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Our Prisons: Utterly & Completely Ridiculous! By Dr. Cynthia King Bolden-Gardner

Updated: May 3, 2022

Just how far are we going to let this ‘so-called’ prison privatization go? First of all, private prisons run matters of and house prisoners that are tried before governmental tribunals. Then, these private corporate entities become essentially immune from doctrines, such as “state action” and other rights afforded to the accused, because they are private. By the time you work your way through that quagmire to hold them accountable, as though they were a governmental entity (because, they are licensed and given authority by and in lieu of the government), there are still more hurdles.

These entities thrive on nepotism. Their children are reared like deer hunters seeking out a career in private law enforcement in these profit-making enterprises. Poor, disenfranchised, and minority children are craftily guided toward the school-to-prison pipeline, tagged and earmarked like cattle by the third grade. The incarcerated and their families pay the ultimate price. If you want to exercise your right to worship, you are not allowed to receive a Bible from your family. Toiletries and all other personal goods must be purchased from a list that requires too much private financial information from the donor. The prices are exorbitant, and make Wal-Mart look like Dollar General.

In order to talk to an incarcerated loved one, you must have a credit or debit card on file that they tie into your otherwise private telephone line, putting all of your private information at risk. Phone calls are far from cheap, and you are at the institution’s mercy to determine the amount of time elapsed and money charged. In addition, they also charge fees to family members who text and email inmates. Clearly, they are crossing the lines.

Now, let’s talk about what they are charging family members to visit. Visitation is on video recording, therefore, NOT PRIVATE. Families have to PAY FOR IT. This is disgraceful.

Where are our lawmakers, our avant-garde civic and Civil Rights entities, governmental agencies, activists, representatives, and politicians? Is it that everybody’s too intent on “moving on up, to finally got a piece of the pie?”

The net consequences are that prisons are substandard, violate health standards, habitability and constitutional rights. They are havens for gang violence, racism, gladiator fights, rape, sodomy, drug infestation and religious oppression. The incarcerated are separated from the compassion and counsel of their parents and loved ones, including their children, because it is cost prohibitive. Thus, it is much easier to force them into “deals and plea bargains” that they otherwise, would not consider.

There are a plethora of problems with this system, because it’s all about the MONEY, but ain’t a doggone thing funny.

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