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Prison Contract

Prison Contract

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Published by: LEBJ on Mar 02, 2011
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FROMTHEFOREIGNPRE
SS
Havana.o~ber13.200S
Theprisonindustry
in
theUnitedStates:bigbusinessoranewformofslavery?
..
.
..
HUMANrightsorganizations,aswellaspoliticalandsocialones,arecondemningwhattheyarecallingalnewformofinhumaneexploitation
in
theUnitedStates,wherethey
say
a.
prisonpopulationofupto
2~!.
million-mostlyBlackand
Hispanic-
areworking
for
variousindustriesforapittance.Forthetycoonswhohaveinvested
in
theprisonindustry,
it
hasbeenlikefindingapotofgold'.Theydon'thavetoworryaboutstrikesorpayingunemploymentinsurance,vacationsorcomptime.Alloftheirworkers
are
full-time,andneverarrivelateorareabsentbecause
of
familyproblems;moreover~
if
theydon'tlikethepayof25centsanhour
and
refusetowork,theyarelockedupinisolationcells.
There
areapproximately
2
million
inmates
in
state,federaland
private
prisonsthroughoutthecountry,
According
toCaliforniaPrison
Focus,
"noothersociety
in
human
history
hasimprisonedsomanyofitsowncitizens."Thefiguresshow
that
theUnitedStateshaslockedupmorepeoplethan
any
othercountry:ahalfmillionmorethanChina,whichhasapopulationfivetimesgreaterthantheU.S.Statisticsreveal
that
theUnited
States
holds
25%
of
the
world'sprison
population,
but
only
5%
oftheworld'speople.Fromlessthan
300,000
inmatesin
1972,
thejailpopulationgrewto
:2
millionbytheyear
2000.
In
1990
itwasone
million.
Tenyearsago
therewere
onlyfiveprivateprisonsinthecountry,with
a
populationof
2,000
inmates;now,thereare
100,
with
62,000
inmates.
It
isexpectedthat
by
thecomingdecade,thenwnberwillhit
360,000,
accordingto
reports.
"What
hashappenedoverthelast
10
years?
"Why
are
theresomany
prisoners?
'Theprivate,contractingofprisoners
for
workfostersincentivestolock
peopleup..
F@sons
dependonthisincome.Corporatestockholderswhomake
mo1::fy
off
prisoners'work
lobby
forlongersentences,inordertoexpandtheirworkforce.thesystemfeedsitself,"saysastudybytheProgressiveLaborParty,whichaccusestheprisonindustry
of
being
"an
 
.._r---~""
&"~.-".'.1.
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Vii!;LJU:'IJlII;:;:i;501
<1
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.lUUfl
or
SJaver...
Fage
1.
ot::,
imitationofNaziGerrnanywithrespecttoforcedslavelaborandconcentrationcamps.
It
Theprisonindustrycomplexisone
of
thefastest-growingindustriesintheUnitedStatesanditsinvestorsareonWallStreet.'Thismultimillion-dollarindustryhasitsowntradeexhibitions,conventions,websites,andmail-order/Internetcatalogs.
It
alsohasdirectadvertisingcampaigns,architecturecompanies,constructioncompanies,investmenthousesonWallStreet,plumbingsupplycompanies,foodsupplycompanies,armedsecurity,andpaddedcells
in
alargevarietyofcolors."AccordingtotheLeftBusinessObserver,thefederalprisonindustryproduces
100%
ofallmilitaryhelmets,ammunitionbelts,bullet-proofvests,IDtags,shirts,pants,tents,bags,andcanteens.Alongwithwarsupplies,prisonworkerssupply98%oftheentiremarketforequipmentassemblyservices;93%ofpaintsandpaintbrushes;
92%
ofstoveassembly;46%ofbodyarmor;36%ofhomeappliances;
30%
ofheadphones/microphones/speakers;and
21%
ofofficefurniture.Airplaneparts,medicalsupplies,andmuchmore:prisonersareevenraisingseeing-eye
dogsfor
blindpeople.
CRIMEGOESDOWN,.JAILPOPULATIONGOESUP
Accordingtoreportsby
human
rightsorganizations,thesearethefactorsthatincreasetheprofitpotentialforthosewhoinvestintheprisonindustrycomplex:Jailingpersonsconvictedofnon-violentcrimes,andlongprisonsentencesforpossessionofmicroscopicquantitiesofillegaldrugs.Federallawstipulatesfiveyears'imprisonmentwithoutpossibilityofparoleforpossessionof5gramsofcrackor3.5ouncesofheroin,and
10
yearsforpossessionoflessthan
2
ouncesofrock-cocaineorcrack.Asentenceof
5
yearsforcocainepowderrequirespossessionof
500
grams
-100
timesmorethanthequantityofrockcocaineforthesamesentence.Most
ofthosewhousecocaine
powder
are
white,middle-class
or
richpeople,whilemostlyBlacksandLatinosuserockcocaine.In
Texas,
a.
personmaybesentencedforuptotwoyears'imprisonmentforpossessing4ouncesofmarijuana.HereinNewYork}the1973NelsonRockefelleranti-druglawprovidesfora.mandatory-prisonsentenceof15yearstolifeforpossessionof4ouncesofanyillegaldrug.Thepassage
in
13statesofthe"threestrikes"laws(lifeinprisonafterbeingconvictedofthreefelonies),madeitnecessarytobuild
20
newfederalprisons.Oneofthemostdisturbingcasesresultingfromthismeasurewasthatofaprisonerwhoforstealingacarandtwobicyclesreceivedthree2s-yearsentences.
10119/2005
 
AbouttheFederalBureauofPrisons
TheFederalBureauofPrjsonswasestnblishcdin
t
930to
provide
moreprogres-siveandhumane
care
forFederalinmates,toprofessionalize
the
prisonservice,
andtoensureconsistent(Inc]centralizedadministrationofthe1
J
Federalprisons
inoperation
at
thattime.Today,theBureauconsistsof100instinnions,6regional
offices,
aCentralOffice
(headquarters),
3
staff
training
centers,
and
28
commu-
nitycorrectionsoffices,Theregionaloffices[Indthe
Centra]
Office
provide
administrativeoversight
and
support
to
the
institutionsandcommunity
correc-
tionsoffices.Communitycorrectionsofficesoverseecommunitycorrectionscentersandhomeconfinementprograms.TheBureauisresponsible
fOJ
thecustodyandcareof'approxirnately1.54,000Federaloffenders.Approximately
130.000
oftheseinmatesareconfinedinBureau-operatedcorrectionalinstitutionsordetentioncenters.TheremainderareconfinedthroughagreementswithStateandlocalgovernmentsand
through
contractswithprivately-operatedcommunity
corrections
centers,detentioncenters,prisons,andjuvenilefacilities.
TheBureau'smostimportantresourceisitsstaff,Theapproximately33
,000
employeesoftheBureau
ofPrisonsensure
thesecurityof
Federalprisons,provideinmateswithneededprogramsnndservices,andmodelmainstreamvalues.The
Buteau's
employeeshelp
the
agencymeetitsobligation
1.0
protectpublicsafetyandprovidesecurityandsafetytothestaffandinmatesinits
facilities.
The
Bureauprotectspublicsafety
by
ensuring
thai
Federaloffendersservetheirsentencesofimprisonmentininstitutions
(hat
aresafe,humane,cost-efficient,andappropriatelysecure.The
Bureauhelpsreduce
future
criminal
activity
by
encouraginginmatestoparticipateina
range
ofprogramsthat:areproventohelpthemadoptacrime-freelifestyleupontheirreturntothecommunity.
Federal
Correctional
[nsittution,
Phoenix,Arizona,

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