Progressive lawmakers have crafted a bill which will essentially abolish the Prison-Industrial Complex once an for all. The bill will”end the private prison racket in America,” as well as the “pro-incarceration agenda” that has been oh-so lucrative to corporations that run the private prisons. It will also rescind the quota system for immigrant prisoners.
“It is morally repugnant and a national tragedy that we have privatized prisons all over America,” said Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the legislation’s lead sponsors along with Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.). “We cannot fix our criminal justice system if corporations are allowed to profit from mass incarceration. Keeping human beings in jail for long periods of time must no longer be an acceptable business model in America.”
Meet the Justice Is Not For Sale Act, which aims to reduce inmate populations all across America; from federal to local “correctional” facilities and prisons.
First off, the act intends to BAN (within two years of the bill’s passing) the corrupt process where the state, federal and local governments are able to contract private companies to do their dirty work
Second, he federal parole system will be reinstated, allowing “individualized, risk-based determinations regarding each prisoner and restore fairness in the system”
Third, companies will be monitored to ensure that they do not overcharge inmates and their families for the provision of services that include making a simple phone call
Fourth, immigrant family detention will be halted
“In a society dedicated to liberty and justice, for-profit prisons offend our bedrock principles,” Ellison said in a statement. “Private prison corporations spend millions of dollars lobbying government for harsher sentencing laws and immigration policy that serves their bottom line, while taxpayers foot the $80 billion dollar a year bill to incarcerate 2.3 million people. Incarceration should be about rehabilitation, not profit. Now, more than ever, we need to restore confidence in our criminal justice system. Step one is taking the profit out of the punishment.”
“As long as there are corporate financial incentives for locking people up and keeping them behind bars, reforming drug laws and other sentencing policies will produce limited results for meaningfully decreasing the astronomical rate of incarceration in this country,” said Kymberlie Quong Charles, criminal justice programs director for Grassroots Leadership.
To those of you unconvinced that the Prison Industrial Complex should be reformed, I have this to say:
With 2 million prisoners, the US has locked up 33% more people than “evil” China… A nation with FIVE times the population of the US. The US keeps 25% of the world’s prisoners, but makes up only 5% of the world’s population. WHY???
First, as wealth inequality continues to widen the gulf between the 0.1% and the rest of us, the 0.1% have a strong incentive to profit from and perpetuate the Prison Industrial Complex- if only to ensure that the rest of us are ever too fearful to rise together and will ever toil away to serve them for cheap.
Second, Where there is profit, there is neither incentive to solve, nor prevent. Because poverty begets crime, and crime begets poverty in a vicious cycle (as even the WSJ admits, poorer people ALSO have less excess to and perform worse in school, leading to even fewer opportunities)… harsher laws which ignore the root cause will only beggar more criminals, who will become more likely to revisit the prison system… meaning MORE profits, higher taxes on the middle class (which will make it poorer and create more criminals) to pay for this system which will then attempt to lobby for harsher laws… and more prisoners who cannot even vote but get to slave away in workshops for practically nothing… which also profits the Prison Industrial Complex.
Sweden is the perfect example of how to TREAT the root problem and has REDUCED its prison population… and Bernie Sanders seems to be taking a leaf from their book.
If America is allowed to continue on its current trajectory, not only will wealth inequality reach medieval levels- so too will the punishments… Serfdom 2.0.
Bernie Sanders seems like the only choice that will reverse this. And if he does not, or if he is not elected… There are no longer any “good” solutions for this problem.
Sources: Common Dreams
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