1) “The Prison Industrial Complex”
a. Is this a new form of slavery?
b. Who benefits? Who loses?
c. Important because we wanted to shed light on the continuance of slavery in the US that is done in a manner more palatable to the public.
d. Social Justice issue because it is basically legalized slavery.
2) Thesis Statement:
a. While there has long been a tradition of using prison labor to defray the costs of incarceration, the low/non-existent wages and inhumane/unsafe working conditions fit the definition of slavery, which include: a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune; the subjection of a person to another person, especially in being forced into work; work done in harsh conditions for low pay.
e. Inmates are forced to work under threat of solitary confinement, loss of good time/work time, loss of commissary privileges.
f. Inmates may not receive adequate health care for injuries or illnesses from work performed while incarcerated.
g. There is little or no oversight to ensure the inmates are treated humanely. There are no OSHA standards, no unions, no EPA guidelines…
4) We learned that he who has the money wins.
5) New thinking:
a. We were not aware of the size of the prison population; 1 in 100 adults is in jail, on parole or probation or in prison.
b. Not aware of the disproportionate number of minorities in the system.
c. The number of inmates utilized by companies for profit.
d. The low or non-existent wages paid to inmates.
6) Pro-Active steps – “Made in America” may mean “Made Behind Bars”. Be aware of what you buy and from whom you buy.
7) Take away – US has created a new class equal to the old slave class of the 1800s – the prison class.
1) Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) – A term used to attribute the rapid expansion of the US inmate population to the political influence of private prison companies and businesses that supply goods and services to government prison agencies.
2) Recidivism – a tenancy to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior. Especially a relapse into criminal behavior.
3) Rehabilitate -- to help to readapt to society or a new job, as by vocational guidance, retraining, or therapy
4) Privatization -- to transfer the production of goods or services from the public sector of an economy into private ownership and operation
5) Permanent Pollutants – Heavy metals that can be found in locations decades after exposure and are never excreted from a person’s body.
6) Redress -- The setting right of what is wrong. Relief from wrong or injury. Compensation or satisfaction for a wrong or injury.