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Previously I discussed PIECP and how it is being used to increase prison labor while eliminating private sector jobs to reduce labor costs, overhead and increase profits. In this and the following segments I'll discuss the entire length of the money chain from arrest through  bonding and incarceration to release. I'll provide the names of the corporations, organizations, and private businesses who make large profits off of arrests and incarceration and those who profit after release from reentry program funding and donations from you.

Today I want to explain the machination that make insourcing possible and who is involved, how they're involved and who funds these efforts. To understand the concept I need for you to form a mental image of a wagon wheel. This wheel is composed of: an outer iron rim, spokes that radiate and carry the weight and pressure from the rim equally to the outer hub that holds it all together. At the center of the hub is an inner hub that fits the entire wheel to an axle.

Without any one of those four necessary components, a wheel will not function: no spokes it collapses, no rim and the spokes will collapse without something to hold it together at the outer end. No outer hub, and the spokes dangle uselessly from the rim and no inner hub for an axle and the entire wheel has no purpose and could not function at all.

These mental images demonstrate that for a wheel to work properly there must be a way for several parts to work cohesively to perform a particular task, in this case roll while distributing weight evenly. This is also an apt description of how insourcing works.

For insourcing to work correctly for corporations, lawmakers and prison industries, everything must work together toward one goal: using inmate labor to produce products or provide services to consumers and other companies. When this is done properly, corporations and prison industries make lots of money and thousands of private sector jobs are eliminated.

In this case - back to the wheel - the "axle" represents the U.S. Government's Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program - 18USC 1761(c). It fits nicely into the inner hub which in our wheel represents the National Correctional Industries Association (NCIA). NCIA is the connector between government program and prison industries and compliance with that program's laws and mandatory requirements.

The solid space between inner and outer hub represents the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The Outer hub represents lobbyists, donors and affiliated sponsors who fund and support corporate and key legislative interests. The spokes radiating away from the hub are the U.S. Corporations and state lawmakers represented by the lobbyists and sponsors. The rim represents companies, associations and organizations that profit from arrests and incarceration (other than housing, care and labor) and serve as magnets that directs individuals to the wheel and transforms them into inmates. With all parts working in unison and smoothly the wheel rolls along the ground, accumulating inmates.

Attached to the axle (PIECP) is the authority and weight of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Surface Transportation Board housed under the Department of Transportation that enforces the Interstate Commerce Act (this is important since PIECP statutes were created under the Interstate Transportation Act addressing interstate commerce involving prison made goods).

As the foregoing demonstration shows, the full weight of several United States Agencies and Departments - from the Secretary of Commerce through the DOJ, OJP to the BJA - bear authority for the PIECP program, that connects to our wheel. In reality this is the relationship between the highest level of our government, through a federal program to prisoners - state and federal. Interspersed within that link are private corporations, lobbyists, lawmakers, ALEC and the NCIA...all with a financial interest involving inmates (housing, banking, phone rates, medical services, food service and labor).

Tomorrow I will explain how our "wheel" operates in a most efficient manner to generate corporate profits from initial arrest through eventual release from prison. You won't have thought about the connections before and will be surprised - and angered to learn just who all profits and how.

Originally posted to Bob Sloan on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 10:36 PM PST.


Should election reform be undertaken immediately?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I hope this isn't O/T b/c (7+ / 0-)

    it could conceivably dovetail nicely with your series, but:

    Some few years ago (I think around 1999-2001) the NYT reported on prisoners who served their time & in the process learned a trade.  They learned to be barbers, in this particular case.  They were taught how to be barbers while incarcerated, as a way of earning an honest living upon being released from jail.

    In New York State.

    Where convicts (for some stupid reason -- I don't remember the state's justification -- cannot be licensed as barbers.

    The irony -- the waste of talent, above all -- was not lost on the NYT, but apparently was lost on the idiots in Albany.

    So, the state prison system is teaching inmates a potentially valuable career that the state refuses to give them a license to use b/c they were once inmates.

    Can you spell Kafkaesque, Albany?

    I didn't think so.

    Ptoomey: the greatest cause of hairballs in humans. gag, hack, spit. repeat.

    by Youffraita on Mon Nov 15, 2010 at 11:50:54 PM PST

    •  In Illinois, OTOH (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, RiaD, Bob Sloan

      they trained them to be locksmiths.  Back when they trained at all.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 03:48:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is truly ironic and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiaD, Youffraita

      saddening. I don't know about the specific issues there in NY but in other states - such as Florida - inmates are still taught barbering as a trade but the only place in the state where they can practice that trade is in the prisons. Florida has laws disallowing inmates from seeking licenses in many trades and occupations.

      Another sad but true fact is the refusal of many states to allow ex-0offenders to vote in elections after receiving a conviction. They don't even have to be sent to prison for their offense - the conviction is enough to disenfranchise them. Many states are making efforts to abolish this voting law but they're meeting resistance from conservative politicians.

      "Inmates should be reformed...not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 08:47:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's just wrong. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Sloan

        It's SO wrong, on SO many levels....

        Aaargh, I don't need to spell it out for you.

        In NYS, it was like bait & switch: Here, let's teach you a trade so you can get a job when your time is served.  Haha we pulled away the football, Charlie Brown!  You have the talent but you'll NEVER get the license to use it.

        I am disgusted with our government in so many different ways.  Don't know why I keep voting -- OK, yeah, I DO know why.  Their assholes are even worse than our assholes.

        Great reason to vote, huh?

        Ptoomey: the greatest cause of hairballs in humans. gag, hack, spit. repeat.

        by Youffraita on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 05:02:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You need to vote because (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          voting those who are in the corporate pockets must be ejected from our Congress - state and federal - before any real reform can be had. Without paid lawmakers in positions to further their goals and profits, corporations will lose their influence and we can start taking back our government and jobs.

          that's why voting on the issues and for what you believe in is so important. Ask the candidates and get their position on important matters before you cast your ballot. Above all we have to push for the elimination of lobbying, earmarks and election reform until we get it. Lobbyists now allow corporations to control our government through them and their relationships with lawmakers.

          "Inmates should be reformed...not recycled"

          by Bob Sloan on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 06:43:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  An industry that got out of control before the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiaD, beforedawn, Bob Sloan

    public got a clue.

    I like many Californians am appalled that prison guards retire here with 90% of their salaries.  This is an attraction for a huge amount of authoritarian personalities to come to power.

    •  California is a unique state within this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiaD, yoduuuh do or do not

      issue. The prison population in CA. is way out of control. All of the laws supported by ALEC and the prison unions that extend sentences and increase punishment through incarceration have contributed to the overcrowded situation there. In addition, CA.'s PIA is one of the largest inmate labor programs in the U.S.

      All in all the union out there is very powerful and a huge part of the budget deficit experienced by CA. The union fights any attempts to lower the inmate population or changes in laws - such legalization of pot - that would reduce incarceration.

      "Inmates should be reformed...not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 09:36:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am aware of all of this. Apparently, the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiaD, Bob Sloan

        the status quo in business is almost impossible to dislodge.

        I am for unions but not for this one.

        •  Believe it or not (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiaD, peachcreek

          most unions oppose the use of inmate labor in manufacturing and services, though they're not too vocal about their position. Those unions that do support incarceration and the accompanying private sector job losses are those that represent prison guards, staff and law enforcement. So those who are there to serve and protect are actually there to serve and protect themselves - at the expense of your job and tax dollars to pay their salaries. They're very powerful and influential and present a huge hurdle to reform of the industry or our laws that decrease the penalties for crime.

          "Inmates should be reformed...not recycled"

          by Bob Sloan on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 01:35:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  thank you Bob Sloan! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    excellent work

    •  Welcome and thank ya' back (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it takes more than one soul to have a conversation on important issues. I appreciate those who join the debate and offer up information. In this way we achieve solutions.

      "Inmates should be reformed...not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Tue Nov 16, 2010 at 03:03:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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