Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Prison Industrial Complex: Is This A Real Thing?

The prison industrial complex is a term referring to prison as a business. An industry, where inmates are the commodity.
The thought is that prison is such a big industry its in lawmakers best interest to generate more commodity. Mainly because its fiscally irresponsible to eliminate your commodity, what fool would put himself out of business?

I have always thought of this phrase "Prison Industrial Complex" as a conspiracy theory. Maybe even whiny. 
I remember before I got locked up I had this idea for prisons. I was researching an R & D grant to get a bracelet that would monitor your electrical output, heart rate and other measurable vitals. The idea was to make it mandatory for prisoners to wear a device. Then, if they touched another inmate it would surge the electrical output of a single person. 

Since each bracelet is assigned to each inmate, a computer would automatically notify staff that there has been contact, it would also notify them of other vitals and exact locations. 

This would have also been a way to obtain intelligence on who hangs out with who and for how long. Making it possible to track prison gangs, stop large crowds from gathering and making it impossible to get away with fighting. Or ever touching another person period.

Now that I am incarcerated I see a different view. Human touch cannot be removed from a persons life, especially in prison. It will only complete the dehumanization of the population here. Not to mention other complications. 
Prison is an industry and the commodity is highly predictable. The condition of the commodity is a direct result of its environment. Put the product in a hostile environment for extended periods of time and the outcome is pretty predictable. It creates a "survival of the fittest" mentality that is very predictable and highly maluable. We are also our most profitable when we are the most dangerous. 

I am reminded about this when there is a death in prison. If a man dies while in prison, he is scarcely remembered. If the local news does announce his death, even under suspicious conditions, the last thing they say about that man was his crime. To highlight who he was in their minds. 

If a man dies in prison he has paid the ultimate price for his crime and should no longer be remembered as the commodity. He was a human being first. But not in press releases, in those is a perfect example of commodity. 
Truthfully, many of us are easily treated. Not all, but many. If there are 3 million incarcerated people, probably 2.5 million of us are easily treated when we are placed in conditions that promote that. Learn a trade, learn to socialize, learn cognitive behavior, get individual & group therapy by real doctors who really care.

Instead, we get to prison and even the staff tell us to segregate. We are immediately hit with he who is most violent and most feared is safest. Those who are most feared travel in the biggest numbers, the biggest numbers accumulate when they are perceived to be the most feared.

Then they are released into your communities after receiving this unnatural training. No wonder things are so screwed up.

This is why I am so excited about this prison I'm in right now. The atmosphere is changing and its happening because of programs like mine and others before it like The Redemption Project. We can heal ourselves and our communities. Through careful love and pinpointed attention to what's really going on.

So yeah, the Prison Industrial Complex is real. Maybe you should get involved??

With Love
Jeff Utnage

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