2008 Rockefeller New Media Fellow
The Prison Industrial Complex represents a return to the institution of slavery - now under the guise of justice, security, and "corrections". As a result of California's "three strikes and you're out" law, inmate populations have expanded exponentially and so has the prison industrial complex. Prisons are "serviced" by giant corporations, like MCI and Marriott, with monopoly contracts for catering, telephone service and medical care. Inmates are often employed by private corporations at extremely low pay. Companies that service the criminal justices system and are served by prison labor need sufficient quantities of raw materials to guarantee long-term growth - the raw material is prisoners, and industry will do what is necessary to guarantee a steady supply. For the supply of prisoners to grow, criminal justice policies must ensure a sufficient number of incarcerated Americans regardless of whether crime is rising or the incarceration is necessary.