Private mass incarceration is slavery

As we prepare for redistricting, a new legislative session and the implementation of thousands of laws that become effective in the New Year it is important to remember our criminal system is an economic system.

We don’t have traffic fines and fees for public safety we have them to pay for police, courts and municipal budgets.

We don’t have commissary costs for everything from food to aspirin to a phone call in a jail for public safety, we have them to feather the nest of sheriffs.

We don’t have an entire predatory industry made up of people who charge a fee to get people out of jail pretrial and do strange things like calling people daily to see where they are for public safety it’s a money-making industry.

Every fine and fee requires a human sacrifice to make this model work.  Cash bail is about emptying the pockets of family and friends of those incarcerated.

If policing were like any other industry it would have to meet outcome metrics but instead the more ineffective it is (rising crime) the more taxpayer money we throw at it.  More boots on the ground to do what?  More technology to do what?  More police cars to achieve what?  Where is the correlation between success and resources?  Who would keep throwing money at a team that never won a game?

We cannot continue to pretend this model of private profits for a few by taking those most in need and using their bodies to finance this system is anything other than slavery.

About Author /

Rev. Anderson is the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization P.R.E.A.C.H as well as a leader with the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition. An ordained minister for over 25 years, she has been a powerful and nationally-recognized voice for social justice and financial literacy.

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