I’m gettin’ a little fired up about the Prison-Industrial Complex, continued.
Following up on this story, which broke in late February of this year, two judges have pleaded guilty for receiving $2.6 million dollars in kickbacks from a private prison company for sending nearly 5,000 juveniles to privately run detention centers for benign offenses.
The case is outrageous: public and private interests collude to condemn youth to social death and the myriad of life changing consequences of incarceration in order to reap financial profit from ordinary citizens whose taxes fund detention centers contracted out to private corporations by the state.
The fundamental immorality of this example lends itself to greater reflection on the motivation behind a criminal justice system in which punishment is viewed as a solution to criminal behavior. In the United States, the most incarcerating country in the world, legislators rely on punishment as a tool for addressing crime despite the fact that police and prisons have virtually no effect on criminal behavior. What rationale could possible motivate power-holders in our society to continue their crusade of incarceration despite decades of data that indicate harsh punishment does not reform criminals?
The answer once again comes down to the founding principle of our society: individual economic gain is the only means to achieve personal security. Our system functions on an extrapolation of this idea to a society-wide scale in which entire populations are marginalized in order to cushion and further ensure the increased economic security of the privileged class. Power-holders’ addition to wealth is becoming increasingly out of control, resulting in extraordinarily brutal and obvious tactics of oppression and exploitation, such as the incarceration of innocent youth for profit.
Imprisonment is one of many tools used to leverage social and economic domination on lower-class citizens in the United States. Rather than address the systemic causes of crime- crippling poverty, inequality, marginalization and despair- power-holders leverage the conditions of oppression to further exploit lower-class citizens, condemning them to social death in order to reap direct profit (below minimum wage labor) and limit future potential agency by imposing legal restrictions on former inmates that restrict political power (voting rights) and social stigma that reduce economic mobility.
We have the power to re-imagine our world and create a society alternative to one in which many are exploited so few may prosper.
We have the courage to recognize the humanity in every other person on earth and recognize our shared struggle.
We have the awareness to realize that the pursuit of financial security should not be equatable to the pursuit of happiness.
We have the opportunity to evolve together as human beings and create a community of trust in which we can all live happily and fulfilled.
This can be more than just a Fantasy ( - Breakbot).
I’m gettin’ a little fired up.
(catch the full article on the PIC here)
- imgettinalittlefiredup posted this