- Pages: 8
- Word count: 1890
- Category: High School Experience
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Today’s prison system is a system pre-designed and constructed to warehouse the people of undeveloped and lower economical communities. Men and women are sent to prison for free labor and further economical gain by the states. Mass incarceration has increased tremendously over the last four decades. It has destroyed families , communities, especially black communities, and it’s a manifestation of structural racism which i’ll be discussing later on down the line. Incarceration dehumanizes poor people and people of color making it harder for them to possibly find life after prison.
For example: a young person who drops out a high school today will eventually find himself as a disadvantage in everything he tries to accomplish. With the odds already stacked against him for a lack of education he will be more susceptive to being arrested. Arrest carries a huge, eternal stigma in the american society that many people do not overlook. No matter how big or small the crime is or how much time the perpetrator pays. If the dropout is black he sadly finds himself in a life threatening situation that could well define him and limit him for the remainder of his life. Now let’s pretend the dropout serves 8 years in prison and is finally released. This is when prison rehabilitation takes its course.
Prison often acts as a revolving door with prisoners who reoffend and then re-enter the system. One of the major problems is that people get released from prison without any tools to help them survive let alone succeed. This forces returning citizens to focus on matters of survival rather than thriving and that results in reoffending behavior. Within a 24- 72 time period when they come back people who are released realize that they’ll have to obtain a job, look for shelter, find food , necessities and all of those things require money, which is something they don’t have. Returning citizens have high risk behavior because they are overwhelmed by the changes of their everyday life. When your under the control of someone else you tend to forget how to take after yourself and pick yourself up without assistance or even a path to follow briefly until your settled.
If prisons put time and effort into prison rehabilitation the results of other inmates ever failing again would be very low , but we are not meant to survive because its a set up. People leaving for less than a month end up coming back to prison and the same pattern re-occurs again and again each and every time. I believe that incarceration is racialized and gender bias. If you take a look far back into 1865 the 13th amendment officially abolished slavery for all people except those convicted for a crime and opened the door for mass civilization. Not only is it racialized and gendered but it puts african americans upfront for mainstream.
In the 1800’s african americans posed as a threat now moving to competition in a tight labor market. If you compare the inside of a prison to slavery the chances are at high risk and it’s a proven fact that incarceration takes those who were formerly exploitatable and transformed them into labor that can be exploited for profit through their work in prison industries. I also believe the use of incarceration can be considered a form of racial labor exploitation similar to the slave plantations economy that was critical to the development. Did you know that prisoners are not provided benefits such as health care, unemployment insurance, and compensation insurance. Prisoners are paid as little as 0.13 cent per hour. This is slave labor in the 20th century and the most disturbing thing about it all is that the sheer number of individuals incarcerated disproportionately affects people of color,in particular, black males and a small portion of hispanics. African American men in their early 20’s or 30’s without a high-school diploma are most likely to end up behind bars than in a workforce. One out of every fifteen people born in the united states will go to prison. In 2017 the American Criminal system incarcerates 2.3 million people and the U.S has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
According to Releaz in 2014 ‘No other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens not to mention there are 6,000,000 people on probation or parole’. What intrigues me the most is the fact that so many people are in prison for the wrong reasons or the wrong amount of time. The cash bail system was originally designed to ensure that people return to court as their case progresses but it has morphed into a for profit system of wealth based incarceration set up by the government. The poor people get released and that’s what i think is wrong.
It’s and equal protection violation because it’s creating a system where the poor get detained and the rich are freed and it’s a due process violation because it’s keeping presumptively innocent people in jail prior to trial without the procedures and findings necessary to justify that kind of liberty. Courts contribute to use this but unfortunately until we get the people demanding it we most likely are not going to see any extraordinary changes. The system of cash bail is also racially discriminated. Judges are most likely to charge black defendants bail and assign them higher bail amounts for the same charges compared to white defendants.
Black people are put at an egregious rate and because of history of communities, blacks are trying to catch up in terms of wealth, household , income etc. What shocks me the most is the time certain defendants serve. Drug dealers, thieves , or even drunk possession charges get up to twenty plus years while rapists, serial killers, and murders get three months/years. A lot of times i believe this has a lot to do with race and stereotype and the issue is pushed further because of this. If the drug dealer is black the defendant won’t have a trial and the issue is pushed. Or let’s say a black person murders someone he’ll get put on death trial or get thirty years while a white man commits the same crime and gets as little as three months and he’s diagnosed with a mental illness. I don’t think it’s fair to separate the two men when both men committed the same crime. 2.3 million people have lost freedom, family connections, jobs, and homes. Prison is suppose to be a place you go to renew yourself and realize your faults so that you’ll do better later on in life. Many prisoners fall into a cycle of crime due to either being pulled into gang activities and illegal activities for financial aid.
Usually prisoners come out worse than they did. Every five years 76 percent of people who left prison go back and are in worse condition than they were before. As i stated earlier people who do leave prison are using survival skills rather than using a path to succeed. After prison many felons aren’t even given the chance to apply to any jobs let alone put them on a rehab program. This falls into place on how prison affects the community and how it affects american children in poverty as well. Communities often pay the price because of our failing jail system. Children everyday lose one or more parent due to incarceration which sets a child up for a life of poverty and detrimental mental health issues because they have no one to guide them or care from them.
Parents are forced to raise children without the support of a spouse and this aso falls on our country’s tragic history of incarceration. This has an effect on high schools which forced them to enforce a zero tolerance policy. KIds usually experience their very first arrest in their early teenage years and find themselves on a path of repeated incarceration. Most children do not have guidance growing up. Children in poverty often find themselves astray especially when there is no guidance over them. They often experience domestic violence, abuse , secondhand smoke, poor living, poor clothes, shoes and they struggle deeply.
Because they have no one this drives them to criminal behavior. This is because they fall back on survival traits which lead to things such as drug violations, thief, and many more. Sadly children rely on the first thing that keeps them safe which is the streets. Now let’s discuss the people who profit off of prison labor.
American prison systems run like an actually facility/ economy itself, using labor workers and receiving financial support and findings. The economy rests on an opaque often unaccountable for infrastructure with its own private equity financial transaction. Companies spend their money in a large way to further entire or expand the use of our criminal legal system. Thousands of privately owned companies profit off prison labor such as: Whole Foods, Mcdonalds , At&t , Starbucks, Nintendo, BP, Victoria Secret, Walmart, Microscope, and American Airlines. No one would have ever thought the world’s most kid friendly restaurant would be entered and caught up into making profits off of prisoners and using them for prison labor.
Mcdonald’s the world’s most successful fast food chain makes purchases of items placed in a jail facility such as: plastic cultery, containers , and even uniforms. In an article by ashley hackett she states ‘ A report released by the corrections accountability project this article exposes over 3000 corporations including over 2500 private traded companies that profit from the united states prison system’’. She also states that ‘The article provides data outlining thousands of companies that contribute intentionally and unintentionally to the prison industrial complex”.
Apparently many of these companies were trying to hide the fact that the they were engaging in the system because it might taunt their reputation. ‘The reports also state that more than half of that 80 billion is used to pay the thousands of vendors that serve the u.s prison system including health care providers commissary merchants and food supplies. Plenty of companies benefit well from the contribution of mass incarceration.
Since people do not come together often or have no voice to challenge what happens in their communities. ‘ The united states has more than China, which has a population five times greater than others . The U.S statistics reveal that the United States holds twenty five percent of the world’s prison population but only five percent of the world’s population from less than 300,000 inmates in 1977 the jail population grew to two million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million and since then the rate has increased over four times the size it use to be.
Wikepedia states, ‘In September, the incarceration percentage of the U.S was the highest in the world. While the United States represents 4.4 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 22 percent of the world’s prisoners. Wikipedia states that ‘At the end of 2016, the Prison Policy Initiative estimated that in the United States, about 2,298,300 people were incarcerated out of a population of 324.2 million. This means that 0.7% of the population was held behind bars’’.