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.
By Lamont Lilly
Jan. 5, 2012
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.
The United States, according to the New York Times , has 5% of the World’s population and 25% of all people incarcerated on the planet! In reality, in the United States, one in every hundred people are in some kind of incarceration. One may ask why we have so many of our citizens behind bars? There is no simple answer, but all of the answers point to money. Incarceration is big business in the United States.
by Vicky Pelaez
Global Research, March 10, 2008
El Diario-La Prensa, New York
Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.
By Eric Schlosser
04/01/08 “The Atlantic”
Correctional officials see danger in prison overcrowding. Others see opportunity. The nearly two million Americans behind bars—the majority of them nonviolent offenders—mean jobs for depressed regions and windfalls for profiteers