Essay Title: 

The Prison Industrial Complex

April 1, 2016 | Author: | Posted in ethnic and area studies, social sciences

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Prison Industrial Complex

Prison Industrial Complex – Origin and Establishment

The term prison industrial complex ‘ refers to an American criminal justice system that has been substantially transformed by almost three decades of rapid growth and by the increasing importance of private interests in criminal justice policy . The mounting rates of crimes and offenses have led to the designing and establishment of such industrial complex for prisoners . The origin of such a complex can be better attributed to three factors . First [banner_entry_middle]

of all is the increased incarceration , the rapid expansion of prison population . Over every decade , this rate has been increasing and prisoners account tremendously in the overall country ‘s population

The second tendency is the increasing weight of private interests in the penal economy . In part this is simply a quantitative matter . More prisoners and prisons mean more and bigger contracts for a variety of private interests traditionally involved in incarceration , especially construction companies and architectural firms that have built more than a thousand prisons in the last two decades . In addition , a myriad of other companies provide food , health , education , drug treatment laundry , garbage collection , transportation , communications and other services . Beyond this there have been significant qualitative transformations however , the incarceration boom not only created a vast increase in demand for prison space , but also coincided with a long period of economic crisis , middle class tax resistance , increasing pressure on public resources , and the growth of an international privatization movement . All these factors combined to provide an opening for private sector involvement in prison management and speculative prison building

The third factor contributing in the transformation of the American corrections system can usefully be referred to as what Sir Leon Radzinowicz calls penal regression . By this , Radzinowicz means the tendency of the system to become more crude and cynical , displaying an increasing disregard for those fundamental considerations of a political social and moral nature from which .the machinery of justice in a democratic society should never be cut off (Radzinowicz , 1991 ) In the American case , massively disproportionate incarceration rates among communities of marginalized peoples , a growing tolerance for violence as a means of social control , and the replacement of rehabilitation with punishment and warehousing as the system ‘s primary ethics , seem to be the main regressive tendencies

Overcrowding of Jails

That prison and jail crowding is a major national problem cannot be disputed . Prison populations are now higher than they have ever been and are growing at an extraordinary rate . At present , inmate populations exceed cell capacity in almost all states–in most cases by a very substantial amount . In addition to being extremely crowded , many prisons and jails are old and in a state of physical decay . They are often inadequately staffed routine medical care , adequate nutritional requirements , and protection from physical abuse are often lacking Educational , vocational , and other rehabilitative programs typically are no longer available or have been curtailed sharply (Nebraska Jail Bulletin , 1994

Despite the fact that people… [banner_entry_footer]


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