26
Jan

New Slaves: From The Plantation To The Prison

2.3 million adults in the United States are incarcerated, that is 25 percent of the world’s population. 716 out of 100,000 Americans are incarcerated at some point. This number has continued to increase according to The Bureau of Justice Statistics. The Bureau of Justice Statistics also reports that the country’s crime rates have been cut almost in half, but the amount of prisons has increased substantially.

Many of the prisons across the United States are private prisons. These prisons are run by corporations and supported by investors. Like any corporation worth investing into, you will expect a profit. This industry is known as prison for profit, and it is one of the biggest in the world.

Two of the largest private prison companies are CCA and GEO Group. These two companies have spent millions in contributing to political campaigns. These companies have seen their annual revenue increase to a total of $3.3 billion, while the number of people incarcerated increases.

These private prisons put prisoners to work and pay them nearly nothing. Prisoners make between $0.23 and $1.15 per hour. UNICOR reports that in 2015 the total number of their wages combined was only $33,538, while the companies make nearly $560 million. Many companies like Whole Foods, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Walmart, Starbucks, Victoria Secrets, J.C Penny, and many more use the labor of these inmate to their benefit.

When Donald J. Trump was elected on Wednesday November 9th, the next day private prison stocks soared. The election of Trump is a win for the private prison companies and the prison for profit industry. Trump considers himself the “law & order” president. Trumps political agenda plans to crack down illegal immigrants and bring back stop-and-frisk that was ruled unconstitutional, by a U.S District Court Judge in 2013.

Article by Shawn Antoine II

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