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View Diary: Black Kos, Tuesday's Chile (118 comments)

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  •  There is still way too much Reaganism in our (6+ / 0-)

    approach to criminal justice. The "tough on crime" and the "War on Drugs" combo loaded our jails with mostly non-violent offenders.

    The Right had this set up as a profit center, as privatization is a theme song for them. Thus we have become a nation with an out-sized prison population, filled with inmates who now have become an important profit center for rich investors.

    Considering that most military uniforms, many other items used in warfare, and many items that might surprise you are made in prisons across America, getting rid of our prisons-for-profits is the right thing to do.

    Made in prison from the above link:

    1) Books for the blind

    2) Lingerie - including Victoria's Secret

    3) Park benches and picnic tables

    4) Military jackets and battle garb

    5) Human silhouette targets (talk about irony!)

    6) Old Ikea products, until the 1980s

    7) Baseball caps - one of the few products UNICOR is permitted to retail

    8) Canoes

    9) Artsy knick-knacks, including art by death row inmates

    10) Blue jeans

    11) Horses - inmates in Colorado help train mustangs so they can be adopted.

    Using prison inmates for cheap labor is an intolerable practice. UNICOR has been criticized in the Wiki article linked above for doing this. The article states that at the end of fiscal year 2008, goods produced in UNICOR facilities generated $765 million in sales, a very significant sum.

    As to how inmates can be treated in such facilities:

    One report [10] detailed a FPI operation at a California prison in which inmates de-manufactured computer cathode-type monitors. Industry standard practice for this mandates a mechanical crushing machine to minimize danger from flying glass, with an isolated air system to avoid releasing lead, barium, phosphor compounds to the workplace atmosphere. At the FPI facility prisoners smashed the CRTs with hammers. The report noted, "Smashing CRTs with hammers is not a common practice in the private sector, nor could it ever be considered a 'best practice.'"

    So long as the bourgeoisie control the cultural institutions which define social reality, they will set the basic rules of debate and thereby control the range of possible outcomes. ~ Antonio Gramsci

    by 4Freedom on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 02:20:39 PM PDT

    •  yes - exactly. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, Quilldriver, rubyr

      I think the right has won the info-wars selling this crap to the public at large.  We have to do a massive re-education campaign.

      "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 02:26:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the decriminalization of pot will help. (3+ / 0-)

        The public conversation about pot and hemp is beginning to be more open-minded. If we take the potheads and the pot dealers out of our prison systems, they will deflate like punctured balloons.

        The pot conversation also helps people consider just what criminal conduct is. If pot can be decriminalized, it may help others consider what other "crimes" that we have institutionalized inmates for are equally as invalid.

        So long as the bourgeoisie control the cultural institutions which define social reality, they will set the basic rules of debate and thereby control the range of possible outcomes. ~ Antonio Gramsci

        by 4Freedom on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 02:36:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Reagan, Nixon, and yes Rockefeller too (5+ / 0-)

      still haunt our criminal justice system.

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

      by dopper0189 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 02:29:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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