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The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?

The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?
Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells. There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” What has happened over the last 10 years? . . . Who is investing?

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New Fences Block Access To U.S.-Mexico Border Monuments New Border Fences Cut Off Access To Border Monuments See other monuments along the U.S.-Mexico border. SAN DIEGO -- Before there was a fence, all that marked the border between Mexico and the United States were stone and steel monuments, 276 of them dotting the southwestern landscape. They were installed by Mexican and American surveyors starting in 1850, after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War and the two countries agreed to define their shared border. The Shame of America’s Gulag - Chris Hedges' Columns The Shame of America’s Gulag Posted on Mar 17, 2013 By Chris Hedges Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration, Profit and Loss November 2, 2011 Executive Summary The imprisonment of human beings at record levels is both a moral failure and an economic one — especially at a time when more and more Americans are struggling to make ends meet and when state governments confront enormous fiscal crises.

Private Prison Corporation Offers Cash In Exchange For State Prisons As state governments wrestle with massive budget shortfalls, a Wall Street giant is offering a solution: cash in exchange for state property. Prisons, to be exact. Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest operator of for-profit prisons, has sent letters recently to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for "challenging corrections budgets." The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and its Effects on Mexican Americans This week, I’ll be following up Monday’s post on Arizona’s assaults on the Tucson Mexican American Studies program and arguing for four crucial ways in which American identity and culture are interwoven with Mexican American Studies. This is the third in the series. The treaty that ended the Mexican American War did far more than that—it also displaced, psychologically but also in many cases physically, an entire, foundational American community. While there remain many significant gaps in our national narratives about and inclusions of Native Americans, I think we’ve gotten a lot better in the last few decades at recognizing a couple core realities of Native American experience: the history of unbalanced and broken treaties that defined the government’s relationship with native tribes; and the removals from and losses of homelands and homes that said history produced.

US Has the Most Prisoners in the World WASHINGTON - Tough sentencing laws, record numbers of drug offenders and high crime rates have contributed to the United States having the largest prison population and the highest rate of incarceration in the world, according to criminal justice experts. A U.S. Justice Department report released on November 30 showed that a record 7 million people -- or one in every 32 American adults -- were behind bars, on probation or on parole at the end of last year. Of the total, 2.2 million were in prison or jail. According to the International Centre for Prison Studies at King's College in London, more people are behind bars in the United States than in any other country. China ranks second with 1.5 million prisoners, followed by Russia with 870,000.

Private Prisons Conflict With The Values of a Democracy « Nisqually Jail Impact The Issues of locking up inmates for profit examined in the academic study Prisons, Privatization, and Public Values. The critical decision to transfer jail management from public to private hands has been done very quietly in Thurston County. It is a big decision with the following issues. Ariz. prosecutor asserts Fifth in 'Fast and Furious' probe The chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona has cited his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in refusing on Friday to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in its ongoing investigation into the failed “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation. Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and committee chairman, said the prosecutor, Patrick J. Cunningham, had been subpoenaed by the committee to testify on Tuesday but his attorney notified the panel that Mr. Cunningham intended to exercise his right not to incriminate himself at his scheduled deposition.