Monday, 2 July 2012

Slave Labor in American prisons?

Heard disturbing facts about the American Prison system and how the prisoners are made to work - is it a form of slave labor?

Are the prisoners really put in to solitary confinement if they refuse to work? Why not just get out the old whip and give 'em a good flogging. And, of course, most of those behind bars are young, African-American and male - surprise, surprise!

We fool ourselves that we (society and a great big forest of back-patting) have come such a long ay - we look at the terrible acts of the past and say proudly - "That was how it was but things are so much better now."

But we have found a new way to bring about cheap labor. Place men behind bars and get them to work - oh and not license plates - no these prisoner make body suits, weapons (both for domestic and overseas), they even repair Army machinery. How great is this - cheap weaponry for our citenry so we can combat the evil forces of the world at large!

I say - check out the evil in your own back yard before you go sprinting across the sands of righteousness.

A lot of this is brought about by the 3 strikes system - something some Govt's here (particularly the Liberal ones) bang on about - the beauty of the 3 strikes system is that justice is taken out of the equation. We have punishment -

Some defendants have been given sentences of 25 years to life in prison for such crimes as shoplifting golf clubs (Gary Ewing, previous strikes for burglary and robbery with a knife), or, along with a violent assault, a slice of pepperoni pizza from a group of children (Jerry Dewayne Williams, previous convictions for robbery and attempted robbery, sentence later reduced to six years). In  Rummel v. Estelle (1980), the Supreme Court upheld life with possible parole for a third-strike fraud felony in Texas, which arose from a refusal to repay $120.75 paid for air conditioning repair that was subsequently considered unsatisfactory. Rummel was released a few months later, after pleading guilty.

Just in the papers this week we read that a mother of five was arrested, handcuffed (in front of her 5 children) and spent the night in gaol for not returning a library book and 2 dvds. Was she also listed as a third strike?

If the system makes money - and believe me the company running the  prison "labor" market is making a lot of money - was pause is given to fairness? To whether something is right? Very little obviously because it has been reported that about 1 in less than 100 American adults are behind bars -

NY Times article

I think as a deterrent it isn't working but as a means to create cheap labor to offset markets such as Mexico or Asia - its working brilliantly.

No comments:

Post a Comment