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Gibran

THE NEW SLAVE OWNERS

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BURIAL GROUNDS 2

7_1-300x200.jpgSadly, in the days since I wrote the first part of this blog, two more prison officials have died from the brutal prison attack last month. I watched a news segment on local stations where a former correctional guard bemoaned the fact that these deaths occurred, but he pointed out that such incidents are sometimes the aftermath of the prisoners having nothing to strive for. He  revealed  that “when you took away a prisoner’s promotions’ that he has no restraints to deter him from violence. By promotions, the former guard meant any incentives the prisoner may have been motivated to strive for as these would dramatically improve his chances for release. Any time a guard writes a prisoner up by issuing a disciplinary report against him, the prisoner faces serious sanctions that range from being locked up in segregation to losing his canteen privileges, or  to forfeit good or gain time which tended to retard the prisoner’s release date.

Minus these incentives, there is no need whatever to obey the rules, and untrained guards are pitched into a dangerous maze where they are compelled  to navigate their way through an inferno fraught with prisoner anger on the one hand, and institutional corruption on the other.

Despite all the sensationalized failures of the  penal system, one of the things the penal system has been great at over the years is the brilliant disguises used to cover up the widespread and wholesale administrative corruption of prisons. In essence,  the prison culture is rotten to the core and rife with corruption from the top to the bottom

I’ve been in prisons where the warden acted like a mafia don and  where the guards were simply his goons, but I have also been in joints where the warden and all the staff were mild-mannered and laid back. Basically, in the overall scheme of prison life, each individual prison is a reflection of the warden’s personality where day-to-day affairs as well as any other social interactions are colored by that particular warden’s governing style.

In the exact same way that small, neighborhood churches morphed into the modern-day mega-churches of today. prisons followed a similar path. I hear my Christian friends complain  about how their beloved church is a colossus that has no soul. I could understand. Not only in the transition did prison lose its soul, it also lost  its sense of fundamental fairness. And suddenly, prisons, like the mega-churches, turned into big business.

In the federal system of the late 90s, many warden were nothing more than the scowling face of corporate America. Businesses, of all stripes, such as Hewlett-Packard, Victoria’s Secret, Texas Instruments, etc, competed for a piece of the economic pie that flowed from the slave labor of the Bureau of Prisons. Prisons were now sweatshops where the government procured million dollar contracts, paying prisoners a little over a dollar a hour!

Even Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist spoke out against this slave ring, insisting that it would lead to mass incarceration as prisons would need scores of bodies to grease the machinery of capitalism. Was it any surprise  that from this scalding cauldron of corporate greed, stringent drugs laws became etched in stone.

With one stroke of the pen,  “the pen” (prison) became the illegitimate bastard child of corporate America. During the initial evolutionary phase of prisons turning into “instruments of commerce”, courts began to impose fines upon prisoners such as restitution for attorney fees, restitution to the victims of the crime, and in some cases, the Bureau of Prisons  even acted as a surrogate bitch for outside bill collectors who demanded that prisoners continue to pay child support. All of this was merely a ruse to extort prisoners, and to force them to work in the prison factory as the rules stated that a prisoner who owed money to anyone could not be released until his fine was paid in full. Therefore, prisoners had no choice but to labor in UNICOR.

Many of the more socially/politically conscious prisoners refused to work in the factory, and would work only in a job non-esssential to UNICOR. I was one such prisoner. I worked in the dormitory as a janitor for twenty dollars a month. In any event, to demonstrate just how much influence, corporate America had on prison policy, I recall an incident where a small gang-fight has gotten the entire population locked down. As a so-called security measure, we were locked in our cells 24 hours  a day. We were fed cold sandwiches, and allowed to shower once a week. After ten days of this, the warden got a call and the word was that some corporate big-wig told him to open the prison back up. He didn’t give a damn about any violence that may have ensued. His primary concern was that he had a million dollar contract that he wanted finished, and there was no way the job could get done with the prisoners on lock-down and unable to work.

Now with the internal morality of the prisons in the hands of corporate-sponsored wardens, prisoners became a  compliant workforce, but in an environment where danger lurked around every corner. When I got to the fed joint in Atlanta for the second time, the tension  between  the prisoners and the guards was so thick, it was suffocating.  It was a menacing presence that could be felt. All the prisoners felt it and openly spoke of it, each fearing that any day now, the lid was going to blow off.

As mentioned earlier, the makeup and personality of the warden sets the standards for the running of the facility, and there were basically only two “traditional” types of warden. He was either a “guard’s warden, or he was a “convict’s warden. Trust me, it mattered. A convict warden is one who sympathizes with prisoners and keeps the guards in check. The other kind of warden lets the guards do what they damn well please.

Dig this. People in the free world think it is bad when say, a Republican replaces a Democrat in the White House, or vice versa. Oh, the agony. This is nothing compared to the stress of an incoming warden, especially if the outgoing warden was a convict warden and his replacement is the other sort. Anyway, this goes to say that the housecleaning or the ‘draining of the swamp’ can get nasty, especially when the warden and the head of the guards’ union operate from different ends of the spectrum.

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17 hours ago, Gibran said:

And suddenly, prisons, like the mega-churches, turned into big business.

 

Oh yes!!! Some of the African Americans that operate some churches are just as much as predators on our people as Americas' corporate world!

 

17 hours ago, Gibran said:

Dig this. People in the free world think it is bad when say, a Republican replaces a Democrat in the White House, or vice versa. Oh, the agony. This is nothing compared to the stress of an incoming warden, especially if the outgoing warden was a convict warden and his replacement is the other sort. Anyway, this goes to say that the housecleaning or the ‘draining of the swamp’ can get nasty, especially when the warden and the head of the guards’ union operate from different ends of the spectrum.

 

WOW!!! I learned something new today. 

 

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Since the 60's you've had and still have AfroAmerican:
MAYORS....
CONGRESSMEN/WOMEN.......
POLICE OFFICERS......
DEPUTIES......
POLICE CHIEFS....
LAWYERS.....
JUDGES....
PRISON GUARDS....
PRISON OFFICIALS....

My question is what are THESE AfroAmericans IN POWER doing to change to change those hellish conditions?

I don't expect them to reform every single aspect of the entire system, but what or who is stopping them from organizing to clean up the jails, prisons, and other correctional instutions within THEIR sphere of influence?

 

I've said time and time again, even on this very website......

This is a society of ORDER.

Not necessarily of justice and morals....but of stucture and order.

Intelligent people of any race aren't going to put up with the resulting savagery and chaos that would soon result from having no more police or jails.
They will establish some system to maintain order and safety for themselves and their families.

Just like I say if AfroAmericans understand the injustices and harm that comes from Caucasian police officers policing the Black community; if we as AfroAmericans don't like the prison industrial complex then we need to work on CHANGING it or establishing one of our own where we can send AfroAmerican criminals to be either punished and/or corrected instead of treated like chattle and slaves.


Again, I know it's not very easy or very simple to do all of that.....my question is where is the EFFORT and DESIRE to profoundly change or replace the system from our Black officials who have the power to do so?

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The thing about prison reform is that it is a two-headed monster. First, the public does not truly care about what goes on inside the joint. They feel they since prisoners are locked up, that their confinement has no direct bearing on them. Most figure that since they are in prison that they must have done something to be there. Well, there are some innocent men and women inside. Notwithstanding that, there still should be guidelines to help improve the prisoners so that when they are released, they will at least consider becoming a productive, law-abiding citizen. If not, then these same people are let go to terrorize you. When it comes to getting out of the joint, some convicts are RELEASED. Some are UNLEASHED! The ones that are unleashed are like rabid, mad dogs who have been chained to a stake, and once unleashed---they do damage. In fact, that is their intention.

 

This in merely speculation on my part, but yeah, I know that it is possible. Anyway, in most walks of life or in every profession, you can reach a level where you feel "entitled" and it is this feeling of entitlement that drives you into believing some BS about what you have coming. For example, white folks feel a sense of entitlement due to skin. Beautiful women get a sense of entitlement due to their looks. Even a baby feels a sense of entitlement. That's just how natural it is. Well, convicts feel a sense of entitlement also. However, they usually feel entitled to "Revenge". 

 

I don't care how much time a convict has, there come a definite point in his confinement when he feels he is entitled to release. Yeah, it is real. It happens. Every time I do time, a day will come when I have had enough, and if I could get released at that particular moment, I probably would never commit another crime. Usually, when that day passes, it's all downhill. My ultimate moment of rehab has come and gone, so the rest of my bid is filled with rage and anger.It's like, "you motherfuckers should have let me go when i was ready to be good. Now, F---ck you. Just wait until they unleash me on your ass."

 

Now, as for the politicians and such. During the early 90s, liberal-minded people pushed to change the conditions of prisons in North Carolina and Jesse Helms, a senator at the time, had a fit. He screamed bloody murder that a convict could look at TV in prison, could shoot pool and play basketball. He had  the Pell Grants stopped which made it easy for convicts to take college colleges. Many others felt he had a point. If their children had to pay to go to college, why should a convict get a free pas?. After this, prisons were normalized with prisoners left with a lot of time and not much to do with it.

 

During this time, I took a full load of classes. They offered degree courses in business administration, and liberal arts. Quite naturally, I studied liberal arts. The professors came in from The University of Wisconsin at Baraboo, and when I made the Dean's List, i was just another student. No one knew I was a convict. I also studied in prison with professors from East Carolina University who came in and taught. Professors from HBCU schools such as Shaw University came in and offered a full array of college programs. In the fed joint in Wisconsin, the joint was set up like a college campus. We went to school all day just like on a regular campus. We didn't have to work. We just  went to classes.

 

Another main reason that no ones want to reform prison is because the people inside that you are trying to assist are not that endearing. It's kinda hard to work on someone's behalf who just might kill you once they get out.

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Gibran



If not, then these same people are let go to terrorize you. When it comes to getting out of the joint, some convicts are RELEASED. Some are UNLEASHED! The ones that are unleashed are like rabid, mad dogs who have been chained to a stake, and once unleashed---they do damage. In fact, that is their intention.

This in merely speculation on my part, but yeah, I know that it is possible


I think this is more than mere speculation because I've noticed the same thing.
I've noticed that they have let many people out of prision and into the 'hood who shouldn't have been. Many of them are clearly anti-social, mentally disturbed, and quite violent.....but they are released or as you say UNLEASED into society anyway.
Which means decent peaceful socially oriented AfroAmerican men...in the name of defending themselves or loved ones are often FORCED to seriously injure or even kill these fools and risk ending up in prison themselves simply trying to solve a problem that the state made!

So they'll kill 2 or 3 birds with one stone.

 

 

What you said about an "ultimate moment for rehab" is profound.

Despite all the brothers (and sisters) I know who have done serious bids you are the first one to drop that science.
I hadn't heard of that concept of a "window" for rehabilitation before.

You haven't been on this site long enough but from time to time I've mentioned that it is my believe that this society in the United States today was not designed by or for the benefit of AfroAmerican men. The laws, the food, the marriage customs, the expected behavior, ect.....all designed for the benefit of OTHER than AfroAmerican men; which is why so many AfroAmerican men keep finding themselves in trouble with the law, at work, with unemployment, with relationships, and even with eachother.

But again, someone has to take the initiative to "reverse the hypnosis" as Lauryn Hill would say.

 

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