Jails / Prisons : Institutional Racism and the Prison Industrial Complex

Discussion in 'Law Forum - Prisons - Gun Ownership' started by Putney Swope, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Jwanzaa Kunjufu
    Conspiracy to Destroy young Black
    mhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhZzIx6aKqwen


    Tim Wise;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-VEWJncnsk


    In the case of the United States’ Justice System and young black males, it is chillingly effective system of repression under the guise of Justice. It seems that once a young black man, innocent or nor, has entered the U.S. court system, it is hard for him to get out with his life fully intact.

    Zygmunt Bauman argued in his book Modernity and the Holocaust (1989) that bureaucratic systems have a momentum of their own, which is greater than the sum of the individuals who comprise it. Bauman argued that the Holocaust, contrary to being history’s best example of barbarity, was in fact in line with modern principles and possesed many of the characteristics of modern rationalism which, in other spheres, Western society is unequivocally proud of. Bauman, for instance, made the argument that the bureaucratic division of labour (and therefore the division of moral obligation and, most importantly, guilt) was in part responsible for the death and destruction wrought by the Nazi Holocaust. Bauman’s analysis of Institutions and systematic violence is integral to understanding institutional violence in the United States.

    Young Black men, once caught in the United States legal system, are churned through a system that is as effective as it is unjust. It is easy for black men to end up in prison, it is hard for them to get out, innocent or not. The instilment of racism and oppression into a functioning bureaucratic system is very dangerous. Bureaucracies and institutions are human constructs and are, at their core, embedded with human biases. But once a system has been constructed, laws and policies put into place, and a system has been created to allow for these laws and policies to function, it becomes something larger. It is no longer seen as human, and thus flawed and susceptible to biases and to change. Rather, bureaucratic institutions are seen as something unstoppable, immutable, inhuman, and fixed.

    full article;
    http://www.justdemocracyblog.org/?p=631

    _________________________________________________________________

    Angel Davis
    Masked Racism:
    Reflections on the
    Prison Industrial Complex
    by Angela Davis
    ColorLines, Fall 1998

    Imprisonment has become the response of first resort to far too many of the social problems that burden people who are ensconced in poverty. These problems often are veiled by being conveniently grouped together under the category "crime" and by the automatic attribution of criminal behavior to people of color. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages.
    Prisons thus perform a feat of magic. Or rather the people who continually vote in new prison bonds and tacitly assent to a proliferating network of prisons and jails have been tricked into believing in the magic of imprisonment. But prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings. And the practice of disappearing vast numbers of people from poor, immigrant, and racially marginalized communities has literally become big business.
    The seeming effortlessness of magic always conceals an enormous amount of behind-the-scenes work. When prisons disappear human beings in order to convey the illusion of solving social problems, penal infrastructures must be created to accommodate a rapidly swelling population of
    caged people. Goods and services must be provided to keep imprisoned populations alive. Sometimes these populations must be kept busy and at other times -- particularly in repressive super-maximum prisons and in INS detention centers -- they must be deprived of virtually all
    meaningful activity. Vast numbers of handcuffed and shackled people are moved across state borders as they are transferred from one state or federal prison to another.
    All this work, which used to be the primary province of government, is now also performed by private corporations, whose links to government in the field of what is euphemistically called "corrections" resonate dangerously with the military industrial complex. The dividends that accrue from investment in the punishment industry, like those that accrue from investment in weapons production, only amount to social destruction. Taking into account the structural similarities and profitability of business-government linkages in the realms of military production and public
    punishment, the expanding penal system can now be characterized as a "prison industrial complex."
    The Color of Imprisonment
    Almost two million people are currently locked up in the immense network of U.S. prisons and jails. More than 70 percent of the imprisoned population are people of color. It is rarely acknowledged that the fastest growing group of prisoners are black women and that Native American
    prisoners are the largest group per capita. Approximately five million people -- including those on probation and parole -- are directly under the surveillance of the criminal justice system.
    Three decades ago, the imprisoned population was approximately one-eighth its current size. While women still constitute a relatively small percentage of people behind bars, today the number of incarcerated women in California alone is almost twice what the nationwide women's
    prison population was in 1970. According to Elliott Currie, "[t]he prison has become a looming presence in our society to an extent unparalleled in our history -- or that of any other industrial democracy. Short of major wars, mass incarceration has been the most thoroughly implemented
    government social program of our time."
    To deliver up bodies destined for profitable punishment, the political economy of prisons relies on racialized assumptions of criminality -- such as images of black welfare mothers reproducing criminal children -- and on racist practices in arrest, conviction, and sentencing patterns.
    Colored bodies constitute the main human raw material in this vast experiment to disappear the major social problems of our time. Once the aura of magic is stripped away from the imprisonment solution, what is revealed is racism, class bias, and the parasitic seduction of capitalist
    profit. The prison industrial system materially and morally impoverishes its inhabitants and devours the social wealth needed to address the very problems that have led to spiraling numbers of prisoners.
    As prisons take up more and more space on the social landscape, other government programs that have previously sought to respond to social needs -- such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families -- are being squeezed out of existence. The deterioration of public education, including prioritizing discipline and security over learning in public schools located in poor communities, is directly related to the prison "solution."
    Profiting from Prisoners
    As prisons proliferate in U.S. society, private capital has become enmeshed in the punishment industry. And precisely because of their profit potential, prisons are becoming increasingly important to the U.S. economy. If the notion of punishment as a source of potentially stupendous profits is disturbing by itself, then the strategic dependence on racist structures and ideologies to render mass punishment palatable and profitable is even more troubling.
    Prison privatization is the most obvious instance of capital's current movement toward the prison industry. While government-run prisons are often in gross violation of international human rights standards, private prisons are even less accountable. In March of this year, the Corrections
    Corporation of America (CCA), the largest U.S. private prison company, claimed 54,944 beds in 68 facilities under contract or development in the U.S., Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Following the global trend of subjecting more women to public punishment, CCA recently opened a women's prison outside Melbourne. The company recently identified California as its "new frontier."
    Wackenhut Corrections Corporation (WCC), the second largest U.S. prison company, claimed contracts and awards to manage 46 facilities in North America, U.K., and Australia. It boasts a total of 30,424 beds as well as contracts for prisoner health care services, transportation, and
    security.
    Currently, the stocks of both CCA and WCC are doing extremely well. Between 1996 and 1997, CCA's revenues increased by 58 percent, from $293 million to $462 million. Its net profit grew from $30.9 million to $53.9 million. WCC raised its revenues from $138 million in 1996 to $210 million in 1997. Unlike public correctional facilities, the vast profits of these private facilities rely on the employment of non-union labor.
    The Prison Industrial Complex
    But private prison companies are only the most visible component of the increasing corporatization of punishment. Government contracts to build prisons have bolstered the construction industry. The architectural community has identified prison design as a major new niche. Technology developed for the military by companies like Westinghouse are being marketed for use in law enforcement and punishment
    full article;
    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Prison_System/Masked_Racism_ADavis.html



    Skip Gates
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc_ITfMSwDk
     
  2. MasterDJ

    MasterDJ Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Phenomenal post! We used to study the prison industrial complex back in college and this article brought back so many good discussion memories! Very intriguing yet very true and VERY EVIL!
     
  3. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    We know enough about this system now, to at least be circumventing it, directing our babies around it.

    Yet ... they (we) continue to fall in the trap.

    Why can't we keep our babies out of prison?

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  4. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    there is no reason why we do not have a National Black Youth Program!
    We got good Brother Stretch succesfuly doing his thing in Harlem;http://www.hcz.org/
    We got my partner Rich holding it down in Crown Heights;http://volunteer.nycservice.org/org/10309564613.html, Chief Joshua left us Safe Haven at Restoration Plaza
    but we are underfunded
    and the oligarchies I mentioned are well funded and use the media to do thier dirty work.
    It's like a cat fighting an elephant but we keep the fight going, without a frown or a sigh!!!!

    But since this is a national ish and we are being attacked nationly,
    then we need a organized and well thought out National strategy
     
  5. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Do understand dear heart this is right in line with the ish of child prostitution, there are more and more young women and adult women entering this system each day, and a national Agenda or Think tank is needed
     
  6. Full Speed

    Full Speed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sister Destee, depending on whos stats you use, from 70-85% of all prison inmates of any race come from fatherless homes. Our babies NEED a home with their daddy and their momma both working to equip them for the challenges of life and adulthood. As a community, we just are not giving them the foundation they need.
     
  7. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    so how would you solve that?
     
  8. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    To the degree that we find black folks taken from our community feeding the PrisIndCom-monster, I don't think we, as in enough of us, know this system. To do so, would mean understanding, even if only in general, the socioeconomics of the matter.

    If one is aware of the economic impact on society, then one can teach our babies at a young age so that as they grow and mature, many will understand this sysmtem which could likely deter them from playing into 'the system'.

    Our babies should learn that the justice system isn't so much about "justice" as it is about just- getting paid, commonly at our expense.
     
  9. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    you have a point there because one of the main reasons why concious rap is kept off the commercial airwaves, is because once a child learns explicitly and in detail that they are surving thier enemy then they usualy change thier behaviorand have a differnt attitude towards such anti-community actions.
    These rappers like Professor Griff, KRS 1 and Immortal Technique bring these corporate issues to the grassroots youth and on thier level.
     
  10. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Tru'dat.

    It is no mistake why you don't here those cats on the radio/video or getting mainstream press.

    Not soley because they drop gems, but because the powers that be know that many of us don't read, unless its a steamy love novel, jet/ebony and the like.

    There is a small bookstore that I frequent. I can't tell you how many sista's go into that store heading straight for the love-sex-novels. Oh, and books by t.d. jakes, LOL!
     
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