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Prison-Industrial Complex

Essay by   •  May 28, 2011  •  457 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,528 Views

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When companies profit from crime, there is an incentive to imprison more inmates for longer sentencesÐ'--even when the violent crime rate is on the decline.

The prison system, courts, police, and corporations have a vested interest in keeping crime at a certain level. This is because prisons have become a form of economic development and a profit making opportunity. Some companies exploit prison labor, others build prisons. There are many businesses that benefit directly from prisoners. These businesses provide all kinds of services, such as food, phone services, medical services, drug detecting, personnel management, architecture, facilities design, and transportation. Making a business out of crime and punishment has been one of the fastest growing businesses. Billions of dollars are spent each year to put criminals behind bars. While this business grows, the owners of these privately owned companies are cashing in.

The media has had a large impact

The War on Drugs and mandatory sentencing laws have also created an increase in prison population, which in turn, make more profits those invested in it. These laws are designed to increase the likelihood of offenders going to prison and staying there for a long time, and they all hit hardest in low income and minority communities.

Also, corporations now reap benefits from contracted out inmate labor. The Federal Inmate Work Act of 2001 authorizes private companies to utilize, "federal inmate labor to produce items that would otherwise be produced by foreign labor" (Federal Inmate Work Act, 2001). Because of Inmate labor has provided a potentially large work force, exempted from federal regulations governing wages and occupational health and safety.

People just think that criminals are "bad" and prisons are "good." If Someone commits a crime, send them to jail. More jails, more criminals, therefore, less on the streets. This is a very false ideology that this country has.



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