The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In Defense of Prisons


You know how we are afraid of all the poor people making trouble in the ghettos? I have a great idea. First, we need to charge into the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country, round up anyone who even thinks of breaking the law and throw them in jail. Because these kids grow up with an almost third-world education, surrounded by violence, crime, and drugs, they are bound to be doing at least one thing wrong. Forget that most drug users and dealers are white, I bet we could get 75% of all incarcerated drug offenders to be black or latino. And to make the cops feel obliged to arrest as many of them as possible, we’ll pay them more for putting up higher numbers. Not bigger criminals, just more of them. Next, now that we have a prison population that has increased 400% (even though violent crime actually dropped 20%) we will need something for these felons to do. They can’t just sit in there and lift weights; they might get unruly and start trouble. So, we do what Americans are supposed to do: make them work. I’m not talking about slavery, that’s crazy. I’m talking about paying them 3-6 cents an hour to make things that other people don’t want to make while we keep them in cages for extended periods of time. Hey, they shouldn’t have screwed up in the first place is all I’m saying, right? But turning our prisons into factories isn’t the end of it. You know how southern California has all these wildfires? Well, it gets awfully hot in there, so maybe instead of only sending in paid firefighters, we can send in some prisoners with minimal training too. And better yet, lets just have the female prisoners make all of the firefighter’s uniforms for almost no pay. Genius, I know. But I haven’t even gotten to the best part. Can you guess what’s missing from all this? That’s right, privatization! We’ll actually make it profitable to run these outfits, corporatizing the whole system the way America does it best. Forget rehabilitation, we want these people to keep coming back forever! The more people we get in prison, the more money gets made. Hey, slavery might be over but I bet we could get more African-Americans working in prisons than we had enslaved back in 1850. In fact, I bet my life on it. How’s that for American innovation?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Colleen said...

I really like that you turned this into a satire. I think this was the perfect approach to point out the absurdity of a system in "the land of the free."

February 11, 2011 at 6:40 PM  

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