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View Diary: American Prisons: Slavery By The Backdoor (22 comments)

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  •  Just a reminder (0+ / 0-)

    Indentured service as a means of criminal punishment is almost as old as the British American colonies themselves. Convicted criminals in England would be sentenced to transportation for a period of time and indentured service. They would be taken to the colonies where they were auctioned to the farmers etc to work for no pay for the period of their sentence. At the end of that time, they would be free but would not be given any assistance to return to Britain.

    Up to the introduction of this sentence, the main punishment for crimes, including theft of items worth over one shilling (1/20th of a Pound or 5p in decimal money - about 8 US cents), was hanging. After the loss of the colonies, there was an huge prison building programme to house prisoners until in the 19th century the Australian prison colony in Botany Bay opened.

    IIRC, forced indentured service is included in the definition of Slavery used by the UN. On the other hand I will also think you will find that there would be no US made large white goods (washing machines etc) without the low wages paid for prison labor.

    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 04:08:05 PM PST

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    •  Yes well... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Berkeley Fred, moviemeister76

      Slavery has a long history. Which fails to justify it.

      BUT, it is only since the breakup of Jim Crowe that our prison population has "suddenly" become black, and "suddenly" been put to so much work. They've always been worked, but never on this scale.

      We went from a prison population that even in Jim Crowe was more or less proportional to the demographics of the nation, to one that might as well look like an 1800s Slave Plantation where the game "where's Waldo" could be renamed "where's Whitey"...

      If you're in prison now, and you aren't black; you're probably mestizo. If not that, Native American. After that, we can start looking...

      And this is a new phenomenon. No accident.

      The roaches always win if you turn out the lights.

      by Jyotai on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 04:34:09 PM PST

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