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Mar 1, 2006
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Bea's Sharebook > Message: Te industry of jails
Message: Te industry of jails  

The industry in the jails of the U.S.A.: a great business or new form of slavery?

Koeyu magazine

The social organisms of human rights, politicians and are denouncing what they call a new form of cruel operation in the United States where they assure is a prison population that both reachs million of internal and, whose great majority, Hispanic black and, are working for the industries by few cents.
For the tycoons who have invested in the industries of the jails, the finding has been like the gold pot. There there are no strikes, do not have to pay no insurance of unemployment, vacations, nor work compensatorio. The prisoners are to full Time, they do not have problems to arrive behind schedule or to lack by some problem family; it is more, if the payment of 25 cents per hour does not agree to them and they refuse to work, are locked up in cells of isolation. In all the country there are approximately two million criminals in the jails, federal and deprived. According to California Prison Focus “no other society in human history never has jailed to so many of its own citizens”. The numbers indicate that EE.UU has jailed to more people than any other country: means million than more Chinese, country that has five times plus the population of the U.S.A. The statistics inform that The United States has the 25 percent of all the prisoners in the world, but only the 5 percent of the world-wide population. Of less than 300 thousand prisoners in 1972 the prison population grew to 2 million for year 2000. In 1990 they were a million. 10 years ago there were only five prisons deprived in the country with a penitentiary population of 2000 prisoners, at the moment are 100 with 62 thousand beds occupied by prisoners. It is hoped that for this next decade the number arrives at the 360 thousand beds, according to the information.

What has happened in these last ten years? So that there are so many prisoners? “The deprived hiring of prisoners to work foments incentives to jail people. The prisons depend on these income. The shareholders of corporations that profit with the work of the prisoners lobby so that the sentences are extended and to expand their labor force. The system is also nourished”, indicates a study of Progressive the Labor Party that it blames the Industry of Prisons to be “a copy of Nazi Germany with respect to the forced esclavista work and the concentration camps”.
The Complex of Industry of Prisons is one of the industries of greater growth in the United States of North America and their investments are in the Wall ßstreet. “This multimillionaire industry has its own commercial exhibitions, conventions, websites, catalogues to make orders by mail and Internet. Also they have direct campaigns of announcements, companies of architecture, companies of construction, house of investors of Wall ßstreet, supply companies of plomería, companies suppliers of meals, security to tests of bullet, cells quilted in great variety of colors”.

According to the Left Business Observer the Federal Industry of Prisons produces the 100 percent of all the military helmets, carries the armored ammunition, vests, , identification cards shirts and trousers, carps and covers canteens. In addition to the material military, the workers of the prisons produce the 98 percent of the whole market for services of assembly of equipment, the 93 percent of the painting and brushes of the painters, the 92 percent of all the services to arm kitchens, 46 percents of all the personal armors, 36 percents of all the homemade utensils, 30 percents of the headsets micro- loudspeakers, 21 percents of all the furniture for office. Parts of airplanes, medical equipment, the this and very many more: until young of dogs guides for blind they are producing in the jails.

Low the crime raises the prison population

According to the denunciation of organisms of the Human rights, these are the factors that increase the potential of gains for which they invest in the Industrial Complex of Prisons:

- The imprisonment of delinquents by nonviolent crimes and long prison sentences by possession of microscopic amounts of illegal drugs. The federal law on one's word demands five years of prison without right to freedom by possession of 5 grams of crack or 3 ounces and average of heroin and 10 years by possession of less than two ounces of cocaine-rock or crack. A sentence of 5 years by the dust cocaine possession requires the possession of 500 grams, that is to say, 100 times more than the amount of cocaine rock by the same sentence. The great majority of that they use cocaine is white, of middle-class or high. Those that uses crack more are black and Latin. In Texas somebody can be condemned until by two years of jail by possession of four ounces of marijuana. Here in New York the promulgated antidrug law in 1973 by Nelson Rockefeller imposes an obligatory sentence that it goes of 15 years to perpetual by possession of 4 ounces of any illicit drug.
- - The promulgation in thirteen states, of the “three estrikes” {perpetual prison to the three being convicto of felonías}, forced the construction of 20 new prisons. One of the resaltantes cases by this measurement is the one of a prisoner who to rob a car and two bicycles received three sentences of 25 years.
- - Extension of sentences
- - Promulgation of laws that require minimum sentences, without concerning the circumstances
- - Great expansion of the work of prisoners whose gains create incentives to jail to more people, per periods of longer duration
- - Increase of sanctions against which already they are imprisoned to extend his sentences beyond the original sentence.
- History of the work in prisons in the U.S.A.

The work of prisoners has its roots in the slavery. After the Civil War of 1861, when a system of “rent of prisoners” was introduced to continue the tradition of the slavery. The released slaves were blamed of perform one's duty of tenant farmers (to produce the Earth of the pattern in exchange for part of the harvest) or of small robberies - that very rare time were proven and then “they were rented” for picks it of cotton, to work in the mines and to construct railroads. In Georgia, from 1870 to 1910 the 88 percent of the rented convictos was black.

In Alabama, 93 percents of “the rented” miners were black. In Mississipi, a great similar property of prisoners to the old esclavistas properties replaced to the system to rent convictos. Infame Parchman property existed until 1972. During the time after the Civil War, the laws Jim Crow of racial segregation prevailed in all the states, decreeing by mandate the segregation in schools, houses, marriages and many other aspects of the life.
“Today, a new group of laws, of pronouncing racist character, imposes the esclavista work and the factories of hunger in the criminal system of justice, by means of which it is known like the Industrial Complex of Prisons”, according to analyze the Left Business Observer. Who invest? At least 37 states have legalized the hiring of the work of prisoners to private corporations that mount their operations within the state prisons. In the list of the companies clients they are the flower and cream of the EE.UU. corporations: IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northerm Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom, Revon, Macy's, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many others more. All these companies are excited by the economic boom generated by the work of the prisoners. Only between 1980 and 1994, the generated gains ascended of 392 million to 1,31 trillions.
The working prisoners in the jail of the state generally receive the minimum of payment, but in some states as Colorado the wages reach 2 dollars the hour. But in the private prisons they get to pay to 17 cents the hour to them by a maximum of six hours daily, which makes a payment of 20 dollars per month. The maximum in the payment scale is in prison CCA in Tennessee where they pay to 50 cents per hour in the work classified like “highly skilled positions”, position highly described. By those prices, it is not a surprise that the prisoners seems to them a great generosity the payments in federal prisons.

“There you can gain 1,25 per hour and to sometimes work eight hours to the day extra hours. It is possible to be commanded to house up to 200 or 300 dollars to the month”. Thanks to the work in the prisons, the EE.UU are again attractive point for the investments in works that were only designed for the Third World. A company that operated in an assembly plant of Mexico settled its works there and it transferred them to the state prison of San Quenton in California. To Texas a factory dismissed its 150 workers and contracted to the services of workers/prisoners of the prison deprived in Lockhart Texas, place where also circuits of boards for companies like IBM and Compaq are assembled. The representative of the State of Oregon Kevin Mannix exhorted recently to the Nike so that he reduces his production in Indonesia to his native state, indicating the footwear manufacturers who “will be no transport costs; we offer a competitive work to them of the prison (here)”.

The private prisons

The privatization of the prisons began to take height in 1980 during the governments from Ronald Reagan and Bush father, but it reached his maximum growth in 1990 with Bill Clinton, when the actions in the Wall ßstreet were sold like hot bread. The program of Clinton to reduce the federal labor force caused that the Department of Justice gave by contract, to corporations of deprived prisons, the imprisonment of undocumented workers and prisoners of high security. The private prisons represent the mightiest sector of the industrial complex of prisons.

It has like 18 corporations guarding to 10.000 prisoners in 27 states. Two greater they are the Correctional Corporation of America CCA and the Wackenhut that control the 75 percent. A private prison receives one guaranteed amount of money by each prisoner, independently of how much it costs to maintain the prisoner. According to the administrator of prisons deprived of Virginia, Rusell Boraas the “secret to operate at low cost is to have a minimum number of guards taking care of to the maximum number of prisoners”. The CCA has an ultramodern prison in Lawrenceville, Virginia in which five guards in turn by day and two at night take care of 750 prisoners. In the private prisons time by “good fulfilled weather” is deduced to them but by infraction it adds 30 days to them to its sentences, that is to say, more gain for the CCA. According to a study of prisons in New Mexico it was discovered that the prey of the CCA wasted “good weather fulfilled” to an average of eight times more than the prisons operated by the state.

Import and export of prisoners

So it is the gain that now is a new business: import of prisoners with long sentences, that is to say, the worse criminals. When a federal judge failed that the congestión in the prisons of Texas was a cruel and unusual punishment, the CCA signed agreements with the bailiffs of poor counties to construct and to maintain new jails, and to distribute the gains.

According to the Atlantic Monthly (dic, 1998) this program was supported by investors of Merrill-Lynch, Shearson - Lehman, American Express and Allstate and the operation was scattered by all the rural area of Texas. The goberandora Ann Richards followed the example of Mario Cuomo in New York and constructed to so many state prisons that it flooded the market, diminishing the gains to the private ones.

In view of which a law signed by Clinton in 1996, - which it ended the supervisions and decisions of the cut caused to agglomeration and violent conditions and uncertain within the prisons, the corporations of prisons deprived in Texas began to contact with other States whose prisons very were congested, offering the service to them of “rent of cell” in the prisons of the CCA in the small tejanos towns. The commission of the buyer of beds is of 2.50 to 5.50 dollars per day. The county receives 1,50 by each prisoner.

Ninety and seven percents of the 125 thousand federal prisoners are delinquent nonviolent. One thinks that more than half of the 623 thousand criminals in municipal jails or of the counties they are innocent of the crimes that are said committed. Of these the great majority is awaiting judgment. Two thirds of the million state prisoners have committed nonviolent offenses. The 16 percent of both jailed million of suffers some mental disease.

Posted: Wednesday March 1, 2006, 8:22 am
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Posted: Mar 1, 2006 8:52am


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