SIGN OF THE TIMES: The Prison Industrial Complex

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Today we saw an ad on the side of a SEPTA bus advertising a service from Just Talk Communications [screen grab from their web site above] that enables you to receive collect calls from inmates in prison. The ‘you’ is presumably family, friends or lovers, as well as ‘business associates.’ Just Talk would argue that they are providing a valuable service, facilitating communication between prisoners and their loved ones, which may well be true, but we cannot help but feel profoundly bummed that it’s come to this: that incarceration has become such an integral and permanent fixture of life for an ever-expanding segment of society that whole cottage industries have sprung up to profit from this sad and deeply cynical new reality. When imprisoning people becomes a profit center, the only way to increase profits is to find ways to put more people in prison for the long as possible.

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