The prison industry in the U.S. — a new form of slavery

A new form of inhumane exploitation

Human rights organizations such as political orientation and social, are fighting against what they call "a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States" and they claim that nearly 2 million inmates, mostly black and Hispanic, working in various industries for scarce reward. For the captains of industry — is a goldmine. There does not have to be nervous because of the strikes, because payment of unemployment insurance, vacations and leaves of absence. All of their workers are employed full time, never late, never skip on "family reasons", and moreover, if they do not like pay 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in solitary.

In federal and private prisons has about 2 million people. According to "California Prison Focus," "was not yet in the history of society, which would have kept in jail so many of its members. The figures show that the U.S. is in prison for more prisoners than any other country — half a million more than in China, even though the population of this country is five times more than in the United States. Statistics clearly says that in the U.S. is 25% of the prisoners all over the world, and their population is 5%. Back in 1972 the U.S. had less than 300,000 inmates in 1990 — is one million. Ten years ago, in the country there were only five private prisons, which contained 2,000 inmates, now 100 such prisons and prisoners in them — 62,000. It is estimated that in the next decade this number will reach 360,000.

What has happened over the last ten years? Where did so many prisoners?

"The private employment of prisoners provokes the desire to put people in jail. Prisons depend on income. Corporate stockholders who make money on the labor of prisoners sentenced to lobby for a longer period, to provide themselves with the labor force. The system feeds itself, "says the study of the Progressive Labor Party, which considers the prison system," an imitation of Nazi Germany in regard to forced slave labor and concentration camps. "

Prison industry — one of the fastest growing industries, and its investors are on Wall Street. "In this multi-million dollar industry has its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, online directories. It is direct advertising campaigns, has design and construction firms, investment funds on Wall Street, the building management firms, in food supply, and it has an armed guard and padded outer chamber. "

As "Left Business Observer", the U.S. prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, uniform belts and shoulder belt, bullet-proof vests, ID cards, shirts, pants, tents, backpacks and flasks. In addition to military equipment and uniforms, prison produces 98% of the market installation tools, 46% of bullet-proof vests, 36% of home appliances, 30% of headphones, mikorofonov, megaphones, and 21% of office furniture, as well as aviation and medical equipment, and more — the prisoners are engaged even a dog training guide dogs for the blind.

Crime falls, the prison population is growing

According to human rights organizations, increase revenue potential for those who invest in the prison industrial complex, contribute to several factors.

1) were sentenced to prison for non-violent crimes, and long prison sentences for possession of microscopic quantities of illegal substances. Federal law provides for a five-year period without the right to parole for possession of 5 grams of crack or 3.5 ounces of heroin (1 ounce = 28.35 grams) or 10 years for possession of less than 2 ounces of raw cocaine or crack cocaine. Per 500 grams of pure cocaine, the same law provides for only a five-year term. Most of those who use pure cocaine — is rich or middle-class whites. Black and Hispanic also use cocaine raw. In Texas, a person can be sentenced to more than two years in prison for 4 ounces of marijuana. In New York City Anti-Drug Act of 1973 provides for the 15 years up to life imprisonment for the term of 4 ounces of any banned substance.

2) After the adoption of the law in 13 states of the "three transgressions" (his term for three offenses) was necessary to build an additional 20 federal prisons. One of the striking consequences of this law are three sentences (each — to 25 years) to the person who stole a car and stole two bicycles.

3) Longer:

— The adoption of laws that require even the minimum prison sentence regardless of circumstances;

— Widespread making a profit of prison labor, leading to imprisonment of more people and for longer periods;

— Increase the number of penalties for inmates, which prolongs their stay in prison.

The history of prison work in the U.S.

Prison labor has its roots in the era of slavery. After the Civil War of 1861-1865 introduced a system of "putting prisoners in rent," which continued the tradition of slavery. Allocated for the freedom of slaves accused of default under "dolschine" or petty theft, almost never proven, and "rent out" for cotton picking, work in mines and building railroads. From 1870 to 1910, in Georgia 88% "leased" the inmates were negros in Alabama — 93%. In Mississippi, a huge prison farm, much like the plantation slavery times, existed until 1972.

After the Civil War, Jim Crow segregation laws were imposed on all states, racial segregation affected schools, housing, marriages and many other issues of everyday life. "Today, the introduction of new laws that are explicitly expressed racist, introduces slave labor and sweatshops in the prison system, now called the" prison industrial complex "," notes "Left Business Observer."

Who is investing in this complex? At a minimum, 37 states have legalized the use of prison labor by private corporations that organize production within prisons. The list of these corporations include the cream of U.S. corporate soobschestva6 IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT & T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom's, Revlon, Macy's, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores and many others. All these companies are enthusiastically reacted to the rosy economic outlook, which promised a prison labor. From 1980 to 1994, with profits up 392 million to 1 billion 31 million. Prisoners are generally receive the minimum wage established in this or that state, but not always, in Colorado they are paid about $ 2 per hour, which is significantly less than the minimum. In private prisons, they receive only 17 cents an hour, working day is a maximum of 6 hours, that is $ 20 a month. In Tennessee the most private prisons pay CCA, where prisoners receive 50 cents per hour for "highly qualified" labor. Against such a background it is not surprising that prisoners in federal prisons remunerative seems very generous — here they earn one dollar twenty-five cents an hour and work eight hours a day, and sometimes overtime. They can send home $ 200-300 a month.

Thanks to prison labor United States were once again an attractive location for investment in work that used to be the lot of Third World countries. In Mexico, located near the assembly plant was closed and transferred its operations to the prison, "San Quentin" (California). In Texas, a factory fired 150 workers and contracted with private prisons, "Lockhart", which are now going for electrical companies such as IBM and Compaq.

A member of the Oregon House of Representatives recently asked the corporation Nike hurry up with the transfer of production from Indonesia to Oregon, saying that "here at the manufacturer will not have problems with transportation, here we will provide a competitive prison labor."

Private prisons

Prison privatization boom began in the 1980s, the Reagan and Bush Sr., but reached a peak under Clinton, when U.S. stocks went like hot cakes. Clinton's program to reduce federal workers has led to the fact that the Department of Justice began to enter into contracts for the detention of persons without documents and protected inmates from private prison corporations.

Private prisons — the most profitable business in the prison industry complex. In 27 states, about 18 corporations detained 10,000 prisoners. The largest of them — the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) And Uokenhat, together they control 75% of the market. Private prisons receive from the state a certain amount for each prisoner, regardless of how much of its contents. Managing private prison in Virginia Russell Boras admitted that "low costs directly related to the fact, to have a minimum number of guards for the maximum number of prisoners." In Lawrenceville (VA) in CCA there is an ultra-modern prison, where five people during the day and two at night guard 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may expect a reduction in sentence for "good behavior", but for any breach of them added 30 days, which means more profits for CCA. According to the investigations of prisons in New Mexico found that federal prisoners are eight times more early release for "good behavior" than an SAA.

Import and export of prisoners

Profits were so high that a new business — import sentenced to long terms, that is, those sentenced for serious crimes. When a federal judge ruled that overcrowding in Texas prisons was cruel and unnecessary punishment, CCA signed contracts with sheriffs in poor counties to build and maintain new prisons for profit sharing basis. As he wrote, "Atlantic Monsli" in December 1998, the plan was backed by such investors as Merrill-Lynch, Shearson-Lehman, American Express and Allstate Merrill-Lynch, Shearson-Lehman, American Express and Allstate, and construction went around rural Texas. The Governor Ann Richards, followed the example of Mario Cuomo of New York and set up as many prisons that the market became saturated and reduced the profits of private prisons.

Clinton signed into law in 1996 overturned a suspended sentence under the supervision of the court, and this led to the fact that overcrowding in prisons started and conditions in them became violent and dangerous. Then the private prison corporations in Texas began to conclude agreements with those states where prisons were overpopulated especially by donating them to rent CCA prisons located in small towns. Commission for the seller service is in the 2 dollars 50 cents to 5 dollars 50 cents a day for "place." District gets 1 dollar 50 cents for each prisoner.


97% of the 125,000 federal inmates convicted of non-violent crimes.

There is a belief that more than half of the 623,000 suspects in prison counties and municipalities did not commit the crimes imputed to them. Most of them are awaiting trial.

Two thirds of the one million state prisoners have committed non-violent crimes.

60% of the 2 million prisoners across the country are suffering from mental disorders.

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