The Prison Industrial Complex Has Created A System Of Force Free Labor

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The Prison Industrial Complex has created a system of force free labor that strips prisoners of their political, economic, and social rights, ultimately relegating them to second-class citizenship, inside and outside of the prison walls. Denying former enslaved people citizenship was essential to the formation of the original union and hundreds of years later, America remains a nonegalitarian society. Not only are those incarcerated barred from suffrage, as throughout much of US history for African Americans, but they also endure legalized discrimination in housing, education, public welfare and employment. Though there has been a change in language and people are no longer explicitly discriminatory or prejudiced based on race, they remain so on criminality and income, both significant indicators of race in this country. This is most evident once persons are released from prison. Not only can they be returned to prison for the most minor infractions, like missing a parole meeting or associating with the wrong crowd, but they also face great adversity when trying to get back into the workforce or readjust to normal life. It is no secret that having a history of incarceration impedes future economic success, and Pew data finds that incarceration reduced subsequent wages by eleven percent, cut annual employment by nine weeks, and reduced yearly earnings by forty percent (Khalek, 2001). This all in addition to the psychological harm and the damage to family home units prisons
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