also put them to work in farming. Now, before anyone asks how we're going to convince a farmer to let us put prisoners on his fields, we're not. I would suggest that these prison farms would be built from the ground up by prisoners, with guards checking to be sure they aren't building escape routes of course. This would at least reduce the costs incurred by feeding prisoners, and if enough is grown, may allow the Scalvoris government to have a reserve stockpile of food, in the event of a famine." she said, her tone calm, though the notion of having a reserve stockpile of food was one she really wanted to see happen.
"Now, as to the care of the prisoners while they are at work, we already have guards, and we're likely to get more from the freed slaves. Whether through the Elements, Blackwood's police proposal when it is finished, or the guards of Slags Deep, if the Warden wishes to lend his aid to this endeavor, I propose that we leave the care and guarding of the prisoners to those who are already equipped and trained for such a task." she said, before pausing a moment. "And I would most certainly recommend allowing any private enterprise that isn't primarily dedicated to the care of prisoners to be allowed involvement with any of the prison work crews. They are not trained to deal with prisoners, and I would consider their involvement to be a security risk, honestly." she said, looking at the rest of the council as she spoke. This was, again, aimed at Sherapo, but also at anyone else who might try to profit off of this endeavor, when Kura would rather anything gained by this program be kept in government hands.
"Now, as to what happens when prisoners are released, well, through this program they will now have markatable skills. I would also suggest that the government, possibly through the Isonomia faction if they are willing, aid in finding them employment, so that they will not fall immediately back into criminal ways. As for those that will fall back into criminal endeavors by choice, well, we can keep a cell reserved for them." she said, smiling slightly. "However, the core of the proposal is this. People are imprisoned because they have been a detriment to the society of Scalvoris. Through this program, they will pay the debt they owe for this deficit, as opposed to just sitting in a cage and costing the government, and by extension our taxpayers, money." she said, before sitting down to let the discussion begin.