The prison industrial complex

USA: The privat prison industrial system

Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian of the independent internet news channel „The Young Turks“ (TYT) talk on some aspects of the prison industrial complex, we are all not aware of and on the delicate question who´s involved and benefits from.

The political campaign on „war on drugs“ exacerbated by the slogan „three strikes – your out!“ and subsequent aggravation of punishment bill of former President Bill Clinton, with the strong support of his wife Hillary, has targeted especially poor black people and latinX-communities. But then along with the economy crisis more and more poor white people get convicted, too, and were fed into the system. Angela Davis has sharply criticised the prison industrial complex for decades, but in the land of the free a prisoner doesn´count. The two hosts – Cenk and Ana – explain on easy examples, how this system pressing money out of the poorest part of the society and make their profit. And what the role of politics in this system is.

Hosts (left-to-right): Jimmy Dore, Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian.

The prison industrial complex is always finding new ways to squeeze money out prisoners and their families. Studies show that face-to-face visitations with family reduces recidivism, which means less money for private prisons. More and more prisons are phasing out real visitation in favor of price-gouging video conference calls. Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, and Jimmy Dore, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

„Travis County ended all in-person visitations in May 2013, leaving video visitation as the exclusive method for people on the outside to communicate with the incarcerated. But Travis County is only on the leading edge of a new technological trend that threatens to abolish in-person visitation across the country. Over 600 prisons in 46 states have some sort of video visitation system, and every year, more of those facilities do away with in-person visitation.

Anticipating the arrival of friends and family, making eye contact, holding a child’s hand — these are the experiences and memories that give someone the resilience they need to make it in prison. A visit can alleviate the suffering that comes cold confinement and the brutality of unpredictable violence that erupts between inmates…

You may have heard of the prison industrial complex, but the companies that provide corrections facilities with their communications technologies are an industrial complex all their own. Three companies dominate the prison comms business: Securus, Telmate and Global Tel Link, also called GTL — the Verizon, AT&T and Sprint of jails.

Long before video visitation existed, prison phone calls were the bread and butter of these companies. With exclusive contracts protecting them from competition, the trio of prison telecom giants ratcheted up the prices until a single phone call could cost upward of $14 a minute.”

More information.

[Source: The video is from the yt-channel of The Young Turks and was published 5.06.2016. The first two paragraphs of the introductory text was written by the ISD Gießen. The following paragraphs was taken over from the TYT introduction text. As always for educational purpose only.]

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