By Jueseppi B.
If you’re a caucasian conservative TeaTardedRepubliCANT GOPretender or a member of the Reich Wing, don’r even waste your time reading this because you just are not genetically engineered to understand this subject. Click this article closed.
OK they are gone, now let’s get down to business.
“Prison–industrial complex” (PIC) is a term used to attribute the rapid expansion of the US inmate population to the political influence of private prison companies and businesses that supply goods and services to government prison agencies. The term is analogous to the military–industrial complex that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of in his famous 1961 farewell address. Such groups include corporations that contract prison labor, construction companies, surveillance technology vendors, lawyers, and lobby groups that represent them. Activists have described the prison industrial complex as perpetuating a belief that imprisonment is a quick fix to underlying social problems such as homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy.
The promotion of prison building as a job creator and the use of inmate labor are also cited as elements of the prison industrial complex. The term often implies a network of actors who are motivated by making profit rather than solely by punishing or rehabilitating criminals or reducing crime rates. Proponents of this view believe that the desire for monetary gain has led to the growth of the prison industry and the number of incarcerated individuals. These views are often shared by people who fear or condemn excessive use of power by government, particularly when related to law enforcement and military affairs.
Each of the above listed businesses have a special interest in making sure they maintain a business that is lucrative, profitable and financially stable. That said, do you think they want to see a decrease in prison populations across America? NO.
“The Prison Industrial Complex” is the title of a recorded 1997 speech by social activist Angela Davis, later released as an audio CD and also served as the basis for her book of the same name. Davis also co-founded the prison abolition group, Critical Resistance, which held its first conference in 1998. She wrote an article entitled “Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex,” published in the Fall 1998 issue of ColorLines. “Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages,” Davis says. “Taking into account the structural similarities of business-government linkages in the realms of military production and public punishment, the expanding penal system can now be characterized as a ‘prison industrial complex.’ “
A few months later, Eric Schlosser wrote an article published in Atlantic Monthly in December 1998 stating that “The ‘prison-industrial complex’ (PIC) is not only a set of interest groups and institutions; it is also a state of mind. The lure of big money is corrupting the nation’s criminal-justice system, replacing notions of safety and public service with a drive for higher profits. The eagerness of elected officials to pass tough-on-crime legislation — combined with their unwillingness to disclose the external and social costs of these laws — has encouraged all sorts of financial improprieties.”.
Another writer of the era who covered the expanding prison population and attacked “the prison-industrial complex” was Christian Parenti, who later disavowed the term before the publication of his book, Lockdown America (2000). “How, then, should the left critique the prison buildup?” asked The Nation in 1999. “Not, Parenti stresses, by making slippery usage of concepts like the ‘prison–industrial complex.’ Simply put, the scale of spending on prisons, though growing rapidly, will never match the military budget; nor will prisons produce anywhere near the same ‘technological and industrial spin-off.’“
Public speaker, musician and Green Party activist Jello Biafra talks about the Prison Industrial Complex on several of his spoken word CDs. He charges that it is a form of institutional racism and that most often the black community is the intended target of these prison developments. He compares the modern incarnation of the prison system to “The gulag of the red, white, and blue” and notes the lack of a prisoner’s right to free speech in California where former governor Pete Wilson barred prisoners from talking to the press.
From the mouth of Ms. Angela Davis:
“Imprisonment has become the response of first resort to far too many of the social problems that burden people who are ensconced in poverty. These problems often are veiled by being conveniently grouped together under the category “crime” and by the automatic attribution of criminal behavior to people of color. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages.
Prisons thus perform a feat of magic. Or rather the people who continually vote in new prison bonds and tacitly assent to a proliferating network of prisons and jails have been tricked into believing in the magic of imprisonment. But prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings. And the practice of disappearing vast numbers of people from poor, immigrant, and racially marginalized communities has literally become big business.”
More From Ms. Davis:
“Almost 3 million people are currently locked up in the immense network of U.S. prisons and jails. More than 70 percent of the imprisoned population are people of color. It is rarely acknowledged that the fastest growing group of prisoners are black women and that Native American
prisoners are the largest group per capita. Approximately five million people — including those on probation and parole — are directly under the surveillance of the criminal justice system.
Three decades ago, the imprisoned population was approximately one-eighth its current size. While women still constitute a relatively small percentage of people behind bars, today the number of incarcerated women in California alone is almost twice what the nationwide women’s
prison population was in 1970. According to Elliott Currie, “[t]he prison has become a looming presence in our society to an extent unparalleled in our history — or that of any other industrial democracy. Short of major wars, mass incarceration has been the most thoroughly implemented
government social program of our time.”
To deliver up bodies destined for profitable punishment, the political economy of prisons relies on racialized assumptions of criminality — such as images of black welfare mothers reproducing criminal children — and on racist practices in arrest, conviction, and sentencing patterns.
Colored bodies constitute the main human raw material in this vast experiment to disappear the major social problems of our time. Once the aura of magic is stripped away from the imprisonment solution, what is revealed is racism, class bias, and the parasitic seduction of capitalist
profit. The prison industrial system materially and morally impoverishes its inhabitants and devours the social wealth needed to address the very problems that have led to spiraling numbers of prisoners.”
Thank you Ms. Angela Davis.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2010 — about .7% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or on parole. In total, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2009 — about 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population.
On January 1, 2008 more than 1 in 100 adults in the United States were in prison or jail.
In 2008 approximately one in every 31 adults (7.3 million) in the United States was behind bars, or being monitored (probation and parole). In 2008 the breakdown for adults under correctional control was as follows: one out of 18 men, one in 89 women, one in 11 African-Americans (9.2 percent), one in 27 Latinos (3.7 percent), and one in 45 whites (2.2 percent). Crime rates have declined by about 25 percent from 1988-2008. 70% of prisoners in the United States are non-whites. In recent decades the U.S. has experienced a surge in its prison population, quadrupling since 1980, partially as a result of mandatory sentencing that came about during the “war on drugs.” Violent crime and property crime have declined since the early 1990s.
In addition, there were 86,927 held in juvenile facilities as of the 2007 Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP), conducted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
As of 2009, the three states with the lowest ratios of imprisoned people per 100,000 population are Maine (150 per 100,000), Minnesota (189 per 100,000), and New Hampshire (206 per 100,000). The three states with the highest ratio are Louisiana (881 per 100,000), Mississippi (702 per 100,000) and Oklahoma (657 per 100,000).
In 2009, 92.9% of prisoners (not jail inmates) were male.
On June 30, 2006, an estimated 4.8% of black non-Hispanic men were in prison or jail, compared to 1.9% of Hispanic men of any race and 0.7% of white non-Hispanic men. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
|Hispanic of any race||1,822||142||-|
According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) non-Hispanic blacks accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population in 2009. According to the 2010 census of the US Census Bureau blacks (including Hispanic blacks) comprised 12.6% of the US population.
Hispanics (of all races) were 20.6% of the total jail and prison population in 2009. Hispanics comprised 16.3% of the US population according to the 2010 US census.
In 2009 black non-Hispanic males were incarcerated at the rate of 4,749 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents of the same race and gender. White males were incarcerated at the rate of 708 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents. Hispanic males were incarcerated at the rate of 1,822 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents. For female rates see the table above.
However, black majority cities have similar crime statistics for blacks as do cities where majority of population is white. For example, white majority San Diego has a slightly lower crime rate for blacks than does Atlanta, a city which has black majority in population and city government.
Census data for 2000, which included a count of the number and race of all individuals incarcerated in the United States, showed for each state that the proportion of blacks in prison populations exceeded the proportion of whites among state residents in every state. In twenty states, the percent of blacks incarcerated was at least five times greater than their share of resident population.
Now there will be many silly people who will never agree with these facts stated herein. I already understand this. Questioning facts and surveys and research is about as intelligent as hitting your head against a brick wall. In this case a brick wall of facts and truth. What all this tells me is one simple thing….and that one simple thing is that people of color are filling up this prison industrial complex faster than Mitt Romney changes his mind. Quicker than Kim Kardashian gets a divorce.
The Prison Industrial Complex is a multi billion dollar business, built on the backs of people of color. Sounds an awful lot just like slavery.
“Disagree Intelligently, Use Facts, Truth & Common Sense.”
- Profit Driven Prison Industrial Complex: The Economics of Incarceration in the USA (haroonhaider.com)
- We have the military industrial complex and we have the prison industrial complex (iflizwerequeen.com)
- The Economics of Incarceration By Nile Bowie (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
Filed under: Business, Crime, News, Opinion, Politics, Race Tagged: | Angela Davis, Christian Parenti, Critical Resistance, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eric Schlosser, Prison–industrial complex, United States