The prison industrial complex is a modern-day representation of concentration camps. The parallel drawn is all too clear. We have let the government dictate how the imprisoned will be treated in our society. With over two and a half million people behind bars, we are the most efficient nation at locking up our own people. Over 25% of the world’s prison population resides within the United States of America. This is atrocious, a true crime against society. Our laws are antiquated and the illegalization of select drugs has exploded the inmate population. In addition, there are over 356,000 prisoners with severe mental illnesses, which is ten times more than psychiatric hospitals. Not to mention the scores of black and brown people that are systemically preyed upon, only to the advantage of corporations utilizing the slave wages that prisoners are compensated.
Overcrowding and inhumane conditions are becoming more commonplace in every prison across America. Humanity doesn’t end when one becomes imprisoned. It is impossible to rehabilitate in a genuine manner when we only approach the issue from a punishment standpoint. Therefore, the only sound reasoning would be to take a look at our approach. Other countries; Norway, Poland, etc. have succeeded in efforts to achieve sound prisoner rehabilitation. Still more countries are tackling the effort. This is an issue that will not go away.
We have to be willing to ask ourselves some really tough questions. Can we justify locking a human in a barren cage? Is this an effective treatment plan for severe illness? Are we serving these prisoners needs? The determination of our people to end this carnage on the psyche of our citizens must be intensified. We have an immense amount of power. There are much more free people than there are jails and prisons on this planet. When we coalesce and focus our energy on organizing a resistance movement, this action must be in the blueprint. We are inside the nucleus of a horrid human tragedy. Our participation is required.