Dr. Boyce: Private Prisons are the New Slave Ships of America

prisons122

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Dr. Niaz Kasvari, Director of the NAACP Criminal Justice Program recently wrote a very compelling article about the serious dangers of private prisons.   Dr. Kasvari mentions specifically the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) as the primary culprit, and the company that is truly happy to see you and your loved ones behind bars.   I know the prison system well:  I’ve had several close relatives to go prison, all of them men.  I also know that none of them were better men because of it, and that it was a life of post-felony marginalization that left the man I considered to be my older brother destitute and homeless until he died last summer.  These institutions are as poisonous to our society as drone strikes are to young children in countries around the world.

Another interesting article at Techyville.com goes into detail about how the private prison industry is structured, and who benefits.   According to Dr. Kasvari, the CCA sent a letter to 48 governors offering to purchase their prisons in exchange for a guaranteed occupancy rate of 90 percent.  This dangerous statement implies that the CCA is actively seeking to persuade legislators to modify and enforce laws in such a way that more American citizens will end up in prison.  While law-abiding Americans reading this article may not see the dangers in such a proposal, I encourage you to remember that everyone breaks the law at some point, and it is only the strictness with which the law is enforced that makes the difference between whether we are free or incarcerated.

The CCA earns $1.7 billion per year by putting people in prison, mostly African Americans.  Part of the reason that I am gathering for a public forum with Min. Louis Farrakhan in Chicago on March 30 (5 pm, UIC forum) is because mass incarceration has served to destroy the black family in America.  The rapid increase in single parent homes and the pervasive spread of prison culture in the black community is largely driven by the growth in incarceration rates all across America.  Black people are being fed like cattle into the prison industrial complex, and the lives of our children have little value to this system.

Dr. Kasvari also notes that the CCA considers modifications to even the most Draconian drug laws to be a threat that could “affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.”

As a Finance Professor, I am well-aware of the dangers of hardcore capitalism.   If it is not properly regulated, capitalism can be as harmful to our society as crack cocaine is to the mind of an addict.  Similar to crack, the drug of capitalism can cause you to make decisions that are in direct contradiction to the values you claim to embrace as a human being.  It can create a pharmaceutical industry that lets human beings die because they can’t afford medication, and it can create a prison industry that actually wants to see people behind bars, even if our society is being ruined because of it.

When we incarcerate so many millions of Americans, our world becomes less safe and more unstable.  Today, the streets are filled with young, misguided teenagers, many of whom grew up without parents who were given long sentences for non-violent, drug-related offenses.  Black women have fewer men to marry because prison culture has come to play a role in shaping how too many black men think and live.   Even worse, many of our men grew up with a steady dose of brainwashing via commercialized hip-hop on the radio that teaches them that every black man is supposed to be a blunt-blowing, gun totting thug who wastes his money and takes pleasure in killing black men while disrespecting black women.   These systems create a type of mental illness that causes us to become something other than what we were truly meant to be, and that is why our families are falling apart.

This is the society that is being created around us, and this is the battle we are in.  All of us should support those like Dr. Kasvari who are fighting against the dangers of the prison industrial complex.  The goal is not to get rid of punishment and rehabilitation as a logical response to crime.  Instead, it is to embrace productive rehabilitation that makes communities stronger and not weaker.

We are in the fight of our lives.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the book, “Black American Money: How Black Power Can Thrive in a Capitalist Society.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

52 Responses to Dr. Boyce: Private Prisons are the New Slave Ships of America

  1. Our people have gone from the slave field plantations, to the street plantations; from the street plantations to the entertainment plantations; from the entertainment plantations, to the ‘b.all’ plantations; from the ‘b.all’ plantations, to the jail plantations; from the jail plantations to the prison plantations.

    “We have gone from ancient slavery to modern slavery.” -Malcolm X

    STAY OFF OF THE CAUCASOID’S PLANTATIONS!!!

    • Derrick, I applaud you and others on your efforts to educate black ppl- especially black men about the US criminal injustice machine that is an unmerciful enemy system for black people. The problem is that too many black men are confused, dumbfounded, bewildered, baffled, befuddled, confounded, demoralized, distracted, frustrated, lead astray, misinformed and mislead by caucasian tricknology to realize what is happening to them.

      • @BigWill: “The problem is that too many black men are confused, dumbfounded, bewildered, baffled, befuddled, confounded, demoralized, distracted, frustrated, lead astray, misinformed and mislead by caucasian tricknology to realize what is happening to them.”
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        No further comment is needed!

        OUR PEOPLE ARE SICK!!!

      • ELOQUENTLY PUT.

  2. If prisons are the new slave ships, what are Black folks going to do to wreck the slave ships? What do we offer the Blacks that are going to prison? We can´t stop them from going and we don´t have nothing to offer them when they get home.

  3. SOME…African-American males have fallen in love with prison life. Free clothes, free jewelry, perverted s*x, and you get to hang all day and do minimal work…they don’t care about freedom, they love laziness.

  4. I agree with Elizabeth. This was an interesting article but you failed to address the fact that some kids are growing up without their daddies because their mothers chose to sleep around and have unprotected s*x. It isn’t just the prisons robbing your families of their dads. The mothers falling over with their feet or b**t in the air for any swinging d*ck are the reason you have so many kids with no dads.

  5. Pingback: Dr. Boyce: Private Prisons are the New Slave Ships of America | Black Blue Dog | HARD TRUTHS & bubble gum!

  6. Peter D. Slaughter

    Just shaking my head
    Some of us are sad mentally and mentally a joke.
    While a vast % of black people are all caught up in some type of materialistic non-sense,some religous fanatical madness and some tv,media entertainment overall black’s are done up right in their faces.
    ?? How come a vast % of black’s even refuse to speak about it and maybe just whisper like the slaves on the plantation use to do.
    Seeing the reality of this today, a vast % of black’s are to blind,in denial and just dumbed down to recognize updated slavery right in their faces.

  7. “What we’re seeing in too many schools, and particularly schools that serve Black and Latino youth from low income families, is a very aggressive police presence and very heavy-handed suspension practices.” Once young people are in the system, they continue the cycle of getting punished or really pushed to the prison system or to drop out and do low-wage jobs.

    Many middle and high schools have full time police officers who can independently arrest children on school grounds for any number of infractions like disorderly conduct, malicious mischief and fighting that just a few years ago, such infractions would have been handle by families, the schools, or community. And now, children, as young as five and six are being hauled down to police stations in handcuffs.

    Ecerpt from Redeem Yourself

  8. I a grre with the professor. This modern day slavery is nearly the same as past slavery. Whereas the slavemaster sells the father to another slavemaster, ripping this family apart, never again to see him
    or the wife or kids again, vice versa. Selling us like you would sell a horse, a cow or a bag of wheat. It is on record today that George Washington, the so-called Father of this country sold a Black Slave for a bag of wheat which he disregarded that black slave as a human being. So putting Blacks men in prisons, never to see their children anymore is truly the same as what the slavemasters done back then. Sounds just like it.

  9. This was a great article. What I want to know Why our POTUS haven’t come clean about the Prison he help purchase in Illinois.No one called him on the carpet.That’s the elephant in the room.He wanted to close Gitmo and bring the prisoners of war to the Illinois prison.President Obama will be violating the Geneva Convention.

  10. Unless you have worked in a Prison, as a correctional officer I feel you have no credibility to even speak on the subject. All I have to say is THANK GOD we have prisons. This article was a complete pity party, we have forgotten what those so called gentleman have done to be in prisons, we have forgotten the innocent people they have hurt.We tend to forget that most of the gun violence in our community stems from the illicit drug trade, I don’t know of anyone who is stupid enough to know that dealing with drug can only lead to bad things. We voted in Obama, why not work for legislation that decriminalize soft drugs such as Marijuana. Yeah I said it Marijuana should not be classified with crack, meth and other drugs. If you want to change the prison system you change those laws. Do you know how many correctional officer are killed each year by prisoners, the information is out their but we never see it published. So until you spend a few days in a correctional institution as an officer attempting to enforce the rules in a “Thunder Dome” society you have no credibility with me. Were working on the wrong problem, the question should be how do we keep good people out of prison, and not who takes care of the bad people in prison. THANK GOD WE GOT PRISONS

  11. Makes sense to avoid going to prison in the first place rather than end up in there and then start complaining about ones rights.I’d like to think that some of those that end up in prison have a basic sense of what right and wrong is ,its about choices and being accountable for your actions as far as i,m concerned.

  12. This is the truth! I spoke about privately run prisons 20 yrs ago in my Poetry and here it is staring you in the face! Truth is CCA made deals w/ governments for occupancy rates. The issue is our ignorant young generation who.doesn’t believe their sh*t stinks and who are totally disrespectful for what our ancestors fought & died for! Due to the ignorance of mainstream rap artists like punk a*s Lil Wayne, Gucci.mane, Rick Ross & all these other ignorant negative rappers who Are constantly on radio rotation, who constantly goto jail & then get out to return to making money in music. Its like its a set-up, meanwhile young brothers Are dying doing the dumb sh*t these artist talk about! The sale of BET was the biggest sellout of all times b/c it gave these crackers a direct link to poisoning our youth and as you can see its working! Young Women don’t even want to work but take Their clothes off and showing These assets all over the internet. Gorgeous black woman, b**t a*s naked and any site they can post a free pic! Out race going down the drain and our youth is helping the demise go full throttle!

  13. it dont make a difference anyway We are still slaves We never got our 40 acres and a mule anyway,,, so when We were so called free what did We get nothing but the jews screamed holocaust and the got everything even the home ur living in so Whats the easiest way to take u out of the equation..lock you up and then go after ur male children..and if u try to make a change for our people….u get assassinated….PERIOD

  14. Whites don’t need to go after Black children. They’re killing each other in epidemic quantities. Black on Black crime is the worst crime in America.

    • @keri:

      Stick that LIE up your flat azz! Over 84% of caucasoid on caucasoid crimes are committed by cracker males. Do you see these stats on tell-a-LIE-vision? He.ll Naw because the racist media (mindless-evil-devils-in-action) don’t want to show this Truth!

      They only project images of Black males GOING TO JAIL, and negroids have begun to beLIEve this LIE, that we commit MORE CRIMES!

      WE DON’T READ, and these yankees know this. This is why these crackers didn’t want us to read back during our forced enslavement, and still don’t want us to read today, so they can continue to keep the Truth on the back burners.

      I’m tired of negroids beLIEving that our children are dumb, which is another LIE! These racist cracker female teachers are passing them without the knowledge of reading and writing. How in the he.ll can a Black youth be in the 9th grade reading at a 3rd grade level? Is that his fault, or the racist teacher’s fault? YOU KNOW THE ANSWER!

      BEFORE school age from infancy to age 5, Black children excel MORE, than asians, mexicans, italians, and caucasoids!!! They become dumb down, once they enter this racist educational system where these racist teachers DEGRADE, DEMEAN, DRUG UP, and DEMOLIGH their pride with these LIES of slavery!!!

      I’m sick of this shyt! Negroids claiming that more Black men are in jail versus college, which is another LIE! Read the book SHOW ME THE NUMBERS by Stephen Few. Today, there are approximately 600,000 more black men in college than in jail, and the best research evidence suggests that the line was never true to begin with.

      Also, check out this book: DISMISSING BLACK MYTHOLOGY by Daryl James

      You have educated slaves and fools, who still get on tell-a-LIE-vision, and radio to continue to promote this LIE, that more Black men are in jail, versus college, and also another da.mn LIE, that more men are in jail versus our forced enslavement!

      THESE EDUCATED SLAVES AND FOOLS ARE PUPPETS FOR THEIR MASSA TO CONTINUE TO PERPETUATE THESE LIES!!! These are Boule’ negroids, who want to keep us at the bottom of the totem poll!!!

      READ! READ! READ!

  15. Please do not equate prisons with slave ships….Black men today proudly and boastfully and willing, with complicity interact with jails and prisons on their own volition.

    • The fact that there are criminals in prison that ought not be in our streets is true, but what the article talks about is the epidemic of putting blacks in prison for whatever reason even if for even just a week. Those that go to prion for non-violent crimes come out with violent habbits and no opportunities in this society. There are whites and other races that also commit the same kind of non-violent crimes but it is easier to hide those crimes when cops aren’t in your schools and communities and society isn’t choosing you to fill the prison quota. Look at how many schools are closing to the privitized chater schools in minority neighborhoods. The kids who don’t get into the charter schools in their neighborhood will have to go somewhere else. In Responce to how youth are ignoring their roots and disrespecting themselevs and race: Think of the Reding and Math focus to pass tests in schools and the decrease or whatered down history and Social studies classes in schools. THose would help us understand where we have been and where we are going. Example: the district in Arizona getting rid of the Mexican American studies which is the root of many of their students. It si easy to be on the track to jail when your racial identity, values and roots are not part of how you grow up or are directed by people who care about maintaining social power and or just don’t care.
      .

  16. You do realize that the greatest number of slaves were captured by their own people, right? By Muslims….and yet, so many Black people worship the ground this Muslim president walks on, and think he is interested in helping you. Google “muslims sell slaves 1700s” and have a look around. Go to Google images and check there too. How the Blacks continue to blame the Whites for something the Blacks did, and continue to do, to themselves escapes reason. http://images.google.com/search?hl=en&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1366&bih=705&q=slaves+being+sold&oq=slaves&gs_l=img.1.3.0l10.4088.4978.0.8394.6.6.0.0.0.0.67.343.6.6.0…0.0…1ac.1.5.img.sH-Nn3tmEWc#hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=slaves+being+shipped&oq=slaves+being&gs_l=img.1.5.0l7j0i5j0i24l2.185626.186363.0.192738.5.5.0.0.0.0.104.380.4j1.5.0…0.0…1c.1.5.img.xnZY4TkdRgc&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.43148975,d.eWU&fp=3439dd54ad65afce&biw=1366&bih=705&imgrc=X0dWy6tzgGkjlM%3A%3BajGe_-WV_tvugM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.islam-watch.org%252FAssets%252Fislamic-slavery-black-slaves-rescued-from-muslims.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.islam-watch.org%252Fauthors%252F65-khan%252F104-condemning-european-slavery-sparing-islam.html%3B576%3B422

  17. “I know the prison system well: I’ve had several close relatives to go prison, all of them men. I also know that none of them were better men because of it, and that it was a life of post-felony marginalization that left the man I considered to be my older brother destitute and homeless until he died last summer. These institutions are as poisonous to our society as drone strikes are to young children in countries around the world.”

    I can empathize with anyone who loses a family member or close friend to the prison system; however, the prison system is filled with people who make bad choices. Once in prison they continue to make bad choices because instead of taking advantage of the time to educate themselves and learn some useful skill that can be used when released they usually opt to spend their time watching “Cable TV”, “Body Building or engaging in some other meaningless activity. Regardless of the reason for going to prison each one of them leaves victims. There is no such thing as a victimless crime. My allegiance is to the victims rather than the person committing the crime. If these people had to work and pay restitution to their victims instead of soaking up free stuff that we on the outside have to pay for, I think there would be fewer people in prison and the CCA wouldn’t exist.

    “I encourage you to remember that everyone breaks the law at some point, and it is only the strictness with which the law is enforced that makes the difference between whether we are free or incarcerated.”

    Oh really; this is a totally ridiculous statement. To even suggest that everyone is prone to commit a crime that would land them in prison is just ignorant and stupid. What message does such a statement send to those people young and old have never committed a crime? Are they to go through life conscious and in fear of committing a crime at some point and going to prison?

    “Part of the reason that I am gathering for a public forum with Min. Louis Farrakhan in Chicago on March 30 (5 pm, UIC forum) is because mass incarceration has served to destroy the black family in America.”

    Mass incarceration is not what’s destroying the Black Family; it’s the choices that people make that get them sent to prison. There is not one single individual in prison that didn’t have other options. I question the love and judgment of any man or woman who jeopardizes his family by engaging in any activity that could send them to prison. This is an issue of love, respect and responsibility. When we love someone, respect someone and take responsibility we are more prone to make good choices rather than bad one.

    “Today, the streets are filled with young, misguided teenagers, many of whom grew up without parents who were given long sentences for non-violent, drug-related offenses. Black women have fewer men to marry because prison culture has come to play a role in shaping how too many black men think and live.”

    The streets are filled with young misguided teenagers because their parents smoked dope, sold dope and got others parents hooked on dope and they either got hooked on dope and unable to take care of their kids or went to prison and left them to fend for themselves. Although I know they’re out there but I don’t know any Black women who want to marry a drug dealer, a crack head, any convicted felon; or have one father their child.

    “The goal is not to get rid of punishment and rehabilitation as a logical response to crime. Instead, it is to embrace productive rehabilitation that makes communities stronger and not weaker.”

    If this is not the goal, then I’m missing the point. How do you embrace productive rehabilitation? A person can’t be rehabilitated unless he/she wants to be rehabilitated; but isn’t this what prison is supposed to be about?
    We have a generation of young people who is less productive than any other in history and we are spending more time on the ones that may already be lost rather than concentrating on the ones left that we can save. We need to spend more time educating our young people more on the consequences of committing crimes and the destruction that go along with it. We need to re-instill pride and self-respect and responsibility; instead of making excuses for committing crimes and making bad choices.

  18. Just to add to Dr. Boyce’s article, below is additional information concerning the privatization of prisons that I posted on “News One” on 10-31-11.

    The existing prison crisis in the U.S. emerged from flawed policies that were initially instituted in the 1970’s when President Nixon declared war on drugs, and has continued throughout subsequent presidential administrations. The policies of the war on drugs in the U.S. has transcended beyond borders and has also played a dominant role in U.S. foreign affairs under the Reagan and Bush administrations. Research indicates during the mid-1990s, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South and Central America, the Caribbean and African countries, including Nigeria and South Africa, all agreed to the “U.S.-driven transnational war on drugs.”

    Another contributing factor to the prison crisis is the transnational trade. As a result of the relocation of U.S. corporations to the global South, where labor is “cheap and environmental protections minimal,” African American and Latino communities were left economically consumed. The impact of the transnational trade had a rippling effect, resulting in high rates of unemployment, poverty, drug addiction, violence and social dislocation that still remain today. As a remedy, criminalization became the “weapon of choice” in resolving social problems caused by the globalization of capitalism.

    Research also reveals that the privatization of prisons has contributed, too, to the increasing prison population. According to a report by the Justice Policy Institute in June 2011, “Gaming the System,” approximately 129,000 people were incarcerated in privately managed correctional facilities in the U.S.; 16.4 percent were federally funded and 6.8 percent were funded by state governments. Since 2000, the population in private federally funded facilities has increased approximately 120 percent, while the population in private state funded facilities increased by 33 percent. The costs of funding the privately managed facilities have also increased from 72 percent in 1997 to $74 billion in 2007. It is further noted that the standard process used to raise funds to build prisons through the electoral vote was not followed. Instead, revenue funds were arbitrarily reallocated from welfare, health and educational provisions, and private corporations were the “major benefactors of corporate welfare.”

    The two largest privately managed correctional facilities are the Corrections Corporations of America (CCA) and the GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut Corrections Corporation). These for profit prison companies are known to have heavily influenced legislators through lobbying, networking, making excessive campaign contributions, and even assisted in the drafting of the “three-strikes” and “truth-in-sentencing” laws.

    In 2010, CCA operated 66 correctional and detention facilities, to include contracts in 19 states, the District of Columbia and three federal detention centers (Bureau of Prisons, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Marshal Service). In the same year, CCA’s revenue soared from $46 million in 2009, to a record of $1.67 billion, with the majority of the revenue coming from state contracts and the remaining from federal contracts, which is 43 percent of its total profit revenue in 2010.

    At that time, GEO Group operated 118 correctional detention and residential treatment facilities, housing approximately 80,600 beds in the United States, Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Sixty percent (60%) of the GEO Group’s total annual revenue derives from the U.S. and the majority comes from state contracts.

    CCA and the GEO Group’s correctional facilities are located in California, New Mexico, Georgia and Florida (the home of the GEO Group, which not only has the second highest private prison population in the country, but also has budgetary mandates that require a certain number of prison beds be privatized.) Can you believe a quota system within the prison system?

  19. kerri, take your stupid, lyin, azz honky self back to stormfront!

  20. it is time to stand….and stop respecting the terrorist,very biased, “Ameriklan judicial system…..or continue to let this draconian suystem steal the life of our young men, women..and children…for relatively petty…non violent offenses……

  21. Dr.W… Is the black community responsible for any of the destructive things that are happening to it??? If kids disrupt classrooms & are disciplined or suspended…its not the kids or their family’s fault…its the teacher’s or the school’s…Or if criminals are sent to jail & don’t try to change their ways…it’s not their responsibility but the prison system’s to set them straight…Perhaps Dr. W, by never holding anyone but society responsible…no one ever really takes responsibility and the cycle grinds on…

  22. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this submit and if I may I wish to counsel you some fascinating things or tips. Maybe you could write subsequent articles relating to this article. I want to read more issues approximately it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>