Incarceration In America: A Horror Story

The above video gives a really thorough understanding of the incarceration problem that we have in the United States. Private prisons doing whatever they can do increase their own bottom line – often extending sentences for no reason at all. Incarceration is supposed to be used as a way of correcting behavior, and deterring future behavior. Instead though, it’s used as a profit-scam… and the reasoning is simple: Private profits.

The conditions of prisoners are only roughly regulated by the government, as most prisons in the United States are private for-profit institutions. Imagine that – getting into the BUSINESS of locking people up. It seems ridiculously vicious in nature. What sort of person is happy with locking up everyone? It’s not just violent people either. Sure, there are a lot of murderers, drug dealers, “gangsters” arsonists, rapists, etc… but the VAST MAJORITY of people are non-violent people. The overwhelming majority are in prison for doing NOTHING that harmed anyone else, including simple drug possession charges.

Is our prison system really “good” for our country? Think about it hard after watching this video… and ask yourself if you’re actually satisfied with our prison system. Ask yourself if you actually LIKE having BILLIONS of dollars spent on the “corrections” system – a system that doesn’t actually correct anything.

My uncle has been in prison for about 7 years now. His original sentence was less than that – and he was in there for something COMPLETELY non-violent. His sentence was extended, despite his good behavior, because they found some excuse as to why they “didn’t think he was sorry enough.” Bullshit.

The real reason his prison sentence was extended, was because the PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT PRISON that he’s in wanted another $40,000 – which is what they are paid each year from the government PER INMATE. Tell me, if this was your business… and you were paid that kind of money per inmate every year, would you find any reason to keep people inside? Would you lobby the hell out of government to keep harmless drugs, like marijuana, listed as being in the same category has heroin; the same category as the hardest of all drugs, labeled as having absolutely no medical value at all – despite “medical marijuana” actually being a real thing? It has proven treatment abilities for some of the most ruthless of disorders, and has had its exact make-up used in pharmaceutical medicine that was approved by the FDA. It’s absolutely regarded as not only safer for consumption than tobacco, alcohol, and most prescription AND over the counter medications as it has been for centuries… but if you keep it illegal, people will get locked up, and if people get locked up – money is made. The entire system is centered around multi-billion dollar profits, just like all of American business power is. No matter what the cost, they’ll get away with it too (bailout, anyone?).

When will this madness stop? When will people be treated fairly in the “land of the free?” No – as long as incarceration is treated as a business opportunity, it will continue screwing over the country like most other big businesses do every day.

Charlie Pryor

Charlie is a media producer, writer, and a traveler. He grew up in Michigan, all of his life and attended Grand Valley State University for a B.S. in Film and Video Production. He's married to a wonderful woman named Hang, and simply hopes to one day turn himself into a man that many will remember long after he's gone.

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2 Responses

  1. The sentence was 6.5 years to 20years. They can actually keep him 20 years if they want even if he doesn't get in trouble. It is sad, I agree, if it is a privately own business and they can make a profit. I had no idea. I thought they were owned by the State of Michigan.

  2. It's possible I have his particular case incorrect, in terms of private prisons. The figure of the sheer amount of privately owned prisons in this country wasn't exaggerated though.

    Here is a list of state-owned prisons in Michigan. If the one he is in, or was in when they extended him, is not on this list – it was private. If he is in one that says "closed" on it, then it was reopened as a private institution. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Michigan_state_prisons

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