In the days when the USSR existed — in the 1980 year — in the USA, 220 people were detained for every 100 thousand inhabitants. This is relatively little. In the XXI century, the numbers have changed significantly. Thirty years later, in 2010, the number of prisoners per capita in free and exclusive America grew to 730 people by 100 thousand. Only in single-person cells in the United States now fifty thousand people are languishing. Taking into account those convicts who were given terms “conditionally” or who simply did not go to prison because of their massive overpopulation, analysts call the huge total number of convicted prisoners - more than 7 million people (approximately every fortieth resident of the “blessed country”; these people called the complex term "persons covered by the punishment system"). In fact, more than five million Americans "did not have enough" place in prisons. In reality, American “correctional” institutions are inhabited by about 2,2 million people (data from the International Center for Prison Studies, ICPS), which is 25% of all prisoners in the world!
Californian penal institutions are the most crowded. According to the Bureau of Prisons Network, prison overcrowding there is 39%. However, experts are sure: by 2018, the “excess” number of prisoners will rise to 45%, which is fraught with a social explosion. Prisoners "live" in classrooms, in gyms, in laundries, in all kinds of temporary rooms.
The US penitentiary system is also overloaded because the influx of prisoners has increased over the past five years. Western journalists write about the "mass order" of prisoners in prison. The single-cell cells became a shelter for three, and the bunks rise in two and three tiers. It got to the point that the walking areas in American prisons turned into sleeping places.
Why is such a huge number of prisoners celebrated not somewhere, but in an advanced democratic country, in the same one that daily teaches the whole world how to live it correctly and publishes recipes for this very correct life?
The answer: one of the main reasons is prison slavery. There is a related cause: new laws adopted in the XXI century.
Acts adopted in the United States after 11 September 2001 of the year opened up to the American government complete freedom to observe, wiretap, spy, arrest and imprisonment without giving reasons: the slightest suspicion of "terrorism" is sufficient. And if a citizen was previously brought to justice (for example, he was listed as having stolen in a shop, carjacking or something petty), then he could well become a “recidivist” and get twenty-five sentences or even a life sentence, and without early release , even without the right of appeal.
For the sake of the notorious “security” and “fight against terrorism”, which the American rulers strongly promote and which many near-by-citizens of the country approve, in the US in 2001, the “Patriot Act” was adopted, according to which government agents can watch anyone, get access to personal records, block financial accounts, get into the files with educational, medical and any kind of information, listen to telephone conversations, perelyustrovat e-mail, connect wholesale and retail to cellular networks and so on e. The US population agrees and with the “Authorizing Act on National Defense” of 2011, which transfers all sorts of “anti-state affairs” to representatives of the army or special services, allowing them to completely remove the legal procedure from them. Here you will have both freedom, democracy, human rights, and patriotism - all at once in one bottle.
The harsh and high-speed laws applied by the guys from the special services according to the scenario, as if developed for the NKVD triples, allow the authorities to fabricate spies and terrorists in very large and constantly growing quantities, and then send them to the American Gulag - for a time that Comrade Stalin would have admired. .
Article "The Living Dead" in the USA: Stole a Jacket - Sit for Life "recently published on “VO”, described several egregious cases analyzed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a non-profit organization founded in 1920, which aims to protect the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution and laws.
According to the ACLU, 22-year-old Patrick Matthews was arrested for stealing tools and a welding machine. According to American law, he received a life sentence for this - only because at seventeen he committed burglary (without being armed). Patrick has no criminal storiesrelated to violence. One of the judges who reviewed Patrick’s appeal said that he did not “consider that the mandatory punishment of this 22-year-old guy contributes to the achievement of the goals of justice”. Patrick himself says: "I never would have thought that this could happen." And he adds: "Once I made a mistake, and they equated me with a murderer."
Timothy Jackson is also serving a life sentence without parole. This man stole a jacket in the store for 159 dollars.
The theft was committed at a New Orleans department store in 1996. At that time, for the crime of Jackson, if it was committed for the first time, they gave 2 of the year, and now they give only six months. However, the court sentenced Jackson to life. The fact is that twenty years ago, while still a minor, Timothy was convicted of robbery without weapons and two carjacking without aggravating circumstances.
Jackson already 16 years languishing in prison. “They put me as if for murder. They have people who have received shorter terms for killing than I, ”says Jackson. "Jacket for 159 dollars! Tell me someone that I can get for this life, I would not believe him. "
According to human rights defenders from the ACLU, the total financial savings of taxpayers in the event of a review of sentences for non-violent crimes will be at least 1.784.000.000 $. According to the estimates of the American Civil Liberties Union, only the federal penitentiary system will save more than 1,2 billion dollars. But the calculation for one person: for example, the life of a prisoner in Louisiana for one prisoner who has committed a non-violent crime will cost the state taxpayers about half a million dollars.
But saving the penitentiary system is not going to. Prison slavery is an extremely profitable occupation. After all, the capitalists receive almost free labor, which is kept for budget money. In fact, the permanent collusion of corporate capitalist lobbyists with temporary workers from governments is one of the implicit reasons for the economic crisis in the United States. Budget money is wasted, to put it mildly, inefficiently.
The US prison system is privately run on 1 / 10 and allows you to “rent” workforce to private companies. This is primarily a business and only the second (or, rather, the forty-ninth) - punishment.
Researcher problem "prison slavery" Vicky Pelaez in the article “Prison business in the USA: big business or a new form of slavery?” indicates:
“These corporations include the very cream of the American corporate community: IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT & T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom's, Revlon, Macy's , Pierre Cardin, Target Stores and many others. All these companies were enthusiastic about the rosy economic outlook that prison labor promised. From 1980 to 1994, profits rose from $ 392 million to $ 1 billion 31 million. "
Doctor of Economic Sciences V. Katasonov noticesthat the prisoners of the southern states are in a particularly difficult situation, where they continue to work, like slaves, on cotton plantations. The infamous high security prison in the state of Louisiana - "Angola". Her prisoners farm 18 with thousands of acres of land on which cotton, wheat, soybeans and corn are grown. For their labor, the prisoners earn from 4 to 20 cents per hour. Yes, and this is actually taken away from them: they leave half of the money earned, and put the other half into the account of the prisoner for payment to him upon release. But out of the "Angola" units - 3%. Most of those planted have very long terms, in addition to merciless exploitation and poor conditions of detention, they die early.
As for private prisons, in the American press they were dubbed the “prison-industrial complex”. This economic "branch" quickly took a prominent place in the production of many types of products. It’s a paradox, but the US prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, uniform belts and shoulder belts, body armor, ID cards, shirts, trousers, tents, backpacks and flasks for the army, 46% bulletproof vests ...
В December material from the Stringer Bureau of International Investigations, this special economic term also appears: the prison-industrial complex. Analysts say that today every 50th American is involved in the work of the prison system, and the annual turnover of the penitentiary industry has exceeded 70 billion dollars. Not surprisingly, let us add that capitalists do not wish to save on this profitable system!
“The unprecedented number of prisoners is just as fundamental a fact of American government as slavery in the middle of the 19th century,” says Adam Gopnik, an essayist for The New Yorker magazine and author of Seated America. “It’s hard to believe, but the number of black men serving a real or conditional sentence today exceeds the number of slaves in the 1850 year.” And even worse, today there are seven million people under the supervision of the US correctional system - more than in the GULAG archipelago under Stalin. ”
The 13-I Amendment to the US Constitution, prohibiting slavery and forced labor, contains a convenient reservation: "... except in cases where it is a punishment for a crime for which a person has been properly convicted."
“Most people saw the prison only in the cinema and thought that everyone there was walking around the yard or playing basketball all day,” says prisoner of the New York correctional institution “Rikers Island” John Hudson. - In fact, the majority of convicts in prison should constantly work. Work is paid below the lower limit - from 10 to 40 cents per hour. There are no such rates anywhere, only in prisons. But you have the right to buy food in the prison shop. And if you don’t fulfill the norm, you can be punished and sent to a Protective Housing Unit with full isolation as a punishment. ”
About 10% of US prisons, experts say, are commercial enterprises. Moreover, almost all the prisons that opened after 2000 of the year are private.
The state pays prison corporations for each day the prisoner is behind bars. The more prisoners in the country and the longer they sit, the more prison firms earn on them.
For example, the authors of the material note, in 2008, a scandal erupted in the United States: it turned out that the owner of children's private prisons in Pennsylvania was underpaying the judges, and they carried the harshest punishments to teenagers. Minors received prison sentences, for example, for ... ridiculing the school director on a social network. In reality, those who entered the empty house were also imprisoned. The champion of strict mantle norms earned 2,6 a million dollars for setting thousands of teenagers to “fix” 2!
The largest prison corporation, Corrections Corporation of America, was founded in 1983. After its creation in the United States, a sharp increase in the number of prisoners began. Over the past 30 years, this figure has increased by 500%. CCA operates 67 prisons and has an income of 1,7 billion dollars per year. The second giant of the American prison-industrial complex is the GEO Group (the company was founded in 1984 and has an annual income of 1,6 billion dollars, profits are derived from 96 prisons).
“Prison corporations spend tens of millions of dollars on lobbying legislators at both the federal and state levels,” explains Richard Smith, director of the Fund In Public Interests. The staff of the CCA consists of 70 lobbyists. These people push decisions in favor of private prisons and influence the passing of laws that toughen responsibility for crimes.
It was under the pressure of prison corporations at the federal level that the “Three Strikes Law” was adopted: its terrible rule orders judges to give a criminal from 25 years in prison to life imprisonment in case of a third conviction. (Examples we cited above.) The severity of the last offense is not taken into account. Recidivist - and the point. Private prisons began to quickly fill with slaves.
In free America, the GULAG is not spoken. Prison corporations, write on fbii.org, assess the situation from the position of the market: capitalism dispenses with emotions; business is business. The prison-industrial complex ... uh-uh ... expands the production base. Ethics? If someone stutters about it, they will explain to him: the corporations make money from the work of “persons duly convicted of a crime.”
That is, everything is legal. Do not commit a crime, and you will not get into prison workers. In the US, and in Western Europe, many ordinary people think like this. Committed a crime for the third time? Recidivist! Sit for life.
Yes, if you stumbled for the third time, then maybe it became a habit for you or even became like a lifestyle. However, we must not forget that a person who has not killed or raped anyone often receives a life sentence, which is too much. Do not forget about the lobbyists, promoting laws that not only lengthen the terms, but also overwhelm prisons, pushing the United States to the penitentiary record-breakers on the planet.
And here's the question: if so in the US there are so many criminals. that the country beats world records in the number of prisoners, does it have the right to broadcast to the whole world about its own exclusivity and teach the people of other countries, how they should live and from whom to take an example? And another question: what kind of new jobs was created before the election of 2012 for the year did Barack Obama speak, and the other candidate, Mitt Romney, echoed him? Lobbyists from the "Corrections Corporation of America" will not give a lie. Both Obama and Romney are honest guys. There are more and more prisoners in America, and more and more, therefore, in the “blessed country” of new jobs. Prison capitalists know a lot about their business.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru