There are over two million inmates in American prisons, or one in 743 people. Communist China, which has five times the population of the United States, has 500,000 less inmates. The United States has only 5% of the world’s population, but has 25% of the world’s prison population.
The American prison system represents the new “Plantation” system. It is racist and illegal but American politicians reap major financial benefit from its existence. the owners of this heinous system control much of the mainstream media, so you will never hear of it on CNN.
In 1972, the U.S. had less than 300,000 inmates. By 1990, the incarceration rate had skyrocketed to one million and by today, the rate has more than doubled again. Again, I ask why? Because there is very big monied interests behind the growth industry of privatized prisons.
According to Charles Campbell, author of The Intolerable Hulks (2001), the privatization of the prisons movement has its origins in the Revolutionary War period. England began to put undesirables and prisoners in prison ships. The U.S. fully embraced the use of private prisons during the Reconstruction Period (1865-1876) in the south, following the Civil War. Plantation owners and business owners needed “free” replacements to compensate for the loss of their previous slave laborers. In 1868, convict leases were awarded to private business interests in order to bolster their labor workforce and the practice continued until the early 20th century.
Today, this practice has been taken over by private corporate interests who are increasingly taking over our prison system and this unholy practice is no less exploitative than the slave labor abuses of the past and as in all forms of slavery, it is being fueled by profit.
If only the stock market was so reliable as a revenue generator. America leads the world in incarcerated people. Even Communist China, with over 1.2 billion people has fewer prisoner that the United States.
According to the California Prison Focus “The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”
The Impetus Behind the Prison Industrial Complex
According to public analysis from the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the largest holder in Corrections Corporation of America (please note that the CCA changed its name to CoreCivic in 2016 although most of the research literature still uses the name of CCA) is Vanguard Group Incorporated. Vanguard is a major player in controlling several media giants. Vanguard is the third largest holder in Viacom and AOL Time Warner. Vanguard is also the third largest holder in the GEO Group. The GEO group, second only in size to the CCA with regard to privatized prisons as it controls over 100 correctional facilities in the US, UK, Australia and South Africa. In addition to CoreCivic’s (CC) unwarranted control over the media, the number-one holder of both Viacom and Time Warner is a company called Blackrock. Blackrock is the second largest holder in CC, and the sixth largest holder in the GEO Group in this never-ending incestuous relationship.
The conclusion is inescapable. The people who control privatized prisons in the United States are also heavily vested in the media. This is why you don’t hear about the Prison Industrial Complex in the media and the installation of institutionalized slavery in our privatized prisons goes largely unreported in the media.
Vanguard Windsor II Investment Fund owns CC. However, CC is a minute part of the Vanguard Windsor II Funds. Vanguard Windsor is also invested in corporate giants like JP Morgan, IBM Pfizer and Conoco. This accounts for the Wall Street backing of privatized prisons and the subsequent lobbying for longer and stricter prison sentences which fuels this growth industry.
This makes the privatized prison industry a Wall Street backed growth opportunity.
Increasingly, the victims of this corrupt prison system are the youth of America, minority youth.
Need A Job? Go to Prison, They’re Hiring
The Prison Industrial Complex is an impressive growth industry which is fueled by its Wall Street investors and leads to greatly overcrowded and inhumane prisons.
According to the Left Business Observer, the highly privatized federal prison industry produces “100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Thus, we see a partial marriage between private prisons and our government’s wars of occupation. Namely, prison slave labor is being used to produce the weapons and supplies of war.
America has found and antidote to the loss of manufacturing through the various free trade agreements (i.e. NAFTA, CAFTA). Unfortunately, prison slave labor is the solution. The Left Business Observer identifies private corporate interests benefiting from prison slave labor which includes the manufacturing of “93% of all paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture.” This is slave labor!
Go to School and End Up In Prison
There are almost 75,000 juveniles in prison and the rates are skyrocketing because of a phenomenon that is now being referred to as the school to prison pipeline in which schools are increasingly refusing to deal with even minor discipline issues and are placing juveniles in police custody.
In 2015, there were 5,574 school-based arrests of juveniles in the Chicago Public School. The juvenile arrests accounted for about one of every five juvenile arrests in the entire city of Chicago for all of 2010. The incarceration rates for Chicago’s juveniles are in line with most other metropolitan areas in the country. There is also a general trend of disproportionate rates of minority contact within the juvenile justice system, Black youth accounted for 74% of school-based arrests, and 22.5% of youth arrested were Latino. The enrollment of Chicago schools in was 45% Black and 41% Latino. These high arrest rates for so many of our minority youth, create potential slave laborers for the Prison Industrial Complex. Once a child is adjudicated in the justice system, society usually witnesses a straight line right to prison. These precious children are having their futures robbed from them before they can even get started. What are they being arrested for? The number one reason is fighting on school grounds.
As a child, I had fights on school grounds, but nobody tried to send me to prison. The number two reason why children end up in the justice system is for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
As a former mental health counselor, I am all too familiar with the devastation brought on by use of drugs. However, marijuana is not one of these drugs. If legalizing marijuana runs against everything you believe in, how about decriminalizing. In other words, we still make the drug illegal but nobody goes to prison for simple possession.
The federal authorities, controlled by the corporations will never allow such a common sense, liberalized approach to drug enforcement. The feds even arrest medical marijuana dispensers and users. Why? Because Wall Street wants prisoners to fill its increasingly privatized and for-profit prison system. This is the major reason why America has 25% of the world’s prison population.
Our minority youth, in the inner cities, are being conditioned by the system that going to prison is part of the life experience. And with extremely high recidivism rates, prison slave labor will never have any shortage of participants.
The Prison Industrial Complex and their lobbyists are responsible for zero tolerance policies, mandatory sentencing and the three strikes life sentencing that is so prominent in many of our states and unless we identify these abuses and stop them, it is only going to get worse.
These events are culminating to establish was has been dubbed as the School to Prison Pipeline
Increasingly, the youth of America are the main participants and as a result slavery has reared its ugly head in the modern era and it is racist and exploits many of our youth for profit.The DNC is just fine with situation exactly the way it is.
Attention to the Corruption of America’s Prisons comes From An Unlikely Place
Like Kanye West, Kim Kardashian has decided to take on a cause that matters. I admit I found it “interesting” that President Trump would meet with Kim Kardashian. However, it speaks to the President’s sincere desire to treat all American s fairly. Further, please note that I quoted statistics that impacted people of color in Chicago. I am making this point to demonstrate the inaccuracy of the racist allegations that follow Trump on a consistent basis.
Kim Kardashian said that she was “very hopeful” after meeting with President Trump on Wednesday to discuss prison sentencing reform and the case of a 65-year-old woman who is serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense.
Kardashian is on to something. Since the advent of private prisons, mandatory sentencing has come into largely due to the efforts of the original CCA lobbyists which removed much judicial discretion and convinced legislators, in exchange for hefty campaign donations as our judicial system imposes mandatory sentencing. This exponentially increases the length and number of prison sentences handed down. And once the youth are in this system, they have a 5% chance of breaking the arrest, re-arrest cycle because America’s recidivism rate is 95%. And since the recidivism rate involves primarily people of color, can anyone argue this is far worse than anything that Roseanne said?
Here is a summary of my take on the “partnership” of Kardashian and the President.
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