reply to post by ofhumandescent
I had a look round the web to see if there was anything to back up the OP's claim, and good God there is a lot of stuff out there, I would like to put
this up to see if this makes anyone else's blood boil:
Much of the recent prison upsurge has been attributed to the Three Strikes Law, a sentencing law originally intended to put murderers, rapists and
hard-core violent criminals in prison for a long time. Since its universal incorporation in 1994, the three strikes law through its abuse and
popularity has expanded to include individuals with minor offenses, virtually locking up tens of thousands of individuals for life for crimes such as
drug possession or shoplifting.
During the Prison Industrial Complex workshop held Feb. 15 at the World Saviours’ Day 2002 convention, panelists concluded that the growing trend in
usage of the law is not an accident.
"We have to educate the public in order to pass an initiative," said Dennis Duncan, of Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes (FACTS) Los
Angeles chapter. "You may be able to get it on the ballot, but you have people vote for it. So you have to educate people and let them know what the
situation is and how the three strikes law has been abused over these years."
No one denies that prisons are big business in America. Like the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex is an interlacing of
private business and government interests. Its dual intention is one of profit and social control. In public, the rationale is the fight against
crime, but the bottom line, the presenters said, is dollars and cents.
"We have to provide a moral solution for our children and our households," said Imam Antar Jannah, who told attendees that sometimes the approach to
the problem has to be more than political. "We have to let our children know that they essentially are setting themselves up to go to jail for the
rest of their lives. They are setting themselves up to destroy their own communities, lives, and family life. And if they want to take that course,
they are going to have to suffer the consequences," he said.
"We have to build coalitions and attack those things that effect our community," said facilitator and the Nation of Islam West Coast Prison Minister
Charles Muhammad. "There are a whole lot of innocent people being stretched out with these long sentences for crimes that don’t fit the
"What we need is to create our own philanthropic network that will fund any project that we want to keep our organizations working for us in this way
operable," said Nation of Islam National Prison Min. Abdullah Muhammad. "This is why the Million Family March Economic Development Fund, created by
the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, is necessary. Because then we can go to our organizations, inquire about their budget and then put the money
in place and make sure they work for us."
Presenters on the panel also included Dr. Donald Evans of NABSIO, Sis. Arisah Muhammad and Sis. Victoria Aguilera.
"Prison labor is what this is really about," said Sis. Sabah Muhammad. "There are so many people in prison for petty crimes, just so that private
industry can have labor from 9 cents an hour." "Labor unions can get involved," said Mr. Evans. "Prison labor infringes upon those labor unions and
the jobs they used to provide," he told the audience and cited precedence from an Arizona prison where inmates unionized, held a strike, and won their
fight for standard minimum wage earnings.
Private correction companies also benefit strongly from the prison growth. Investment firm Smith Barney is part owner of a prison in Florida. American
Express and General Electric have invested in private prison construction in Oklahoma and Tennessee. Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), one of
the largest private prison owners, already operates internationally, with more than 48 facilities in 11 states, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and
Under contract by government to run jails and prisons, and paid a fixed sum per prisoner, the profit motive mandates that these firms operate as
cheaply and efficiently as possible. This results in lower wages for staff, no unions, and fewer services for prisoners. Private contracts also means
less public scrutiny.
"If I own a prison, it’s like a plantation. The state gives me the slaves (prisoners) and I can make them work for me," said Imam Jannah. "This is
the fastest growth industry in America. And multiple industries are involved in predicting the future of inmates entering the penal institutions
edit on 9-3-2012 by windsorblue because: spellink