Incarceration in the United States

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Mainstream corporate media and politicians ... persistently projected the false image of US prisons as resorts where criminal predators eat chips, lift weights, and watch videos all day, much like the images given of slavery as an experience that Black folks actually enjoyed. ~ Kevin Rashid Johnson

Incarceration in the United States is one of the main forms of punishment and rehabilitation for the commission of felony and other offenses. The United States has the largest prison population in the world, and the highest per-capita incarceration rate.

Quotes[edit]

  • If we are right that the overdevelopment of the American penal state is a symptom of the underdevelopment of the American social policy, meaningful reform is in large part the task of winning redistribution from ruling elites. It will be costly. And there will thus be losers, who will resist it. The end of American mass incarceration is not a technical problem for which there are smart, straightforward, but just not-yet-realized solutions. Rather, it is a political problem, the solution of which will require confronting the entrenched power of the wealthy. In this sense, the task before us is to build the capacities of poor and working-class Americans to win redress from their exploiters.
  • Most people don’t quite relate US prisons to government sponsored torture. We can thank the mainstream corporate media and politicians for this. Since the 1960s and 1970s they’ve persistently projected the false image of US prisons as resorts where criminal predators eat chips, lift weights, and watch videos all day, much like the images given of slavery as an experience that Black folks actually enjoyed. These false images are sustainable because the real world of prisons is a hidden one, concealed behind walls and razor wire, inaccessible to the public.
    • Kevin Rashid Johnson, "Amerikan Prisons Are Government-Sponsored Torture," Socialism and Democracy, vol. 21, no. 1 (2007), p. 87

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