Thursday, November 22, 2012

Incarceration Nation (Alternative Radio)

AR (Program #ALEM001) recorded in Santa Fe, NM, Sept. 12, 2012. (Nessom-Marshall)
Prof. Alexander (AR)
From the auction block to the cell block, there is a trajectory from slavery to Jim Crow to the best pretext for systematic racism and segregation ever devised, the "War on Drugs." 

The latter has resulted in mass jailings characterized by deep racial disparities.
The US is likely to send about one-third of young black men to jail. The criminal "justice system" -- which is more criminal than just -- functions as a modern system of racial control. Millions of people, primarily poor people of color, are being swept into the nation’s prisons at a profit to some and a cost to all.

Overcrowding is more profitable for guard's union (AP)
Those millions are then relegated to a permanent subordinate-class status which strips them of basic civil and human rights supposedly won for all during the Civil Rights era. The numbers are numbing. In all, the US holds 2.3 million behind bars and 4.8 million more on probation and parole. 

The more people who are locked up, with just cause or not, the more some profit: police departments who get additional funding for more incarcerations rather than lower crime rates, who keep assets seized even if no one is charged or, if charged and tried, found not guilty. 
Not only do rural areas get paid to have prisons located in their precincts, millions are employed as guards and other functionaries within the "prison-industrial complex." The industrial part of the complex is called the Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison owner and operator. 
Prisons are bad enough when run by the state, miserable warehouses with torture and abuse dispensing collective punishment and wasting lives rather than rehabilitating anyone. They get much worse when a corporation cuts corners at every turn to increase their profit margin at the cost of  human misery and a disservice to society.

No comments: