Slavery In Prisons

1274 Words6 Pages
Serena Santiago
Mrs. Morales

"I’m beginning to believe that `U.S.A. ' stands for the UNDERPRIVILEGED SLAVES OF AMERICA." (Esposito and Wood, 1982: 149), this statement was written by a Mississippi, in a letter which depicts the details of the daily violence he witnessed behind prison walls. This statement resonates with the recurring narratives of imprisonment, which all use slavery to accurately describe their experience during their sentence. The treatment and conditions of prisoners are brutal and unconstitutional, this is due to the faults in the 13th Amendment, which entitles “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist
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Since elaborating on the issues with the criminal justice system and the 13th Amendment, now an inside look on the conditions will show the true similarity between slavery and incarceration. Due to the leasing of prisoners, prisons and jails have become extremely industrialized. Many programs focusing on manufacturing and construction, but not many prisons offer educational programs for the prisoners to be able to learn how to support themselves once they get on parole and finish their sentence. Many convicts will finish their sentence and leave prison to join society-which has a stigma against convicts- yet they have no knowledge on how to create a resume, apply for jobs, or apply for food stamps. So many finish finally having to be able to leave the walls, to be welcomed to another stigma, less chance of being employed, little to no money, no experience in a job field, and little to none education-at minimum a high school degree. Not to mention how this could lead to the use of drugs to relieve stress, or another petty crime, like robbery, to occur due to having little to no prospects in receiving an…show more content…
Addressing this issue causes a huge debate due to stigmas. Many believe that any convicted criminal should be set away from society. This is due to the stigma that anyone convicted is a “delinquent” or is “crooked, evil, or a possible murderer.” But, it is quite naive to believe that prisons should be set separate from society. It is crucial that services are provided inside those walls to aid the inmates whom-with a few exceptions- will be released and it is our job and in our interest to ensure that they will not return to crime and be locked up yet again. Assisting them would be to not lock up people for pretty silly crimes, to relieve the problem of overcrowding, to not believe that a person of a darker skin tone is more likely to commit a violent crime, to as a whole support non violent offenders to turn around their life during their sentence and be released ready to start over and be welcomed back with open arms instead of silenced whispers and icy stares, to rid these prisons of industrialization and profit and encourage rehabilitation, rejuvenation, and

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