The prison industrial complex (PIC) refers to the rapid increase in incarceration rates due to the privatization of the prison system. Instead of being government run, the prisons are now mostly run by private prison businesses and companies. Due to this, prisons now run like any other capitalist industry: they need a lot of labor for cheap.
And what better way to get a lot of labor for cheap, then to incarcerate a lot of individuals- predominantly minority- and make them work for free?
This has become reality for the American prison systems.
Today, minority men, mainly black, are incarcerated at a startlingly higher number then their white counterparts. These men are then forced to do labor in the name of profit; instead, of spending time being rehabilitated and punished for their wrong doings.
But does it surprise you that the men mainly incarcerated to do this labor are from the minority gene pool? It does not surprise me. This is a way to extend and prolong a different form of slavery. A form of slavery that is legal and masked by the term: prison inmate.
I understand people go to jail for doing bad things; however, it is daunting how disproportionate the numbers are.
Statistics from the Department of Justice indicate that black males are incarcerated – held in prison or jail – at a rate that is over 6 times higher than that for white males.
For every 100,000 black males, an estimated 4,777 are held in federal or state prison or a local jail.
By contrast, for every 100,000 white men, only 727 are estimated to be incarcerated.
It is not a mistake that 40 percent of Blacks are incarcerated, even though they make up only 13 percent of the population. And it is not a mistake that for every 100,000 blacks, 4,777 are incarcerated, compared to 727 whites. Instead, this is a systematic way of keeping a race down, while elevating another one.While in prison, these families face many hardships, including poverty, education, etc. They lose an income, they lose a parent and they lose a loved one to a system that is designed to work against them. It is designed to keep them down, when there are already so many forces- like patriarchy, white supremacy, the economy, etc- holding them back.
This will only get worst. People need to understand what is at work in America. Too many people walk around with rose-colored glasses. They do not know the truth. Now I understand that America is a lot more just that other nations; however, I simply cannot stand the hypocrisy that lies within our nation.
We are a nation driven by greed, capitalism, white supremacy and patriarchy. All these forces work against the majority of the population. We preach justice and equality, but it is not what we practice. Instead, we hold one race above them all- and it shows.
In order to be just and equal, our society needs to stand up and begin incarcerating people at an equal rate and we need to begin allotting jail time equally- instead of favoring one race against another.
The PIC needs to stop. Prisons can no longer be a force for capitalist intentions; instead, these prisons need to return to being rehabilitation centers that foster new law abiding citizens.
related articles: The New Yorker