Prison Industrial Complex
The term prison–industrial complex (PIC) is used to attribute the rapid expansion of the US inmate population to the political influence of private prison companies and businesses that supply goods and services to government prison agencies. The term is borrowed from the military–industrial complex President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of in his famous 1961 farewell address. Such groups include corporations that contract prison labor, construction companies, surveillance technology vendors, lawyers, and lobby groups that represent them. Activists have argued that the Prison-Industrial Complex as perpetuating a belief that imprisonment is a quick yet ultimately flawed solution to social problems such as homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy.
The term 'prison industrial complex' has been used to describe a similar issue in other countries' prisons of expanding populations.
The promotion of prison building as a job creator and the use of inmate labor are also cited as elements of the prison-industrial complex. The term often implies a network of actors who are motivated by making profit rather than solely by punishing or rehabilitating criminals or reducing crime rates. Proponents of this view believe that the desire for monetary gain has led to the growth of the prison industry and the number of incarcerated individuals.
Famous quotes containing the words prison, industrial and/or complex:
“each prison crypt,
of canyoned traffic . . . Confronting the Exchange,
Surviving in a world of stocks,”
—Hart Crane (18991932)
“As to a thorough eradication of prostitution, nothing can accomplish that save a complete transvaluation of all accepted valuesespecially the moral onescoupled with the abolition of industrial slavery.”
—Emma Goldman (18691940)
“Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society.”
—Michel Foucault (19261984)