Slavery is still legal… Public safety should be the least of your worries on prisoner release.

California, after more than ten years, has finally been forced to begin fixing (not to fix, but to begin to fix) the inhumane conditions of its prisons (not its jails, or detention camps, its prisons).

And no, California is not the worst or only, but hey, it’s in the news finally.  Primarily because many less intelligent people (not you, but someone you know) honestly had the shallow, arrogant and self-centered orbs to be primarily concerned about how that would make THEIR life worse.

A little timeline:

1776: American declaration of independence

A lot of other stuff.

1862: Emancipation Proclamation

A little bit of other stuff.

1865: 13th Amendment, redefines slavery (not abolishes.  Redefines) 14th and 15th amendments get honorable mention.

A little more other stuff.

1896: Plessy vs. Ferguson

A whole lotta other stuff.

1954: Brown vs. Board of Education

A whole whole lotta other stuff…

1964: Civil Rights Act

Some other stuff…

2011: Continuing down the slippery slope to present day, where prisons are privatized and major for profit corporations contract to secure free labor and widen their profit margin.  We have a handy host of fun new tricks making sure every hard working American can do their part in the prisons of the free, home of the brave.

What tricks you ask?

Failing education systems.  Trying juveniles as adults.  The Patriot Act.  Three strikes laws.  Culturally biased sentencing.  Juries of no one’s peers.

So slavery is still legal as punishment for conviction of a crime… You can end up in prison for accidentally reading a neighbor’s mail… Most offenders commit non-violent crimes… Untold numbers are wrongfully convicted yet serve full sentences anyway… California has the worst public education in the nation… The recidivism rate is through the roof… Prison industry is profitable… The justice system is routinely upholding the provision of a steady, able-bodied black male prison workforce… We’ve not only overstuffed prisons, we’ve also understaffed the few supports available, ensuring as long a ride as possible… Is that right?

Ok wait I confused myself.

Let me try that again, simplified.

No one’s being released to roam the streets.  They’re going to a different facility.

Prisons are overflowing with inmates who will stay there longer than they should because of legal slavery, high profits, tougher sentencing and minority profiling.

And still.

Still, you think the worst part about reassigning (‘cause nobody is going to be released before their time) prisoners is that they’ll somehow roam free in your neighborhoods?

Like the same justice system that overcrowded the prisons isn’t going to continue to do everything in its power to keep that labor force intact?  How profitable must it be to keep that slave labor going when it costs more to house an inmate than you might earn in a year?

More than you might ever spend to send your children through freshman year in college.

Tell me, were you equally concerned… Did you look over your shoulder when they laid off thousands of teachers and enforced furloughs?

Please share your thoughts, encouragement, questions, I'd love to see them.

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