Revolutionary Worker Scholar
A Column of Short Stories about the world of work
Punishment is central to criminal justice practice in the United States. Punishment is the act of making someone suffer for a fault or crime. According to the 1994 Meriam-Webster Dictionary, “Punishment stresses that giving of some kind of pain or suffering to the wrongdoer rather than trying to reform the prison.” Punishment as a response to violation grows out of the revenge concept of justice- returning pain for pain.
Imprisonment is usually justified by appeals to one of two philosophies: protecting the public or rehabilitating the prisoners. By either standard, however, the evidence is overwhelming that prisons do not work. In fact, if one had systematically and diabolically tried to create mental illness, one could probably have constructed no better system than the American prison system.
There are several reasons why the prison industrial complex (PIC) continues to grow in America, and I will focus on two of the most important. The first is that in punishing people we as a society attempt to appease the fearful side of our own human nature. The second is that vested interests keep this very unsuccessful system going. Just as steel companies need iron and timber companies need trees, so prisons use people as their raw material.
"You can make lots of money.” At this moment the skies opened up and I heard every T crossed and I dotted. His mask of deception seemed almost kind and sincere.
Bam. Suddenly the dreary clouds were in my midst. There was no air. I had fell prey to the ugliest of greed. I was kidnapped, trapped, and freedom suddenly had a price. Every night was his delight.
October 22, 2012
Opposition to Prop 35, also known as the Case Act, is growing. Sex worker groups are calling for a public forum on Prop 35 on Monday, October 29 on the steps of City Hall at 12 noon. We are inviting the proponent and funder of the proposition ex-Facebook millionaire Chris Kelly to debate us.