ethel’s words

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MAKE-WORK; PRISONS

The prison industry provides a generous slice of taxpayers’ money to varied employees: guards, social workers, psychologists, criminalists (where do they repose?) and many whose positions are not prison-oriented, but rather, general “public service”.

There is also a Prison Industry with capitalized letters. This industry contracts with governments to incarcerate and maintain persons convicted of crimes, usually when the convicting state has run out of room in its various “pens”--as we used to call the “penitentiaries”.

Thus, crime becomes an even greater source of money: Not only ordinary jobs, but also profit-gleaning contracts between states: it may seem reminiscent of selling humans on the auction block, but that doesn’t quite fit. In this case the “buyer” must clothe (sorta) and feed (sorta) the “purchased” humans. Whether they work is a separate question.

There is little incentive to encourage prisoners to try to stay free when profit is made by keeping the crime mill churning away.

Ethel C. Hale