Capitalism In The Prison System

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Crime undoubtably serves a unique function in our society. On the one hand—as a human race—we have learned how to effectively, successfully, and profitably “solve” the idea of criminal behavior, especially with respect to how we punish crimes and other deviant behaviors. Our modern penal system encompasses a total of approximately 1,574,700 inmates according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison owner in the United States reported a 500% increase in profits from 1993 to 2013. It seems that the modern industrial prison complex proves to be both safe for the world and comfortable in the pockets of the wealthy. However, despite the perceived “effectiveness” of the modern prison…show more content…
Capitalism has found its way into almost every facet of our society and the desire to commoditize everything has grown to outweigh the need for quality products and good business. Capitalism has found its niche in the modern industrial complex as well. As a result, because businessmen and women are so profit driven, many argue that policy makers and big prison businesspeople often work in concert to create laws and policies that “push” people into the prison system. According to the research findings from the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention, for-profit prison companies benefit from rising rates of incarceration that stem in large part from changes in laws and procedures that require increased penalties for nonviolent and minor crimes. Such crimes include the possession of small portions of drugs, and lengthy or lifetime incarceration as a result of “three strikes” sentencing laws. From 1980 and 2011 the approximate number of inmates grew from 500,000 to 2.2 million. The rise has had a disproportionate impact on individuals and communities of color. The “school-to-prison pipeline,” describes the policies and practices that push young people, especially children of color, out of school and into the criminal justice system. Overly harsh disciplinary policies, budget cuts that have left schools without resources to support students and families, zero-tolerance policies, and increased school-based arrests all contribute to the path of incarceration. In 2000, African Americans represented 17% of public school enrollment, but 34% of all suspensions. Similarly, in 2003, African American young people made up 16% of the juvenile population but accounted for 45% of the juvenile

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