Make the connection....
enjoy the surge!
Corrections is facing an explosion....
why shouldn't your company profit
from this incredible growth?
-1994 promotional brochure,
American Correctional Association
The United States of America has quietly become one of
the world's leaders in the rate of incarcerating its
citizens. At a figure of 519 prisoners for every
100,000 people, America is second only to former cold
war enemy Russia, at 558 per 100,000. Federal and
state prisons have recently reached the dubious
milestone of having a combined 1.5 million or more
prison and jail.
In a recent report by the U.S Justice Department, for
the first time in American history, African-Americans
represent the majority of inmates in federal and state
prisons. There are now approximately 735,200 black
inmates in prison-aproximately 10,000 more than
According to economist, overall, 2% of America's
potential workforce are incarcerated, and it is more
than triple that for black males 18 or older.
What is America's collective sociological need that
drives its approach to dealing with crime?
Statistically, violent crime disproportionately affects
the underprivileged of our society. However,
solutions are not often the ideas of the underprivileged,
frequently they are paternally
administered by the privileged class.
If the solution to America's crime problem is left to the actions of the privileged class,
we should expect
the solution to augment their status,
while further alienating the underprivileged.
This explains the presence of America's growing "Prison Industry."
According to "THE NATIONAL PRISON PROJECT JOURNAL"
some of America's largest Wall Street brokerage firms,
such as GOLDMAN SACHS & CO, PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE CO,
SMITH BARNEY SHEARSON INC and MERRILL LYNCH & CO,
are underwriting prison construction with private tax-exempt bonds.
Indeed, America has found its anecdote to crime,
it is Wall Street's biggest merger to date,
Crime & Capitalism.
Crime & Capitalism is a very suggestive expression,
it immediately discloses an American trend-that crime does pay,
and if justice does not prevail, profits surely will.
The increasing number of private prison firms are the latest societal indicator that
"street" crime is permissible,
under the tacit prescription that it is contained, managed and operated like a business
enterprise. Private prison firms are very attractive to many states whose budgets have been depleted by
mandatory sentencing guidelines and the latest
"three strikes your out" craze.
These private prison firms house state convicts on a per diem charge,
reducing the state government's cost of constructing new prisons,
paying guard wages, insurance, pensions and other associated maintenance security cost.
There are approximately 50,000 private prison beds in the United States;
experts expect this number to rise considerably in the next decade.
According to an article in the TORONTO STAR, September 25th 1994,
The largest private prison company is (CCA) Corrections Corporation of America.
CCA was founded in 1983 by
Doctor Crants, a graduate of West Point and Harvard Business School.
CCA is listed on the prestigious NewYork Stock Exchange, it answers to share holders and
has board meetings like all publicly traded companies.
What does distinguish CCA from other listed companies is how crime affects stock holder profits.
The annual FBI and Justice Department national crime data,
are excellent leading indicators of future dividends.
For companies like CCA, the local crime-briefs of
American newspapers are as important as the business
CCA has grown considerably since its debut in 1983. It
is now a $100-million company with 21 prisons spread
over America, Australia and the United Kingdom. CCA
has already come under scrutiny in two states.
Tennessee's $60 million contract with CCA is currently
under review by the state legislature, and at two of
their private facilities in Texas, a 1990 report
revealed that "inexperienced" prison employees had
used excessive force on inmates. Additionally, inmates
were not extended services which were required under
the state contract to assist inmates return to
society. Few would argue, it is in the interest of CCA
profits, that prisoners return to their profit making
facility and not back into society.
Surprisingly, some of America's icon companies are
diversifying their investments in private prison
construction. For instance, American Express, the
company that tells us to "never leave home without
it," has invested millions in private prison
construction in Oklahoma. And (GE) General Electric,
the company that "Brings good things to life," have
financed private prison construction in Tennessee.
As America's system of justice sanctions the profits
and privatization of prisons, convicted criminals are
no longer viewed as pariahs of society. Comparable to
slaves during America's colonial period, convicts have
become a very desirable commodity across the nation.
Perhaps the convicts are not as seductive as the jobs
they yield to many communities. For example, the state
of North Carolina sends its convicts to a private
prison in Oklahoma, and recently the state of Virginia
chartered jet 150 inmates to a county-owned,
for-profit detention center in east Texas. In 31 days,
those 150 Virginia prisoners earned the Texas county
more than $200,000.
The owner of the east Texas detention center, Bobby
Ross remarked: "Its kind of like a factory in a
sense." Indeed, for many involved in the industry of
crime, it's no surprise that a county in Texas would
be one of the first to recognize the profitable
merging of Crime & Capitalism. It is projected that in
just a few months, Texas will have the largest penal
system in the country, larger than the even the
federal government. At a projected figure of 155,000
inmates, Texas knows convicts, like Idaho knows
Although Texas may be the Lone Star State, they have
plenty of company when it comes to taking advantage of
America's swelling prison population. In California,
CRIME is a synonym for JOB SECURITY. Just ask the
state correctional officers whose average salary is
$45,000 annually. It was a small investment for the
prison guard union to contribute nearly a half million
dollars($425,000) to Gov. Pete Wilson's gubernatorial
campaign. This was the largest single contribution
ever reported by a candidate for governor.
If the old adage "money talks," has any legitimacy,
one can only deduce that Gov.Pete Wilson was being
advised in unequivocal terms that "crime" is the
commerce of California's future. Such "money talk"
does not forebode well for the citizens of California.
In the East, New York city crime is a "cash cow" for
one particular Republican county in New York state.
According to the state's corrections committee
chairman, in 1992, the 110th district received $124
million in salaries, local purchases of food and
supplies, maintenance contracts and other operating
Suburban counties similar to the 110th district in New
York state have a financial interest in watching urban
crime flourish across the nation. For instance, in New
York state, 71 percent of prison inmates are from New
York city. However, nearly 99 percent of those
prisoners are transported up-state to New York's
affluent white middle class suburbs, where urban crime
is converted to good paying jobs.
In Pennsylvania, privatization of prisons is being
challenged in court by Prison Employees Union.
According to an August 22, 1995 PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
article: "PRISON UNION SUES OVER LOSS OF JOBS", caught
between a bitter law suit is the second largest
private prison company, WACKENHUT
CORRECTIONS CORP. The lawsuit was filed by the
Delaware County prison employees union, asserting the
state constitutional illegality of the county's
decision to privatize.
With 250 union employees, the union has no assurances
of being rehired by WACKENHUT CORP. With only one
labor union in its 23 U.S locations, WACKENHUT CORP
isn't exactly a haven for union activity. In other
areas of the state, draconian measures are being
employed to help defray the cost of
incarcerating inmates. For instance, counties such as
Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Lehigh charge inmates
for health care and in some instances rent, says Angus
Love, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Institutional
Law Project, a legal service agency.
When inmates are unable to pay, collection agencies
are hired to pursue payment. Critics see such measures
as an unnecessary roadblock to financially handicap a
convict's chance to integrate back into society.
Child labor exploitation, sweat shops, and Chinese
prison slavery have all made recent headlines in the
mainstream press. However, America needs to look in
their own yard-the prison yard, where thousands of
convicts are manufacturing products for state and
private industry with little pay. State governments
are are essentially instituting a slave-like work
force within its prison walls.
With cooperative agreements with small manufacturing
companies, states are merging-if you will, in creating
a semi-factory prison work force. The prison work
force is paid minimum wage, at least where labor
unions have forced their hand. Inmates
net approximately $1 an hour after deductions. Thirty
states have legalized privately run operations.
Here are just a few of the states, and products
-Hawaii-packing golf balls
-Maryland-modular houses, processed
-New Mexico-hotel chain reservations
-Oregon-designer blue jeans, called "prison blues"
There is also a boom in companies vending their
product or services to the "Prison Industry." How many
industries can boast that the rate of its target
market (prison population) is growing 8.5% annually?
The scope of vendors at the 1995 (ACA) American
Correctional Association Convention, range from
a "Dial soap" representative, to QueTel Corp, who
impress prison wardens with technology to bar code
Should Americans be legitimately fearful that Wall
Street has recognized that crime not only pays, but it
pays billions? Ask Arthur McDonald, former owner of
California's largest private prison firm, ECLECTIC
COMMUNICATIONS INC. McDonald, now retired from the $10
million dollar sale of ECLECTIC, told the LOS ANGELES
TIMES, "Crime pays. I hate saying that, but it really
does." Since that sale in 1988, ECLECTIC has received
contracts exceeding $50 million.
Have we reached that critical stage in America where
the alienated and disenfranchised of our society are
valued only for their eventual imprisonment? Although
these are questions for all Americans to answer,
how they are answered, will disproportionately affect
the future of African-Americans.
The American prison and jail population is over 1.5
million. While African-Americans are 13% of the
general population, they are nearly half of the 1.5
million incarcerated population. Experts believe that
population has swelled due to a so-called "War on
Drugs." Drug related convictions are certainly one of
the reasons African-Americans are disproportionately
incarcerated, but one has to question why.
According to the Department of Health and Human
Services, 2.4 million(64.4 percent) of crack users are
White, compared to 1 million Blacks(26.6 percent).
Yet, in a 1992 study by the U.S Sentencing Commission,
91.3 percent of those sentenced for federal crack
offenses were Black, while 3 percent were white. Such
stark numbers irrefutably reveal that
African-Americans are the flesh that maintains a
profitable "Prison Industry."
With the billion dollar profits from prison
construction, warehousing prisoners, vending goods,
and the operation of a slave-like work force,Blacks
haven't been this desirable to middle America since
the Middle Passage. That was a period when the labor
of enslaved Blacks created the initial "capital-for
what today we call capitalism." In comparison today,
as prisoners are being transported from state to
state, and the implementation of a slave-like work
force, it is difficult to ignore the frightening
When the privileged of society take aim to profit from
the misery of crime, they become accomplice to social
disorder, complicit in creating a criminal class.
Their quality of life becomes tied to a misery/revenue
where profits are merely a function of the misery of
others. America's symbol of justice is unfolding
before our eyes. It is no longer a blind folded woman,
it is now an accountant, not balancing the scales of
justice, but debits and credits on a balance sheet.
This article was published by permission from C. Stone
is a Black history/political writer who resides in
submitted by Jazminda(X)
Brothers and Sisters,
In keeping with the spirit of unity, please read, pass
along and act accordingly.
Subject: Black Internet Net-Thon
Happy New Year you are cordially invited to participate
in the Black Internet NET-THON Millennium 2000
to establish a "Black Resource Center"
How Can You Help?
Pledge, that you will honor in this new millennium,
to help a brother(s) and/or sister(s) of African ancestry,
who is an online member of the Black Bank Resource
Center, by volunteering a service in the form of
instruction, advice, or consultation.
*only required to help one person only
Because we are descendants of a great people,
we pledge to seek a positive soul that shines on us
all,have a gentle touch for our brothers and
sisters when we hear their cries,listen to each other
so we can nurture and grow together and as our
ancestors continually bless us with a deep sense of
heritage and knowledge, we pledge to keep the faith
that inspires us collectively so that we continue to
The purpose of this net-thon is to establish a pool of
black resources consisting of persons willing to help
each other. A way to give your knowledge of expertise
to someone of the black community who needs some
advice. A way to network and support each othe
governmental agency advice - eg. social services
college/vocational education advice
*now you add to the list
Together, we become a fruitful and rich community!
In the spirit of unity,
January 6, 2000.
Hello Urban Fashion Fans.
* * * C A S T I N G C A L L * * *
SUBA APPAREL will be holding a casting call for models to appear in their
January 23rd fashion premiere!!
The casting will be held at The Rios Supper Club
(393 8th Ave between 29th & 30th Street)
** Visit www.runwaynews.com's events
calendar for full details **
Saturday, January 8th, 2000
Chic Club presents Hot Millenium Fashion!
Featuring the Lingerie designs of "ROMY"
Location: La Detente Restaurant
23-04 94th Street
East Elmhurst, New York
Doors Open at 10pm, Showtime Midnight.
More info: call 718-478-7456
*** TELL THEM YOU HEARD IT FROM RUNWAYNEWS.COM
Saturday, February 5, 2000
Small World Entertainment & Sherlock Anthony Productions
Presents: FASHION 2000
Featuring Designs by: GSL, SEAN JEAN, PEPE
Location: 3167 Kennedy Boulevard (at 32nd Street) (New Jersey)
Doors Open at 7pm
More Info: Call Sherlock at 201-369-1619
*** TELL HIM YOU SAW IT ON RUNWAYNEWS.COM