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Posts tagged "prison industrial complex"



The prison-industrial complex is just a myth…right?

Jesus he didn’t even have us do the damn math. He just said it.

(via blackmagicalgirlmisandry)

Kim Love: …I’ve had them put me in a shock holdin’ cell, and I told them I did not want to be there. They told me that’s gonna be your husband, and that’s where you’re going to be and you’re going to love him. And I did my time with him…Without the sexual tension being brought down, the prisoners would probably overturn that place. Because there’s more prisoners than there is COs. They use us.

…As Kim Love’s experience shows, it is a prison industrial complex norm to use women’s bodies in unsafe ways to pacify male inmates. The prison staff and the PIC create sexually opportune environments (e.g., cage women in the same cells as straight men), coerce women into having unsafe sex with their cell-mates because there are few if any barriers for the sex acts, then validate the sexual roles with toiletries or medical favors (exchange of goods or services).

Forced boarding by a third party for sexual contact, or in prison “V-coding,” on the streets would be seen as pimping, as Kim Love called it. The placement of such coercion inside of prison, however, serves to locate pimping as a central part of a transwoman’s sentence. Most acts performed by prison staff, violent or not, are unfortunately upheld as the norm of prison culture. The vision of “sexual tension being brought down, to where there’s no sexual tension—they would probably overturn that place” screams to Love’s understanding of prison staff using her body to pacify her “husband.”

…Emmet Pascal witnessed many women attempting to resist or refuse being “V-coded,” but guards only turn a blind eye. The refusal of prison guards to acknowledge such violence (deliberate indifference), if not to directly coerce it, places the guards in a pimping position. Legal definitions of pimping consistently include intentionally inducing another to become a prostitute or soliciting a patron for sex acts with the sex provider. At what point do prison staff members receive such direct immunity from pandering or procuring customers (“husbands” or men they want to silence) for a sex act?

In an equally abusive placement, gender-variant women are being V-coded close to the end of their sentences. This location works to keep women incarcerated because if they defend themselves against rape or other violence that occurs with their “husband” or cellmate, it is common for them to be charged with assault then placed in the “hole.” The assault charge then shreds the previous parole possibility or release date.

"No One Enters Like Them: Health, Gender Variance, and the PIC" by blake nemec in Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, ed. by Nat Smith and Eric A Stanley

Where are anti-trafficking activists when it comes to activism against trans women being trafficked like this in prison? Of course, without even going into how many of them are terfs, anti-traffickers would never side with prison abolitionists, seeing as how their carceral/governance feminism is about direct support of the prison industrial complex.

(via marginalutilite)


America Has More Prisoners Than High School Teachers


"the 13th Amendment transferred the cost of slavery to the taxpayer but the profits remained private"


"where black voting rights go to die"


"home of the free labor"


"home of the slave labor"

In Louisiana’s notorious Angola prison, home to all men on death row in the state, those sentenced to death spend their final years locked in their cells alone for 23 hours each day. During summer, death row inmates are kept in their cells even though the heat index regularly exceeds 110 degrees. The prison does not provide them with clean ice or cool showers, but it does provide the public with tours of death row and the lethal injection table. 

At night, in an effort to keep cool, the men at Angola sleep on the floor where they are exposed to fire ants. When they “misbehave,” they are moved to cells in the hottest tiers. Men have lived up to 28 years on Louisiana’s death row, and most spend at least a decade in these dehumanizing conditions waiting for court appeals to go through. That is their due process.”



Prison labor booms as unemployment remains high; companies reap benefits
July 28, 2013

The American government has been critical of China’s forced-labor policies, but the United States has a burgeoning prison labor pool of its own.

Russia Today filed a report on Sunday that said hundreds of companies nationwide now benefit from the low, and sometimes no-wage labor of America’s prisoners.

Prison labor is being harvested on a massive scale, according to professors Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman.

"All told, nearly a million prisoners are now making office furniture, working in call centers, fabricating body armor, taking hotel reservations, working in slaughterhouses, or manufacturing textiles, shoes, and clothing, while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 per day,” the professors write.

And some prisoners don’t make a dime for their work, according to the Nation, which notes that many inmates in Racine, Wis. are not paid for their work, but receive time off their sentences.

The companies that do pay workers can get up to 40 percent of the money back in taxpayer-funded reimbursements, according to RT.

That not only puts companies that use prison labor at a distinct advantage against their competitors, but, according to Scott Paul, Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, it means American workers lose out.

"It’s bad enough that our companies have to compete with exploited and forced labor in China,” Paul told the Nation. “They shouldn’t have to compete against prison labor here at home. The goal should be for other nations to aspire to the quality of life that Americans enjoy, not to discard our efforts through a downward competitive spiral.”

Companies like Chevron, Bank of America, AT&T, Starbucks and Walmart all take advantage of that so-called “competitive spiral.”

One of Walmart’s suppliers, Martori Farms, was the subject of an exposé by Truthout in which one female prisoner described her typical day working for the private company.

Currently, we are forced to work in the blazing sun for eight hours. We run out of water several times a day. We ran out of sunscreen several times a week. They don’t check medical backgrounds or ages before they pull women for these jobs. Many of us cannot do it! If we stop working and sit on the bus or even just take an unauthorized break, we get a major ticket which takes away our ‘good time’.

In response, Joseph Oddo, Martori Farms’ human resource director, told the Guardian that the company is no longer using inmates because prisons are not always able to provide workers on call the way they need. Oddo also said that workers were provided enough water, but the prisoners didn’t sip it slowly enough.

In a press release on Walmart’s site, Ron McCormick, vice-president for produce, said, “our relationship with Martori Farms is an excellent example of the kind of collaboration we strive for with our suppliers.”


(via nodamncatnodamncradle)

fellow white people: people of color who stay away from you because they believe that you may be racist because you’re white aren’t trying to be mean to you, they’re trying to survive. there’s a chance that if they get in an argument with you or you threaten them that it will lead to them getting in trouble because we live in a world where poc defending themselves from murder or abuse are given 20 year prison sentences and white criminals are usually believed to be automatically innocent.

This is what these cops did to the boys face. The jury saw the photos and acquitted the cops.  Every member of the jury should be subject to arrest and conviction. Or they should be subjected to what Jordan Miles endured.


This is what these cops did to the boys face. The jury saw the photos and acquitted the cops.  Every member of the jury should be subject to arrest and conviction. Or they should be subjected to what Jordan Miles endured.

(via thecoffeebreaklife)


Throwaway People: Will Teens Sent to Die in Prison Get a Second Chance?

Pennsylvania was once at the forefront of the rehabilitation movement, one that extended to juveniles—albeit along starkly racial lines. In 1828 the House of Refuge of Philadelphia opened as an alternative to adult prisons for youth offenders. But for two decades, only white children were sent there for rehabilitation; black children were often sent to adult prisons. The House of Refuge for Colored Children was opened at the end of 1849, at the behest of progressive reformers.

Houses of refuge eventually gave way to juvenile prisons. The Juvenile Court Act of 1903 established juvenile courts for minor crimes; in the 1930s their jurisdiction would be extended to all crimes except murder for defendants under 18. But as juvenile courts shed their paternalistic origins in favor of formal due process—Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Act of 1972 codified such rights—notions of rehabilitation as a central goal of the criminal justice system were eroding. The law-and-order rhetoric of Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign and his declaration of the “war on drugs” in 1971 were followed by racebaiting predictions in the ’80s and ’90s that a generation of “teenage superpredators” would lay waste to cities across the country. States passed a wave of tough-on-crime laws allowing children to be tried as adults for a variety of offenses. In 1995 Pennsylvania amended the Juvenile Act to narrow the jurisdiction of juvenile courts, shuttling more youths into the adult system.

The ramped-up sentencing of children as adults had a disparate racial impact, reflecting long-held attitudes that kids of color are more criminal in nature and have less rehabilitative potential. Today, black and Latino teens are far more likely to be sentenced to life without parole, particularly for killing a white person. Of the 13- and 14-year-olds sent to die in prison, 70 percent are, like Trina, kids of color.

It’s a long read but a good one.


1. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.

2. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.

3. Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated. Black and Hispanic students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. Currently, African Americans make uptwo-fifths and Hispanics one-fifth of confined youth today.

4. According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. The data showed that 96,000 students were arrested and 242,000 referred to law enforcement by schools during the 2009-10 school year. Of those students, black and Hispanic students made up more than 70 percent of arrested or referred students. Harsh school punishments, from suspensions to arrests, have led to high numbers of youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile-justice system and at an earlier age.

5. African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison. According to the Sentencing Project, even though African American juvenile youth are about 16 percent of the youth population, 37 percent of their cases are moved to criminal court and 58 percent of African American youth are sent to adult prisons.

6. As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented. While the number of women incarcerated is relatively low, the racial and ethnic disparities are startling. African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated, while Hispanic women are 69 percent more likely than white women to be incarcerated.

7. The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American.

8. Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison.

9. Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote based on a past felony conviction. Felony disenfranchisement is exaggerated by racial disparities in the criminal-justice system, ultimately denying 13 percent of African American men the right to vote. Felony-disenfranchisement policies have led to 11 states denying the right to vote to more than 10 percent of their African American population.

10. Studies have shown that people of color face disparities in wage trajectory following release from prison. Evidence shows that spending time in prison affects wage trajectories with a disproportionate impact on black men and women. The results show no evidence of racial divergence in wages prior to incarceration; however, following release from prison, wages grow at a 21 percent slower rate for black former inmates compared to white ex-convicts. A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated.

(via squintyoureyes)