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prisons & prisoners

Prisons - hear the truth!

this is the truth from a PORTLAND YOUTHBUILD student about the cycle of greed in the prison industrial complex.
Justin Brown
Prison Essay

All Americans should know what is going on in this country, but is it truth that you are hearing? Well, I will give you a little truth on what's going on about a rising problem called the prison industrial complex, which in fact, has a great amount to do with our society.
Politicians play a very important role in the game of the prison industry. A politician's job is to look out for the best interest of our citizens, when they're usually looking out for their best interest, cash. As a politician, one must appear to be hard on crime to gain money from larger corporations such as the tobacco companies whom support the prison industry for using prisoners to cut the tobacco leaves; in return, saving them money. I think corporations should hire people, who need jobs on the outside world, because as a taxpayer, I don't want to pay for prisoners to work for large corporations. I mean, the corporations can definitely spare a hundred paychecks or two for citizens of the United States who actually keep them in business. Politicians also have to look tough on crime to win over the voter population, so harsher laws are passed to imprison more "criminals." In return, it reduces current prison space to create more jobs for construction workers to build more prison cells, and prison guards to work them. Doesn't Mr. Politician look good now?
Now, the media has a large part in the cycle as well. The media has an incredible influence on how the public views crime. They indulge in showing crime shows for ratings, and to strike fear into criminals and impressionable minds. The more crime is exploited, the more afraid of crime society will be. That way, people will choose the fastest solution, not the most effective, hence, measure 11. The media makes it seem like the violent crime rate is increasing every day, when in all reality, it has stayed the same since 1980 (National Prison Statistics). That sounds like false advertisement to me.
More than 75% of prisoners are in the slammer because of drug offenses or not paying taxes. This is also a part of the cycle in the prison industry - put non-violent people in a violent environment, then send them back into society to create bigger crimes. Therefore they do more time in prison just to save the corporations money for hard labor, in other words, "crime school." This is also a reason why in 1995 the education programs for rehabilitation had been cut. By 1995 the education programs for rehabilitation had been cut. I'll explain. In early American history, it used to be that if a black slave was caught reading he/she would be punished severely for the reason that whites knew that knowledge was power. Nowadays the education factor has been taken out because it gave power to prisoners to try and turn their lives around. That's exactly what corporations, politicians, and prison industries would lose money over. More prisoners mean higher profit margins. Its no wonder prisons are on the stock market.
As an American citizen, this information has only made me realize how greed is very effective in politics in this country no matter how it affects us. There have been many rally's to address this same topic to some of the leading politicians in different states, yet, were they ready to hear the truth? The sad thing is, is that there are some politicians who don't even know most of this information. That is why I'm hoping politicians are able to find time to read this. To realize that America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, regardless that in South Africa, under apartheid, had a much lower incarceration rate. To be conscious about how much funding has been cut from our children's schools to build prisons in our own backyards. To know what its like trying to find a job when prisoners take the one you had.
Politicians play a very important role in the land of the free. Frankly, it's because of them that this land is not free.

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