Friday Feedback: Fixing the Prison-Industrial Complex

friday feedbackEach Friday, LA Progressive presents a comment we editors find to be most profound, insightful, or just plain unusual — we then highlight the comment in an effort to bring attention to the broad range of positions taken by our readers. This week B. Cayenne addresses California’s Prison Industrial Complex.

In responding to LA Progressive publisher Sharon Kyle’s inquiry, “Is California Reducing Prison Overcrowding Without Fixing Its Cause?,”  B. Cayenne Bird writes:

We will have a police state that arrests non-violent offenders for crimes that aren’t really crimes for as long as we allow Jerry Brown to sit as governor. The legislature uses prisons and jails as a means by which to finance the bureaucracy.

They use it for job creation and the $1.8 million that Brown took from CCPOA dictates his loyalty to the prison guards. There are 3 million people related to a state prisoner or someone on probation/parole. All we need to take him out is 6500 workers and 6500 ordinary people who will put up a few dollars so that we can get the special interests out of our government.

Please support the campaign Liberals to Recall Jerry Brown.  After 15 years of writing to puppets owned by the guards, protesting at the Capitol, filing lawsuits and working on initiative campaigns, it is clear that The People (you) need to help with the organizing work. There are many fine people who would make a better Governor than Brown!

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  1. maryjane says

    if ur looking for a place to invest your money with sure profits its hospice or prisons, they are the biggest growing businesses … whats that tell u……..

  2. says

    SO much could be done to reduce the footprint of prisons in our land, reducing the costs, making them more efficient and perhaps even rehabilitate some….if the jails and prisons were not getting more and more overcrowded with people jailed for smoking cannabis. I know, we’ve all heard it; tax revenue, decreased costs to law enforcement, would just about end the border violence (I live 35 miles from Juarez)….as with other controlled and regulated substances- alcohol and tobacco- we could probably get our act together in the law enforcement arena to the point that the private sector would no longer see huge profits in it…and Brown is no “moonbeam”…he is a change-with-the-polls corrupt politician who is “past it”. From what I’ve heard, he should be investigated for several issues from Oakland, when he was mayor…not to mention his current”issues”…

  3. says

    Gabor Mate’ , who works as a counslor in Vancourver B.C. at a safe injection site, and who has written several books and makes the lecture circuit has a position I fully endorse.  He notes that the current punitive system has no incentives to the damaged persons who cycle through.  There is nothing to uplift, nothing to console.  There are sticks to threaten, to take away family, to criminalize and thus prevent emploable status etcetcetc.  There are constant meetings and metrics to address, none of which are rational in a reality based, client center world.  There is jump here, jump there, jump this hoop…activities that create greater stress.  Stress is the reason people drug and evade what they need to do.  The system increases the stress, thus insuring a plentiful supply of bad people to grind throug the system, to feed the teats;the salaries and budgets etc, that compose the Systemic Beast.  “If you wanted to insure repeat offenders, you would design the current system.”

    California is one manifest, it as an important one because of size and influence.  Cal. can continue the course, or Cal. can do the right things.  Jerry is not showing signs of doing right.  Lead follow or get voted out of the way!

  4. Morezzless says

    Prison corporations are doing just fine, thanks. Considering a bad economy, its good to hear about someone in the country doing well. Eisenhower’s old warning about a military industrial complex is having its affect, and this time its the prison industrial entitlement program, that is the more prisoners you have equals a better equity evaluation, cut back on parole and grow the corporate payroll, the more prisoners the cost per head goes down and the price of equities in your company prison corporation goes up. The prison corporation then contributes more to the campaign finance war chest of a governor or legislator, they get re-elected and more money is budgeted for capturing more prisoners. Cut spending for mental hosptals, job training programs, education, health programs… and privatize your keister to the pearly gates because those corporations will fund re-election campaigns.
    It is a no loose proposition: the more that crime goes up, the more the equity price grows, the more the campaign contributions, the more votes at the polls. The less money for the public good, the more the crime. How can this fail?

  5. Juan Gonzalez says

    I am not a fiscal progressive but I am one on social issues. But ordinary people must come together from both progresives and conservatives to protect our freedoms. I fully support B. Cayenne’s position on the California prison system. Reform is needed here. Jerry Brown must go!

  6. says

    What a conundrum, as more civil liberties are taken away, the more room we need for those “belligerents”, who can’t get with the fascist police-state program mandates to be fine, tax paying automatons. Bad enough people are being put away for marijuana use, they are now just adding to the list of laws to be broken, sometimes without our knowledge. I believe there are over 3000 Federal laws. Do you know what they are? Did you even know the laws were being passed? Who is governing whom?

  7. Wm W West says

    We all need to UNITE together and educate the public that this plant was the most compatible plant for human beings, medically, physically, and most of all in today’s world, ECONOMICALLY, so many reasons to vs reasons not to

  8. indigojoe7 says

    the overbloated prison industrial complex is a blight on the state of california, a cancer on the nation & a tremendous waste of both material and human capital! instead of 

  9. Karohlfing says

    Prisons also put the kibosh on inmates growing their own produce. Although they were learning vocational skills and saving tax dollars, it cut into expected profits of prison business authorities.

    • says

      More than half the prisoners have life-threatening diseases such as Hepatitis which spreads rapidly in the filthy environment. There is a risk with sharp tools as well, plus the guards find a way to abuse inmates in work situations. It would be worse than what happens to the farmworkers. At least they have a labor union and the media can cover their heat strokes. But I hear you on this. They are running dairies and a meatpacking plant and the prisoners are always coming down with viruses.   

    • says

       In addition to prisoners catching Hepatitis, there are thousands of cases of MRSA, TB, every disease known to man because at most prisons they are denied cleaning supplies. The guards are more worried about getting bleach on their uniforms than the health of the prisoners. Troouble is, the guards are getting infected too as well as the medical workers.

  10. says

    The Supreme Court ordered Brown to release 40,000 prisoners over three years but what did he do instead?  He sent them to out of state prisons and jails that already overcrowded.  He did not comply with the court order, he only sidestepped it, we are still paying for tens of thousands of prisoners who are non-violent and could have been safely released. Plus there there are $7 bil in new prisons being constructed. These will cost billions more per year to be operated.  That money will come out of human services and education dollars. The people must get together and change the sentencing laws and stop this madness.

  11. says

    20,000 teachers got pinkslips this week. Is this how we reward the educators of our children? The UC system was gutted by over 500 million dollars. Yet the state continues to house 140,000 inmates without any plan for reintegration or release at a cost of $60,000 per year each. If we would release only the nonviolent drug offenders, we could have saved all the money diverted from education. Any money Jerry gets from tax increases will go directly to more approved but unfunded prison projects.
    Let’s take back our schools and reform our sentencing laws, get rid of Jerry Brown.

  12. says

    Pay-to-play politics in America is nothing new. What is dramatically different in this post 911 nation is the audacity of puppet politicians to sell-out the public they are sworn to protect. Governor Brown’s quid pro quo with the prison guards union tells us that our freedom is negotiable, going to the highest bidder, to further his own ends while enriching the CCPOA. The losers are the people of the state of California.  

  13. says

     I honestly don’t understand how  this  Gov. Brown can expect  anyone to move forward when  his very policies  literally  take  an individual’s ability to do so away ..  What kind of hope  is offered when p0erson is forced to hide for fear of incarceration ..
      When more resources are expended on  Jails and Jailers than  schools and teachers is it any wonder that the  prisons are overcrowded ?
       Why isn’t more money spent on early education rather than early incarceration ? .. I keep hearing statements such as , kids these days just don’t want to learn .. Hmm , well maybe they simply don’t see the value in simply learning how to obey a set of arbitrary dictates which are set up to benefit a chosen few .. 

  14. Gilbertvega2 says

    I bare true witness that the prison system here in the Great State of California must now change & bare honest policies towards the humans held captive. De Jure.

  15. Nathan Bernardo says

    While there is more poverty, homelessness, and despair, law enforcement and the criminal justice system oppresses, harasses, targets, and cages the people hurt most by this depressed and deteriorating economy; meanwhile, the Governor has been paid by those who profit by imprisoning the victims of this corrupt system. More and more it is the people victimized by the economic and judicial and law enforcement system that are being wrongly convicted or jailed for harmless so-called offenses. While the prison system is fed more money, programs for the people are cut, while the people are simultaneously beaten down for dissenting and disregarded and caged.

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