Amani, California, Mawr discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts


Activists on the inside George Jackson who was killed on August twenty first. And that is also important because it reminds us that sometimes serving time is so dangerous because the conditions are so bad that you can lose your life on the inside. And and so the fact that we are here again, we were here in two thousand sixteen and we're, we've actually been here for many decades now in it's really time for those of us on the outside to to listen more carefully to what's going on on the inside and not just assume that when someone is sentenced to serve time that that is a a picnic to not assume that it's just, you know, you do the crime, you do the time, but to understand that these institutions are deeply deeply exploitative they are dangerous. They are abusive, and if we hope for them to create a more Justice -iety we are, you know, we're really not understanding what's going on inside you. I'm mindful that this is such a big issue and we haven't even talked in depth about the inmates demands for better living conditions because we, there are actually cases going on was reading about cases in Mississippi that are in court describing some pretty shocking conditions. In institutions there we picked topic. I think that we need three to four hours to unpack here. So can we just focused on this issue of labor of prison labor? Because it's, I think it's one that we can maybe make some headway on you heard Amani little earlier in shandra, Basell coach still with us on the line. Different views there about, you know, the the states use the the, the prisons use of labor, what inmates should expect from ruminate renumeration for the work they do. I mean, what's your view on that? Well, let me just say that. I think there's great consistency with between what Amani and Chandra have both said, which is that when you're on the inside the issue, the problem is not work. People want to work work. Very productive. It feels good. It gets people out of their cells and it gives them skills. The problem isn't work. The problem is expectation, and that is a problem for all of us means that companies who, by the way, were barred from much prison labor until we got mass incarceration when they essentially worked overturn all the laws that had been a barrier to them. The companies are the only ones who are benefiting the state is the only ones who are benefiting not workers on the outside who used to make Anderson flooring or who used to work in a call center and not focus on the inside who still have children to support who still have parents to support and who need money themselves to get basic, basic things inside a prison can I just don't, but your percents, because I mean like the the, the states have a pretty consistent response or departments of corrections. I have a pretty consistent response that they would. They would say they have said that if they have to pay more to inmates were working, they simply can't afford it. I mean, the California Department of corrections told. A reporter that the per capita cost of one inmate in the prison system in California exceeds eighty thousand dollars. And those are, you know, we're talking about security, housing, food, health care, etc. And the California California Department correction said that those are expenses that employers and the outside world just don't have to carry. So there's no room in their budget for paying inmates Mawr. Well, let me just say to that. I mean, first of all, the fact that we are spending eighty thousand dollars to keep a human being behind bars for that many decades, that many years is the first problem. So the this, the the talking about prison, labor actually invites us to have a much bigger discussion about what we are imagining our Justice system to do. Just as a note, California's the most expensive, the spend, the most of any state. It ranges like Alabama's down in the fourteen thousand dollars range. So what we do know, we do know that that kind of expenditure to keep someone walked away for that many years from society has a counter productive effect. And if we wanted more just insane. Of society. We need to start rethinking the larger sentences, which is what these guys and women on the inside are saying. So that's one issue. But the other issue really is that, yes, it is expensive to make goods..

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