Can you imagine America without prisons? Hard, isn’t it? While many Americans will never come into contact with the prison system, a much larger portion of the population is affected by the prison system and the prison industrial complex on a daily basis.
Prisons have always acted as a way to deter crime. In theory, they remove criminals from society so they can reflect, learn, and understand the problems in their behavior. They try and rehabilitate, but the treatment that many inmates receive in these prisons is far from therapeutic. They are unjust and irrational, subjecting many inmates who are responsible for a variety of nonviolent crimes too extreme inhumane treatments.
This has become a much more prevalent issue in recent decades because of the dramatic rise in prison population nationwide. Especially because minorities are disproportionately imprisoned and therefore are more largely impacted by the prison industrial complex. It’s just another way in which the system is working against those that are already being oppressed. America has failed to protect its most vulnerable population, continuing to spend millions of dollars in tax money on imprisoning those stuck in the prison industrial complex, rather than helping them to try and break the cycle.
Everyday resources are being expended to hurt rather than help those that have been imprisoned. It should not be the responsibility of the prisoner to try and better themselves as society is what failed them originally. The prison industrial complex represents the continued oppression of minorities in America, and if we are working to achieve equality amongst all, is a formidable obstacle on the road to that goal. Because of this, it’s important to stay informed about prison abolition as well as support the hundreds of organizations working to better this epidemic every day.
Find out more here:
Check out these organizations:
Highlight: Check out this new album from the Prison Music Project called Long Time Gone, it was made by Zoe Boekbinder along with several male inmates from New Folsom prison. It’s a diverse discography that focuses on pain and regret, longing, perseverance and hope, forming a collective snapshot of those inside the American prison system.