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Private prisons: profitability, bodies and justice. What are the issues and challenges?

  • 21 Comments

A measure of how sick our society is

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    Thank you for an excellent insight into the horrific state of our society.

    No human is born evil, our sick society makes them that way.

    Imagine a world without prisons. Not possible? Watch this... www.zeitgeistmovie.com
     
    Posted by Colin Smith
    Jun 14th 2010
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    Nora Callahan writing this comment. This is a wonderful film of the terrible prison crisis in America. One can't help but notice in comments that the citizens of the area are quite upset that they weren't portrayed fairly. What they don't understand is there isn't anyway to portray a region that is dependent on prison labor to exist -- albeit license plates made by prisoners, or police badge factories by moonlighting guards — in the rosy way they want to see themselves. The post World War II Germans who lived around the concentration camps had the same image problems when confronted with the reality of human horror.

    Sadly, if Fremont County, Colorado caged as many dogs as they do people, citizens from Hollywood to my town would be up in arms about it and making life impossible for them. They'd have Peta to contend with, not a couple of heroic filmmakers from France.

    I hope that this film helps global viewers grasp the reality that citizens fighting this course of imprisonment are up against. In the US, people still believe that most people in prison are violent. They aren't. The only prison system in the US that still is growing rapidly, in the steady beat of the incarceration building boom is the Federal system that is broke. The same group of leaders that are continuing prisons expansion abroad, and is the first order of business when the US occupies another country. I hoped to see signs of change, but President Obama just announced that he is going to ask Congress for three more new federal prisons. Guantanamo still in operation, the drug war unceasing.

    So, yes Prison Valley is indeed a journey into what the future might hold for people in all countries. Our tide of mass imprisonment isn't turning except to who we are adding to the mix of people US officials put in cages.

    David Dufresne & Philippe Brault, thank you for bringing our plight and blight of US prisons to a broader world audience, perhaps an audience who will reject the global US prison complex that is beginning to sprawl across the planet.

    Nora Callahan
    November Coalition
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    Dear Nora,

    Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate it, except, maybe, what you say about the The post World War II Germans who lived around the concentration camps. I really don't think U.S. prison sysem = concentration camps.

    For the rest, thank you. Really.

    Here's the link, i presume, with your own organization:
    http://www.november.org/

    With respect,
    David
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    One has to question the logical consequences of making it profitable to lock up an increasing portion of a Nations population for profit. A For-Profit prison lobby funded from the government and the people it is supposed to "serve" would naturally lobby for tougher laws against ALL offenses. The more persons incarcerated the more money. Shouldn't we be seeking a way out of the recidivism rate rather than contributing to it. Already people are being caught up into the system for more and more increasingly non-violent offenses, that are more a reflection of education, poverty, mental illness and joblessness than criminal in nature.

    We(The USA) as a nation are tumbling down a slippery slope by seeking profit rather than seeking to truly seeking the root causes of the problems our society and individuals face.These "prisoners" are human beings they are capable of being that. I think that the present view of the penal system does not take that into account. A good example is Charles Shaw (EXILE NATION) see his interview here http://www.realitysandwich.com/video/inside_exile_nation

    If we step on people hard enough they never get back up. Some do but they are exceptions.. Government has turned it's back on the one who want to be productive human beings, they are lost in the bureaucracy of state and corporate profit. This is not what a free society should be striving for!

    Light and Love to All in service to Others,
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    The question at hand is obviously a spiritual one, yet the documentary is content with simply condemning the layman ethics of the legal system. Question is: how can you make a documentary about prisons, crime-and-punishment, and not treat morality more seriously? The film barely scratches the surface of the corruption in privately owned prisons. The filmmaker also proclaims "This is what we came for, to listen to everyone, to judge no one...yet allows manipulative commentary the likes of: "Jim smiles at all the people he and his men have locked up." No amount of flowery language can cover up the Filmmaker's bias, present throughout the film. In fact, the documentary stinks of utopic pro-Obama " vote for change" propaganda when the president has done nothing to change the situation.

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