In a conversation about his new book America: The Farewell Tour, Chris Hedges tells journalist, Hugh Hamilton, about the political goals of the Christian Right and the prison-industrial complex. Second part of two-part interview.
Prisoners organized through prison walls to strike, demanding an end to work with no pay, voting rights and for rehabilitation, training, and Education Programs. Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, President of the Ordinary People Society talks about the prison strike.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Signed by the United States and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948, the document was a great and shining step forward in the articulation of how human beings might organize their social and political systems in accord with democratic and civilized ideals.
Few Americans know about our nation’s system of immigrant detention centers. Each year, the U.S. government locks up roughly 440,000 immigrants in over 200 immigrant prisons. Companies like the CCA and Geo Group, got started in the 1980s, and have since made over $12 billion in profits, largely from immigrant detention.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses restoring America’s justice system with legal scholar Edgar Cahn. Cahn is a law professor, former counsel and speechwriter to Robert F. Kennedy, and co-founder of the Antioch School of Law which placed emphasis on serving the poor and trained prospective lawyers in social activism. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil examines the collapse of our legal system.
Prison inmates around the country launched the first nationally coordinated work stoppage on Sept. 9. In their own words, these heroic inmates have gone on strike “not only [to] demand the end to prison slavery, [but to] end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.” (iwoc.noblogs.org, April 1)
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses mass incarceration with prison reform advocates Walter Fortson and Boris Franklin. From the school-to-prison pipeline, to solitary confinement, to preventing recidivism, they reflect on their own experiences to address how to fix one of the major civil rights issues of today. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the business of locking people up.
For-profit prisons have created a “neo-slavery” in the US, according to award-winning journalist Chris Hedges. Inmates work eight hours per day for major corporations such as Chevron, Motorola, Nordstrom’s and Target, yet only have the possibility of making up [to] $1.25 an hour. In addition, companies that provide services like phone calls overcharge prisoners on even the most basic services, making hundreds of millions in profits annually. RT’s Ben Swann speaks to Hedges, who explains how this shadowy system came into existence.
The similarities between mass incarceration and mass murder have been haunting me for a while, and I now find myself inspired by Maya Schenwar’s excellent new book Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better. This is one of three books everyone should read right away. The others are The New Jim Crow and Burning Down the House, the former with a focus on racism in incarceration, the latter with a focus on the incarceration of youth. Schenwar’s is an overview of incarceration in all its absurd and unfathomable evil — as well as being a spotlight leading away from this brutal institution. Continue reading →
Ever visit a major prison? The vast majority of Americans have not, despite our country having by far a higher incarceration rate per capita than China or Iran. Out of sight is out of mind.
Imagine the benefits of the average taxpayer touring a prison. The lucrative prison-industrial complex would definitely not like public exposure of their daily operations. Prison CEOs have no problem with a full house of non-violent inmates caught with possession of some street drugs (not alcohol or tobacco). Our horrendous confinement system cannot change when it clings to perverse practices such as cruel, costly, arbitrary, mentally destructive solitary confinement (again, the highest in the world, see: Solitary Watch). Corporate profits drive the prison system’s insanity.
Here in the U.S., our “land of the free,” there are approximately 130,000 inmates now housed in privately owned prisons. It‘s a foul stench within a justice system that leads the world in number of people incarcerated within a state, federal or private institution. The latest tally of 2 million equals 25 percent of the globe’s incarcerated population.