The Prison Industrial Complex- Why We Should Eradicate It?
The Prison Industrial Complex is described as the imbricating desires of our government and industry to use the police system, surveillance, and imprisonment to resolve social/political issues while gaining profit. Unnecessarily locking up individuals who have not committed a crime can benefit companies economically at the expense of innocently incarcerated populations, which can lead to encouraged oppression towards POC’s, racism, poverty, and much more.
In 1971, mass incarnation was enforced during the war on crime by President Nixon. John Ehrlichman, who was Nixon’s advisor, stated, “The Nixon Campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people...We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or Black, But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and the blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.” Three decades after the war on crime began, the United States decided to develop a prison-industrial complex which increased spending on imprisonment, regardless of actual necessity.
The Term ACAB:
Today, we see this issue take place for the simplest of actions. The police system no longer appears to maintain public order and safety. Instead, they uphold and enforce a corrupt police system. One of the most well known modern examples is the killing of George Floyd, an unjust murder committed by the police due to systemic racism, the prison indrustrial complex system, and prejudice. The war on crime disproportionately targets people of color, specifically African Americans and Latinos. Once these innocent individuals are released with a criminal record, they face systematic discrimination when applying for jobs, housing, education, and in many states, are stripped of their voting rights. Not only does imprisonment lead to social problems, it can also lead to severe mental issues such as delusions, paranoia, depression, suicidal tendencies, substance abuse, PTSD, as well as increased levels of hostility.
How can you help?
Here are some quick and easy ways to continue educating yourself and helping the cause! There is so much we can do to spread awareness and become aware about the Prison Industrial Complex-- the history, modern day implications, the corruption of the police system-- are all extremely important subjects to continue learning about in order to bring change.
Follow accounts like @lastprisonerproject to stay informed
Sign petitions that go towards ending this issue
Call your local police station and get your voice heard
More of a reader? Check Out: https://electricliterature.com/a-reading-list-for-understanding-the-prison-industrial-complex/
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"Hi, I'm Yashica and I am a KID writer who is a Freshman at Clarksburg High School in Maryland. As an individual who loves to advocate for my peers' needs, I currently serve as the Class Council Vice President and a SMOB Student Council Communications Committee member. Outside of school, I participate in a Bollywood Dance team and I take Hindustani Classical music, which I have been doing for over ten years. I also have a vast passion for medicine and I plan on pursuing a career in the medical field one day. I am exhilarated to get to know and interact with KID members around the world and step into their perspectives as well as share mine."