The Prison Industrial Complex ' Signifies A Criminal Justice System

2442 Words Feb 3rd, 2015 10 Pages
The ‘Prison Industrial Complex’ signifies a criminal justice system in America that has been significantly changed during the advance development over the last 30 years with further focus on the interests of the private sector in the crime industry (Wood, 2003). The Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) articulates the interests that use criminalisation, policing, surveillance and imprisonment as a solution to the social, economical and political issues of the society (Wood, 2003).

Criminalisation, a process through which certain actions/behaviour becomes illegal, is a main component of the PIC (Gordon, 1999). Actions and behaviour only becomes ‘crime’ after it has been legally (or sometimes culturally) labelled (Gordon, 1999). This also occurs when the enforcers of the law target certain groups within society for power and control. An example of criminalisation of a specific group in society is the target of homeless people where the state attempts to control homeless people through making legal policies that stretch from sleeping in public spaces to making informal trading for some income on the streets illegal, giving them grounds to be punished and either fined or incarcerated (Fooks & Pantazis, 1999). Women who have substance abuse are criminalized through the new-implemented policies that could send them to jail or have a ban from being qualified for state benefits if doctors were to ever find evidence of drug use during their pregnancy…
Open Document