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The Parasite of the Prison Industrial Complex - Term Paper Example

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Student’s Address Date Class #/Section The Parasite of the Prison Industrial Complex Table of Contents Abstract………………………………………………………………………….3 Current Situation and Causal Factors…………………………………………
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The Parasite of the Prison Industrial Complex
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Download file to see previous pages ..9 Abstract: This analysis looks at the phenomenon of the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) as it exists in the United States. The analysis further examines the relationship between large companies that profit from prison related business in the United States and the growing inmate population as well as the historical context that brought this relationship about. Lastly, this analysis discusses the overall impact of this shift and recommends pertinent policy changes to correct this shift. “If one adds up the total number of people in prison, plus parolees, probationers, employees of correctional institutions, close relatives of prisoners and correctional employees, and residents in communities where jails and prisons are major employers, tens of millions of people are directly affected each day by the carceral state” (Gottschalk, 2006). This quote, although difficult to grasp the scope of, aptly illustrates the self-perpetuated problem that is the United States current policy towards incarceration. Sadly, this policy is not one that is rooted in data, as we will determine later in this analysis. Instead, this mind boggling number is at least partly the fault of the monied interests that are heavily invested in the prison system within the United States. ...
This self-perpetuating cycle of greater and greater numbers of incarcerated person, stricter laws, as well as corporate interests in the ever expansive and privatized role of correctional institutions in the United States bears witness to the failed policies of the War on Drugs and the War on Crime which date back to the early 1970’s. Perpetuation and Historical Analysis Interestingly enough, most Americans are unaware that the actual crime rate of the United States has actually been diminishing for over 20 years now. This is striking information when compared with the following: “Today’s 2 million prisoners (not counting the 5 million who are under supervision of the criminal justice system) represent a prison and jail system ten times larger than that which existed in the United States a mere twenty-nine years ago. (Hallett,2006). Figure 1.0 aptly demonstrates the rapid rise in the prison population as a function of time. Figure 1.0 In their article entitled, “Punishment for Sale: Private Prisons, Big Business, and the Incarceration Binge” Selman & Leighton state the following, “War on crime is not rooted in rising crime rates but is rather the result of the rise in public’s concern over crime, which has been wrought not by the criminals in the real world but by the images of the criminals who now break into our living rooms nightly through the window of the television (Selman & Leighton, 2010). This information begs the question, if crime rates are continuing to fall or remaining relatively static, then why is the incarceration rate growing so exponentially? The answer to this question lies in borderline illegal financial activity which was first initiated during the late ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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