America’s cruel and impersonal justice system justifies its growth and very existence through the belief that it’s necessary to relieve society of the non-violent offenders – not that there are any actual statistics to dispel the myth that their incarceration has ever reduced crime in any significant or real way. The process-driven judicial system seems to encourage its puppets to maintain quotas. The so-called “Corrections Corporation of America” continues to obtain new contracts to develop and manage new and more facilities.
This affects their constituents with the greatest of harm at a most severe cost to society as a whole. Both the convicted and their families now need the support of the collective, such as welfare. The convict’s burden and responsibilities now falls to the remnant of family left behind. The family must maintain some semblance of normalcy in the absence of their love and support.
And what becomes of those criminals who have been relegated to the warehouse for rehabilitation? Some will continue their education and possibly attain a GED. Others will promote their craft and influence the young hearts and minds of another generation, seeking their next opportunity to promote chaos and dissent. We suffer a slow, deliberate, and persistent tampering with the human psyche at the hands of a most cruel Department of Corrections through oppression and other means of control.
The lashing of tongues is meant to beguile and humiliate. The daily thrashing of rules and policies and regulations is imposed on the convict. There is an overall lack of any accountability for any interactions committed against the inmate by staff.
Little if any consideration is given to the health and well being of the family until their needs run contrary to the corporate-modeled prison industrial complex. At best, one can only pick up the broken shards of their lives afterwards and pray that there’s never again a need to engage in any activity that the corporate beast has labeled “criminal.”
This post is published as part of the Prison Op/Ed Project, an occasional series authored by CCRI sociology students who are incarcerated at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute.